Martha Stewart, the most famous name in gardening, entertaining and decorating, received the Dallas Arboretum’s Great Contributor to Art Award on May 11 at the Celebrating Martha and her 90th book Martha’s Flowers event at the garden. She signed copies and talked about her latest book, Martha’s Flowers: A Practical Guide to Growing, Gathering, and Enjoying, which features gardening advice developed over decades, along with more than 100 creative arrangements by Kevin Sharkey, her longtime friend and co-author.
The event also included an Invitational Fine Art Acquisitions opportunity where guests bid on stunning artwork, curated by Gail Sachson, from some of Dallas’ finest artists, with all proceeds benefiting the Dallas Arboretum.
After signing books, Stewart toured the Dallas Arboretum, including the Rory Meyers Children’s Adventure Garden, with President Mary Brinegar. Reverend Joshua Whitfield, pastoral administrator and rector of Saint Rita Catholic Community, gave the invocation.
Then guests enjoyed the delectable lunch, which featured recipes from Entertaining by Martha Stewart, her iconic entertaining guide that changed how hostesses thought about food and presentation. Prepared by Gil’s Elegant Catering, the menu included Chilled Vichyssoise, Escalope of Salmon with Sorrel Sauce served with Risotto, Haricots Verts and Carrots, Blackberry Mousse with Lavender and Lemon Tart with Rose Petals.
The centerpieces were inspired by arrangements from Martha’s Flowers and created by the following talented local floral artists:
· John Holstead, PARC Floral and Events
· Debby Jewesson, Branching Out Events
· David Kimmel
· Kristen Wolchik, Haute Floral
Alicia and Adam Rico of Bows & Arrows created additional gorgeous floral displays including an outside flower wall, popular with attendees taking photos in front of it, two inside floral walls and many colorful flowers artfully arranged on the stage.
As guests enjoyed their desserts, Dallas Arboretum Artscape Chairwoman Kaki Hopkins presented Martha Stewart with her award. Hopkins said, “Our honoree has taught us how to inject artistry into our everyday lives, enriching the living experience for ourselves and for those around us. It is the Arboretum’s extreme pleasure and honor to present the 2018 Artscape Great Contributor Award to an American entrepreneur, an icon of fine living, a best selling author, an artist of many disciplines, and a grower of flowers, Martha Stewart.”
Stewart thanked Hopkins and the Dallas Arboretum. “I love your beautiful arboretum. I know how much effort it takes to build such an amazing garden, so congratulations to Dallas. You are lucky to have such a place to gather and enjoy.”
The program concluded with a conversation with Stewart and Sharkey where they spoke about their latest book. Stewart’s father was an inspiration. “I’ve been growing flowers with my dad since I was 3.” She entered her first flower show when she was eight years old and won with her starburst orange lilies in a tall silver container.
Sharkey talked about living with flowers every day and encouraged people to plant trees and have fresh flowers for any occasion, not just special occasions.
Stewart talked about her various gardens, including the one in Seal Harbor, Maine, where David Rockefeller knocked on her door and welcomed her to the neighborhood.
Stewart concluded the afternoon with these encouraging words: “Teach your kids where food comes from…children don’t know that these days. I’m so happy to see the Children’s Garden at the Dallas Arboretum. Gardening gives pleasure, knowledge and appreciation for things you take for granted.”