News & Press

AHS Members to Get Mega 2-for-1 Ticket Discount to Home & Garden Shows

We are pleased to offer our members a special 2-for-1 ticket discount to 21 upcoming Home and Garden Shows produced by Marketplace Events in 2023! You will take away lots of fresh and creative ideas, products, and tips for your garden this spring. AHS members can login to their account homepage for complementing discount codes. Not a member yet? Join today and take advantage of the return of this special member benefit!

News & Press

You’re Invited! River Farm’s Holiday Open House On Dec. 8

If you live in the Alexandria neighborhood, join us at our corporate headquarters at River Farm for our Holiday Open House. Enjoy festive drinks, light snacks, beautiful holiday décor that pays homage to nature (of course!), piano accompaniment performed by Mary Casey Bowers, and the warmth of the holiday spirit. The event is complimentary. Children are welcome!

River Farm Holiday Open House

7931 East Boulevard Drive
Alexandria VA 22308

Thursday, December 8

5:00 p.m – 7:00 p.m.

RSVP required.

News & Press

TODAY is Giving Tuesday!

Celebrate Giving Tuesday by making a gift to the AHS, and your contribution will be matched dollar for dollar, up to $55,000. Creating a better future for everyone is essential to the AHS mission, and your donation will help AHS continue to develop and support educators, sustainability, and a passion for gardening. With your support, we’ve made a transformative impact on horticulture as a science and as an art form. Giving Tuesday is an important opportunity for us to expand that impact and show the difference our community can make when we all work together. This Giving Tuesday, your gift will make all the difference!

News & Press

Giving Tuesday Is Approaching!

This year, AHS is celebrating 100 years of fostering innovation and passion for gardening. For a century, AHS has served as the nation’s most respected and longstanding gardening organization. We play a special role in empowering Americans of all ages to be responsible caretakers of the Earth. Help us celebrate this Giving Tuesday on November 29th by making a gift to the AHS today and it will be matched dollar for dollar up to $55,000. You’ll help us blend education, social responsibility, and environmental stewardship to inspire more Americans to become responsible caretakers of the Earth. Donate now.


News & Press

NDAL Presents Ecology-based Landscape Intensive Virtual Course

Join influential Landscape Designer Larry Weaner and native plant expert Ian Caton as they explore the integration of restoration ecology and fine garden design. Applicable Regions: Eastern and Midwestern U.S. (Florida excluded). Presented by New Directions in the American Landscape (NDAL), the virtual sessions are $105 each and include a 100+ page, login-protected course manual. The session will be recorded live and viewable to registrants for three months after each live session date. Register today.

December 1, 1-4:30 PM EST
The Canopied Landscape: Woodlands, Edges, and Hedgerows
An ecology-based approach to woodland design is more like guiding a vegetative process than implementing a static planting plan. Guided succession can foster the orderly transformation from an open field to a multi-tiered forest through planting, managed natural recruitment, or a combination of the two. Under existing canopy, where few herbaceous species can be established through direct seeding, we will discuss the planting of small “seed source colonies,” and management strategies to encourage their proliferation into the larger landscape. Management techniques that are unique to woodlands including selective height cutting, sunlight manipulation, and assisted seed dispersal, will also be described in detail.

December 2, 1-4:30 PM EST
The Artistic Overlay: Making “Wild” Legible
Ecological design need not be a bitter aesthetic pill that our clients must swallow to do the right thing. The order inherent in our wild native landscapes is widely considered beautiful. By translating that ecology-based order into the aesthetically based language of fine garden design, the results can be much more universally embraced by our clients. In addition, Larry will illustrate how highly gardenesque – and even formal – elements can gracefully interact and intermingle with wilder woodland, shrubland and meadow compositions. This approach can result in landscapes that are both ecologically productive and visually pleasing to clients with a variety of aesthetic preferences.

December 15, 1-4:30 PM EST
Plants of the Open Landscape: Meadows, Old Fields, and Shrublands
In this session, native plant authority Ian Caton will examine plants of the open landscape that exemplify the ecological characteristics described by Larry Weaner in previous sessions. His presentation will span the successional period from herbaceous meadow, to mixed woody/herbaceous old field, to the ecologically important but often neglected clonal shrub thicket. He will also present a group of “workhorse” native species for the sunlit landscape that combine reliability and weed suppression with attractive aesthetic character.

December 16, 1-4:30 PM EST
Plants of the Canopied Landscape: Woodlands, Edges, and Hedgerows
In this session, native plant authority Ian Caton will examine plants of the canopied landscape that exemplify the ecological characteristics described by Larry Weaner in previous sessions. His presentation will include plants found at all of the woodland’s vertical layers, from canopy to understory. He will also discuss their specific abilities to integrate with the unique colonization strategies inherent in woodland development and enhancement. Finally, Ian will present a group of “workhorse” native species for the woodland, including those that combine reliability with desirable aesthetic characteristics.

News & Press

Discover the Beauty of Bhutan

This tour takes us to a land so enchanting that many have compared it to the fictional lost paradise of Shangri-La. That land is Bhutan, a small kingdom hidden behind the peaks of the Himalayas that for centuries was closed to Western visitors. The door is now open, and we welcome you to join us for this unforgettable once-in-a-lifetime experience.

A 177-ft. tall Buddha statue. The Tashicho Dzong, the seat of the country’s government since 1952. The Royal Botanical Garden, Serbithang, a rescue center for rare and threatened native floral species. The high mountain pass of Dochula, at 10,000 feet.

This is Bhutan.

Join AHS Host Tim Conlon and Tour Leader Susie Orzo for Discovering the Beauty of Bhutan: Land of the Thunder Dragon, April 15-26, 2023, for an exotic adventure behind the peaks of the Himalayas. Top-rated accommodations are included. Space is limited and deadline is this month. To learn more about the Bhutan Travel Study Program, click here or call (703) 768-5700 ext. 127 or email

News & Press

Halloween Horticulture History

Did you know that several Halloween rituals are rooted in horticulture? Our friends at the Royal Horticultural Society got the dirt on some of these stories. Here are three that we love.

  1. Apples – When cut down the middle, apples were said to reveal the witch’s five-pointed star, thus reflecting a symbol of magic.
  2. Turnips – Creating lanterns to scare off frightening spirits is thought to have originated in England, Ireland and Scotland centuries ago and still remains a tradition today with carved pumpkins. However, pumpkins and other winter squash only arrived in Europe in the 1500’s, so previous ancestors carved turnips and other hard-skinned autumn vegetables like swede (known as a rutabaga in America) and beetroot.
  3. Kale – As storied by Robert Burns in his poem “Halloween” published in 1785, kale was used to predict future romances. The length and shape of the stalk was said to represent your future partner’s height and figure while the amount of soil around the roots represented wealth.

For more fun Halloween horticultural history, visit Museum Crush.

News & Press


Historic River Farm Autumn weekend hours are 9:00 AM – 1:00 p.m. on Saturdays beginning October 1st! Bring the kids, pack up Fido, grab a book or come by yourself to enjoy the beautiful colors of the leaves and cool air of Autumn! We can’t wait to see you this Saturday!!

News & Press

AHS 100th Anniversary Gala at River Farm to be held September 17th.