By Natasha Anderson
Author Victoria Johnson will appear at NC Arboretum’s Education Center Auditorium on Tuesday, July 24, at 6 p.m. for a discussion and signing of her book American Eden: David Hosack, Botany, and Medicine in the Garden of the Early Republic. The biography focuses on Hosack’s advocacy for the nation’s first botanical garden, which he believed to be the key to scientific progress. The garden, now buried under New York City’s Rockefeller Center, was built in 1801. Used to grow and test medicinal plants, it was more akin to the National Institutes of Health or the CDC than a tree-lined park.
“Hosack’s role as the attending physician at the Burr- Hamilton duel garnered him a passing mention in many history books, but there was a reason that both Burr and Hamilton trusted and treasured him,” says Johnson. “He was a brilliant physician and a charismatic, witty man who worked tirelessly to build the civic institutions that make a nation humane and great.”
The second annual Summer Lights concert series takes place Friday and Saturday, July 27–28, and August 3–4, from 8–10 p.m. at the Arboretum’s Outdoor Events Amphitheater. The concerts feature the acclaimed Blue Ridge Orchestra, an all-volunteer ensemble conducted by Milton Crotts. After sunset, a projected-light show synchronized to music is displayed against the woodland backdrop.
“We received a tremendous amount of positive feedback from last year’s Summer Lights event,” says Drake Fowler, chief financial/operating officer at the Arboretum. “As a result, we have decided to host the event again and offer an earlier start time to allow ticket holders more time to access the gardens during the daylight.”
The North Carolina Arboretum is located at 100 Frederick Law Olmsted Way, Asheville. Admission to Johnson’s book signing and talk is free, though standard parking fees apply. For Summer Lights ticket information, visit ncarboretum.org.