Garden Conservancy News PRESERVING, SHARING, AND CELEBRATING AMERICA’S GARDENS APRIL 2020 #OpenDays25 The hillside gardens of Laura and Jamie Trowbridge in Peterborough, NH, will be one of the highlights of a blockbuster weekend of Open Days and Digging Deeper programs in Vermont and New Hampshire on July 17 – 19. PHOTO BY JOSEPH VALENTINE Celebrating 25 Years of Open Days All gardens, from a window box to a vast urban park, are symbols of hope and renewal, express creativity and passion, and provide us all occasion for learning and reflection. Open Days, the Garden Conservancy’s flagship educational pro- gram, celebrates our country’s gardens and gardeners, horticulture and horticulturists, and garden design and garden designers. It connects people to nature, fellow gardeners, and the act of gardening. We believe whole- heartedly in the transformative power of gardens. The more we grow and strengthen a culture of gardening, the more positive is our impact on the world. And it starts with the simple act of opening a garden gate. This year, Open Days is celebrating 25 years of bringing people together in a rich array of private gardens across the country. To date, more than 1.35 million Open Days visitors have experienced over 4,000 of America’s most inspiring private gardens in 41 states. Talk about transformative potential! As we all do around any anniversary or milestone, we find ourselves thinking about Open Days in a broad context. We want to share a few of our thoughts on why we believe Open Days is so important, what we work to achieve year after year, and where we hope to go with our Open Days community moving forward. Some of these observations on “Why Open Days?” are the immediate and often tangible things we all notice and experience during a fabulous day of garden visiting. Others are the bigger, less immediate, and perhaps more profound ways that exploring and thinking about gardens impact us over time. Teaching and Inspiring Each Other In 1997, author Michael Pollan predicted that Open Days would become an institution doing “more for horticultural cross-fertilization than anything to hit the American garden scene since, well, the bumblebee.” We think Michael was right. Today, Open Days is a nationwide community of gardeners and garden enthusiasts teaching and inspiring each other, in an open, democratic exchange. continued on page 4 A source of comfort, joy, and wellness, gardens are especially important in times of uncertainty. The Garden Conservancy has planned many wonderful programs this season and we will present as many as possible. Out of concern for our community, all Open Days and other educational programs through June 1 have been canceled; we are work ing to reschedule them next year or, where possible, later this year. We will continue working with our garden hosts and other partners to determine the best path forward, understanding that constraints may be different in different parts of the country.