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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

(updated 8-22-17)

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 31, with including 11 Accredited, 12 Masters, 6 Provisional and 2 Emeritus.  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.

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. 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 sale.  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 are no longer able to participate in NCAGC ECC activities.



Our current Officers (2017-2019) are:  

Name Title Email
Lydia Barbour President and School Chairman Lydia’s Email
Anne Kiehl Vice-President Anne’s Email
Mary Corley Treasurer Mary’s Email
Jean Rositol Recording Secretary Jean’s Email


 (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

Information from 2015-2017

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

(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

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 alrgest 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 so you do not need to take Course 1 first.  Once you begin taking the courses, you must complete them by the end of the seventh** calendar year from the date you take your first course if you are interested in becoming an Environmental Consultant and a member of the Environmental Consultants’ Council.  In addition, you will need to take the open-book test offered at the end of each class.  A review of the test is conducted before it is taken and a passing grade is 70%.

NCAGC delivered Course 2 on April 20-21, 2017 to 34 very happy students.  Course 3 will be held November 9-10, 2017 at the Agricultural History Farm Park in Derwood, MD.  You may take courses anywhere offered in the U.S.  Courses being offered can be found at http://www.gardenclub.org/schools/environmental-studies.aspx.

The text books used for the course are:

  • The four annual issues of The National Gardener, available from: http://www.shopgardenclub.org/shop/category.aspx?catid=7
  • 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 new vocabulary for the things that are already near and dear to a gardener:  Air (atmosphere), water (hydrosphere), the land (geosphere) and wildlife (biosphere)

**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 7-9-17)

(updated 9/6/17)

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


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 October 22-23, 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

Fall 2017

School Registrations

Landscape Design School Course I – form updated 9/15/17
October 23-24, 2017

Environmental School Course 3, Series VI – forms updated 9/13/17
November 9-10, 2017
Registration                    Course Schedule

Landscape Design/Gardening School Bi-Refresher Trip – form updated 9/1/17
June 12 and 13, 2018

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