The Atlanta Botanical Garden has named Andrew Bunting as its Vice President of Horticulture & Collections, a new position reflecting the attraction’s immense growth as one of the country’s leading public gardens.
Bunting, a veteran horticulturist who currently serves as Assistant Director and Director of Plant Collections at the Chicago Botanic Garden, will oversee the Garden’s horticulture operations, outdoor plant collections and indoor collections throughout the Dorothy Chapman Fuqua Conservatory and Orchid Center.
“This is a transformational moment for the Garden,” said Garden President & CEO Mary Pat Matheson. “Andrew Bunting is known worldwide for his horticultural expertise and strong focus on plant collections.”
Bunting brings a wealth of experience to the job. Before joining the Chicago Botanic Garden, he worked for 12 years at Scott Arboretum in Swarthmore, PA., in plant records management, collection curation, garden design and plant production. He previously served as curator of Chanticleer Garden in Wayne, PA.
“I equally love ornamental horticulture and garden design as well as plant curation, collections development and plant exploration,” Bunting said. “And to be able to work with this talented horticulture team to embellish the gardens is very appealing to me.”
Matheson said the new position combines aspects of the current positions of the Vice President of Horticulture, held by Mildred Pinnell Fockele, and the Vice President of Conservatories, held by Ron Determann – the Garden’s two most veteran employees. She said the shift will allow Fockele to focus on the continued development of the Atlanta Botanical Garden, Gainesville, where she has served as director since its opening in 2015. Determann will become Emeritus Vice President of Conservatories, working part time with Bunting while focusing on his passion for plant collecting.
“Working collaboratively with Ron Determann and Mildred Fockele, Andrew will take our collections, displays and horticulture to a new level,” Matheson said. “He will also be a very strong external advocate for the Garden’s international role in plant collections and will collaborate with other world partners to connect people to plants and promote the important work that we are all doing”
The addition of Bunting comes as the Garden continues rapid expansion, which in 2019 will include the addition of a new facility for housing its Southeastern Center for Conservation at the Atlanta garden and a new Children’s Garden in Gainesville.