March is Women’s History Month, and a fitting time to acknowledge the fundamental role that women have played in the establishment of Marin Art and Garden Center. In 1945, Caroline Livermore and a group of conservation-minded women came together to preserve this space at the heart of Marin, to ensure that it remained a community space to celebrate the arts and nature. We remain committed to this same mission more than 75 years later, and throughout our history, women have been central to our work.
Below, Garden Manager Michael Bogart reflects on the role of women in his own history in the gardens.
I was transplanted, not unlike a tree that gets moved from one spot to another. In 1994, I moved from Atlanta, Georgia to San Francisco with the woman who would turn out to be my future wife. I left behind a thriving landscape design, building and maintenance business.
Upon arrival in the Bay Area, I knew I had a lot to learn if I was going to recreate that business. I knew I had to throw down roots immediately to get established and give proper care, just as a transplanted tree would need, to ensure my success.
The proper care for me turned out to be the inclusion that an awesome group of women gave me. I lucked into working with a crew of women building gardens in Berkeley. They took me under their wings and taught me so much. When I was ready to venture out on my own, they connected me with landscape architects, other builders, gardeners and nursery owners…all women. From there I began to build clientele and expand my interests and work.
Throughout my career I have always worked with women. I hope I always will. I am where I am today because of the women gardeners in my life. If I were to be that transplanted tree, I can say they gave me proper care from early on, kept an eye on me to ensure my success, showered me with knowledge and opportunity and only pruned me when necessary.