National Garden Week: A Look at Some of our Favorite Gardens by RGC Members

National Garden Week: A Look at Some of our Favorite Gardens by RGC Members

We are closing out our National Garden Week posts with a look at favorite gardens members have visited, pictures from Lisa’s recent visit to Gibbs Garden, and pics from a few members’ gardens–the feature image for this post is from Mary Ann Booth Cabot’s backyard. We hope you are as inspired by these gardens as we are. Thanks for celebrating National Garden Week with us.

Debbie V suggests we add visiting these gardens on our bucket lists:

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Gretchen C’s 3 favorite gardens to visit in the United States are:

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1. Longwood Gardens in Kennet Square, PA. These gardens are located just 30 minutes from where I lived the first 30 years of my life, so I have been there innumerable times. The gardens are known for their fountains, architecture, and green houses. In 1798 an arboretum was planted at this location. In 1906, Pierre S. DuPont really developed the garden with structures and more plantings. It was opened to the public in 1921. There are over 1,077 acres with 4.5 acres of greenhouses and a 5 acre fountain area. In addition, there are buildings enclosing a theater and world class organ as well as an outdoor theater where one can see a play or musical in the summer.

The Philadelphia area’s climate is a zone that encourages many types of horticulture and for this reason there is much to see in the extensive outdoor gardens. The Christmas Decorations in the large conservatories are magnificent.

I first visited as a child but remember most vividly taking my own children there in strollers. At that time there was no admission charge and a friend and I would go frequently with our young children. A favorite spot was an outdoor water feature that flowed down a large stone stairway. After moving north to New Jersey and then Connecticut, I would visit my parents in December, take them to see the Christmas Decorations, and have dinner in the restaurant.

2. Portland, Oregon Japanese Garden. There are many Japanese Gardens in the world. This one is situated on 12 acres on a wooded hillside west of the city. It is a tranquil spot with 8 separate different styles of Japanese Gardens. Water runs through the gardens as falls and pools, adding to the enchantment. In addition to the tea house there are other small Japanese style buildings. There is a Koi Pond and many moss coated structures. The numerous Japanese Maples are not to be missed. If you have visited Portland, you know that horticulture in that area is more abundant than many other places. This is due to ample moisture and moderate temperatures.

3. Of the gardens I have visited, our Atlanta Botanical Garden is my other favorite. No need to tell you as I know you all must love it too!


Lisa E shared these beautiful pictures from her recent visit to Gibbs Gardens, a world-class garden in Ball Ground, GA, a few miles north of Roswell.



Linda Lee P shared these gorgeous pictures from Miramar Beach.



Carolyn H shared images of her remarkable daylilies.





Mary Ann Booth Cabot shared glorious pictures from her garden.



National Garden Week: Add Color in June by RGC Blogger Lisa Ethridge

National Garden Week: Add Color in June by RGC Blogger Lisa Ethridge

If a quick survey of your yard in June reveals a mostly green palette, it’s time to add some color. June is the perfect time to make attractive and family-friendly additions to the greenspace and outdoor living areas of your home.

The addition of blooming plants can really be eye catching. Pick an area of the yard that needs brightening and add a spot of color. Borders, pots, hanging baskets, and trellises are popular. When you go to the nursery or garden department, look for vital, green specimens that are in bloom and ready to set out in the garden. Choose plants that meet your sun/shade needs and select different sizes, varieties, and textures. For baskets and pots, make sure to buy some trailing plants to make your arrangement more flowing and artistic.

Remember, it’s all about the soil; before planting, be sure to recharge the soil in the pot or bed with compost. Water the new specimen while it’s still in its pot.Then plant at the recommended depth and space according to instructions on the tag. Once your bed or pot is planted, water thoroughly.  To maintain the beautiful color throughout the season, water regularly, deadhead if needed, and fertilize monthly.

Think outside of the pot when it comes to color. Paint is cheap and easy to apply. Spray paint is now specially formulated to adhere to plastic and other materials. Tasteful colors abound, and some paints simulate beautiful textures. Think about painting pots and grouping them in harmonious vignettes. Vary the pot sizes and shapes to make things more interesting and stick with odd numbered arrangements.

Accessories can add color without taxing the budget. Big box nurseries and stores with garden centers have a great deal of space devoted to yard art. Some well-chosen pieces can add interest and color to the landscape—just don’t overdo it.  If you don’t feel comfortable making selections, take a friend whose garden you admire.

The featured image for this post is one of Dorothy J’s stay-at-home projects. She painted a red pot that didn’t work in her color palette and turned it into a brilliant spot of color in her yard.

For help with all aspects of planting annuals, download brochure B954: Flowering Annuals for Georgia Gardens at

National Garden Week: Inspired by Chelsea…Ideas & Comments from the Virtual Chelsea Flower Show by RGC Blogger Suzy Crowe

National Garden Week: Inspired by Chelsea…Ideas & Comments from the Virtual Chelsea Flower Show by RGC Blogger Suzy Crowe

For the first time ever, the Chelsea Flower Show was virtual instead of in-person. I took advantage of that and spent hours being inspired & educated. There were fantastic walking tours of famous horticulturalists’ (think Adam Frost, Kazuyuki Ishihara, James Alexander Sinclair, Tom Massey, Andy Sturgeon) home gardens. I perused floral design demonstrations, how-to videos on growing specific plants, cooking demonstrations using home-grown veg and herbs, and suggestions for gardening with kids.

I loved the daily Ask a Gardening Advisor sessions which were primed by write-in-questions on given topics. Panels of experts on each given topic answered the questions. These sessions ranged from establishing a wildflower garden/lawn to everything related to houseplants; from how to get rid of pests to how to care for ponds.

My friend Mary & I loved Tips for Summer Design with gold-medal-winning garden designer Sarah Eberle–the session is inspirational and informative.

Now that Chelsea is over, I have notes on *and have started* propagating succulents; I’ve moved the baker’s rack from my patio to my carport to create a potting station. I’ve given my bulbs haircuts so that they can absorb necessary nutrients without looking like a total mess in my gardens. I’ve converted my grandfather’s cast iron scalding pot into a pond with a solar fountain–you’ll hear more about this in another post. I’m researching turning my front yard into a wildflower yard. I have found where east is in relation to my yard, and this fall I’ll be turning my iris so their rhizomes all face east. I’m sitting in my yard, looking & dreaming. And every morning, I’m walking the grounds with a cup of coffee.

Want to see what you missed? You’ll find all 53 sessions on the Royal Horticultural Society’s YouTube channel . I hope you’ll be amazed and inspired. When you get to the YouTube channel, you’ll see that the image for this post is the opening screen for the Virtual Chelsea Flower Show 2020. As such it is copyrighted by the Royal Horticultural Society. Let me know if you, too, are inspired by Chelsea. Cheers!

National Garden Week: Why Isn’t My Annual Blooming? by RGC blogger Lisa Ethridge

National Garden Week: Why Isn’t My Annual Blooming? by RGC blogger Lisa Ethridge

In the spring, Roswell gardeners flocked to nurseries and big box stores to purchase colorful annual plants for containers and beds. If the honeymoon is over and your annual plants are dormant and stressed, they can be revitalized. With the right care and maintenance, annuals will brighten the landscape from spring through fall.

Annual plants need water to thrive and bloom. Drought conditions prevail in Georgia during the summer months. Most annuals require at least 1-1½” of water per week. Containers require daily or twice-daily watering during the summer and into October, Georgia’s driest month. Smaller pots require more hydration because they dry out quickly.

“Deadhead” or prune to encourage new blooms and growth. An annual completes its entire life cycle in a single growing season. It grows from seed and works to produce more seeds with every bloom. Gardeners must remove dead blooms to discourage the plant from putting all its effort into seed production. Not all annuals require “deadheading.” Some, such as petunias, benefit from heavy pruning. Cutting them back in July will encourage profuse blooming.

Lack of nutrients causes poor performance in annuals. For the best results, annuals must be fertilized. General purpose fertilizers such as 10-10-10 must be reapplied every 6 weeks throughout the growing season. Use slow-release fertilizers to reduce the number of applications. Water soluble fertilizers are particularly good for container plants because the nutrients are leached from pots due to frequent watering.

Monitor your annuals throughout the summer and make notes. At season’s end, do some reading and formulate a plan for increased success next year. Get a soil test and amend the soil in planting beds according to the results. For more vibrant containers, consider using special nutrient-rich potting soil mixes which are widely available. Plant selection is key; know your property’s mix of sun and shade to make an informed decision.

If you want to know more about how to select and grow annuals successfully, go to and read Flowering Annuals for Georgia Gardens, Bulletin B954.

Garden Week in Georgia: Arbor Day–Don’t Miss Your Chance to Celebrate Trees by RGC Blogger Lisa Ethridge

Garden Week in Georgia: Arbor Day–Don’t Miss Your Chance to Celebrate Trees by RGC Blogger Lisa Ethridge

There are so many ways that trees positively affect us, our communities, and our world. Check out the details on the Arbor Day Foundation website:

  • Trees help clean our air
  • Trees contribute to our health
  • Trees provide us with oxygen
  • Trees provide much-needed cooling
  • Trees help reduce the effects of climate change
  • Trees help us save energy
  • Trees benefit wildlife
  • Trees help reduce crime
  • Trees are a good investment of our public dollars
  • Trees increase our property values


Arbor Day Is Not Just Any Day


Arbor Day, much like Earth Day, is a holiday that celebrates nature.

Its purpose is to encourage people to plant trees, and many communities traditionally take the opportunity to organize tree-planting and litter-collecting events on or around the holiday. A popular Arbor Day tradition is to plant a tree in honor or memory of a loved one.


Arbor Day sprouted from the mind of a zealous tree lover named Julius Sterling Morton, who had a passion for planting all kinds of trees.

The first Arbor Day occurred on April 10, 1872, in Nebraska City, Nebraska. It’s estimated that nearly one million trees were planted on this day.

By 1885, Arbor Day became a legal holiday in Nebraska. The date was changed to April 22 to honor Morton’s birthday. On that day, thousands of Nebraska City citizens turned out for one big party, including 1,000 school-children who formed a parade.

Within 20 years of its creation, the holiday was celebrated in every American state except Delaware, which eventually joined in.

Particularly pleasing to Morton was the fact that schools across the country began celebrating Arbor Day by dedicating the trees they planted to special people.

Fun Fact: Arbor Day was almost called Sylvan Day, which means “wooded.” Several members of the Nebraska State Board of Agriculture favored it, but Morton argued that sylvan refers only to forest trees and that the name Arbor Day was most inclusive, covering forest trees and fruit trees.

 “Other holidays repose upon the past;
Arbor Day proposes for the future.”

                –J. Sterling Morton.

Read More about Julius Sterling Morton and Arbor Day on the Old Farmer’s Almanac website:

Roswell Garden Club encourages you to consider joining the Arbor Day Foundation. Membership starts at $10, and new members choose one of these free gifts: 10 free trees for you, 10 trees planted in a threatened rainforest, or 10 trees planted in our nation’s forests. Check it out here:

Since October and November are the months to plant a tree in Georgia, be sure and choose FALL PLANTING. There are tutorials available on the internet about how to plant a tree, and provides great information and resources specifically for Georgia.

Garden Week in Georgia: RGC Members’ Reflections on Gardening by RGC Blogger Lisa Ethridge

Garden Week in Georgia: RGC Members’ Reflections on Gardening by RGC Blogger Lisa Ethridge

Recently, RGC members were asked to share their top reasons for joining a garden club; their favorite gardening memories; and why they love to garden. After reading some of their reflections, we hope you will consider sharing your gardening reflections and joining us in one of our favorite pursuits.

Linda B
Top 10 reasons to join a garden club, specifically Roswell Garden Club:

  • Socialize with like-minded people
  • Learn about new techniques, products, plant varieties
  • Listen to relevant speakers at monthly meetings
  • Volunteer to beautify the community
  • Help raise funds for worthwhile causes
  • Take field trips to interesting locations
  • Be part of community service projects
  • Participate in plant exchanges
  • Contribute to an award-winning organization
  • Be part of an active, vibrant, caring group

Linda Lee P
I was retired and had the time to join a club, to get out there. RGC had a meeting. I went. I was a first timer with another friend I’d recently met in church. We sat together. I fell in love with the president, the group, the mission. I joined. Twelve years ago.

My husband loves flowers and he grew every kind. He especially liked the distressed flowers that had to be brought back. Ron could touch a leaf, a flower, a stem, talk to it, and it would flourish! That is a main reason I decided to try a garden club. To support him. To learn. And to be around the natural beauty God made possible. To watch Ron play in the dirt, gently pat the soil around a plant, and caress the petals made me want to be with him and to help him.

There is nothing more special than to be in the presence of flowers, their fragrance, their beauty and colors. The way the colors all go together in a garden complimenting one another. God is there, the master gardener and artist.

Gretchen C

I’ve been an active member of a garden club for more than 50 years. This is a perfect way to be involved in a new community. You find like-minded friends and learn more about this wonderful hobby. My favorite activity is floral design.

We have planted many things at the 5 houses we have owned. My favorite thought is the hundreds of Narcissus we planted over the years, and many must still be blooming. We’ve lived in Roswell for 13 years and have planted close to 200 Narcissus here. A friend started this with the gift of 100 bulbs that are planted in our woods.


Roz R

Best gardening memory: the first time I planted a vegetable garden

I grew up in Brooklyn, New York. This was the first time I planted ANYTHING. We had just purchased a small house in Brooklyn, a small side by side home in Flatbush, in walking distance to Brooklyn College. Most neighbors had nothing in their backyards other than grass. My children were young and I was working only part-time. I decided to plant a vegetable garden and knew enough to plant the corn in the back row and smaller vegetables in front. There was 1 row of corn – 1 row of tomatoes, etc. We watched the veggies growing all summer and in the fall, the corn was taller than my girls. VERY thrilling.

Eight reasons I love to garden, in no particular order:

  • outside – hear and see birds
  • provides me with time to ‘just be’–daily stroll around/look around outdoor and indoor plantings
  • provides me with space/place to use all my senses as I concentrate on gardening and block out the rest of the world.
  • provides me with a more enjoyable way to exercise (stretch, bend, lift, carry) than a session at the gym
  • provides me with a place to visit with neighbors in my apartment complex (only garden in the complex and I invite neighbors to pick flowers and figs)
  • enjoy the sweetness of freshly picked figs (and in previous homes: tomatoes)
  • enjoy experimenting: outside – 2 branches from friend’s established fig tree, plucked in Dec., 2010 or 2011, did not begin to show signs of life for 2 or so years and now is a towering fruiting wonder; inside – discarded orchid took two years to bloom
  • enjoy the sense of wonder when a small seed evolves into a living plant

Lisa E
I have so many reasons to love gardening. First, it brings back awesome memories of my grandpa and me in his vegetable garden. Every day after he worked, we went to his vegetable garden. He wore a big hat, and pictures show me attired in the 1950s “bubble suit”—very cute, of course. Grandpa taught me so much. I was great at spotting bugs and pointing out what needed to be picked. I loved, and still love, watching things grow. Houseplants remind me of my mom. She could grow anything. I learned to enjoy indoor plants and make them thrive from my mom. I love visiting gardens everywhere I go. My Master Gardener friends teach me something every time we visit a nursery. I love to learn, and there’s something to learn in the garden every season. The contentment and joy I feel walking around my garden, as imperfect as it is, is amazing.