Dr. Richard R. Iversen

Areas of Expertise:
  • General Horticulture Issues
  • Herbaceous Plants (including hardy perennial plants)
  • Historic Horticulture and Gardens

Dr. Iversen teaches Ornamental Horticulture and Herbaceous Plants at Farmingdale State .  He is the curator of the Department of Ornamental Horticulture's Teaching Gardens on campus.  Iversen, often with student input, designed and supervised the installation of the Tropical Garden, annual displays, ornamental grass borders, the Loretta Chiarenza Memorial Rock Garden, and several other  spaces within the 4 ½ acre garden complex.  A grant of $20,000, received from the New York Community Trust ­Cecelia Trust Fund, for the restoration of the Conservatory frame within the Teaching Gardens sparked the design and planting of a ' Conservatory Garden ' within the structure.  Dr. Iversen has worked with the Farmingdale Horticulture Committee since 1996, a Committee which, among other initiatives, raises money for the gardens through the annual Garden Party and other events.  

Dr. Iversen taught Tropical Horticulture at The University of the West Indies and was the Director of The Andromeda Botanic Garden in Barbados .  After his return to Long Island, Dr. Iversen planted a tropical garden at Farmingdale State . This garden became the subject of his award-winning book, The Exotic Garden: Designing With Tropical Plants in Almost Any Climate , The Taunton Press 1999.  He has written numerous articles for a variety of publications.  Most recently he has had three articles published in 19th Century, The Magazine of the Victorian Society of America .  "The Subtropical Garden :  Glimpses of Luxuriant Tropical Vegetation in Our Northern Climate," published spring 2005, reveals the historic philosophy for several of his seasonal planting displays within the Teaching Gardens at Farmingdale State .   He has become a stanch supporter of Victorian-style bedding, once thought to be in bad taste!

Dr. Richard R. Iversen earned his PhD in Floriculture and Ornamental Horticulture at Cornell University. His dissertation, titled "Greenhouse Forcing of Herbaceous Garden Perennials," investigated the flowering physiology of winter hardy, herbaceous perennial plants, and the methods required to force them into blossom (when they normally don't) for flower show displays.   Perennial plants, and the design of perennial gardens, have been an obsessive interest and a specialization for many years.  He has earned a MS in Horticulture at Rutgers University and his BAin Biology/Secondary Education at Queens College .  He has been a member of numerous professional organizations in his field including the Perennial Plant Association since 1985, for which he was a convention speaker at their 1994 symposium in New York City . Dr. Iversen is also a member American Association of Botanical Gardens & Arboreta.



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