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Thanks, Garden Clubs, for a Wonderful Garden Social!

Take a gander at all the garden clubs and plant societies that gathered at our Beltsville store yesterday for our first Garden Social!  Besides all the networking and chatting up new members by the clubs, one highlight was that quintessential garden-club event – the Plant Swap!

Plus, over 60 donated items were raffled off to benefit the Friends of Brookside Gardens, and we’re happy to announce that over $1,200 was raised!  And David Culp’s talk about “promising perennials” was the crowd-pleaser that ended the event (he’s from Sunny Border Nurseries).  The weather was glorious and it was a great day for DC-area plant-lovers of all types.

A big thank-you to Carole Galati for coordinator the event!  She’s active in many clubs herself and was the perfect person to bring everyone together.  On the left is Millard Smith representing the Hyattsville Horticulture Society.

The Plant Exchange was MC’d by Suzanne Carbone, board member of Friends of Brookside Gardens.

These local leaders of the Azalea Society of America have been working hard to Save the Azaleas at the National  Arboretum.  Left to right are Harold Belcher (a past president), Gabrielle Scott, Lois and Jim Duffy, current president. Their regular assistance to the Arboretum includes helping to maintain and identify the azalea collection there.

Writer/photographer Natalie Brewer is a frequent contributor to Behnke’s website and blog, providing well-researched articles about Maryland’s native plants.  She’s a steadfast supporter of wildlife!

For the Potomac Chrysanthemum Society, left to right: Carman Keister, Robert Howell and Warren Pfeiffer, current president.

Left: Caroline Turner with Metropolitan Washington Garden Club and on the right, Lynn Whitall with the Annapolis Horticulture Society.

Here to talk about the exciting new Public Health Garden at the University of Maryland were, on the left, Deb Dramby of the Institute of Applied Agriculture and on the right, Allison Lily of the School of Public Health.   And this is fun – the garden has a blog – publichealthgarden.blogspot.com

National Capital Daylily Club’s Gregg Savard (right) chats up the club with Hyattsville’s Millard Smith.

Left: Kathy Jentz, editor/publisher of Washington Gardener Magazine.  And on the right is Mary Ann Dawedeit of Roll out the Rain Barrel.

For the Prince George’s Herb Society, Calvin Blake, Jr.  and Karen Mackey, president.

The Burtonsville Garden Club was represented by Aileen Goldman (L) and Janet Senft (R).

For the Silver Spring Garden Club: Lanna and Neil Ray.

Left, Jim Dronenburg’s harp music added to the festive mood.   In floral colors, Charmane Truesdell (L) and Bette Lewis represent the National Capital Area Garden Clubs. That’s the organization of 97 different clubs with over 3,000 members that’s so active at the National Arboretum – staffing the gift shop and sponsoring two of the gardens.

Johanna Zinn was here to talk about begonias and the American Begonia Society, Potomac Branch.  Her own collection includes 70 terrariums, 130 different species and another 100 varieties.

For the Takoma Horticultural Club, Cindy Walczak.

Leslie McDermott, who does marketing and media relations for Brookside Gardens, is shown here on the left talking to volunteer-about-town Anne Hardman.

The National Capital Gesneriad Society is the club for lovers of African violets, gloxinias, and other exotic and easy-to-grow houseplants, and they have a blog, too – called Petal Tones. Left to right are Brian Connor, Denise Whitman, and Jim Roberts.

For the Potomac Hosta Club are (left) Susan Hedrick, president, and Patty Myler.

Montgomery County Master Gardeners Taffy Turner (L) and Karen Mills answered every question put to them (we’re sure).   They told us about their latest class of 53 – larger than ever – and their increased numbers of plant clinics – not to mention Grow It Eat It, the Maryland-wide program for teaching the growing and preparing of food. Busy time to be a Master Gardener!

For the Beltsville Garden Club, Kathy Fitzgerald (L) and Helen Pechacek.

Stephanie Fleming was raised at Behnke’s Nurseries in Beltsville. Her Mom, Sonja, was one of Albert & Rose Behnke’s four children. She was weeding from the moment she could walk and hiding as soon as she was old enough to run, so many weeds, so little time. Although she quickly learned how to pull out a perennial and get taken off of weed pulling duty.

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