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MONTHLY MEETING: Exploring the World of Horticulture

Ilnacullin Gardens, Ireland.  Photo Credit Karl Gercens

At our November 12 meeting, we are in for a real treat. Karl Gercens, conservatory horticulturalist at Pennsylvania's Longwood Gardens, will share his exploration of gardens around the world. Karl describes himself as “a Southern guy who enjoys travel, horticulture and photography.” Karl is known for landscaping with a palette of colorful foliage trees, shrubs, and perennials. When not gardening, lecturing, or consulting, his horticultural passion extends worldwide. He has visited public and private gardens in all fifty states and more than twenty countries. While at those locations, he takes vibrant and vivid digital photographs, some of which he will share with us.

Karl’s love of horticulture dates back to his early years, growing up on a cotton plantation in Mississippi. He received a BS in Ornamental Horticulture at Mississippi State University and completed internships at Walt Disney World in Orlando and Filoli near San Francisco. Since 1998, he has worked as a conservatory horticulturalist at Longwood Gardens, where he is responsible for the design, installation, and maintenance of Longwood’s conservatory displays. He oversees the changing displays in the large display houses, including the Orangery, Exhibition Hall, East Conservatory, Green Wall, Mediterranean Garden, Silver Garden, and Acacia Passage.

In addition to gardening and consulting, Karl regularly gives classes in horticulture and travels the world visiting gardens. To date, he has visited more than 450 gardens in 20 countries. You can see some of Karl’s photos on his website's gallery.

Winter Blues Festival, Longwood Gardens. Photo credit Karl Gercens

Join us for what is sure to be a special evening beginning at 6:00 PM at Congregation Beth Israel, 9001 Towne Centre Drive, San Diego. Parking is free and everyone is welcome. Admission is free for SDHS members and $15 for non-members. For more information, call (619) 296-9215 or visit

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