(a Running Calendar of Events)

  • 2024 January 20, @10 am PVC-NARGS Seed Workshop at Green Spring Gardens, Alexandria, VA. 

Cost: $35

Limited to 15 members. Register by December 1, 2023 in order for supplies to be purchased. 

Please send check to Margot Ellis, 2417 N. Taylor St. Arlington VA 22207

Have you wondered how to start rock garden plants from seed? Now is your chance to learn. A few PVC members will share seed collected from plants growing in their rock gardens. Surplus NARGS seed will also be used. Learn tips about starting seeds from those who have tried, failed, and succeeded. We’ll discuss typical rock garden plants and their requirements, potting media, explain the process for sowing seeds, and help you sow a tray of seeds that you will take home. You’ll also find out how to avoid sneaky things that can take down your seeds–mice, damping off, too much or too little water, as well as how to pot up and grow on your plants after germination. What is included: reusable, dishwater safe, seed tray for 16 different plants, and seeds of perennials hardy in our area.

Any questions about the workshop can be emailed to Jim Hughes at

  • Nov. 4, 10:00 am USNA (classroom just off lobby) PVC-NARGS General Membership Meeting in person. Members will share slides of their gardens or gardens they visited in their travels.
  • Saturday, October 28, 10:00 am, Speaker Michael Hagen of NYBG, “Natives for Small Spaces” via Zoom, .    Details and Zoom link on Programs page. Michael is the curator of the NYBG’s Native Plant Garden.
  • October 14-15, Trough workshop at Susanna Farm Nursery. This is a two-day event. Details for participants to follow. There are a few more openings, so please let me know if you’re interested.
  • October 8, Fall Plant Exchange, 10:00 am at Linus Chen’s, 10509 Samaga Drive, Oakton, VA 22124\    Thank you, Linus, for hosting! Details to follow. Please get your plants ready!
  • On Saturday, July 22nd at 10:00 am, Chris Garrett, Senior Park Ranger, will lead us in a guided tour of the Suitland Bog. He knows we are most interested in carnivorous plants and native plants. Parking is at Suitland Community Center, 5600 Regency Lane, Forestville, MD 20747. This is where Chris wants us to gather ahead of the tour. There are bathrooms and water available at the community center. The total round trip walk will be about a mile and a half on dirt trails. Dress for heat, sun and bugs, ie., wear hats and use sunscreen and bug spray.
  • May 27, PVC Spring Plant Exchange, home of Steve Branch and Wade Kness. 11128 Emack Road, Beltsville MD 20705-2806. Steve’s cell: 301-742-1299
  • May 20, Green Spring Gardens Plant Sale, PVC sells plants donated by members
  • April 29, Friends of the National Arboretum
    Garden Fair
    , Shop for choice, annuals, perennials
    – including Kevin M’s Collector’s Corner – and woody shrubs and small trees.
  • April 15th, 1:00 pm Tour of Dr. Joe Hallal’s Asian inspired conifer garden, 6040 Crimson Crt., McLean, VA 22101. The hardscape was design by Lila Fendrick Landscape Architects, Chevy Chase, Maryland. The design includes various garden rooms, with grass, brick, stepping-stone, and pebble paths. Stones are an important feature of the garden, including large stones displayed as sculpture, imported from the Yangtze River, and others sourced locally and from the cliffs of the Mississippi River.
  • March 25, LAHR Native Plant symposium, National Arboretum, 3501 New York Ave NE, Washington, DC 20002. Registration is Open! symposium
  • Sunday, March 19, 2pm: NARGS Speaker Tour: Todd Boland, “Spring Wildflowers of Utah’s Mighty Five Great Parks.” IN PERSON program, Green Spring Gardens library
  • Wednesday March 1st, 7:00 pm EST, A Talk by Mark Akimoff owner and head grower at  Illahe Rare Plants nursery in Salem, Oregon ZOOM. (view under Programs)
  • Friday, February 24 @10 am: Tour of Hamamelis collection with director, Judy Zatsick, Green Spring Gardens, 4603 Green Spring Rd, Alexandria, VA. Greenspring has one of the national collections of Witch Hazel. Meet in Visitor Center.
  • PVC General Membership Meeting: Nov 12, 2022 10:00 AM Eastern Time (US and Canada)
  • October 8th Tour of Klein Garden, Antietam, MD. Tour this 2-to-3-acre garden with emphasis on sedums and conifers. We met the Kleins during our August tour of Birchwood garden in Loudoun County, VA.  Details to come. 
  • October 1st Fall Plant Exchange, 10am: home of Linus Chen, 10509 Samaga Dr., Oakton, VA 22124

Get your plants potted up and ready to share!

  • September 24 @10am via ZOOM:

Elisabeth Zander  “The Evolution of My Rock Garden”

Elisabeth presents a brief history of her garden in Goshen, Connecticut, begun over 20 years ago. She highlights the last few years of building tufa walls, a tufa tower, troughs, and crevice and sand gardens. An avid seed sower since running the NARGS Seed Exchange back in the mid-nineties, Elisabeth relishes germinating new-to-her-plants each year and the chance to integrate them into the garden. “As aging takes its toll on the gardener’s body,” she says,” we make more rock gardens as they are so much less maintenance than perennial beds.”

Elisabeth is former President of NARGS, the force behind the amazing NARGS webinars, and the current web manager. It is possible she has held every (almost) position within the organization!

  • SAVE the DATE: Saturday, July 9th – A Tour of two Loudoun County, Virginia, Gardens  Details – exact time, addresses, etc.,– will follow.  Just wanted you all to put this on your calendars!  You don’t want to miss these gardens. 

As you probably remember, we, unfortunately, had to cancel this day of tours last year, but we are going to do it this year!  Thanks to Marianne Willburn for getting us access to her neighbor’s garden as well.  These garden and near one another.  We can have lunch in Marianne’s garden, or if you prefer, this nearby winery:

1st Stop (TIME to be DECIDED, but probably 10am-ish)

Birchwood, Garden of Pat and Rolf Sartorious 

From Marianne: 

“It is an arboretum that was created by a tree enthusiast over 25 years and whose project was ultimately ended by a divorce and sale.  The property went into disrepair for several years and was bought by the Sartorious family three years ago on a foreclosure sale.  They have been working hard to bring it back to its former glory and with the help of Susanna Farms, maintaining the current specimens and adding more.  There are beautiful views of the Catoctin mountains off the back of the house, small gardens around the house, but the main draw are the hundreds of specimen trees.  I believe the property is 100 acres, which includes about 60 that is leased to farmers. 33 acres are fully deer fenced! Be prepared to walk – wear a hat.”

2nd Stop: Oldmeadow, Garden of Marianne and Michael Willburn 

Marianne has been gardening intensively on ten acres in rural Virginia since 2013.  Her property includes a stream valley and seven acres of woodland surrounding a clearing of gardens and lawns near the house and barn. We will see gardens established from scratch at Oldmeadow — a strategically placed woodland walk along a creek, a sunny mixed border by the barn, and shade gardens by the house. She recently installed a greenhouse and is in the process of renovating her vegetable and cutting gardens.  With her husband Michael, Marianne has also created numerous garden structures, pergolas, a pavilion, homes for chickens and ducks, as well as more whimsical features like a bottle tree and woodland nesting circles inspired by ones at the Delaware Botanic Garden.  The many tropicals Marianne loves—she is the author of Tropical Plants and How to Love Them –to use for their relatively fast, long-lasting and lush effect should be strutting their stuff amidst more traditional plantings.  You can learn more about Marianne and her garden here:

  • NARGS Annual Meeting:  June in Ithaca, NY (pre-tour to private gardens in the area) Watch for details:
  • Saturday May 21, PVC Plant exchange is at Elaine Lahn’s – address 1488 Harwell Ave., Crofton, MD 21114
  • Saturday May 14, Plant Sale, Greenspring Gardens, Alexandria, VA