|This is a very rare watercolor he painted of an Aricula Primrose that will be auctioned off tomorrow, March 18, at the lecture|
I was reading his obituary online and was shocked to learn that he passed away when he was only 33 years old due to complications with AIDS. He had accomplished so much at such an early age and had so much natural talent that he nurtured along with his collection of very rare plants to be one of the best American botanical artists. He was from Ohio, but lived in New York, London and Victoria, BC and headed to Seattle in 1983. His paintings and sketches are in museums and have also appeared in numerous horticultural publications. Nicolay was also a teacher sharing his knowledge to garden clubs and classes at the Center for Urban Horticulture.
He was also one of the founding members of the Northwest Perennial Alliance, an organization that helped start my own horticultural career. From their website, here's a bit about the scope of his work and the impact he left.
"Many of the plants Nicolay drew were taken from his own garden on Queen Anne Hill, which featured masses of old rambler roses, rare perennials and small flowering shrubs. The late Rosemary Verey, the famous British gardener and writer, called it “the best small garden I’ve seen in America.” She dedicated her book, “The American Man’s Garden”, to him."
I've attended several Kevin Nicolay Lectures since I joined NPA years ago and they always seek out wonderful speakers. Sadly, it hasn't been well attended the past few years, but still, it's great that they honor such a remarkable young gardener and makes me wonder what our gardening community will be like if he were still around.
This year, the lecture will be given by Greg Rabourn, who is a radio personality who you can hear on NPR on Tuesday mornings here in Seattle.
March 18, Sunday
NICOLAY ART AUCTION & LECTURE
Judith Jones will help NPA auction an original Kevin Nicolay painting!
Followed by: Greg Rabourn's Pacific Northwest Native Plants & Perennials At Our Fingertips
Doors open at 12PM for MsK Native Plant Sale
Auction & Lecture at 1 pm
NPA members $5/Nonmembers $10
Center for Urban Horticulture
3501 NE 41st Street, Seattle
I won't be able to attend this year's lecture because of a prior commitment, but I'm donating some very rare plants for their traditional raffle/door prizes!