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Thanks, Rant commenters, for your great suggestions for improving videos of gardens, like the videos I showed you last week of the National Arboretum in April.  I heard you that the photos were whizzing by too fast, and that most of you prefer the techno music over Vivaldi.  Pixelation and other technical points were mentioned, and then came a volunteer garden-video coach who lives near me!  She created this charming video of a garden tour in my town.  And a blogging pal across the country is joining in the public-garden-video craze (I can hope!).

Photos and Videos Sought

It’s time to tell you where the Arboretum in April videos are going – to DC Gardens, an all-volunteer grassroots campaign to promote DC’s gardens that are open to the public and gardening itself.  To promote the gardens we’re collecting photos of them by month, and videos of the gardens by month, too – starting with images and Youtube videos for the Arboretum for the rest of the calendar year, which images we’ll spread far and wide, plus news about what’s going on there, and mentioning as frequently as possible the sad situation of it still being closed mid-week.  (Thanks, Congress!)

Potential photo contributors include fans, volunteers, staffers, and garden writers and photographers who might be passing through. (Here’s Evelyn Hadden’s favorites from her April 2013 visit. The photos will soon be compiled in a slider, but I’m still figuring out how to do that – using WowSlider or similar.)

We’re also approaching the photography community in D.C., asking to have their next Foto Week DC contest focused on public gardens.  Three times in the contest’s short history it’s focused on cherry blossoms, fer crissakes, with nary a lens being pointed toward the gardens.

The garden videos can also be found on the DC Gardens by Month Youtube Channel.

Garden Video Support Group

Some might contribute their photos and also make a Youtube-able video of them photos (always for a specific month).  Others might contribute photos only, in which case we’re hoping to find other contributors to make videos of those donated photos.  Making photo videos is free, relatively easy and pretty much fun, though to lead people through the few technical hurdles there are, we’ll post lots of how-to and support info, hoping to turn people into garden videographers.

Promoting Gardening

In addition to photos and videos of the gardens, we’re compiling basic gardening-info “Resources” like lists of DC-area school gardens, community gardens, garden clubs, garden media (including all local blogs), places that teach gardening, where to buy plants, and so on as the ideas come.

Promoting Gardens AND Gardening

Not just static web resources, there will also be monthly e-newsletters to the world (gardening AND general interest) about garden-related events, classes, workshops, etc., plus links to images and videos showing what the local open-to-the-public gardens look like the next month.  Keeping the calendars updated and those e-newsletters going out is the least-fun part of the project, one we hope to be able to hire someone part-time to do, or farm it out to a service.  So, funders will be sought (also, for a professionally design for the site, and a great logo)..


The notion of this campaign bubbled up from discussions following Richard Benfield’s great talk about garden tourism.  I sent my little Arboretum video to Richard and he wrote back to say he requires his students to make 5-minute videos of a garden at the end of the course (presumably, about garden tourism).  He says “the gardens that use them are very bullish on their impact.”  THAT’S what I’m talking about!

Today I’m meeting with the Smithsonian Gardens director about their involvement in DC Gardens.  I’m told she’s excited.

“Featured” photo on our Home page – Evelyn Hadden taking photos at the entrance to the Bonsai and Penjing Museum at the Arboretum.

Posted by

Susan Harris
on April 11, 2014 at 8:13 am, in the category What’s Happening.