Colonial Williamsburg Garden Symposium
We are thrilled to be co-sponsoring this year’s incredible Colonial Williamsburg’s 76th Annual Garden Symposium: Digging the Garden: Horticulture, History & Archeology, to be held April 27-30. Join renowned horticulturists, archaeologists, historians, and guest experts as they examine best practices through an historical lens, using the past to inform the present and future
Guest Speakers include:
- Keynote Speaker Lady Xa Tollemache, English garden designer and Gold and Silver winner of London’s Chelsea Flower Show
- Mark Laird, author, renowned garden historian, and historic landscape consultant
- Jack Gary, Colonial Williamsburg’s Director of Archaeology
- Charlie Nardozzi, nationally-recognized garden writer, speaker and radio and TV personality
- Daria McKelvey, American Horticultural Society’s Emerging Horticultural Professional Award Winner and Supervisor of the Kemper Center for Home Gardening at Missouri Botanical
- Kerry Mendez, author, speaker, garden and design consultant, and Gold Medal Winner–Massachusetts Horticultural Society
- Joanne Chapman, Colonial Williamsburg’s Director
Register today. Virtual and in-person offerings.
Perennially Yours Webinar Series
Join Kerry Mendez for the Perennially Yours Webinar Series. The series, co-sponsored by AHS, Avant Gardens, Bluestone Perennials, Espoma, Great Garden Plants, and Plantskydd Animal Repellents, focuses on the art of high-impact, low maintenance, sustainable flower gardening and landscaping. Each webinar, held on a Saturday at 11 a.m. ET, includes detailed lecture notes and a CEU form for Master Gardeners and Green Industry Professionals. Individual webinars are $13.95. Bundle prices also available. Register today.
- January 21 – The Perennial Plant Collector’sTreasure Chest. This talk is for plantaholics seeking unusual, fun and striking perennials that will have heads turning and onlookers mumbling “What is that?” As an avid collector, I’ve walked many miles in my muck boots to find some unique plants that transform ho-hum gardens into eye-popping, extraordinary ones. The presentation includes sources for these plants.
- February 25 – Remarkable Natives forBeautiful, Planet-Friendly Gardens. There seems to be a misconception that natives are not as showy as non-native plants in the flower garden. Not true! This lecture will open your eyes to dazzling specimens that attract accolades as well as pollinators. The presentation includes mail-order sources for natives (in addition to your local garden center!)
- March 18 – Clever Design Tips for Everblooming,Low-Maintenance Gardens. This inspiring lecture will surprise you with creative, easy-to-implement strategies for extending the blooms of popular plants for weeks! Also showcased are time-saving design tips including distinctive plant combinations that provide unstoppable color spring through fall, as well as groundcover tapestries that smother weeds and delight pollinators. You will also learn valuable lessons from before and after design projects to avoid costly landscape mistakes.
- April 1 – Time-saving,Sustainable Maintenance Strategies for Lush Flower Gardens. This info-packed lecture covers seasonal maintenance tasks, including jump-starting gardens in spring and putting them to bed in the fall, as well as routine tasks such as watering and weeding. Topics include pruning; fertilizers; mulch; plant divisions; planet-friendly pest and disease practices; critter management and more. Most appropriate for gardeners in Hardiness Zones 3 – 7.
Five New Gardens Join RAP
We are excited to announce that the Fredericton Botanic Garden in Fredericton, New Brunswick, Canada; Palma Sola Botanical Park in Bradenton, Florida; Boyce Thompson Arboretum in Superior, Arizona; Central Gardens of North Iowa in Clear Lake, Iowa; and Wilbur D. May Arboretum and Botanical Garden in Reno, Nevada have joined our RAP program! We hope that our members will take advantage of attending the new gardens, seeing their beauty, and connecting to nature.
AHS members receive a variety of incentives and benefits when they attend a RAP garden. If you are not yet a member of AHS and would like to join so you can have access to these gardens, you are able to do so! Learn more about our RAP and see if there is a garden near you.
Ring in the New Year with More Member Discounts to Garden Shows!
Two more great reasons to be a member of AHS!
- Discounts to garden shows
- Educational opportunities on horticulture’s relationship with environmental wellness
AHS members will receive discounts to the following three flower and garden shows (in addition to shows produced by MarketPlace Events). These shows will be presenting the AHS Environmental Awards which recognize exhibits of horticultural excellence that best demonstrate the bond between horticulture and the environment. Exhibits will be judged by the criteria of design, aesthetics, plant material, and environmental stewardship.
We are pleased to be a part of the environmental movement and to share these benefits with our AHS members.
11 Sustainable Gardening Hacks for Your Home Garden
If you’re part of the new wave of home or apartment dwellers looking for resources on starting an edible garden, you’re not alone. While the American Horticultural Society encourages supporting local garden centers, there are lots of ways you can start a garden without buying special materials. Here are some of our favorite sustainable gardening hacks using readily available items.
- Save your citrus rinds and eggshells. Thoroughly cleaned of citrus pulp and egg whites, nature’s cups make great tiny pots.
- Another option is to use cardboard egg cartons, toilet paper rolls, or paper towel rolls as mini vessels. If the plants’ roots are growing through or out of the cardboard at the time of transplant, just put the whole thing in the ground. If not, soak the cardboard to remove it before transplanting the plant. Small plastic containers such as K-cups or yogurt cups can also be given a second life as seed starting vehicles, but when transferring seedlings to your garden bed, be sure to remove them from the cups.
- With a little extra work, newspaper and junk mail can also be crafted into little pots.
Garden Bed Construction
- For traditional gardens, create a nutrient-rich base layer by collecting yard waste like grass clippings and raked leaves. Scout for bags of leaves left out by the curb!
- If using a planter or container with a large hole at the bottom, cover the hole with a coffee filter and elevate it about ½” off the ground with a small piece of wood. This will allow drainage while keeping soil intact and preventing staining of hardscapes.
- Looking to create a raised bed garden or portable garden boxes? Try using wine crates, old wooden soda crates, plastic bulb crates lined with cardboard, or other topless wooden crates. Just make sure they have proper drainage.
- Determine what nutrients your soil needs via a soil test. Test kits are often available through your county extension office, but you can perform a simple pH test with vinegar and baking soda.
- If you don’t compost at home, applying certain kitchen scraps directly to your soil will help boost nutrients. Eggshells contain calcium; coffee grounds are a great source of nitrogen; and banana peels provide potassium.
- Water plants evenly (e.g., from a watering can instead of a cup). Create a DIY watering can by making small holes in the top of a juice, milk, or detergent jug.
- If you’re unable to water regularly, create a slow release watering system from wine bottles and insert them in damp soil.
- After cooking eggs or vegetables, don’t pour the water down the drain. Some nutrients from these cooked foods will leech into the water and can be used to feed plants.