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

(updated 7-22-18)

Environmental Consultants’ Council (ECC)

The ECC was first formed in 2001 by Consultants who graduated from the first series of Environmental School (ES) Courses* run by the National Capital Area Garden Clubs, Inc. (NCAGC). Membership is currently at 37 Consultants, including 19 Accredited, 12 Masters, 3 Provisional and 3 Emeritus. We are sponsored by NCAGC, our state, which is a non-profit organization and is a member of the largest gardening organization in the world, National Garden Clubs, Inc. (NGC). Annual dues are $15. Our goals are to continue our own environmental education 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. Our meeting locations vary depending on the program, but we often meet in the classroom at 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 auction. Our schedule for 2017-2019 is:

October 18, 2017                     October 17, 2018
January 24, 2018                     January 23, 2019
April 25, 2018                            April 24, 2019
June 27, 2018                           June 26, 2019

Any garden club member who has taken all four ES courses, anywhere they are offered in NGC states, within a seven-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 ES 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 have completed two additional NGC approved refresher courses, and no longer wish to remain active.

Our current Officers (2017-2019) are:
Lydia Barbour, Council President,
Anne Kiehl, Council Vice-President and School Chairman,
Mary Corley, Treasurer,
Jean Rositol, Recording Secretary,

*More detail about the school is available here –

 (updated 8/24/17)

Established in NCAGC in 1996                                       

Our group currently has 31 gardeners, who are graduates of the Gardening program, and 2 provisional members who will become graduates in 2018!  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 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 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 course at least once every five years.  Members may also refresh by taking an approved (NGC sanctioned) trip/tour.

President – Joyce Skoglund
Vice President – Karen O’Meara
Secretary – Diana Morse
Treasurer – Pat Hanrehan
Parliamentarian – Barbara Kiker

Advisor – Audrie Whitney
Gardening School – Joyce Skoglund
Membership – vacant
Newsletter – Janey Nadler

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

All gardeners can become accomplished horticulturists!  

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

Joyce Skoglund, School Chairman

Council of Accredited Flower Show Executive Committee

Chairman – Bette Lewis
Vice Chairman – Shirley Nicolai
Recording Secretary – Anne Stuntz
Treasurer – Mary Corley
Corresponding Secretary – Mariann Kowalski
Parliamentarian – Anne Bucher

Judges Council Board of Directors

Accrediting – Karen O’Meara
Judges Council Flower Show – Shirley Nicolai
Advisory – Anne Bucher
Membership – Ellen Dutka
Directory – Poss Tarpley
Morning of Design – Jane Oliver Smith
Education – Revised Handbook
Newsletter – Poss Tarpley
Evaluations – Ronnie Levay
Nominations – Jo Sellers
Hospitality – Marjorie Stevens
Schedule Review – Arlene Stewart

Judges Council Calendar of Meetings

September 20, 2017
November 15, 2017
March 21, 2018 (Judges Council Flower Show)
June 20, 2018
September 19, 2018
November 21, 2018
March 20, 2019 (Installation Luncheon)

Judges Council Board of Directors Meetings

September 7, 2017
November 2, 2017
February 15, 2018
May 17, 2018
September 6, 2018
November 6, 2018
February 14, 2019

(updated 9/13/17)

Mary Corley, 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

National Capital Area Schools

Environmental School (ES) (Updated 7-22-18)
The four-course curriculum for the school was developed and is maintained by the National Garden Club, Inc., (NGC), which is our parent organization and is the largest gardening organization in the world. The National Capital Area Garden Clubs, Inc. (NCAGC) is one of the many states in NGC that has an active ES. The courses in the NGC ES Curriculum provide environmental literacy* and an appreciation of the natural world. They promote action for sustainable development and an appreciation for the interrelation of all natural things. Each course includes a two-hour field trip to reinforce learning. The courses may be taken in any order. Once you begin taking the courses, you must successfully complete them by the end of the seventh** calendar year from the year you take the first course to become an Environmental Consultant and a member of the Environmental Consultants’ Council. You will need to take the open-book test offered at the end of each course. A review of the test is conducted before it is taken and a passing grade is 70%. NCAGC delivered ES Course 4 on May 17-18, 2018 thus completing Series 7. The ES is now on hiatus until NCAGC completes the next series of Gardening School Courses. We will likely begin Series 8 in the fall of 2020. In the interim you may take courses anywhere offered in the US. Courses being offered can be found at
The text books used for the course are:
• The four annual issues of The National Gardener, available from .
• Living in the Environment by G. Tyler Miller, Jr. The current edition is available at Amazon, where you will also find perfectly usable earlier text- only editions at a much lower price.

• Bringing Nature Home, by Douglas W. Tallamy. This text is available at many places including Amazon.

*You will learn a vocabulary for the things already near and dear to a gardener: Air (atmosphere), water (hydrosphere), the land (geosphere) and wildlife (biosphere); as well as how those elements work together in various habitats. **A one-year extension may be obtained from NGC by applying for it through your State ESS Chairman before the end of the seventh calendar year.

(updated 6/4/18)

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

Our next Gardening School will be Course I, Series X!  The dates are Thursday and Friday, October 4th and 5th, 2018!  Here is the curriculum.  Please stay tuned for registration information.



Feel free to look at the offerings of schools in other regions found on the NGC website while the NCA plans for our next course offering.

Please do not hesitate to contact Joyce Skoglund, Chairman, Gardening School.


(updated 9/6/17)

Please look at the offering of schools in other regions found on the NGC website while the NCA plans for our next offering.

Please do not hesitate to contact Sandi Piccirillo, Flower Show School Chair

Important Links:
FSS Design Styles
FSS Design Examples
FSS Course Calendar
Required Reading List
Stimulus Package
International Affiliates
Estimulo en Espanol
FSS Forms
Flower Show Handbook

(updated 9/6/17)

**Our next course is offered March 26-27, 2018.  Details provided shortly.

Please contact Landscape Design School Chairs:  Lisa Adelman and Karen O’Meara

Our Four Course Program teaches the Fundamentals of Landscape Design:

Simplicity is actually one of the principles in design and art.
Balance in design is just as the word implies. A sense of equality.
Color adds the dimension of real life and interest to the landscape.
Natural Transition can be applied to avoid radical or abrupt changes in your landscape design. Transition is basically gradual change.
Line is of the more structural principles of landscape design.
Proportion simply refers to the size of elements in relation to each other.
● Repetition is directly related to unity. Its good to have a variety of elements and forms in the garden but repeating these elements gives variety expression.

Council Newsletters

New Edition – 11/4/18

School Registrations

Flower Show School – Course 1
February 1, 2 and Exam on 3, 2018
US National Arboretum
Registration Available

Council Grant Opportunities

Landscape Design Community Grants
(August 20, 2018)

Landscape Design – National Garden Club – Newsletter

Newscape – Fall 2018