In 1980, following many years of multiple owners, reversed fortunes, and neglect, Hortulus Farm was acquired by renowned garden designer Renny Reynolds and noted garden author Jack Staub, who set about restoration of the buildings and institution of the the grand gardens of Hortulus Farm.
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JACK STAUB, garden writer, popular GCA lecturer, playwright, and avid gardener is widely considered to be one of the country’s leading experts on edible gardening. He has written for such publications as Garden Design, Fine Gardening, Country Living Gardener, Horticulture, andFood & Wine and his celebrated vegetable, herb, and fruit gardens atHortulus Farm have been featured in House & Garden, House Beautiful, Quest, Organic Gardening, Horticulture, Country Living, and the Time- Warner series on organic gardening. His edible trilogy 75 Exciting Vegetables for Your Garden, 75 Remarkable Fruits for Your Garden, and 75 Exceptional Herbs for Your Garden were identified as“wittily entertaining" by Horticulture Magazine and as having “all the qualities of early 20th Century classics” by Gardens Illustrated. His book, Private Edens, a lavish peek at 21 superb Mid-Atlantic and Northeast gardens, was noted by The New York Times as one of the five best garden titles of 2013, Private Gardens of South Florida, another lavishly photographed look at 22 tropical gardens, was published in March 2016, and, in 2017, the “edible trilogy" was reissued as The Illustrated Book Of Edible Plants, a single beautifully illustrated volume. His most recent book, Chasing Eden - Design Inspirations from the Gardens of Hortulus Farm, has received notable acclaim, and is available now for pre-order.
In previous incarnations, he has been an Echols Scholar at the University of Virginia, the inspiration for the character of “Nick” in Whit Stillman’s Academy Award-nominated movie Metropolitan, a Creative Director at a number of Manhattan’s most prominent ad agencies, had his play Desperate Acts produced Off-Broadway, and starred as reporter Lou Roman on the daytime drama One Life To Live.
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RENNY REYNOLDS, founder of Renny & Reed in New York City, is one of the nation's most renowned entertaining, gardening, and lifestyle experts. His definitive book, The Art of The Party, from Gibbs Smith Publishers, is known widely as the” party-planners bible” and his event and garden designs have been featured in all major shelter, garden and lifestyle magazines, including Architectural Digest, W, House & Garden, House Beautiful, New York Magazine, Horticulture Magazine, Town & Country, and Garden Design. Clients have included Presidents Ford, Nixon, Reagan and Clinton, with events in the White House, luminaries of stage and screen, leaders of industry, countless brides, and the country’s largest and most prestigious corporations and non-profit institutions.
Following his graduation from the University of Wisconsin in Madison with a degree in landscape architecture, Renny opened his first shop in New York City and got his first leg up when he was asked by Bill Blass to design his terrace garden. He then expanded into event design when Yves St. Laurent asked him to design the introduction of his Opium fragrance in a fabled event at South Street Seaport featuring a Chinese junk with golden sails. He then went on to orchestrate all the nightly extravaganzas at the legendary Studio 54, including events for Diana Ross, Dolly Parton, Andy Warhol, Elizabeth Taylor, and Liza Minnelli, and putting Bianca Jagger atop that white horse in the iconic photo. After leaving the event design business to his nephew, Reed McIlvaine, in 2005, he returned to his first love, garden design, with current projects across the country. In 2008, he was awarded the prestigious “Great American Gardener” Award, their highest honor, by the The American Horticulture Society.
Renny has served on the boards of P.S. 1/ MOMA, The Brooklyn Botanical Garden, The Royal Oak Foundation, Bucks Beautiful, Fisherman’s Mark, and Heritage Conservancy of Bucks County, PA.