Joining a gardening club is a great way to learn about gardening, make new friends, learn about our local gardening resources and possibly get free plants! There are many local garden clubs, societies, and organizations in the Washington DC metropolitan area. To find one that best fits your interests, it is best to go to a larger umbrella organization to inquire about the local unit, or search on the internet by plant name or city (for a neighborhood garden club), or visit related sites such as public gardens. See the pages on my website for local public gardens and nurseries.
The American Horticultural Society is a national membership organization but its physical location, River Farm, is in Alexandria on the banks of the Potomac River. The property is open to the public (call first). They have beautiful gardens, a children’s garden, and picnic tables. The web site lists plant societies including native plant societies, clubs, and organizations. (703) 768-5700 or 1-800-777-7931.
The blog section of the web site for Behnkes Nurseries, in Beltsville, MD, lists Maryland garden clubs such as the Beltsville Garden Club, Silver Spring Garden Club, Takoma Horticulture Club, Brookland Garden Club, Burtonsville Garden Club, and Four Seasons Garden Club. There also is an Annapolis Horticultural Society, Hyattsville Horticultural Society, and a Maryland Horticultural Society.
The National Garden Clubs, Inc., is at 4401 Magnolia Avenue, St. Louis, MO 63110; (314) 776-7574. There are 50 State Garden Clubs and the National Capital Area Club and hundreds of member garden clubs. In this area, the following are the state level clubs. Virginia Federation of Garden Clubs, headquarters is at Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden, 1800 Lakeside Avenue, Richmond, VA 23228; (804) 262-9887. Federated Garden Clubs of Maryland, Inc., is at 4915 Greenspring Avenue, Baltimore, MD 21209; (410) 396-4842. National Capital Area Garden Clubs is at the Arbor House, U.S. National Arboretum, 3501 New York Avenue, NE, Washington, DC 20002; (202) 399-5958. Contact them for a local unit near you.
The Garden Club of America is headquartered at 14 East 60th Street, 3rd Floor, New York, NY 10022; (212) 753-8287. Membership is by invitation only but contact the headquarters to see if there is a club near you.
The Garden Club of Virginia sponsors the annual Historic Garden Week in Virginia in April. Their headquarters is at the Kent-Valentine House, 12 East Franklin Street, Richmond, VA 23219; (804) 643-4137. Contact them for a local club; there are many across the commonwealth.
There probably is a native plant society in every state. In this area there is the Maryland Native Plant Society, which has a Washington DC chapter, and the Virginia Native Plant Society. Contact the Maryland Native Plant Society via P.O. Box 4877, Silver Spring, MD 20914. Contact the Virginia Native Plant Society via 400 Blandy Farm Road, Unit 2, Boyce, VA 22620; (540) 837-1600. Both have several chapters in their respective states.
There probably is an association for every type of plant and most have local chapters. Search the internet for the plant and related association or call your local public garden or extension office. The American Horticultural Society has a list of plant societies that you can contact to identify the local unit. For example, in our area we have the:
- Camellia Society of Potomac Valley
- National Capital Dahlia Society
- National Capital Cactus and Succulent Society
- National Capital Daylily Club
- Brookside Gardens Chapter of the Azalea Society of America
- Mason-Dixon Chapter (MD) & the Potomac Valley Chapter of the American Rhododendron Society
- Arlington Rose Foundation
- Maryland Daffodil Society and the Washington Daffodil Society
There are opportunities to volunteer at public gardens, which is like being a member of a garden club. For example, there is a Friends of Green Springs in Alexandria, VA; Friends of Brookside Gardens in Wheaton, MD; and the Friends of the National Arboretum. There is a similar organization called the All Hallows Guild of the Washington National Cathedral, which has extensive grounds and a garden. The Cathedral is located at Massachusetts & Wisconsin Avenues, NW, Washington, DC 20016; (202) 537-2937.
If you know of any additional information, please let me know so I can keep this current.