A new horticulture society is born

Courtesy of Donna Williamson
Logo for the new Piedmont/Blue Ridge Horticulture Society in Virginia.
Courtesy of Donna Williamson
Horticulturist Janet Draper at the Mary Livingston Ripley Garden in Washington, D.C.

Last year, I was asked to speak at the Annapolis Horticulture Society. This group was started by plantswoman Janet Draper, who brings magic to the Ripley Garden (just west of the Hirshhorn Museum) in Washington, D.C.

Before my talk, I looked at the audience – people chatting and enjoying themselves – and I thought: I would love to be in this audience. Once a month, I could come and learn about a new plant or garden or approach, or the joys of an old gardener, and be with like-minded folks.

It sounded relaxing and fun!

After talking this up with some friends, we have started our own Piedmont/Blue Ridge Horticulture Society. We were given a head start in organizing by the Annapolis group, which shared all of that dry legal info with us.

Then we set up a website and published our first newsletter. And in September, we will have our first speaker!

Getting through the dry legalese is daunting, but if you want to start your own local or regional horticulture society and celebrate the joys of the garden with companions, I can send you the organizing material we adapted from Annapolis. Go to the website and send me a note.

And the wonderful Janet Draper? She’s going to be our October speaker!

Donna Williamson is a new blogger at Diggin' It. She's a master gardener, garden designer, and garden coach. She has taught gardening and design classes at the State Arboretum of Virginia, Oatlands in Leesburg, and Shenandoah University. She's also the founder and editor of Grandiflora Mid-Atlantic Gardening magazine, and the author of "The Virginia Gardener's Companion: An Insider's Guide to Low Maintenance Gardening in Virginia."  She lives in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia.

Editor’s note: To read more by Donna, check Our blog archive. For more Monitor gardening, see our main gardening page and our RSS feed.

You may also want to visit Gardening With the Monitor on Flickr. Take part in the discussions and get answers to your gardening questions. If you join the group (it’s free), you can upload your garden photos and enter our next contest. We'll be looking for photographs of fruits. So find your best shots of summer's blueberries, peaches, plums, etc., and get out your camera to take some stunning shots of early fall apples. Post them before Sept. 30, 2009, and you could be the next winner.

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