Local gardeners Laura Wilson and Rebecca Glembocki have launched a new regional gardening organization, the Hudson Valley Garden Association (HVGA) — based, appropriately enough, in the Town of Gardiner. And they’re looking for fellow gardeners to get involved and help chart this seedling not-for-profit’s direction. An outgrowth of Wilson’s previous online project, the Hudson Valley Garden Calendar website, which she founded in 2010, HVGA’s avowed mission is to “foster a growing population of passionate gardeners, while building a network that will support one another and elevate the greater gardening community.”
A resident of the Hudson Valley since 2001 and of Wallkill since 2006, Wilson began her career in New York City as a designer and art director. Her burgeoning interest in gardening quickly became more than just a hobby once she moved to the country, and she has now pursued a decade-long career in horticulture. She managed a garden center, studied Landscape Design at the New York Botanical Garden and established herself as a professional gardener, consultant and educator, most recently working as staff horticulturist at a private estate.
Whereas her Hudson Valley Garden Calendar — found online at www.hvgardencalendar.com — serves as a great go-to resource for individual horticulturalists looking for events where they can enhance their skills and mingle with like-minded green thumbs, Wilson saw the need for a more ambitious “macro” approach to gardening in the region: “building a more connected, collaborative gardening community in the Hudson Valley.”
“The Hudson Valley is home to a rich garden community comprised of energetic home gardeners, knowledgeable plant growers and retailers, historically and horticulturally significant landscapes, dedicated garden clubs and talented professionals,” Wilson writes on the HVGA website. “By increasing the number of gardeners in the Hudson Valley, as well as the level of interest and expertise, all parts of the community will thrive.”
More specifically, the new organization’s game plan for the near term includes a one-day Garden Fair in May 2013 at a location yet to be determined, featuring vendors, workshops and information booths; a Winter Lecture Series currently in development; and an online directory of the area’s outstanding gardening resources. To be known as the Hudson Valley Garden Source, these webpages will cover such categories as Garden Visits, Nurseries & Greenhouses, Clubs & Organizations, Volunteer Opportunities, Community Gardens, Speakers, Businesses and Services.
Over the long term, HVGA envisions the development of programs that might include providing marketing assistance to garden-related businesses; working with tourism groups to help establish the Hudson Valley’s reputation as a garden destination; developing classroom garden curricula for teachers; coordinating municipal garden efforts with those who have excess plants to give away; and supporting the creation, maintenance and renovation of public garden spaces.
In its formative stages, HVGA is recruiting people to join in and help the organization develop and implement programs. Monthly meetings, open to the public, will be held at the Shawangunk Town Hall, located at 14 Central Avenue in Wallkill, on the second Thursday of each month, beginning at 7 p.m. The very first official meeting will take place next Thursday, Nov. 8. All are welcome to learn about the organization and get involved in the planning for the Winter Lecture Series and next spring’s Garden Fair.