National Public Gardens Week 2020
National Public Gardens Week — which is actually more than a week, running May 8th through the 17th — is an event sponsored by the American Public Gardens Association to celebrate, promote, and support public gardens, botanical gardens, and arboretums with special events and educational activities at gardens all over the US and beyond! As everything else, the coronavirus pandemic has thrown a wrench in plans but the event has quickly pivoted its focus from actual events to a virtual campaign to “focus attention on our many member gardens that need support – and to showcase their beauty as a source of resilience in these trying times” Check out the list of gardens offering virtual resources here. Find the list of gardens with fundraising links here.
I first saw the hashtag popping up all over the garden communities on twitter and instagram, and worried that I had already missed it but then realized this wonderful “week” actually spans from the Friday before to the Sunday after Mother’s Day. I also learned that it was only as recently as 2019 that National Public Gardens Day became National Public Gardens Week. The other fun thing is to see so many of the gardens that I have reviewed here participating in the event. I am happy to help promote these amazing public spaces that have brought me so much joy over the years.
American Public Gardens Association “serves public gardens and advances them as leaders, advocates, and innovators,” they define a public garden as “an institution that maintains collections of plants for the purposes of public education and enjoyment, in addition to research, conservation, and higher learning. It must be open to the public and the garden’s resources and accommodations must be made to all visitors.” The members include “botanic gardens, arboreta, zoos, museums, colleges and universities, display gardens, and research facilities,” and all sorts of other public spaces.
I enjoyed these basic, yet helpful definitions of two major types of public gardens the APGA provided:
• Botanical Garden: “a place where a wide variety of plants are cultivated for scientific, educational and ornamental purposes, often including a library, a herbarium and greenhouses; an arboretum.” —American Heritage Dictionary, or “a garden often with greenhouses for the culture, study, and exhibition of special plants —also called botanic garden.” –Merriam-Webster Dictionary
• Arboretum: “a place where trees and plants are grown in order to be studied or seen by the public.” –Merriam Webster Dictionary