One of America's showplaces is the famous Norfolk Botanical Gardens with its azaleas, camellias and other ornamental plants. The original planning and planting of these gardens was done by Fred Heutte, who became supervisor of the Norfolk City Parks in 1937. He continued to beautify Norfolk until 1958, when he was appointed director of the Botanical Gardens, where he served until his retirement in 1966.
Norfolk is a much more beautiful place because of advice Heutte gave out over the years. He is recognized as one of the South's foremost experts on azaleas and camellias and has received more than 130 awards including the Gold Medal of the Garden Club of America and Merite Agricole Award and Medal from the French Government.
The remarkable collections of azaleas and camellias in the Botanical Gardens as well as throughout Norfolk are a tribute to his pioneer efforts.
Now Heutte has written a garden book: "Gardening in the Temperate Zone," published by Donning Co., Publishers, 253 West Bute St., Norfulk, Va. 23510, 192 pages, well Illustrated, hardcover $9.95.
Dr. John Creech, director, National Arboretum, says in the introduction: "Coming up through the demanding school of estate gardening when perfection was expected, Fred Heutte can be called a gardener's gardener, for the wide respect that his long and intimate association with plants in the garden setting has earned him. While Heutte has written from experience based in Tidewater, Va., there are so many basic facts applicable to all of us who garden in the temperate zone, the book will remain in useful working tool to fine gardening for future generations of gardeners."
There is a month-by-month guide to planting, garden activities and blooming sequences for southern gardens, and chapters on annuals, azaleas, camellias, ground covers, lawns, perennials, vegetables and gardening basics.
"This book is the culmination of my 63 years of gardening," says Heutte. "It would be the fulfillment of a lifelong dream if the contents lead its readers to a better understanding of what a great contribution the average home garden can make toward a more beautigul world.
"I do not claim to have written an encyclopedia of gardening but rather a chronicle of the plants I have loved the most. They include many species that are climatically compatible to our zone but rarely found in gardens as they have not attracted the attention of the nursery trade.
"Certain plant species and aspects of gardening are of such special interest to me, and apparently to others, that I have devoted individual chapters to them. In particular, camellia species have always ranked first in my affection for the plant kingdom and initiated much of my research and travel throughout our zone. It has always distressed me to see how seldom they are grown since they are outstanding performers in our area, which has rightfully been called Camellia country."