50 Year Celebrations Continue with River Farm Anniversary Picnic on August 24
The American Horticultural Society will celebrate 50 golden years at its beloved River Farm headquarters with the River Farm Anniversary Picnic featuring live music from the band, Soulfire. The community picnic will be held on Thursday, August 24, 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m., and is FREE and open to the public.
Guests are encouraged to pack a blanket and picnic basket with food and beverage favorites and find a comfortable spot on River Farm’s welcoming lawn where relaxing will never be easier. As the sun lowers on the historical property, you will enjoy the music, stunning gardens, and spectacular views overlooking the Potomac River.
Register Now on Eventbrite!
While River Farm is most widely known as part of George Washington’s farmland, its exciting, memorable history with the AHS is truly one for the books. 50 years ago, a generous philanthropist, Enid Haupt, donated the purchase price of River Farm to the AHS. This gift saved River Farm from being sold to Russian diplomats during the Cold War of the 70’s and ensured River Farm as the home to the AHS in perpetuity. In 2020, River Farm once again was saved from being sold thanks to the rallying cries of the community and the terms of Haupt’s agreement. The River Farm Anniversary Picnic celebrates these joyous occasions, all the memories in between, and the future of River Farm as a local and national treasure.
Save the Date! In addition to the Anniversary Picnic, the AHS is celebrating its 50th golden anniversary at River Farm at its annual gala. This year’s theme, Simple Pleasures of the Garden, features renowned interior and garden designer Charlotte Moss. The event will be held on September 23, 2023. Details and tickets can be found at www.ahsgala2023.org. More exciting details coming soon!
This week is National Pollinator Week!
Happy National Pollinator Week! (June 19-25)
Supporting a natural ecosystem is something that home gardeners can do to combat loss of plant and animal species, from planting for pollinators, to getting to know your insect friends and foes, to creating bird-friendly winter gardens.
Last year, we compiled a variety of how-to articles about attracting pollinators, distinguishing beneficial insects from garden pests, and creating wildlife habitats for you from past issues of our bimonthly member magazine, The American Gardener. Check out our pollinator resources and find out how you can support the environment within your own garden!
Celebrate National Pollinator Week by making your garden welcome to a diversity of pollinators— and help create a healthier, more bountiful community for all. For additional ideas and a list of Pollinator Week activities near you, visit www.pollinator.org.
Celebrate National Rose Month
June is National Rose Month!
Roses have a long history of symbolism from love, peace, beauty, and the United States— In 1986, President Ronald Reagan signed a resolution making the rose the national flower of the United States of America. Full of fragrance and delicate petals, roses are some of the most versatile and classical garden plants.
Although they require careful planting and pruning, many variations of roses are not as hard to care for as some may think. Shrub and ground-cover bush roses are becoming more popular with gardeners around the country looking for a splash of fragrance in their home or garden. Ground-cover roses, often referred to as “carpet roses” are a lower maintenance rose option for those looking for the beauty of the rose without the higher effort upkeep.
You can read more about different types of roses at the National Rose Society’s website, and visit the Reciprocal Admissions Program (RAP) Garden: American Rose Society & Gardens of the American Rose Center in Shreveport, Louisiana.
Attend Regional Gardening Events this Spring/Summer
Did you know that the AHS provides a widespread listing of gardening events near you? Enjoy premier food, wine and craft beer at the UC Riverside Botanic Gardens’ fundraiser, Primavera in the Gardens on May 21 in Riverside, CA. Stop by the Iris Show at Meijer Gardens in Grand Rapids, MI in June. Attend a class on “Creating Habitat for Butterflies” at the Tanger Arboretum in Lancaster, PA. on July 29. These are just a few examples of gardening events to explore!
This year, get involved at a garden near you, learn something new, meet new people, and find joy in gardens and gardening! Visit the Regional Events page on our website for a complete listing.
Meet Mercedes Bryant – AHS’s new Director of Travel Studies
Drum roll, please, as we introduce our new Director of Travel Studies, Mercedes Bryant, an educational travel professional specializing in experiential learning, citizen science, regenerative travel, and cultural exchange. She brings a wealth of experience having studied and worked in France for six years, taking the opportunity to explore far and wide throughout Europe. She then managed the travel programs at the Smithsonian Institution and National Geographic. We are excited for her to bring her love for creating immersive educational adventures to our AHS members!
AHS in the News!
Learn more about our President and CEO, Suzanne Laporte, in The Washington Gardener. In a two-page profile, Suzanne talks about her past, present and future and her connection with the AHS and River Farm. Embracing the organization’s synergy and growth, she stated, “Right now, our goal is to engage more people with AHS and with gardening. To do that, we are planning new programs. We’ll be increasing gardening resources and the ways we deliver them.” Read the full article here.
AHS and River Farm were put in the spotlight in USA Today’s special edition of Go Escape the Northeast. Highlighting gardens in the Northeast, the story’s introduction leads with information about the AHS’s dynamic Reciprocal Admissions Program of 345 partner gardens across the country and River Farm, the precious historic headquarters of the AHS. Read the full story here.
Deadlines Approaching for NCYGS Early Bird Registration and Scholarships
Join us at the National Children & Youth Garden Symposium, July 12-15 in Knoxville, Tennessee, for an invigorating and educational experience where you will connect with gardening educators from around the country and learn new ways to bring the joys of gardening into your classrooms and communities. The 31st Annual Symposium, hosted by the University of Tennessee and UT Gardens – Knoxville, will feature 30 engaging sessions, eight field experiences, and limitless bonding amongst like-minded peers.
We are thrilled to be able to offer scholarships to defray the cost to attend, thanks to the generosity of Ball Horticultural Company and the University of Tennessee. There are three scholarship categories based on demonstrated financial need, commitment to children’s and youth gardening initiatives, and work with underserved and/or Title I populations.
Photo Credit: Jonah Brown
- Ball Horticultural Scholarship Fund – open to those who self-identify as Black, Indigenous and/or as a Person of Color
- University of Tennessee Scholarships – open to Tennessee residents and UT students
- National Children & Youth Garden Symposium Scholarships – open to all
May 12 – Deadline for Early Bird Registration.
May 27 – Deadline for Scholarships.
June 10 – Deadline for Hotel Group Discount Online Reservations.
June 28 – Deadline for Online Registration.
We hope you join us for the 2023 NCYGS, one of the country’s longest-running, most prestigious gardening conferences for youth educators. Leveraging a proven train-the-trainer model, the Symposium has cultivated thousands of educators across the country who return to their communities inspired, invigorated, and motivated to educate a new generation about the importance of gardening.
Look No Further than the Winners of AHS Book Awards
Celebrate great gardening literature by reading the winners of the 2023 AHS Book Awards! Each year, we honor garden-related books published in North America who excel in writing style, authority, accuracy, appearance, and overall quality. The award is presented jointly to both the author and publisher.
Meet the 2023 winners!
- 100 Plants to Feed the Birds by Laura Erickson (Storey Publishing)
- American Wildflowers: A Literary Field Guide edited by Susan Barba (Abrams)
- A Gardener’s Guide to Botany by Scott Zona (Cool Spring Press)
Read the May/June Issue of The American Gardener!
The May/June edition of The American Gardener magazine is out!
Debuting in this issue is the first installment of “Garden Destinations,” which replaces our former “RAP Gardens in Focus.” This regular new department will highlight the garden attractions of cities throughout North America. We start with Buffalo, New York, notable for its Garden Walk event, billed as “America’s largest garden tour,” where hundreds of homeowners across the city open up their gardens to visitors.
Also in this issue, you’ll find feature articles including a profile of evening primroses (Oenothera spp.) and their relatives, many of which have evening-blooming flowers that attract pollinators (and most of which are native); a design-focused piece on how gardeners can create a natural garden using commonly available regional natives; an article on growing grapes in home gardens, with descriptions of several different kinds of grape varieties; Marianne Willburn’s essay on why keeping garden journals is important; and a photo-driven piece on how to design and plant beautiful summer containers even in regions with challenging weather/climate conditions.
In addition, you can read about the news at AHS, take a look at book reviews, and find something to do this summer in our regional happenings.
AHS MEMBERS log in here to view the digital edition. You will also receive a print version in the mail.
If you are not a member of AHS, join and become a member to read the entire issue online, and also receive 6 printed issues a year plus many other wonderful benefits.
Meet Katie Tukey – AHS’s new Director of Development and Engagement
We’re thrilled to have Katie Tukey join the AHS team as the Director of Development and Engagement. Katie is a trained horticulturist with extensive experience in fundraising. Katie worked in horticulture with Walt Disney World’s Epcot, Longwood Gardens, and the Massachusetts Horticultural Society, and in development, she worked with Bowdoin College, the National Philharmonic Orchestra, and most recently the Levine School of Music in DC.
Please feel free to reach out to Katie and say hello! She can be reached at email@example.com / (703) 768-5700 ext. 144.