top of page

Week Three 2023 Newsletter


The arrangement above was created and photographed by BTG Board Member Jamie Jameson to showcase what's in bloom in the Campbell Garden this week.

Located on Whitfield Avenue, the formal Campbell Garden has two unique and distinct sections: lower and upper. The lower garden has a hedge of winterberry along the front and Japanese and Korean lilacs along the sides. Inside are four perennial beds with matching plantings in opposite corners. Geometric-shaped stone and brick hardscape define the flowerbed edges in the sunny lower garden with white iron benches to provide seating.

The upper garden features a classic oval-shaped stone reflecting pool with pink water lilies on its surface and English ivy and ferns around the coping. Perennial borders of iris, lily of the valley, rhododendrons, mountain laurel and spirea are backed by a large black cherry, Eastern hemlock, and sugar maple to provide a secluded, heavily-shaded ambiance.

The Campbell Garden was donated to Chautauqua and endowed by Mrs. Henrietta T. Campbell in 1988. She had been coming to the grounds since 1922 with her husband, Robert D. Campbell, and two daughters, Mary and Kay. Mrs. Campbell served as a trustee from 1937 to 1972 and was very active in the YWCA at a national level. She and her husband graduated from the Chautauqua Literary and Scientific Circle in 1929. Mrs. Campbell also made possible the restoration and maintenance of the Hall of Christ in 1967 in memory of her husband. The design and construction of garden was done by Habiterra Associates of Jamestown. Repair work was done in 1997 and again in 2014 to improve the flagstone walkways and steps. The garden has continually grown and matured, but retains the formal and private feel year after year and is enjoyed by thousands of Chautauquans each season.

Cutting from the gardens of Chautauqua is not allowed, but a few lucky members of the BTG are given permission by Betsy Burgeson to cut selectively from gardens she identifies. The arrangements are photographed and then given to speakers and special guests.

Some of the flowers blooming now in the Campbell Garden and featured in the arrangement above are:

  • Angelonia 

  • Astilbe 'Visions in Pink' and Rhineland

  • Leucanthemum x superbum 'Becky' (Shasta Daisy)

  • Liatris spicata 'Kobold' (Kobold Liatris) 

  • Phlox paniculata 'David' ('David' Garden Phlox)

  • Stokesia laevis 'Colorwheel' (Stoke's Aster)

  • Veronica longifolia (Garden Speedwell)

  • Veronica spicata ‘Royal Candles’ ('Royal Candles' Speedwell)

Gentle Reader,

Before we even get into this week with the BTG, I would like to draw your attention to the little chickadee on top of the word "BY" in the title above. Our new intern, Julia Fulkerson painted him. WOW! 

Here's the background: I had asked Julia to "pretty up" up the newsletter and assumed when I saw the little bird on the draft that Julia had found him in a clip art collection and just dragged him into the title. I was delighted and was planning to ask her to add clip art to all the titles, when thank goodness I mentioned it to Julia's mother while we were weeding together on Wednesday. Jean told me that she had seen the bird on a sketch pad on Julia's desk - an original watercolor! 

Julia's timing was prescient. Perhaps you saw the article by Camille Baker ‘Wherever I Am, I Am Always Birding’ in the New York Times on Friday about the NYT summer birding project. The challenge this week is to try your hand at drawing a bird and the article included an excerpt from an interview with David Sibley. Here is one of the questions and his answer:

How has spending so much time illustrating birds and ruminating on them shaped your understanding of the natural world and of birds?

It has really shaped the way I think about everything. Drawing is a way of slowing down to take the time to look at something, and drawing also gives you a record of what you thought you saw. It’s not like a photograph; it’s your interpretation of what you saw.

Getting better at drawing is partly about developing technical skill, but it’s more about getting to know the subject. Your drawing becomes a record of your understanding of that bird in that moment. Drawing in that way encourages you to be a more thoughtful observer.

So here's that little bird again for your enjoyment, plus the rundown of this week's BTG activities. Why not try to draw a bird this week? You may not be as good as David Sibley or Julia, but it may just help you become a more thoughtful observer.

- Leslie Renjilian, BTG President and very reluctant artist


Above: Theresa Augustin, VP of Education at Norfolk Botanical Garden, will be our Brown Bag lecturer this week! You can read more about Theresa at the link below.

Monday, July 10

4:15 PM  Lake Walk: Edible and Medicinals with Jonathan Townsend

Location: Shoreline & Wetland Garden by the Pier Building

Tuesday, July 11

12:15 PM  BTG Brown Bag Lecture: "Beyond Plants: Growing a Greener Botanical Garden" with Theresa Augustin, Norfolk Botanical Garden

Location: Smith Wilkes Hall

This lecture is sponsored by the BTG in partnership with the Chautauqua Climate Change Initiative.

4:15 PM  Garden Walk with Horticulturist Joe McMaster

Location: Smith Wilkes Hall - Lakeside

Wednesday, July 12

8:00 AM  Wednesday Weeding

Please join the BTG to help remove invasive plants! You do not have to be a member to volunteer. Learn more at the link above.

Location: Meet at the Butterfly Garden by the South Gate

12:30 - 2:30 PM  Open Garden: Shipman Gardens at Miller Cottage

4:15 PM  Tree Walk with Naturalist Jack Gulvin

Location: Smith Wilkes Hall - Lakeside

Thursday, July 13

8:00 AM  Bird Walk with Ruth Lundin

Location: Smith Wilkes Hall - Entrance

Bring binoculars if you have them, and please leave dogs at home!

12:30 - 2:30 PM  Open Garden: Shipman Gardens at Miller Cottage

4:15 PM  Purple Martin Talk with Jack Gulvin

Location: Sports Club

This is the second-to-last of the Purple Martin Chats. Soon they will be migrating....

Friday, July 14

9:00 AM  Nature Walk with Naturalist Jack Gulvin

Location: Smith Wilkes Hall - Lakeside

11:45 - 2:00 PM  Life Member Luncheon with speaker Holly Shimizu, "Garden Design: Incorporating Herbs & Natives"

Location: Athenaeum Hotel Parlor

Private guided tours of the Shipman Garden at Miller Cottage following lunch 

Note: the Lunch is sold out, but if you would like to be on a our Wait List, please email us. There are always last-minute cancellations. 

There will be no 12:30 Friday Garden Walk with Betsy this week due to the Luncheon.

Sunday, July 16

8:00 - 9:30 PM   Evening Bat Chat with Jonathan Townsend

Location: Smith Wilkes Hall



Missing some money??  We found a nice wad of cash at Smith Wilkes Hall after the Week One Brown Bag Lecture and forgot to post about it in last week's newsletter. If you lost some, please email us with the serial numbers and we will get it back to you. Just kidding about the serial numbers, but some testimonial would be nice - a heartfelt Paper Moon style narrative, a rough memory or how much it was, or where you were sitting, etc. If no one claims it, we'll consider it a donation and use it to buy more tree markers.



Although it can be easy to forget in the chaos of the season, there's still a whole world right outside Chautauqua's gates! If you're looking to explore the area this week, here are a few ideas...


Lakewood Memorial Library

The Ospreys of Loomis Goose Greek Wetland Preserve

Last Thursday, July 6th, Jeanne Wiebenga's (our own BTG Board Member) exhibit – Ospreys of Loomis Goose Creek Wetland Preserve – opened at the Lakewood Library! You can read about Jeanne, her exhibit, and the Chautauqua Lake osprey pair she observed here.

You can check out her work at the library throughout July

Above: two of Jeanne's osprey photos from her presentation at last year's Life Member Luncheon.


Roger Tory Peterson Institute (Jamestown)


The BTG took a recent field trip to the RTPI to learn a bit about Roger Tory Peterson and check out their newest exhibits. Despite a rainy day, the property was beautiful and we can personally recommend taking the quick trip across the lake. The RTPI also holds these weekly events:

Friday, July 14th

RTPI Guided Gallery Walk

2:00 PM


Saturday, July 15th

Yoga with the Birds at RTPI

9:00 AM

If you want a preview of their newest exhibit, "Art that Matters to the Planet: Interconnectivity," before you attend an event or just head over on your own, you can read about the exhibit and the artists through their website.

Works by Jack Elliott (L) and Noah DiRuzza (R), currently at the RTPI.


Audubon Community Nature Center (Jamestown)

Saturday, July 15th

MAPS Bird Banding Demonstrations

Free to attend (donations encouraged)

Drop in any time from 6:00 AM - noon!

This Saturday (weather permitting), the Audubon Community Nature Center will be holding a MAPS Bird Banding Demonstration – which is completely free to attend. The ornithologists of the ACNC will show how they capture migrating and resident birds, give them identification bands, measure and weigh them, and release them. 

For the safety of the birds, the demonstration will not happen if there is harsh weather. But not to worry, because the ACNC plans to hold demonstrations on July 22nd and August 5th as well! 


Chautauqua Watershed Conservancy: Annual Sailing Rallye!

Saturday, July 15th

Show your support for the Chautauqua Watershed Conservancy by sponsoring or registering for their 3rd annual Sailing Rallye and spend a day out on the lake. All proceeds benefit the conservancy! You can read more about the eventhere.

- Julia Fulkerson


Need help finding your way? Take a peek at our beautiful map drawn by Jane Nelson, or use the interactive version in the BTG app, to locate all of the gardens on Chautauqua Institution!

1 view0 comments

Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page