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The National Capital Area, as a member of National Garden Clubs, is proud to offer educational opportunities for club members. Individuals are recognized for the achievement of completing all four NGC schools through Four Star Status and with additional education, Four Star status can become Five Star Status. What a tremendous accomplishment!

National Capital Area Councils

Download our NewsLetter Winter 2017


Established in NCAGC in 1996

Our group currently has 35 gardeners, who are graduates of the Gardening Study program, and 5 provisional members who will become graduates in 2016!  Knowing that learning and doing are life-long gardening pursuits, we continue to study and learn about state-of-the-art techniques and products that help to make gardening fun and rewarding.  Our Council is sponsored by National Capital Area Garden Clubs, Inc., a non-profit organization which is part of the largest gardening organization in the world, National Garden Clubs, Inc.

Goals: To stimulate interest in gardening and horticulture, to encourage growing plants to their peak of perfection, to keep members and the public informed about advanced gardening techniques, to assist garden clubs by giving programs that promote gardening and horticultural excellence, and to support the Gardening Study program.

We enjoy garden visits, nursery tours, expert lectures, plant study, and other related programs and activities aimed at increasing horticulture knowledge. Gardening Consultants then use their knowledge to serve on community beautification committees, to help with historic garden restoration projects, to work with children to promote gardening enthusiasm and knowledge, and in many other ways that serve the communities where we live.

History: The first Garden Study course of the National Capital Area was offered in the fall of 1994, with the next three courses following in order in April and October 1995 and April 1996.  Eleven students who completed all fours courses and passed all their exams earned the honor of becoming the National Capital Area’s first accredited gardening consultants.  Ten additional students who had completed at least two courses become provisional consultants.

Membership Requirements: Any NCAGC garden club member who has taken all four Gardening Study courses and passed the examinations with a score of at least 70% may join Gardening Consultants Council.  Students who complete any two courses are eligible to join the Council as provisional members while they complete the final two courses.  To retain membership, consultants must complete at least one refresher Gardening Study course at least once every five years.  Members may also refresh by taking an approved (NGC sanctioned) trip/tour.


President – Joyce Skoglund

Vice President – Connie Dalpra

Secretary – Norma Hetrick

Treasurer – Pat Hanrehan

Parliamentarian – Paula Knepper


Advisor – Audrie Whitney

Gardening Study Schools – Joyce Skoglund

Membership – Carol Carter

Newsletter – Janey Nadler

If you enjoy digging in the dirt, come join us!

All gardeners can become accomplished horticulturists!  

Join the Gardening Study School and become inspired to take some gardening risks!

Joyce Skoglund, School Chairman

The ECC was first formed in 2001 by Consultants who graduated from the first series of Environmental Studies School (ESS) Courses* run bythe National Capital Area Garden Clubs, Inc. (NCAGC).  Membership is currently at 26, with 4 provisional, 1 emeritus and 21 accredited members.  We are sponsored by NCAGC, our state, which is a non-profit organization and part of the largest gardening organization in the world, National Garden Clubs, Inc. (NGC). Annual dues is $15.

Environmental Consultants Council

Environmental Ed, Mascot

Our goals are to continue our own education about the environment and to assist those running the school as they educate others about our dynamic and fascinating environment.  

Continuing our own education is accomplished during four yearly meetings currently held jointly with the Gardening Consultants’ Council.  We enjoy tours and lectures at those meetings.  We normally meet at The Arbor House, which houses the gift shop run by NCAGC, and is located on the grounds of the National Arboretum at 3501 New York Avenue, N.E., Washington DC 20002.  During our picnic, normally held at a member’s home in June, we enjoy good food, good company and a plant sale.  Our schedule for 2015-2017 is:

Any garden club member who has taken all four ESS courses, anywhere they are offered in NGC states, within a five-year period, and who has taken and passed the examination in each course (with a score of at least 70%,) may join the ECC as a Consultant.  Students who complete any two courses are eligible to join as provisional members while they complete the final two courses.  To retain membership, Consultants must complete at least one ESS course as a refresher at least once every five years.  Members may also refresh by taking an NGC sanctioned trip or tour.  Once a Consultant has completed five refreshers, they may become a Master Consultant. A Master Consultant may apply for emeritus status when they are no longer able to participate in NCAGC ECC activities.


*More detail is available here – http://www.ncagardenclubs.org/ess.html

Our current Officers (2015-2017) would be happy to answer any questions:  

Lydia Barbour, Council President and School Chairman at lydiabarbour@hotmail.com

Muriel Turner, Council Vice-President at nunuglevum13@verizon.net

Mary Corley, Treasurer at mandmcorley@verizon.net

Karen Lucas, Recording Secretary, at zehnerlucas@gmail.com

Council of Accredited Flower Show Executive Committee

Chairman – Anne M. Bucher

Vice Chairman – Bette Lewis

Recording Secretary – Catherine Hallmark

Treasurer – Mary Corley

Corresponding Secretary – Poss Tarpley

Parliamentarian – Estelle Woodcock

Judges Council Board of Directors

Accrediting – Karen O’Meara

Membership – Ellen Dutka

Advisory – Estelle Woodcock

Morning of Design – Millie Rever

Advisory – Charmane Truesdell

Design/Horticulture Education – Pending

Evaluations – Ronnie Levay

Newsletter – Poss Tarpley

Nominations – M’ellen Alden

Judges Council Flower Show – Arlene Steward

Schedule Review – Babs McClendon

Judges Council Flower Show – Jane Oliver Smith

 Hospitality – Susie O’Neal


Judges Council Calendar of Meetings 2015-2017

June 17, 2015

September 16, 2015

November 18, 2015

March 16, 2016 (Judges Council Flower Show)

June 15, 2016 (Picnic)

September 21, 2016

November 16 2016

March 15, 2017 (Installation Luncheon)

Judges Council Board of Directors Meeting 2015-2016

May 29, 2015

May 20, 2016

August 28, 2015

September 2, 2016

October 30, 2015

November 4, 2016

March 4, 2016

March 3, 2017

Landscape Design Consultants Council

Mary Ellen Alden, President

The National Capital Area Garden Clubs’ Landscape Design Consultants Council was established in 1969 to promote good landscape design.  The Council has a vibrant Beautification Awards program for cities and counties and by assisting community groups with landscape projects.  The Landscape Design Consultants Council is recognized as a group of earnest individuals devoted to promoting the principles of landscape design and to sharing the love of gardening knowledge with the public.  As such, the Landscape Design Consultants Council is welcomed into private gardens and given special behind-the-scenes tours of public gardens.  Past adventures include:

  • Exploring gardens of Long Island, The Hamptons, Derek Fell’s farm in Pennsylvania and the Brooklyn Botanic Garden.
  • Inspecting McCrillis Gardnes in Bethesda, Maryland on a private guided tour.
  • Visiting the home and garden of U.S. Botanical Garden’s director, Holly Shimizu.
  • Traveling to Maryland’s Eastern Shore for a wetlands expedition of bogs, marshes and swamps.
  • Touring the Historic Delaware Valley – Winterthur, Mt. Cuba, Bartrams’s Place and Chanticleer
Amount raised
Total members
People Impacted

Some of the success stories

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