Betty Hickey, Palace rosarian

On September 28, New Vrindaban held a retirement party for Betty Hickey who, since 1985, has cultivated the Palace Rose Garden.  The garden has over one hundred varieties of roses and over 850 rose plants, and attracts thousands of pilgrims and visitors every year.

Besides cultivating roses, Betty has cultivated hundreds of devotees and visitors with her warm heart, gentle nature, and no-nonsense attitude.  “I have made so many wonderful friendships over the years,” said Betty at her retirement party.

Betty was born in Wheeling, West Virginia, and has lived in the local community her entire life.  “My entire family – my parents, my brother Bob, everyone – was always friendly with the devotees in New Vrindaban,” recalled Betty.  Many devotees spoke lovingly about Jim, Betty’s late husband, who had worked in New Vrindaban’s Maintenance Department for many years.

Betty will retire at the end of the 2011 gardening season.  In 2012, she will provide consulting services for the crew of gardeners who will continue to maintain the Palace Rose Garden and other annual flower gardens.   “I will definitely be around next year,” Betty assured the crew.  “I will not be doing the hands-on work, but I will definitely be involved.”

Please visit the Palace Rose Garden next year and take this final opportunity to meet one of the nation’s experts in roses.


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