Hot! and a Call for Photos and Videos and a Call for Photos and Videos

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.


    • Sarah
    • 5th August 2015

    Can’t resist a bit of shameless promotion of my post about Dumbarton Oaks, the grande-dame of DC’s estate gardens. (Although Hillwood ain’t bad.)

    • Sandy Weaver
    • 6th April 2016

    Washington Gardener is already doing 90% of what you describe (event listings, public garden profiles, great local garden info for DC-area, etc.) – why copycat their success? Why not concentrate on another under-served/under-covered locale?

    • Teresa Speight
    • 21st April 2016

    I have to say that if you were a avid fan and subscriber to Washington Gardener Magazine, then you would surely realize that almost all of what you want is readily available in this awesome magazine. From garden articles from local people, a garden calendar of events, well written articles of interest, book reviews, as well as what to do in your own garden…the need is met in more ways than one. Why reinvent the wheel? Thank You Kathy Jentz for all that you do for the gardening community!

    • Cheval Opp
    • 18th September 2016

    I must agree, for nine years editor Kathy Jentz has been an advocate for our metro region’s gardens and gardeners. I contribute to her mission with my column on garden day-trips. This is a great foundation to grow on, perhaps there is a way to team that reaches out to even more would be garden lovers both visitors and locals alike.

    • Anne Hardman
    • 14th November 2016

    I have to agree with others that Washington Gardener Magazine is alreaady doing much of what you suggest. She provides not only a beautiful and informative hard-print magazine, but also an electronic magazine, an email discussion list, lists of upcoming garden events, and a weekly video. Much of her effort IS electronic, so yes, you are competing…

    • admin
    • 22nd November 2016

    My ears are burning so I suppose I should comment. I believe loyal Washington Gardener Magazine subscribers’ (thank you all!) concern is the portion of the proposed DC Gardens web site that will overlap with the magazine’s print and online content. which would dilute the market and pull away our subscriber base. (Subscription and my personal funds are how we survive currently, advertisers being few and far between.)
    I think stream-lining the public gardens web site to concentrate on just the public gardens themselves — maybe adding staff profiles, “what is in bloom ” lists, etc. — and leave the general DC/local gardening info to Washington Gardener Magazine, would solve a great deal of that concern.

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