Much of my time lately has been devoted to two exciting partnerships with area gardens. The first one is a Seed Exchange coming up on Saturday, January 28 at the U.S. National Arboretum. We hope to make this an annual event. I'm working closely with the USNA (http://www.usna.usda.gov/) staff to develop a great afternoon -- expert speakers, fantastic door prizes, and of course, seed swapping. We'll even have some seeds culled from the USNA grounds to share! I had the brain-stirm for this event last summer while attending the Mail-Order Gardening (http://mailordergardening.com/) conference in Orlando, FL. I was trying to think of an activity the magazine could host for our readers. What was not already offered in the area? What would be of value? What time of year would be best? I thought of the in-person seed exchange while talking with a few seed companies and realizing that it is rarely done face-to-face. We're very excited about this and will have more details and a registration link up in the next few weeks.
The other big partnering event on the horizon is Hillwood Gardener’s Day. They had one this year in June, but are moving it up in 2006 to Saturday, April 29. Hillwood Museum & Gardens (http://www.hillwoodmuseum.org/) is a must-see for area gardeners. If you take a look at the gardens section of their web site, you'll see why. We actually did a "Daytrip" article on them in our May/June '05 issue. I met yesterday with their staff and their enthusiasm is contagious! For this upcoming event they want to make it a day for real "dirt-in-nails" gardeners to come and learn. We brain-stormed several workshop topics and ground tour themes -- such as walks on the grounds pointing out the use of natives. We'll be helping promote the event and assist with programming They are thinking of adding on a plant sale as well and I'll be there at a "meet -the-editor" type set-up.