December 1998

Only a few days back we celebrated Thanksgiving with exceptionally warm weather, and on December 7th it was 70°F – a record.

This year we became very interested in visiting famous gardens during our travels.  In February we spent a weekend in the gambling town of Atlantic City.  On our way back we saw the National Flower Show in Philadelphia.  Particular attractive was a section with competing international artistic garden designs.  On another occasion we visited, also near Philadelphia, our favorite US garden, Longwood Gardens.  We especially enjoyed the renovated aquatic garden, a huge courtyard with lillyponds surrounded by impressive buildings.  They gently enhanced the contrast between the subtle colors of the waterlillies and lotus flowers by tinting the water black.

During an extended weekend in London we saw Kew Gardens and the Royal Gardens, with century old trees but also very modern contemporary conservatories.

During the summer we took guests to our favorite Garden Design Area in New York – Battery Park City, which borders the Hudson River and the World Financial Center.  The Esplanade, as it is called, is several miles long.  We like the decorative grasses, trees and modern bronze sculptures that are laid out in a very well balanced manner.

We also saw beautiful gardens while visiting Germany this summer, where we met up with Peter and his girlfriend Mary who is studying in Tübingen.

Next week we will top it off with a visit to the Huntington Botanical Garden in Pasadena California.  We will be celebrating Christmas with our daughters, Susan and Tanya, who both now live near LA.  Susan, who is now studying psychology and hopes to get a masters in counseling, has arranged for us to see the new Getty Museum that sits on a hilltop in the Santa Monica mountains.

Peter will continue his studies at Humbold University in northern California in January.

Our business improves gradually and we are pushing modernization having, just received a Xerox document Center with the objective to run a paperless office.  Important incoming mail is scanned in and made accessible through a network one can access at each employees desk.  Our familiar file cabinets appear as virtual cabinets on the screen, the drawers can be opened with a mouse click and the contents can be reviewed on the screen.  Other changes at Theta are a result of our instruments having become smaller and smaller over the years due to miniaturization in electronics.  We now require less space, which led us to start renting out part of Theta’s lower level, which Tanya and her husband Oliver spent 5 weeks clearing out this summer.

Best wishes for a happy and healthy New Year.