New & Noteworthy
February 15, 2021

Coming up in February, March and April

  • NAL: Still time to register. The GCA National Affairs and Legislation Conference is an opportunity not to be missed. February 23-25. See below for more details. Register Now

  • GCA Founders Fund Award: Please cast your vote HERE There are still a lot of members who haven't voted.

  • February 16: AGC Board Meeting at 11am-— Executive Committee only

  • February 17: AGC Membership Meeting 9:15am (details below under Programs)

  • April 1: Deadline for change of membership status; notice must be given in writing to the Membership Chair, Anne Tilney.

  • April 8: GCA Virtual Floral Design Conference 2021. Read More

  • April 14: "Daffodils Dancing in the Breeze," an outdoor Flower Show at Fran Carden's. This is a GCA club show. See below for the revised schedule.

  • March 7: GCV Daffodil Show registration closes


  • Leslie Harris is hosting a new radio show In the Garden with Leslie! The show is on WINA 98.9 FM/1070 AM on Saturday mornings at 7:30am. It starts February 20. A podcast will also be available on the WINA site and possibly another platform TBD.

  • All GCV clubs are asked to help update the GCV database with members' photos. Please send a head shot photograph to Ann Heller ( so that GCV can compile a full member photographic record.  Thank you!


Special thanks to Shelah Scott for her very generous gift to AGC's Memorial Fund in honor of AGC and its efforts to carry on in the midst of the pandemic.

(The Memorial Fund was established in honor of Leone Ladson Perry and is used to cover the expenses incurred by members attending GCA and GCV meetings.)

Albemarle Garden Club
Presents an Outdoor Flower Show

Daffodils Dancing in the Breeze
April 14, 2021 (rain date April 15) at the home of Fran Carden
To see schedule go HERE

Please go HERE for the link to the Floral Design entry card and
the Horticulture entry card. This is a GCA Club Flower Show.

February Membership Meeting
Zoom format

Please join us for our February Membership meeting. We will welcome Virginia's Secretary of Agriculture and Forestry, Bettina Ring. Governor Ralph S. Northam appointed Bettina Ring in 2018 to serve as the fourth Secretary of Agriculture and Forestry for the Commonwealth of Virginia. In this capacity, she supports the Governor’s mission of building a strong Virginia economy in agriculture and forestry, two of Virginia’s largest private industries, while also protecting the environment. Her talk entitled "Trees are the Answer" will be followed by a Q and A. Click HERE to RSVP.

Wednesday, February 17, 2021: Social 9:15am; Announcements 9:30am; Program 10am.
Zoom details will be sent out 1 day prior to the program.

Scenes of Winter from our Members'
Homes and Gardens

Top left: Colleen Grant's hibiscus.
Middle photo:Fran's dwarf Alocasia X amazonicz; Claire Mellinger's winter view. Lower right: Cardinal holding court on
Melville's bird feeder
Carol Robert's pansies
Olmsted 200

What Frederick Law Olmsted would say about the Capitol Grounds (currently blocked off by barbed wire fencing.)
In a recent letter to the Washington Post, Dede Petri, former GCA President and
current President of the National Association for Olmsted Parks, recalls Olmsted's idea that parks and open spaces are essential to democracy and Americans’ pursuit of happiness.
Garden Club of Virginia Daffodil Day
April 1, 2021
Please note: Photography Division filled
Virtual Daffodil Day 2021 Spring Forward offers opportunities to enter judged exhibits in two divisions - Artistic Design and Photography. Complete information about the show is found on the GCV website which includes the two schedules as well as a calendar of important dates.
Notice the helpful hints provided for photographing artistic design entries.

Registration goes from February 1 to March 7.
Stay tuned for Daffodil Day’s big reveal on April 1, 2021

See the schedule HERE

In addition to the NAL conference this week, check out the The Nature Conservancy's webinar
The Edge of Appalachia:
Virginia's Allegheny Highlands Program
Thursday, February 25 at NOON
Join us for a live webinar brought to you by
The Nature Conservancy of Virginia
Register HERE
Description: In this virtual event, join Allegheny Highlands Director Blair Smyth to hear about TNC’s conservation program at the edge of the Appalachians. He’ll explore the current state of the Appalachian forest, the challenges it faces in a changing climate and the work his team is doing to conserve everything from oaks to warblers to bears. He’ll showcase how his program is using science and technology to better understand this important forest and is helping to better achieve lasting benefits for its plants and animals.
Ask Leslie

Dear Leslie, 
I have pruned my paniculata hydrangeas, I have pruned my arborescens hydrangeas, and now I am ready to receive the knowledge of H. macrophylla. Lay it on me, sister.

Signed, Not Nearly as Palpitating Pruner

Dear Pal, 

I saved the best for last, because the information for H. macs is also good for H. petiolaris (the climbing hydrangea), H. quercifolia (oak leaves) and H. serrata (mountain hydrangea). Ready? 

  1. You never have to prune them.
  2. The easiest time to prune them is not now, but in 6 weeks when the new growth makes it very clear what made it through winter and what didn't (see photo).
  3. Another time to prune them is late summer, which should give them time to produce new bloom buds for next year. 

I do prune them now, and here is why: my hair has a tendency to catch on fire in spring, so I like to pay attention to them when I am not too busy. I remove last year's flower heads and prune down to a juicy looking bud (see photo with arrows) which is so easy to find because macs have the biggest buds of all. I remove dead wood, which is usually found in the interior of the shrub, and I also remove low and skinny branches. I don't like my flowers to flop, and I don't like them to grow along the ground. 

Once we stop pretending like we all live in New England, you can get to them now or later!
As we look out our windows at the cold, snowy landscape, some of us are dreaming of the warmth of spring and getting our hands in the dirt again. What a perfect time to explore some of the wonderful mail order companies out there that could satisfy our every whim when it comes to plants. Here are some of the best that have been recommended by our very own AGC member, Catherine Kramer, as well as some from a garden buddy who has an unbelievably diverse garden in Greene County.

–Alexandra Shirley

1) Plant Delights Nursery, amazing plants

2) Far Reaches Farm in Washington State 

3) Gossler Farms Nursery in Oregon

4) Native Wildflowers Nursery in Tennessee 931-779-3512. They ship barefoot and are very economical for hard to find natives.

5) Broken Arrow Nursery

6) RareFINDnursery in NJ

7) Nurseries Caroliniana in Aiken, South Carolina, great catalog and nice selection of shrubs

8) Prairie Nursery in Westfield, WI

9) Bluestone Perennials, Ohio, – healthy and reliable plants

Cathy also recommends Sandy’s Plants in Mechanicsville, near Richmond.

Less well known but worth checking out:

Garden Vision Epimediums, – huge selection epimediums, and a few other perennials

Wilson Brothers, (great selection of Daphnes, Illicium and Osmanthus, all deer resistant shrubs)

Botanophilia, in Wisconsin, – an interesting selection of unusual perennials.

Gardens Oy Vey, – large selection of hydrangeas and azaleas.
GCA's 2021 National Affairs &
Legislation Conference
National Affairs & Legislation Conference
The 2021 National Affairs & Legislation Conference will be held virtually February 23-25, 2021. All GCA club members are invited to join GCA to advocate for climate change solutions by learning about the potential of oceans, natural climate solutions, transportation, and innovation/energy efficiency to mitigate and abate the impacts of climate change.

Go to the National Affairs & Legislation Conference webpage HERE on the GCA website for lots more information, including a preview of the event and GCA position papers.

Below: GCA members at work on the Hill during the 2020 NAL.
Albemarle Garden Club