Their first event
in October was a successful plant swap, housed in a
historic garage on the grounds of the Georgetown estate called Tudor Place.
Next, their Speakers Bureau launched with a PowerPoint talk/demo on
composting held at a rec center, also well attended because they were
smart in publicizing it. Two passionate composters, including one
whose email address is firstname.lastname@example.org, carried the word.
And a new school garden has almost emerged from the grueling
paperwork-and-fundraising stage to groundbreaking.
As its primary project the team has adopted the Washington Home and Hospice,
much in need of help with its six garden areas in varying states of
development. There’s talk of using plants to elicit memories in the
Alzheimers Garden, of growing vegetables in raised beds with the
involvement of residents
and families, always with the goal of demonstrating
environmentally responsible gardening in this very prominent site (the
recent home of Art Buchwald).
In February they’ll meet the trainees in the Class of 2007, the pool
of 35 or so potential activists. They’ll cheerlead for the cause and do whatever it takes to
turn these volunteers into leaders for years to come.
So who IS the scheming sextet? Three retired government
professionals (all medal-deserving jumpers of bureaucratic hurdles).
aspiring to retirement are a teacher/professional gardener, a
and me. You know how sometimes when you put out a call for people
making something happen, nothing happens? Well, the call I put out
last summer yielded these five. So after convening the first meeting,
my job was to stand back and then discard any delusion I might have had
that I was in charge. They’re one of the coolest groups of people I’ve
ever known. Stay tuned.
Photos from top: D.C. Master Gardener Class of 2006; MGs at
Peabody School; MG and student at Studio Charter School; plant swap;
Volunteers at the National Arboretum; student gardeners at Studio