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Gardening & Horticulture

Gardening and Horticulture

Gardening and horticulture are often used interchangeably, but there is a difference, although the two are interconnected. Gardening is the practice of growing and Horticulture is the science of growing. As gardeners, we use horticulture findings to successfully grow our plants.


Mary Ann Ferguson-Rich

Community Gardens

   Suzanne Bushnell

Food to Table; Foraging

Mary Ann Ferguson-Rich

Healing, Therapy, & Senior Gardening

David Rich

Organic Gardening

Doris Jackson

Plant for Pollinators

Virginia Schmidt

Urban & Container Gardening

Teresa Speight


Bring food to your table from your own garden and by seeking out local farm markets. The USDA’s Farm Market Managers Survey from 2019 shows that there are more than 8,000 local farm markets operating throughout the United States. Local and regional food systems, including farmers markets are according to the USDA, “critical to the future of the nation’s food system. Farm markets provide a unique, low-barrier entry point for beginning farmers and ranchers. By selling directly to the consumer, farmers markets can provide higher returns for farmers and ranchers, and the evidence shows that these new farm businesses survive longer than new farm businesses selling strictly wholesale.”

Over the course of the present term, I will be posting monthly about this topic on NGC's Facebook page, pinning frequently on NGC's Pinterest page, publishing upon request for the The National Gardener, and submitting proposed articles to the Blog.

Foraging for wild foods can be an adventure! Whether trekking through the forest for the elusive Morel mushroom, or preparing Dandelion Fritters, foraging and preparing wild foods is fun, gives you some exercise and can be a sublime taste experience. If you’re new to this, try a few books on the subject before venturing out:

  • Foraging for Beginners by Kristen Barton
  • Stalking the Wild Asparagus, a classic by Euell Gibbons
  • The Forager’s Harvest by Samuel Thayer (or his Nature’s Garden or Incredible Wild Edibles)

Also check out our NGC Facebook posts, Pinterest pins, TNG publications, and our Blog over the next two years.

Mary Ann Ferguson-Rich, Food to Table; Foraging Chairman

There are approximately 71.6 million baby boomers between 57-75 years old in the United States. The number of Americans ages 65 and older is projected to nearly double from 52 million in 2018 to 95 million by 2060. What does this tell us? That NGC’s inclusion of Healing, Therapy and Senior Gardening as a committee anticipates the wave of interest and need for healing, therapy and senior gardening.

Some of the top reasons for encouraging senior gardening:

1. Improved moods and lower stress levels: Studies have shown that spending time in nature makes people calmer and happier.

2. Gardening provides light aerobic exercise which can enhance your mental and physical health.

3. Digging in the dirt, planting seeds, pulling weeds- all of these gardening activities require the use of the hands and arms, which can help seniors improve dexterity and strengthen muscles.

4. Great for heart health! Regular moderate exercise decreases the risk of many heart problems.

5. Careful exposure to the sun increases Vitamin D in the body, which is essential for senior health.

6. Gardening requires critical thinking and problem solving (a bit of an understatement, I know!) so it can help to keep an aging mind active. Over this term, I will be providing information as to how both individuals and clubs can conduct streamlined senior gardening in their homes, and undertake projects in their community to assist others in their quest to continue gardening at any age.

David E. Rich, Healing, Therapy & Senior Gardening Chairman


Potting Mixes
Choosing the correct potting soil or potting mixture is one of the most important steps in starting a healthy and vibrant garden.
Weed Killer
Use a natural mixture of (1 gal Vinegar, 1 tbs. Original Dawn Dish Soap, 1 cup Salt)
Insect Spray
Captain Jack’s Dead Bug Brew (less expensive at Amazon)
Deer and Rabbit repellent
Liquid Fence (can purchase at Lowe’s & Home Depot)



Doris Jackson, Organic Gardening Chairman

What is a pollinator?

According to the National Park Service website “A pollinator is anything that helps carry pollen from the male part of the flower (stamen) to the female part of the same or another flower (stigma). The movement of pollen must occur for the plant to become fertilized and produce fruits, seeds, and young plants.”
Pollinators include bees, butterflies, and other insects, as well as bats. These creatures all need food, and we must do our part by providing flowers and plants that attract and feed pollinators. The good news is that pollinator plants are beautiful. NGC wants to help educate members with ideas to make your garden a pollinator paradise.

Virginia Schmidt, Plant for Pollinators Chairman

Urban Gardens have become quite popular as society has changed its perception of the garden. The acres of space and even the large lawn is no longer desired in today’s world. Downsizing without sacrificing gardening space often allows gardeners to think freely.

Today’s gardeners want to maximize even the smallest of spaces to grow food as well as flowers, shrubs or even trees. A total landscape that has all the homeowner’s desires can happen with a little creativity. Reimagining how we garden using non-traditional methods often includes some type of container.

Growing in layered succession, vertically in containers, in water, or other creative means often adds value to an area that might have been overlooked. In a smaller homestead, there are ways to use containers to maximize the impact of adding beauty indoors or out.

Encouraging all levels of gardeners to grow in the space they have will be our focus. No matter where you live, creating beauty in an urban environment is a reachable goal. Let’s learn how together.

Teresa (Teri) Speight, Urban and Container Gardening Chairman