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News: The 2019 GCA National Medalists Making Extraordinary Contributions


December 31, 2019

As 2019 draws to a close, The Garden Club of America reflects on the distinguished array of men and women who were honored as national medalists this year. Recognized for their outstanding achievements in areas related to the GCA’s purpose, the 2019 medalists made extraordinary contributions in conservation, medicinal botany, floral design education, environmental protection, landscape design, literary achievement, rose culture, historic preservation, and horticulture. READ this update on their exciting work. 


Brian Vogt, CEO of Denver Botanic Gardens, will welcome thousands of holiday visitors to the garden’s signature event, “Blossoms of Light” an annual holiday lights extravaganza.


Robert Hammond, co-founder of Friends of the High Line, celebrated the elevated park’s twentieth anniversary this summer with the opening of the last section of the park containing original tracks, the Spur.


Dr. Cary Fowler, known as the father of Svalbard Global Seed Vault, welcomed the first ever deposits from Slovakia and Poland in October, bringing depositor-institutions up to 78.


Ethnobotanist Dr. Paul Alan Cox was featured as the cover story for Fortune magazine - “Outsmarting Alzhiemers, How a Small Lab in Wyoming is Changing The Face of Medicine.” 


Marta McDowell just published Emily Dickinson’s Garden Life - The Plants and Places that Inspired the Iconic Poet. According to The Wall Street Journal, McDowell’s work is “A visual treat as well as a literary one.” 


Piet Oudolf recently traveled to Michigan to explore designs for a garden on Belle Island that is capable of handling groundwater fluctuations, making it more resilient to climate change. 


Teaching has always been Laura Haley’s passion which has led her to explore a new concept for an OLLI class with the University of North Florida: “What to do with an empty vase?”


If you haven’t done so already, consider watching Dr. David Gallo’s Ted Talk, “Underwater Astonishments.” It is still one of the top 25 Ted Talks of all time. 


David Austin Roses, Ltd. received its 25th Gold Medal at the 2019 Chelsea Flower show for its Secret Garden-themed exhibit.  


Nathaniel R. Shick, the 75th Commander of the USS Constitution, accepted the GCA medal on behalf of the USS Constitution. Commander Shick’s commission will draw to a close in 2019.



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