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Walker Young, Ruth Bancroft Garden Assistant Curator

Articles: Walker Young, Ruth Bancroft Garden Assistant Curator

Walker Young, assistant curator of The Ruth Bancroft Garden. Photo: Ryan Tuttle

This conversation took place last summer when the author chatted with a fellow professional gardener as they worked side by side in The Ruth Bancroft Garden.

With just over two acres of cultivated garden open to the public, The Ruth Bancroft Garden is small. The garden began as a private landscape when Ruth Bancroft began collecting and planting succulents on the property in the 1970s. Located on a busy suburban street, it’s an oasis of a garden. Or perhaps it’s an inverted oasis—an artfully arranged collection of drought-tolerant plants in a town of streets lined with irrigated lawns and manicured shrubs.

I meet Walker Young, Assistant Curator at the garden, at the front gates one hot midsummer morning. I usually begin interviews with a set of predetermined questions; however, Walker talks freely as he picks a path through the garden, so I let him lead us on a free-form conversation about his interests, work, ideas, frustrations, and successes in the garden.

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