Even if she doesn’t have much of a green thumb, “I have a passion for flowers,” said Liz Rodbell, president of the Lord & Taylor and Hudson’s Bay department stores.
On Thursday afternoon, Rodbell was smelling the roses Lord & Taylor planted along the terrace balustrades in Bryant Park to beautify the setting and flag L&T’s sponsorship of the HBO Bryant Park Summer Film Festival which begins Monday with “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off.” Others taking in the blossoms were Tony winner Jessie Mueller who stars in “Waitress;” and from the Bryant Park Corporation, Daniel Biederman, president, and Maureen Hackett, director of horticulture. “There are 36 linear feet of rose beds on each side of the balustrade, and four rose varieties — the About Face, Lady of Shalott, Peach Drift and Carpet Amber,” observed Hackett. “We brought them in from Canada, the Carolinas and California.” She really appreciated the flower beds’ effect on the architecture. “The balustrades are too high. They’re stark. This softens it.” Bryant Park and L&T make for good partners, considering L&T this year reintroduced the rose as its symbol, specifically the Free Spirit variety, and the park is just two blocks from the L&T flagship. “The rose has a long history at Lord & Taylor,” said Rodbell. “It was first introduced by the store’s president Dorothy Shaver in 1946.”