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That’s A-Maze-ing: Mazes and Labyrinths
From The GCA Collection at the Archives of American Gardens

The Oxford English Dictionary defines a maze as “a structure designed as a puzzle, consisting of a complicated network of winding and interconnecting paths or passages.” While that sounds daunting as a garden feature, mazes can be as simple or as intricate as the gardener designs them to be.

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IN MEMORIAM: Nancy McLaren, Chairman of the Martin McLaren Horticultural Scholarship
2003 Recipient of the GCA Distinguished Service Medal

Nancy McLaren (Mrs. Martin), a Garden Club of America (GCA) honorary member since 1987 and 2003 recipient of the Distinguished Service Medal, died on April 25, 2020. She was 98. We mourn the loss of this ardent contributor to international exchange and friendship, through the Martin McLaren Horticultural Scholarship Program (now The Garden Club of America and the Royal Horticultural Society Interchange Fellowships). She was a devoted horticulturist, gracious ambassador, and generous supporter of the Interchange Fellowships, as originally conceived in 1948 by the Hillsborough Garden Club.

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GCA Medalist Delivers 39,000 Daffodils and Tulips
Untermyer Gardens Closed; Flowers Go to COVID-19 Front Line

Untermyer Park and Gardens, Yonkers, New York closed in March with 30,000 daffodils and 9,000 tulips peppering the beds of the 43-acre garden. “If people cannot come to view the blossoming gardens, closed due to COVID-19, give the flowers to the people who need them the most,” said Stephen Byrns, the 2018 GCA Historic Preservation Medalist and president of the Untermyer Gardens Conservancy.

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The GCA’s National Native Habitat Restoration Effort Grows
Partners for Plants Project Revives Coastal Prairie

Warning - invasive weeds not welcome! This declaration is the battle cry that drives many of the member club projects that receive the GCA’s Partners for Plants (P4P) grants. In its third decade, P4P focuses on restoring native habitat on federal, state, and local public lands throughout the United States. Launched in 1992 with a mere six projects across four states, the program now totals 184 initiatives in thirty-six states. In 2019, fourteen new projects were approved. Learn how the North Dunes in Carmel, California were transformed into a healthy ecosystem with the help of P4P.

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U.S. Postal Service’s American Gardens Forever Stamps Now Available
An acknowledgement of the importance of gardens

The United States Postal Service has released a pane of 20 Forever stamps recognizing the importance and beauty of American gardens. The stamps feature a photograph of a small but evocative area within each of 10 gardens. Botanic, country estate, and municipal gardens are represented in the series. The photographs were taken between 1996 and 2014 by photographer Allen Rokach. Deborah Edwards, president of The Garden Club of America, remarked on the significance of this new stamp collection: “I am delighted that the U.S. Postal Service has chosen to include a stamp collection celebrating American gardens in its 2020 Forever stamps program. This is one more acknowledgement of the importance that gardens play in our national landscape and psyche.”

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In Memoriam: Elizabeth (Betty) Scholtz, GCA National Medalist
Director Emeritus of the Brooklyn Botanic Garden

Elizabeth (Betty) Scholtz (1921-2020), 1990 GCA Medal of Honor recipient and director emeritus of the Brooklyn Botanic Garden (BBG), passed away April 22, 2020, one week prior to her 99th birthday. She had been associated with the BBG since 1960 when she moved to the United States from South Africa. Betty was appointed director of the garden in 1972, the first woman to lead a major urban botanic garden in the U.S. Although we mourn the loss of this gracious woman, who inspired generations of gardeners worldwide, her legacy will endure in the Elizabeth Scholtz Woodland Garden at the BBG and her eponymous grandiflora rose. The prestigious honors Betty received in the field of horticulture reflect her exceptional personal qualities and her lifelong commitment to outstanding work.

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Weed Wrangle® Issues a Call to Action
Stay at Home

This past Earth Day, Weed Wrangle®, a program championed by The Garden Club of America, issued a call to action to Stay at Home … pick an invasive plant and get rid of it! Weed Wrangle® began in 2015, when the Garden Club of Nashville hosted a one day, area wide, volunteer effort to help rescue public parks and green spaces from non-native invasive species through hands-on removal of especially harmful trees, vines, and flowering plants. Once limited to Nashville’s parks and green spaces, this trademarked movement is now in action in sixteen states.

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Scholarship Opportunities Abound

The Garden Club of America offers 28 merit-based scholarships and fellowships in 12 areas related to conservation, ecology, horticulture, and pollinator research. In 2019, $377,500 was awarded to 73 scholars.

Follow GCA Scholarships on Twitter for the latest news about pollinators, coastal wetlands, native bird habitats, and much more. Connect to a larger world of horticulture and conservation through the Garden Club of America scholars. Learn more about the GCA Scholarships.

Plant of the Year

Since 1995 the GCA has identified a stellar North American native plant to receive The Montine McDaniel Freeman Medal: GCA Plant of the Year.

Geum triflorum prairie smoke is The Garden Club of America's 2020 Plant of the Year.