N° 122 — November 2, 2022

Enjoy regular updates and insights from FONA, the U.S. National Arboretum, and our award-winning Washington Youth Garden.

Conservation Success

Members of the Arboretum's Germplasm and Gardens Units recently planted an orchard of Magnolia ashei in the Flowering Tree Collection. While this species is endangered and only found in the Florida panhandle, it is available for purchase for home gardens in the nursery industry. However, the M. ashei trees available in the nursery industry originate from a limited sampling of wild populations and, although critical in the conservation effort, it doesn’t represent a complete sampling of the genetic diversity of this species. 

This new M. ashei orchard at the Arboretum is a living gene bank that represents the most threatened genetics in the species and provides a long-term solution for conserving this threatened population. Read more about the 10 years of research and plant exploration that made this orchard possible.

Conserving the Genetic Diversity of Ashe Magnolia >

A new orchard of Magnolia Ashei was recently planted in the Flowering Tree Collection. Photos from National Arboretum.

You can visit this orchard for yourself and see plant conservation in action. As with all plants at the Arboretum, please leave the trees be and do not collect any plants or plant parts. The Flowering Tree Collection is found at the bottom of the Holly and Magnolia Collections hill near the intersection of Valley Road, Hickey Road, and Crabtree Road.

Support FONA: Volunteer

By donating their time, volunteers help us maximize the impact of our programs and events.

At Washington Youth Garden, volunteers provide crucial help with gardening tasks such as planting, weeding, mulching, and pest control. We host regularly-scheduled volunteer hours for individuals, families, and youth from April through mid-November.

We also work with groups to plan private volunteer days from April through mid-November. Group volunteer opportunities fill quickly! Submit a group volunteer interest form to learn more about 2023 dates.

Learn More About Volunteering in Washington Youth Garden >

Photo by Matthew Rakola

Want to help with our community events? You can share your plant knowledge at events like the Garden Fair & Plant Sale or Fall Bulb Sale. Or support our team putting on events like our 5Ks, concerts, and movies. 

Fill Out Our Volunteer Interest Form to Receive More Details >

Over 200 families, volunteers, and visitors joined us this past Saturday for our Garlic Planting Party in Washington Youth Garden. The garden was a flurry of activity as visitors, many in colorful Halloween costumes, planted garlic, harvested sweet potatoes, created fall crafts, and more. Partygoers planted roughly 500 garlic cloves, each of which will grow into a bulb that will be harvested next spring.

Since garlic is deer resistant, the cloves were planted just outside the garden's deer fence in new beds. Several volunteer groups built these new beds earlier this year — a monumental task that has allowed us to expand our planting area.

Learn How to Plant Garlic in Your Own Garden >

Best of DC

The National Arboretum took home second place in this year's Best of DC contest for Best Kid-Friendly Attraction, Best Date Activity, and Best Place to Meditate. Washington Youth Garden was also a finalist for Best Kid-Friendly Attraction.

Thank you to all who voted this year! Check out the other winners, including our friends at the National Bonsai Foundation!

See Who was Voted Best of DC >

From our Friends: Japan America Society of Washington DC

Join the Japan-America Society of Washington DC in the National Bonsai & Penjing Museum this Saturday, November 5th from 6 PM to 9 PM for momiji gari (fall-leaf viewing) in appreciation of the changing seasons and Japanese culture. This event features an introduction to Japanese haiku poetry, tea ceremony, sake tastings (21 or older), and traditional koto music.

Tickets cost $30 (FONA members, use your discount code). You can also pre-order a bento dinner with your ticket, or you can bring a picnic.

Register for the Event >

Autumn Bonsai Exhibit

Visit the National Bonsai & Penjing Museum's Exhibits Gallery from now until Sunday, November 13th for a colorful autumn display. This exhibit celebrates the brightly colored rewards of a long growing season. Ripe fruit and fall foliage will hang from the miniature branches of bonsai and penjing before falling away to reveal their bare winter silhouettes. The Museum is open daily from 10 AM to 4 PM.

Upcoming Events

Fall 5K

November 12, 9 AM

Run or walk through stunning fall foliage

FONA Members, use your discount code

Register for the Race >

Christmas Tree Sale

December 3, 10 AM - 4 PM

Shop holiday greenery

Details & Tree Info >

Winter Festival

December 10, 10 AM - 4 PM

Local vendors, holiday greenery, and free family activities

Details & Tickets >

Forest Bathing

Various dates and times

Meditation and mindfulness

Purchase Your Ticket >

The Arboretum is open every day from 8 AM to 5 PM except December 25th.

Check Our Website for Full Details >

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Friends of the National Arboretum
3501 New York Ave NE
Washington, DC 20002
FONA is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit membership organization with the mission to preserve and enhance a vibrant public space and support experiential programming that instills a love of plants, nature and the outdoors in all who visit, while promoting the overarching research and education mission of the U.S. National Arboretum.

Since its inception, FONA has helped support the Washington Youth Garden, Capitol Columns, Flowering Tree Walk, horticultural and research internships, restoration of Springhouse Run, and much more.

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