Tag Archives: American Horticultural Society

Peg’s Picks December Gardening Events in the Washington DC Metro Area

Many public gardens and historic homes are decorated for Christmas and have wreath making classes, open houses, and gift shops full of goodies. Here is just an example of “green” holiday happenings in the Washington DC metropolitan area for December.November2014 082

American Horticultural Society at River Farm

December 13 Saturday Holiday Open House from 10:00 am to 3:00 pm (mansion will be decorated for Christmas); There is a holiday tree display from December 1 through December 24, both free; 7931 E. Boulevard Drive, Alexandria, VA 22308; (703) 768-5700; http://www.ahs.org

Brookside Gardens

The Garden of Lights is cancelled for 2014 due to construction but the Conservatory Winter Display is open from 12/6 to 1/11 and the Garden Railway Exhibit is open from 11/28 to 1/11, free; 1800 Glenallan Avenue, Wheaton, MD 20902; (301) 962-1400; http://www.montgomeryparks.org/brookside/

Green Spring Gardens

Sunday, December 7, noon to 4:00 pm, Gardeners’ Holiday Open House, free but must register and pay for puppet show and trackless train ride, have a gingerbread house contest; 4603 Green Spring Road, Alexandria, VA 22312; (703) 642-5173; http://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/parks/greenspring/November2014 085

Hillwood Museum and Gardens

Decorated for Christmas and in December, every Tuesday, Friday and Saturday, staff horticulturist Bill Johnson gives a 20-minute tour focusing on the “bones” of the winter garden; Fee and register in advance; 4155 Linnean Avenue, NW, Washington DC 20008; (202) 686-5807; http://www.hillwoodmuseum.org

Mt. Vernon Estate and Gardens

Decorated for Christmas with special activities all month long.The “Garden and Groves: George Washington’s Landscape at Mt. Vernon” exhibit is inside and the admission is included with the purchase of the general admission ticket;3200 Mt. Vernon Memorial highway, Mt. Vernon, VA 22121; (703) 780-2000; http://www.mountvernon.orgNovember2014 078

Oatlands Historic House and Gardens

Decorated for Christmas in 1940s style, many activities in December; Admission fee and closed on 12/24 and 12/25; 20850 Oatlands Plantation Lane, Leesburg, VA 20175; (703) 777-3174; http://www.oatlands.org

Tudor Place Historic House and Garden

The mansion is decorated for Christmas and there are many activities in December (fee). The Holidays Through History Open House is on Saturday, December 6; includes Dumbarton House, Anderson House, Woodrow Wilson House, and Tudor Place. These homes are decorated for Christmas; walk among the homes or ride a shuttle bus, free with ticket. Must register in advance, fee; 1644 31st Street, Washington, DC 20007; (202) 965-0400; http://www.tudorplace.orgNovember2014 076

U.S. Botanic Garden

Season’s Greetings Exhibit: garden railway model trains, seasonal plant displays, replicas of the capital’s landmark buildings, and one of the largest indoor decorated trees in the area. Free; 245 First Street SW, Washington DC 20024; (202) 225-8333; http://www.usbg.gov

 

(December is also the time for craft fairs. These photos are from the Vienna Art and Craft show sponsored by the Northern Virginia Handcrafters Guild, this Thanksgiving weekend. These orchids and the basket of fruit are clay, about two inches tall and handmade by Wanpen Yongvanichjit, Nid’s Crafts, http://nidscrafts.blogspot.com. When I was young and lived in Thailand, my mother used to buy orchids in similar crates and hang them outside on the rubber tree.)

 

 

Learn More About Gardening – Join a Garden Club!

There are many local garden clubs, societies, and organizations in the Washington DC metropolitan area. When summer ends and school starts, it seems that many garden clubs get back into business again, ready to have meetings and host great events! Because we have so many organizations it is hard to list them all here but to find a club near you, 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 other pages (tabs) on my blog for local public gardens and nurseries; they also can serve as resources for finding local clubs.

The American Horticultural Society is a national membership organization but its physical location is called River Farm, 7931 East Boulevard Drive, Alexandria, VA  22308, (703) 768-5700 or 1-800-777-7931; http://www.ahs.org. The property is open to the public (call first); they have beautiful gardens, a children’s garden, and picnic benches (is on the Potomac River). The web site lists plant societies including native plant societies, clubs, and organizations. http://ahs.org/gardening-resources/societies-clubs-organizations.

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. http://blog.behnkes.com.

The National Garden Clubs, Inc., is at 4401 Magnolia Avenue, St. Louis, MO 63110; (314) 776-7574; http://www.gardenclub.org.  There are 50 State Garden Clubs and the National Capital Area Club and hundreds of member garden clubs. In this area, the state level clubs are: Virginia Federation of Garden Clubs, headquarters is at Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden, 1800 Lakeside Avenue, Richmond, VA 23228; (804) 262-9887; http://www.virginiagardenclubs.org. Federated Garden Clubs of Maryland, Inc., is at 4915 Greenspring Avenue, Baltimore, MD 21209; (410) 396-4842; http://www.fgcofmd.org.  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; http://www.ncagardenclubs.org. 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; http://www.gcamerica.org. 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; http://www.gcvirginia.org

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; http://mdflora.org. Contact the Virginia Native Plant Society via 400 Blandy Farm Road, Unit 2, Boyce, VA 22620; (540) 837-1600; http://www.vnps.org.

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; http://www.cathedral.org/ahg.