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Beautiful day draws visitors to Botanical Garden

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The talk began with Flushing attorney and author Paul Kerson, who spoke on the First Family of Horticulture, the Prince family. He detailed the family's legacy - how they began in 1725 to plant more than 80 acres of fruit-bearing trees in Flushing. The Prince family arboretum helped establish Flushing as the cradle of New York City horticulture.

Other presentations were by Marianne Kirstoff, who gave advice on Gardening in Repossessed Containers. This was followed by "Discovering the Healing Power of Plants" ( Medicinal Herbs II) by Cynthia Reed.

One of the outdoor displays featured an Interactive Labyrinth facilitated by Ariane Burgess of Camino de Paz Labyrinths. Another highlight of the day was two walking tours of the labyrinth pathway as walkers meditated and contemplated their relationship to nature.

In the greenhouse, Zophia Pienkos demonstrated how to propagate roots from cuttings or seeds as well as by division.

Over in the education building, Fred Gerber, educational director emeritus of QBG, gave a world tour of food propagation, including taro, ginger, lentils and more.

A series of tables featuring various items were placed in Oak Allee. The QBG Crafts Group offered great gift items: unique creations of dried flower arrangements and potpourri made from flowers collected in the garden.

Other highlights included:

* Self-taught African-American artist Ophena Simmons displayed her inspirational paintings on stones.

* The Bonsai Society of Greater New York offered advice on training miniature plants in this ancient Japanese art.

* Friends of the Hempstead Plains, dedicated to prairie habitat protection, were there to encourage public awareness of the plight of the prairie.

* Another innovative idea was a table featuring a cultural research team that solicited stories from attendees about their family traditions.

* Afternoon performances held in the Cherry Circle included a Tai Chi exhibition followed by Kathak and Bharatananatyn executing a classical Indian dance.

* The day ended with "Mostly Strings" performed by the Foundation of Filipino Artist.

The Queens Botanical Garden, noted for its free activities throughout the year, is located at 43-50 Main St. Call 718-886-3800 or go to www.queensbotanical.org to see their upcoming events.

Posted 7:03 pm, October 10, 2011
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