Public Garden Management
Buy Rights Online Buy Rights

Rights Contact Login For More Details

More About This Title Public Garden Management


The complete-and-ready reference for establishing, managing, and running a successful and sustainable, profitable public garden

As unique museums with living collections of plants, public gardens offer visitors aesthetically beautiful landscapes combined with educational programming and scientific research that promote the value and understanding of plants. In the twenty-first century, public gardens are in the forefront of organizations and institutions committed to promoting the conservation of plants and their habitats, developing sustainable practices that support the environment, and providing green spaces where our increasingly stressed and urbanized citizens can reconnect with the natural world. It is critically important that such institutions have trained, knowledgeable staff members. Because of its comprehensive examination of public gardens, Public Garden Management is the ideal guide for staff members at public gardens, anyone considering a career in public gardens, groups starting a botanical garden or arboretum, and students discovering how these complex institutions work.

Public Garden Management is an all-in-one professional reference and textbook that clearly shows how to develop, establish, manage, and maintain a sustainable—both economically and environmentally—public garden. Offering practical coverage of relevant topics, along with useful tools for reinforcing study, this insightful and forward-thinking guide is:

  • Copublished by the American Public Gardens Association

  • Written by a panel of leading experts in the field

  • Filled with dozens of case studies that are real-world illustrations of the principles explored in the text

  • Illustrated throughout with line drawings, figures, and photographs that assist in conveying critical information

Students and professionals will benefit greatly from the management principles outlined in this book, helping them establish and maintain new and existing public gardens that engage, inspire, and connect with their communities.


Donald A. Rakow, PhD, serves as the Elizabeth Newman Wilds Director of Cornell Plantations, as well as Director of the Cornell Graduate Program in Public Garden Leadership. Actively involved in horticultural associations and education initiatives at many levels, Rakow is a frequent speaker at conferences and has been honored with the APGA Service Award, for his service on American Public Gardens Association's board of directors and many of its committees.

Sharon A. Lee is the principal of Sharon Lee & Associates, a communications consulting firm, and is the former deputy director of the American Public Gardens Association and the founding editor of the Public Garden, the journal of the American Public Gardens Association.



Foreword (Peter H. Raven).

Part I Public Gardens and Their Significance.

Chapter 1 What Is a Public Garden? (Donald A. Rakow).

Chapter 2 The History and Significance of Public Gardens (Christine Flanagan).

Part II The Emerging Garden.

Chapter 3 Critical Issues in Starting a Public Garden (Robert E. Lyons).

Chapter 4 The Process of Organizing a New Public Garden (Mary Pat Matheson).

Chapter 5 Land Acquisition (Maureen Heffernan).

Chapter 6 Designing for Plants and People (Iain M. Robertson).

Part III Administrative Functions.

Chapter 7 Staffing and Personnel Management (Gerard T. Donnelly and Nancy L. Peske).

Chapter 8 Volunteer Recruitment and Management (Arlene Ferris).

Chapter 9 Budgeting and Financial Planning (Richard Piacentini and Lisa Macioce).

Chapter 10 Fund Raising and Membership Development (Patricia Rich).

Chapter 11 Earned Income Opportunities (Richard H. Daley).

Chapter 12 Facilities and Infrastructure (Eric Tschanz).

Chapter 13 Grounds Management and Security (Vincent A. Simeone).

Part IV Programmatic Functions.

Chapter 14 Public Gardens and Their Communities: The Value of Outreach (Susan Lacerte).

Chapter 15 Formal Education for Students, Teachers, and Youth at Public Gardens (Patsy Benveniste and Jennifer Schwarz-Ballard).

Chapter 16 Continuing, Professional, and Higher Education (Larry DeBuhr).

Chapter 17 Interpreting Gardens to Visitors (Kitty Connolly).

Chapter 18 Evaluation of Garden Programming and Planning (Julie Warsowe).

Chapter 19 Public Relations and Marketing Communications (Leeann Lavin and Elizabeth Randolph).

Chapter 20 Collections Management (David Michener).

Chapter 21 Research at Public Gardens (Kayri Havens).

Chapter 22 Conservation Practices at Public Gardens (Sarah Reichard).

Part V Long-Term Initiatives.

Chapter 23 A Strategic Approach to Leadership and Management (Kathleen Socolofsky and Mary Burke).

Chapter 24 Associations and Partnerships (Claire Sawyers).

Chapter 25 Facility Expansion (Brian Holley).

Chapter 26 The Shape of Gardens to Come (Paul B. Redman).

Appendix A: Factors in the Development and Management of Canadian Public Gardens (Melanie Sifton and David Galbraith).

Appendix B: The Importance of Plant Exploration Today (Paul W. Meyer).

Appendix C: Herbaria (Barbara M. Thiers).

Appendix D: Public Garden Archives (Sheila Connor).

Appendix E: The Library in a Public Garden (Rita M. Hassert).

Appendix F: Horticultural Therapy and Public Gardens (Karen L. Kennedy).