Coronavirus is still a factor in our everyday lives. At this time our General Meetings will be held at the Vienna Presbyterian Church on the third Tuesday of each month. The club must adhere to the church’s mask and food consumption requirements. If it becomes necessary due to the church going into lock down or it becomes a health hazard to our members, we’ll go back to having our meetings virtually by Zoom.
When Board and General Meetings are held virtually via Zoom, the internet link, meeting ID and passcode will be emailed to members the day before the meeting. If a member does not receive this information by 7:00 PM the night before the meeting, contact Andy Bothwell by cell phone, text, or email.
Introducing Purple Martins to Our Yards
Mike Bishop, a naturalist instructor with the Fairfax County Park Authority, will describe the work of the Northern Virginia Purple Martin Initiative, a nonprofit organization he founded to establish purple martin colonies in our area. Purple Martins are native swallows with a high tolerance for humans, chattering songs, aerial acrobatics, and insect-eating habits that make them one of the most beloved songbirds in the region. They are considered synanthropic, having developed an association with humans over time and benefit from living closely to them. Through years of generational imprinting and nesting the eastern species has made a complete transition from nesting in the wild to relying on human provided nesting sites. Humans in turn benefit from these agile insect hunters that capture and consume a variety of winged insects.
Horticulture: Dried Plants — Collect dried plant material in your yard.
Design: Using colored leaves and your dried plant material, create an arrangement for Thanksgiving
Holiday Greens and Wreath Workshop
This is a long standing tradition of Five Hills. Since 1955, we have made and donated Wreaths and Sprays to local churches and public buildings in the town of Vienna. Come ready to work and create with fresh greenery. It will put you in the holiday spirit! You will need gloves, clippers and fresh garden greens. All other supplies are furnished by the club.
Horticulture: Remember to bring your donations of fresh greens (no berries or holly please!)
Design: Come to the meeting prepared to create a beautiful wreath or swag.
Growing Beautiful Native Plants Year-Round
Leah Brooks, the Public Programs Assistant at Mt. Cuba Center in Delaware, will present virtually via Zoom on growing native plants year-round. She will share information on a variety of wildflowers, shrubs, trees, and vines that are ideal for home gardens and provide color, texture, ecological services, and seasonal interest all year long.
Mt. Cuba is a non-profit botanical garden located in Hockessin, Delaware, near Wilmington, in the gently rolling hills of the Delaware Piedmont. A field trip is planned on October 3, 2023.
Horticulture: Houseplants — Bring a houseplant and be prepared to discuss its horticultural requirements.
Design: Design an arrangement using houseplants.
Gardening for Wildlife
Alice Sturm, the Garden Program Manager at the Audubon Naturalist Society, will describe strategies that create habitats to attract and nurture pollinators and birds in our gardens. In her presentation she will explain how principles of ecological gardening underlie the work and enjoyment of nature-friendly habitats. The Audubon Naturalist Society, seeks to inspire area residents to appreciate, understand, and protect their natural environment.
Horticulture: The Color Red — Bring something red to share.
Design: Make a Valentine-themed design using Red.
Putting Conservation into Practice
Matt Bright, the Conservation Manager at Earth Sangha, will describe the nonprofit founded in 1997 by his parents with its mission of conservation as a psychological, social, and ecological practice. Earth Sangha is committed to restoring native ecology and helping people develop healthier connections to the lands and waters around them. Locally it operates a volunteer-based program to propagate native plants, restore native plant communities, and control invasive alien plants. Its Wild Plant Nursery is the region’s most comprehensive effort to propagate native plants directly from local forests and meadows. Farther afield on the island of Hispaniola, it operates with its partners the Tree Bank Hispaniola to propagate local native trees, conserve tropical forest, and promote sustainable agroecological practices.
Horticulture: Birds, Birds, Birds — Have you had any unusual birds in your yard recently? Be prepared to discuss.
Design: Bring a birdhouse or bird feeder to show the club.
Our own hostesses with the “mostest”, Lura Marshall and Eve Anderson, will bring their talents and tea sets to organize a superb tea for our April program. Hostesses will provide tea sandwiches and desserts; member can contribute Teacup floral arrangements which will be raffled off to lucky winners. In addition, Hillary Coley, owner of Dominion in Purcellville, will speak about the growing and harvesting of teas and provide samplings of teas from her company.
Horticulture: Spring Flowers — Bring in any spring flower that you grew for the first time this year.
Design: Create a design using your favorite spring flowers.
Bring plants to share, and get new ones, as a part of our annual plant exchange. This favorite event is a chance to enhance your garden and knowledge of gardening. Please bring your labeled plants to include: Your Name, Plant’s Name, Plant’s Colors, Plant’s requirements (Sun, Part-Sun, Part Shade, Shade), and Plant’s details such as Deer Resistant, Heat Tolerant, Perennial, Spring to Frost, etc.
Location: We will meet in the home of Anne Nelson who has once again generously offered her home to host this general meeting and plant exchange.
Raising Honeybees and Supporting Plants
Rita Romano, a mental health practitioner, will take us on her personal adventure as a backyard beekeeper. She will explain how she got started a decade ago and how she has cultivated her interest in beekeeping and native plants that attract and sustain bees. Throughout her presentation, she will emphasize native Virginia plants that she grows in her pollinator garden.
Horticulture: Berries Everywhere! Bring a sample of various edible berries that you collect or grow.
Design: Make an arrangement that incorporates berries.
Life-Cycling with Monarchs and Honeybees
Our own Gail Gile, a retired elementary school teacher, will share the lessons she imparted to her students on the fascinating life cycles of monarch butterflies and honeybees. She will show how she encourages the survival of monarchs by aiding in their development from eggs to fully developed butterflies ready to migrate South. Gail will also describe how honeybees develop through life stages and how they produce honey to sustain their species and contribute to life’s sweetness for our own. No horticulture or design for this month.
September 20, 2022
Designing Simply with Betty Ann
Our own Betty Ann Galway will lead a demonstration of quick and easy floral arrangements for the home this fall. Members will help in the demo by bringing in plant materials and containers that Betty Ann can incorporate. Finished arrangements will be raffled off to lucky winners
October 18, 2022
Creating a Healthy Environment for Raptors
Liz Dennison, founder of the nonprofit Secret Garden Birds and Bees, will share her expertise on raptors and the role they play in ecosystems by introducing us to these magnificent animals in person. Her all-volunteer organization works with wildlife rehabilitators, falconers, naturalists, biologists, and beekeepers to share their love of nature and wildlife with our communities. In addition to different species of owls and hawks, Liz will bring Pippin, a young American Kestrel, the newest addition to the Secret Garden. She will show how these birds all play a significant role in keeping our environment healthy and how we can help them thrive in our increasingly human world.
September 21, 2021
Growing Autumn Wildflowers for Your Garden: Asters to Witch Hazel
Nancy Vehrs, the President of the Virginia Native Plant Society, will walk us through the delights and benefits of growing native wildflowers in the autumn garden. She will show how a variety of native plants can bring color, form, and life to the fall landscape. Along the way, she will emphasize the importance of native plants and their ecological superiority to traditional garden plants associated with fall.
October 19, 2021
Ramblin’ in Dave’s Shady Garden
Dave Reed, the author of the blog, Ramblin’ Through Dave’s Garden, takes us on a meander of his garden on an acre and a quarter that he has created in Warrenton. Employed by Meadows Farms Landscape department since 1976, Dave uses his garden to test new plant introductions and, as he says in his blog, “Plant as much as the wife will allow”. His garden is designed for “relaxation, contemplation, and wonder” and not necessarily around a master plan. As the trees he has planted have grown to create a canopy, he describes how he has incorporated more shade-loving native plants in his garden and suggests what we might plant this Fall for next Spring.
November 16, 2021
Time-Traveling in the Plant World
Vienna neighbor, fellow gardener, and noted research geologist, Dr. Brian Huber, as he traverses deep time back to the beginnings of plant life on land. Brian, Curator of Foraminifera at the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History, will lead the remarkable journey, starting almost a half a billion years ago. He will guide our discovery of how the plant world of the past, present, and future connects to all other life on Earth.
December 7, 2021
Holiday Greens and Wreath Workshop
Join your garden friends at the Five Hills annual tradition of wreath making – bringing the Christmas spirit to the Town of Vienna. Come ready to work and create with fresh greenery. You will need to bring gloves, clippers and fresh garden greens. All other supplies are furnished by the club. Remember to bring your donation of fresh greens (no berries or holly please!)
January 18, 2022
Crafting Floral Greetings
Led by our own Lucia Bacon, members will create greeting cards featuring flowers to share with friends and loved ones. As we craft, we will learn about the history of greeting cards and the symbolism of flowers in conveying messages in the Victorian era. Special cards will go to residents of Iliff Nursing and Rehabilitation Center to send wishes of good health and well-being for Valentine’s Day.
February 15, 2022
Creating a Haven for Nature
Ray Smith, Master Naturalist, shares his passion and practice of landscaping in harmony with nature. He will demonstrate how the tenets of the Master Naturalist program can be realized in our own gardens, by showing how his own yard has evolved to support nature in all its forms, with a particular emphasis on landscaping with native plants to benefit wildlife. He will also discuss bluebirds and how to attract them in our yards.
March 15, 2022
Cultivating Nature in Your Garden
Dr. Meghan McGinty will speak on incrementally converting established gardens to native gardens, recent findings about how our gardening impacts biodiversity and how plant selection affects wildlife, and gardening for wildlife throughout the seasons. She will also address the varied microclimates, soil types, and lighting conditions in which we garden, so please come to the meeting with particularly problematic examples
Observing Nature through Journaling
Lara Call Gastinger, the chief illustrator of Flora of Virginia, shows how she combines science and art to create a sublime journal of the plant world. Using images from her sketchbooks, she describes her own artistic journey, how it evolved to become daily practice, and how it is meant to inspire others to appreciate and conserve our beautiful surroundings. For those who want to take up journaling, she explains how to overcome the “dreaded blank page” and put our observations of nature on paper.
How Does your Garden Grow?
How Does Your Garden Grow? Bring plants to share, and get new ones, as a part of our annual plant exchange. This favorite event is a chance to enhance your garden and knowledge of gardening. Please bring your labeled plants to include: Your Name (so we know who it came from), Plant’s Name, Plant’s Colors, Plant’s requirements of Sun, Part-Sun, Part Shade, Shade, Plant’s details if Deer Resistant, Heat Tolerant, Perennial, Spring to Frost, etc. Location: We will meet in the home of Anne Nelson who has once again generously offered her home to host this general meeting and plant exchange.
Installation Luncheon for New Officers
In recognition of New and Departing club officers, all members are cordially invited and requested to attend the Installation Luncheon.
September 15, 2020
From Farmer’s Market To Your Table
Jonathan Bardzik, DC-based cook, author, and story teller, will share his joy in the kitchen through easy, seasonal, farm and garden-fresh recipes – for us to enjoy and share with special people in our lives.
October 20, 2020
Growing Your Own Groceries
Nursery growers offer insights into how to successfully grow your own groceries in ways that do not break your back or your bank and can be an esthetic addition to your yard. Niraj Ray, founder of Cultivate the City, demonstrates how to use food scraps to jump start your garden and offers tips for propagating successfully. Ray also describes how Cultivate the City is nurturing urban gardening with its programs to address food needs and healthy eating in our wider community.
November 17, 2020
Designing Gardens as Habitats that Protect Life
Marisa Scalera, the landscape architect at the Smithsonian Gardens, speaks to the importance of plants in our lives highlighted in a Smithsonian-wide exhibition on protecting habitats. The presentation emphasizes the interconnection and fragility of our natural world and our role in caring for it.
January 18, 2021
Trees: Virginia Department of Forestry
Trees can shelter us from the trauma of stress if we step up as stewards to protect and use our natural resources wisely. Jim McGlone, Urban Forest Conservationist with the Virginia Department of Forestry, will speak about his office’s work to nurture our forests today and for generations to come. He will distinguish native, nonnative, and invasive species and what can be done to promote a healthy natural environment for flora and fauna. Jim’s territory spans Northern Virginia and includes advising homeowners on how they too can contribute to this effort and how Virginia’s initiatives can help.
February 16, 2021
Looking at the Garden Holistically
Gardener, artist, and columnist Karen Rexrode takes a look at holistic ways to garden with tips that help the gardener and the environment function on a higher level of wholesomeness. Topics she will cover include new concepts in planting styles, using plants as green mulch, and exploring German and Japanese examples of permaculture
March 16, 2021
Flower Show Prep
Five Hills judges will go over our flower show schedule to be held Virtually on our April meeting date. We will review the schedule, give you tips and answer any questions you may have in horticulture or design.
April 20, 2021
Our delayed Flower Show, A Virtual Flower Show is to be held in lieu of our regular meeting. We need your participation to make this a success!
May 18, 2021
How Does Your Garden Grow?
Bring plants to share, and get new ones, as a part of our annual plant exchange. This favorite event is a chance to enhance your garden and knowledge of gardening. Please bring your labeled plants to include: Your Name (so we know who it came from), Plant’s Name, Plant’s Colors, Plant’s requirements of Sun, Part-Sun, Part Shade, Shade, Plant’s details if Deer Resistant, Heat Tolerant, Perennial, Spring to Frost, etc.
June 15, 2021
Going into Summer with a Refresh
As we approach the summer season when it is too hot outside for folks and flora, Ronnie Levay will walk us through how to create refreshing floral designs with a grocery store mixed bouquet, leaves and twigs on hand, and a simple vase. Ronnie will demonstrate how to harden off store bought flowers so that they last longer and assemble what you already have available to make a centerpiece for the summer.
September 17, 2019
Birdsong Pleasure Garden; the Story of Its Creation
Lesley Mack, the co-owner of an amazing three-acre private garden, “Birdsong Pleasure Garden”, will guide us through her garden, sharing practical advice on everything gardening. Check out Trip Advisor, Luray VA to read about the garden and see its 5.0 rating!
October 15, 2019
Vertical Gardening Made Easy
Kathy Jentz, a frequent contributor to “The Washington Gardner”, a highly regarded publication and web site, will share her secrets of vertical gardening. Kathy will detail the benefits of vertical
gardening and inspire us to create our own vertical gardens.
November 19, 2019
Just in Time For Thanksgiving
Our very own Betty Ann Galway will lead us in a “Members’ Floral Design Workshop”. Betty Ann will share her expertise in floral arranging, and how to prepare and preserve pumpkins in home arrangements. You will need a small hollowed out pumpkin (opening less than 6 inches) and a ½ block of oasis – flowers will be provided. Feel free to bring greens and dried materials.
December 3, 2019
Holiday Greens Workshop
Join your garden friends at the Five Hills annual tradition of wreath making – bringing the Christmas spirit to the Town of Vienna. Come ready to work and create with fresh greenery. You will need to bring gloves, clippers and fresh garden greens. All other supplies are furnished by the club.
Horticulture: Remember to bring your donation of fresh greens (no berries or holly please!).
January 21, 2020
Unique and Spontaneous
Floral Designs Jeanne Ha, co-founder of DC Metro Flower Design School and co-owner of Park Florist, one of the oldest florists in the DC area, will demonstrate her amazing skills and creativity. Jeanne will daze and amaze us with her love and knack for flower arranging. A silent auction of her designs will follow.
February 18, 2020
The Soulful Gardner
Heather Zindash will show us how gardening brings people, plants and horticulture together to enhance our overall health and well-being. Learn to view our gardens as therapeutic, restorative and meditative – places to relax and connect to ourselves and the rest of the world.
September 18, 2018
Gardening on the Verge Kirk Brown, is a high energy and entertaining garden speaker. He is best known for his impersonation of John Bartram. But he has a new topic, “Gardening on the Verge,” that he is excited to present. It’s about gardens and changing life-styles.
Horticulture: Bring in a specimen from your garden in a proportional green bottle. Label it correctly. Suggestions include Mums, Asters.
Design Theme: Back to School. Designers Choice
October 16, 2018
Winterizing your Garden Sharon Stickell, a landscape specialist from Merrifield Garden Center, will share her gardening expertise, developing a winter checklist to ensure that our gardens produce colorful flowers in the spring.
Horticulture: Autumn Leaves Make an arrangement using autumn leaves.
November 20, 2018
Attracting Birds, Butterflies, and other Backyard Wildlife David Mizejewski, a naturalist and television host with the National Wildlife Federation, will talk about creating beautiful natural spaces to enjoy and share with birds, bees, and butterflies. He will detail the process to have our gardens recognized as official “Certified Habitats”. http://naturalist.nwf.org
Horticulture: Tick Tock Change Your Clock! Make an arrangement using branches with berries.
December 4, 2018
Holiday Greens Workshop
This is a long-standing tradition of Five Hills Garden Club. Every year since 1955 we have made and donated wreaths and sprays to local churches and public buildings in the Town of Vienna. It will put you in the Holiday Spirit! Come ready to work and create with fresh greenery. You will need to bring gloves and clippers. All other supplies are furnished by the club.
Horticulture: Remember to bring your donation of fresh greens (no berries or holly please!).
January 15, 2019
Climate Change Affecting Nature and Our Gardens
Sara Via, a professor and climate change specialist for UMD, will tell us about the effects of climate change and how they significantly impact gardens and home landscapes. We’ll learn strategies for adapting to change and improving our chances for gardening success. https://extension.umd.edu/hgic/earth-friendly/climate-change-and-gardening
Horticulture: Let it Snow! Make an arrangement using Snowdrops.
February 19, 2019
Members will bring in their favorite tools to share. A vendor will be invited to highlight the market’s latest and greatest “high tech” tools.
Horticulture: Windowsill Art Bring in a ‘Windowsill Art’ arrangement.
March 19, 2019
Garden to Vase
Watch and learn, from your own “Five Hills Five”, how to create and appreciate easy in-home
designs right from your garden.
Horticulture: Wearing of the Green Make a green corsage and wear it home.
April 23, 2019
In the Garden with Joe and his Azaleas
Joseph Klimavicz, a well-known azalea expert and boundless energy gardener, will explain the “Klimavicz Hybridizing Project”, his search for the perfect plant. After his presentation, Joe will open his garden to members, an opportunity not to be missed. http://www.nv-asa.org Click on “Legacy Project”
Horticulture: Earth Day! Bring in a deer resistant plant.
May 2, 2019
A perennial club favorite! We get together every year at a member’s home to share the bounty of our own gardens. We love exchanging and bringing home new plants from our seasoned and green garden club friends. Please bring your labeled plants to include: Your Name (so we know who it came from), Plant’s Name, Plant’s Colors, Plant’s requirements of Sun, Part-Sun, Part Shade, Shade, Plant’s details if Deer Resistant, Heat Tolerant, Perennial, Spring to Frost, etc.
Anne Nelson has once again generously offered her home to host this general meeting and plant exchange.
Horticulture: Plants To Remember You By Bring plants from you garden to exchange with club members. They will be happy reminders of our friendships.
June 18, 2019
End of Year Meeting
Barbara Tozzi has generously offered to host our June general meeting in her beautiful garden and around the pool.
Horticulture: June Wedding Make a wedding bouquet.
Vienna Presbyterian Church, 124 Park St NE, Vienna, Virginia 22180, United States
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