The Polly Hill Arboretum and the Martha’s Vineyard Hebrew Center are pleased to host landscape historian Kenneth Helphand on Sunday, July 13, at 7:30 p.m. at the arboretum.

In this lecture Mr. Helphand will discuss his award-winning and deeply moving book Defiant Gardens: Making Gardens in Wartime, which states: “Gardens promise beauty where there is none, hope over despair, optimism over pessimism, and finally life in the face of death.”

From the Warsaw ghettos, to Japanese internment camps, to ongoing stories from Iraq and Afghanistan, gardens have played an inspirational role in the lives of people under some of the worst conditions endured in the last century. These gardens, created by civilians and soldiers during wartime, are examples of what he calls “defiant gardens.”

Using first-person accounts, testimonies, interviews with survivors, published memoirs, and photographs, Mr. Helphand has explored the significance of gardens to the human spirit during wartime. Mr. Helphand, a professor of landscape architecture at the University of Oregon, has authored three other books on landscape design.

A book signing will follow lecture. Admission is $5. For details, call 508-693-9426.