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News: GCA Leaders to Participate in D.C. Panel on Native Plants


January 31, 2018

GCA President Dede Petri and National Committee Chairmen Leslie Purple and SaSa Panarese will participate in a panel on native plants, offered by the Women’s Committee of The National Museum of Women in the Arts in Washington, D.C.  The program, Seeing the Future Through the Present – Gardening and Imagination, will be March 2, 10:30 a.m. - 12:00 noon at the museum and is open to the public.

“Gardening is a gentle art and yet it needs imagination, strength and perhaps more than anything else the vision that sees the future through the present and bravely works towards that vision.”

Those are the words of pioneering landscape architect Beatrix Jones Farrand, the designer of the fifty-three-acre Dumbarton Oaks estate in Washington, D.C., and an early advisor to The Garden Club of America (GCA).

In this program, panelists will take their cue from Farrand as they explore gardening and the imagination, strength, and vision it requires, with a special focus on native plants.  The program will draw upon the knowledge and work of women gardeners, conservationists, artists, and landscape designers to discuss why we need native plants and what organizations are doing to protect and foster them. 

Find out how you and your community can help remove invasives and why you should want to.  Enjoy the beauty of native plants through the eyes of women photographers, and learn more about the Freeman Medal, a unique prize given only to exceptional and underutilized native plants.  

Hear more about a visionary local project – Dumbarton Oaks Park Conservancy – which is restoring a historic public landscape designed by Farrand in partnership with the U.S. National Park Service.  You’ll also learn more about the work of the GCA, founded in 1913 and a recognized national leader in conservation, preservation, and the promotion of gardening.


  • SaSa Panarese, national chairman, GCA Conservation Committee
  • Leslie Purple, national chairman, GCA Photography Committee
  • Elizabeth 'Liza' Gilbert, landscape designer and board member, Dumbarton Oaks Park Conservancy


  • Anne Neal ‘Dede’ Petri, GCA President

The Dumbarton Oaks Park Conservancy is the recipient of Partners for Plants funds from the GCA, in partnership with the Georgetown Garden Club, a GCA member club


  • Museum Admission only (pay upon entrance) $10; $8 for students and seniors 
  • Capacity is 200


Performance Hall
National Museum of Women in the Arts
1250 New York Avenue, NW
Washington, D.C.


Freeman / Native Plant Flyer


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