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Go ‘Wild at Cornell’ with artist, plant stylist Hilton Carter

Artist, interior designer and plant stylist Hilton Carter will inspire audiences to transform their living spaces into green landscapes in “Wild at Cornell,” the Cornell Botanic Gardens’ William J. Hamilton Lecture.

The talk, Oct. 9 at 7:30 p.m. in Statler Auditorium, is free and open to the public.

Hilton Carter

Carter believes bringing greenery into one’s living space has many positive benefits, creating a space that blurs the line between indoors and outdoors, and generating calm.

“Have you ever walked into a plant nursery or greenhouse and instantly felt a change in the air?” Carter said. “There is a feeling of calm that washes over you as you tilt your head back, close your eyes and take a deep breath. This is the feeling you’re looking to replicate when you bring plants into your home.”

For Carter, it all started with one plant – a fiddle-leaf fig named Frank. As he wrote in his bestselling book, “Wild at Home: How to Style and Care for Beautiful Plants,” and will share in his lecture, Carter’s interest in plants started out as purely practical: He was averse to putting up curtains in his apartment, and decided to try a more natural approach to creating privacy, using plants.

In his lecture, Carter will explain how he cares for and styles the 300 plants in his home and studio. He will also show audience members how they can create their own wild home or dorm room.

First-year students at Cornell will get a boost in launching their own “wild” space: On Oct. 3, they’ll be able to choose a plant from a total of 1,000 six-inch potted plants that will be given away in front of Appel Commons. The “plant drop” is a collaboration between Cornell Botanic Gardens, the School of Integrative Plant Science in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, and Dilmun Hill Student Farm, in partnership with the nonprofit Collegiate Plant Initiative and Peace Tree Farm of Kintnersville, Pennsylvania, which is donating the plants.

“The purpose of our plant drop is to spread the love of plants throughout the Cornell campus, and to familiarize students with some of the organizations and departments at Cornell that can help them get more involved with plants,” said Jeannie Yamazaki ’21, student organizer for the event and education intern at Cornell Botanic Gardens.

The Gardens will offer house plants for sale at both the lecture on Oct. 9 and at the Nevin Welcome Center October 10-13. “Wild at Cornell” week closes with a basic house plant care workshop on Oct. 13, 1-3 p.m. Plant experts from Cornell Botanic Gardens will help participants cultivate their own indoor gardens. The cost of the workshop is $25; pre-registration online is required.

Shannon Dortch is associate director for communications and marketing at Cornell Botanic Gardens.

Media Contact

Abby Butler