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April 15, 2021

Renewal of the Boscobel Herb Garden

For nearly fifty years, the Philipstown Garden Club has maintained the herb garden at Boscobel, one of the Hudson Valley’s premier historic properties. When the executive director of Boscobel recently gave the club a list of plants uncovered in the 1788-1803 Archive of States Dyckman, the PGC team undertook a revision of planting, restricting it to those found in early nineteenth century American gardens.

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April 13, 2021

The Garden Club of America 2021 Floral Design Conference

Following in the footsteps of four previous virtual conferences, the Shirley Meneice Horticulture Conference, the Conservation Study Conference, the Photography Conference, and most recently the National Affairs & Legislation Conference, The Garden Club of America’s 2021 Floral Design Conference “Springtide” brought club members together for a day of floral opulence featuring floral designers, flower growers, and educators in floral artistry.

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April 09, 2021

An Historic Garden is Renovated for a New Era

Tucked away in a corner of Ballard Park in Ridgefield, Connecticut, is an historic, perennial-filled parterre underwritten and maintained by Ridgefield Garden Club since 1982. Elizabeth B. Ballard, a past president of the club, designed the garden in the early 1920’s. In 1964, she bequeathed five acres of her estate on Ridgefield’s historic Main Street to the town for a public park.

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April 06, 2021

Unified Composition

Many gardens included in The Garden Club of America Collection at the Archives of American Gardens hold a proud distinction: they embody design principles developed by renowned landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted, Sr. (1822-1903). In addition to establishing a firm that had a hand in the design of more than 6,000 landscapes and gardens for over a century, Olmsted published influential theories about landscape design that transformed how people organized and maintained the outdoor space around them. Olmsted scholars have distilled Olmsted’s ideas down to a list of six design principles. Here is Principle Two.

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April 01, 2021

GCA Medalist Paul Alan Cox, PhD

Paul Alan Cox, PhD, recipient of the GCA’s 2019 Eloise Payne Luquer Medal, and fellow co-author Michael J. Balick, PhD, have published a new book entitled Plants, People, and Culture, The Science of Ethnobotany, Second Edition. Their fascinating stories weave together chemistry, history, botany, anthropology, and ecology with a focus on the many features of indigenous cultures and the impact of plants on cultural development.

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March 30, 2021

The Emerald Necklace

Frederick Law Olmsted once dubbed the ribbon of parkland running through Boston as the “Jeweled Girdle.” Now better known as the Emerald Necklace, this area serves as the center of stewardship for the Boston Committee, an Area Committee of The Garden Club of America. Under the umbrella of the Boston Committee since 1989, the GCA and affiliated garden clubs have joined forces with multiple not-for-profits in the Boston area to support the design and beautification of parks and green spaces in Boston, to encourage civic achievement in horticulture and conservation, and to educate the public on horticultural practices and environmental issues.

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March 25, 2021

Scientific Illustrator Catches the GCA’s Eye

In 2020, Julia Ditto asked this question on a conference poster presentation, “Did I catch your eye? Good – that’s my job.” Ditto is both a scientist and an artist, studying environmental science at Alaska Pacific University in preparation for a career in field science and scientific illustration. With the support of The Garden Club of America’s (GCA) Mary T. Carothers Summer Environmental Studies Scholarship, she joined an ongoing research project this last summer, hiking, and pack-rafting 375 miles through the remote Alaskan wilderness, collecting data on white spruce seedling density and changing vegetation. Ditto also took on the role of “expedition artist,” carrying a watercolor kit to record the project through her illustrations.

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March 23, 2021

The Knoxville Garden Club Seeks to Overcome Plant Blindness

The school children cannot help but giggle upon learning that Lamb’s ear (Stachys byzantina) was once used as toilet paper. Seeing and touching the herbaceous perennial’s velvety leaves imprints their young minds—creating an amusing plant memory to last a lifetime. Eliminating plant blindness by engaging the students—even using humor, was the goal of The Knoxville Garden Club (KGC) when it added the program, Plant Blindness/Plant Vision, to its ongoing work in the historical Blount Mansion gardens.

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March 18, 2021

GCA Grant Helps Rebuild at California’s Oldest State Park

In 2020, wildfires destroyed 86,000 acres on the San Francisco Peninsula, including Big Basin Redwoods State Park, California’s oldest state park. The highlight of this 18,000 acre preserve is the 4,300 acre grove of old-growth redwoods—by far the largest remaining continuous stand of Coast redwoods (Sequoia sempervirens) in existence south of San Francisco. The fires burned through ninety-seven percent of the park, destroying trees, shrubs, undergrowth, wildlife, trails, bridges, and the park’s historic 102-year-old lodge, which had served as a welcome center for thousands of visitors every year.

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March 16, 2021

Founders Fund Through the Years

In 1979, The Garden Club of America’s Founders Fund Program awarded a $7,000 grant to the Rae Selling Berry Botanic Garden, Portland, Oregon, for the construction of a greenhouse enabling the development of an internationally acclaimed collection of rare and endangered alpines, primulas, rhododendrons, and native plants. The garden later became known as The Berry Botanic Garden, and in 1983, the first seed bank dedicated to rare and endangered plants in the Pacific Northwest was established. In 1985, the seed bank became a founding participating institution of the Center for Plant Conservation, which today consists of forty independent botanical organizations across the United States. Since 2011, the Rae Selling Berry Seed Bank & Plant Conservation Program has been a part of Portland State University’s Department of Environmental Science and Management.

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