Community gardens in the Washington Post



A small but earnest bunch of gardening activists in Washington, D.C. are mighty happy about this article in
the Washington Post by Adrian Higgins.  He attended what we hope was the first of a yearly event, a free Garden Forum about urban gardening, especially in public spaces.  This experiment was a roaring success, with packed rooms and coverage by not just the Post but National Public Radio, too, staying till the last minute.  And the publicity will surely bring urban greening types out of their tiny backyards to join us.  An environmentally sleeping city is finally stirring.

My buds at the D.C. Urban Gardeners were in the thick of things and one of our VPs even got her pretty face in the Post.  It’s one of those realistic gardener shots we rarely see, though.  They had her doing actual winter clean-up, and who looks their best doing that?  So here’s a much better photo of Mandie, a 25-year-old union organizer by day and community gardener and organizer in her off hours.  We recently published her brand-new spreadsheet of D.C.’s community gardens, an accomplishment that’s curiously exciting for us all.  (When you start with nothing, even the garnering of a valid email address can seem huge).  There’s more about Mandie and some other uppity gardeners on our About page.

Congratulations to the America the Beautiful  Fund (especially Katie and Bea), Washington Parks and People, DC Schoolyard Greening, the 7th Street Garden, fellow DC Urban Gardeners and former embodiment of Garden Resources of Washington, Judy Tiger.

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Susan Harris

Susan’s a garden writer, teacher and activist in the Washington, D.C. area. Co-founder of GardenRant, she also wrote for national gardening magazines and independent garden centers before retiring in 2014. Now she has time for these projects:

  • Founding and now managing the pro-science educational nonprofit GOOD GARDENING VIDEOS that finds and promotes the best videos on YouTube for teaching people to garden.
  • Creating and managing DC GARDENS, the nonprofit campaign to promote the public gardens of the Washington, D.C. area, and gardening by locals.
  • Creating and editing the community website GREENBELT ONLINE to serve her adopted hometown of Greenbelt, Maryland (a “New Deal Utopia” founded in 1937).

Contact Susan via email or by leaving a comment here.

Photo by Stephen Brown.


  1. Mandie is adorable! It’s interesting, these people in their 20s like Mandie who are dedicated to saving the world…and intend to do it through gardening.

    I met a lot of people of the same age in Detroit who called themselves “community organizers” but were doing their work by organizing the city’s gardeners–and turning non-gardeners into gardeners by the score.

    I certainly believe gardening can save the world. But so far, I don’t think I’ve converted anyone to this point of view. It’s great that the next generation is making a kind of missionary work out of it.

  2. I wish this would spread to Sweden – currently all swedes that wants to save the world do so by moving to the countryside. Or perhaps not – I’ll do some research on what hte younger generation are up to. Come to think of it I have come across guerilla gardeners here.

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