May 2023
Our Commonwealth was on stage for the Garden Club of Virginia’s 90th Historic Garden Week and the performance was spectacular! With a backdrop of glorious gardens, fabulous flowers, remarkable homes and Mother Nature at her finest, HGW was a resounding success.

I send my heartfelt thanks to all of you who choreographed this monumental production with your hard work, creativity and gracious hospitality.

Enjoy the magnificent beauty of May and I look forward to seeing you at our upcoming summer activities.

With sincere gratitude,
Debbie Lewis
GCV President, 2022-2024
Upcoming Events
Horticulture Field Day in Williamsburg is SOLD OUT! 
If you would like to be placed on the waitlist, contact Ann Heller at

Horticulture Field Day, 2023
“Unexpected Treasures”
A True Gardener’s Horticulture Tour
June 7-8, Williamsburg

Join fellow GCV members for unique educational horticulture tours. Topics include: dazzling landscaping, planting and pruning tips, heirloom flowers and vegetables, IPM boxwood blight, topiary shearing demonstrations, champion trees, garden archaeology and more. Visit two GCV Restoration sites: the newly completed Reveley Garden at William & Mary and the historic Bruton Parish Churchyard in Colonial Williamsburg.

Professional horticulture staff-led tours will be held both Wednesday and Thursday. Wednesday’s tour will be held from 1-4 p.m. on the campus of William & Mary with refreshments on the patio of W&M President’s home. The tour on Thursday will take place from 9 a.m.-2:30 p.m. and includes Colonial Williamsburg’s “Unexpected Treasures” from America’s first restored property and rarely seen 18th-century home gardens.

Expect significant walking on uneven terrain. Rain or shine.
2023 GCV/NALS Lily Show
June 20-21, 2023
Orange Presbyterian Church
162 W. Main Street
Orange, Virginia 22960

Join Dolley Madison Garden Club for Summer Fun with Lilies at the 2023 Lily Show in Orange, Virginia. The artistic design and photography schedules have been created to encourage you to explore lilies in fun summer activities and settings. The horticulture division will be judged by North American Lily Society judges, the artistic design division by GCV judges and the photography division by GCA/GCV judges.

Dr. Brian Bergman, a NALS judge, judge instructor, and renowned lily hybridizer, will hold a lily workshop, free and open to the public, on Tues., June 20, at 10 a.m., on “Growing and Showing Lilies.”

Artistic Design
GCV Artistic Design Judges Workshop 
May 8, 2023
10:30 a.m.-2 p.m.
Kent-Valentine House or Zoom

Join us! This workshop will highlight the design styles to be featured in the June 21, 2023, GCV/NALS Lily Show hosted by the Dolley Madison Garden Club in Orange Virginia. The Principles and Elements of Design and point scoring will be discussed.
Presentations will be geared toward the GCV judges, student judges and prospective judges, but anyone interested in Artistic Design is encouraged to register. In-person attendance is limited to 20, with priority going to judges/student judges. On-line participation is open to anyone. Register here for in-person or online participation.

Arrangement by The Rappahannock Valley Garden Club 
Historic Garden Week
The 90th anniversary of the nation’s only statewide house and garden tour was a resounding success! GCV member clubs hosted thousands of visitors from 37 states and eight countries including a garden club from Dallas, a group from Belgium and Mrs. Suzanne J. Youngkin, Virginia’s own First Lady. Tour guests across the state marveled at the incredible floral arrangements. Creating environmentally friendly arrangements with seasonal, garden-grown flowers and plant materials has been encouraged over the past few years, and visitors noticed.  Please follow Historic Garden Week and each of the individual tour social media pages on Facebook and Instagram to view these glorious arrangements.
Travel with Your GCV!

For the first time in many years, the GCV is hosting a getaway! Join us for four nights in the breathtaking Hudson Valley, touring homes built and occupied by the Rockefeller, Roosevelt and Vanderbilt families. The tour is limited to 25 and includes lodging at the incredible Mirabeau Inn & Spa in Rhinebeck, New York.

The full itinerary can be found here. Travel dates are Sept. 25-29,2023, timed perfectly for the start of fall colors, and rates are $4,599 per person for a double-booking or $5,799 for single travelers. Reservations are open to GCV members and a nonmember guest, and can be made by contacting our representative at Arrangements Abroad, Rebecca Frymer ( Reservations are limited to the first 25, and must be completed by May 28, so don’t wait!
Photo by Sherryl Belinsky
Learning to See Abstractly

Would you like to know how to create abstract, in-camera photography? Abstract photography depicts natural objects in simplified, distorted, or exaggerated ways. It does not imitate reality, but uses shapes, colors and gestures to create meaning and emotion. Washington Photo Safari founder David Luria, who has spoken to GCV members in the past, offers anyone interested the opportunity to try their hand at abstract photography for review by the WPS. Read the full article and see beautiful samples of abstract work done by GCV Symposium Photography Speaker Sherryl Belinksky.
Horticulture Award of Merit
The GCV Horticulture Committee is pleased to announce four recipients of the 2023 GCV Horticulture Award of Merit. This award was established in 1960 for individual members of the Garden Club of Virginia who have achieved significant accomplishments in horticulture, both personally and in the community at large.

2023 Recipients:
Jane McClure Booth, Virginia Beach Garden Club
Amy Walker, Chatham Garden Club
Kathy Watson, The Tuckahoe Garden Club of Westhampton
Sonya Wodicka, Hillside Garden Club

Awards - Deadline June 1
The Conservation Awards Committee seeks nominations for the Elizabeth Cabell Dugdale Award for Conservation and the Conservation Educator Award. The Dugdale Award is presented to an organization, industry or individual, not a GCV member or GCV member club. The Conservation Educator Award recognizes an individual or organization that promotes the ideals of conservation through education. The work of the nominee must reflect the GCV’s mission.

Proposals for awards should be sent to Ann Heller, GCV Communications Coordinator, 12 E. Franklin St, Richmond, VA 23219 or electronically at, and must be received by June 1, 2023.

Contact Conservation Awards Chairman Marie Thomas with any questions.
Did You Know?
Ants on Peonies
As our glorious peonies are about to bloom, there’s no need to be bothered by ants on the blossoms. Ants seek peony nectar for food. The flowers secrete extrafloral nectaries composed of sugars, amino acids, lipids and other organic compounds. While seeking the nectar, the ants eat other insects they may find on the flowers, which protects our peonies from other little creatures that may damage them. When you pick your peonies, simply hold each blossom upside down and shake it to release the ants!
Think About This
Your GCV wants to hear from you! As we consider new and different programming, program formats, and web features, we want to hear from you, our members, about what you'd find most interesting and useful and how we can help you get the most out of your GCV membership.

Please complete this 5-minute survey by Thursday, May 11.
Save the Date
Conservation Forum 2023
The 65th Annual Conservation Forum will take place on Thursday, Nov. 2 at the Irving Theater at The Code Building in Charlottesville. The topic is EcoLandscaping. Come learn how to unlove your lawn, leave your leaves, rewild and much more.
Does your club have an upcoming event you'd like to share with other GCV members? Email Membership News Chairman Edie Hessberg with details.
Our Shop features fun and useful GCV and Member Club items. Shop Now.
Chatham Garden Club  
Stephanie Hurt
Amy Kendrick
Dianne Miller
Krista Peterson

The Garden Club of Gloucester and Mathews
Linda Farr
Pam Marthinson
Kimberly Petts
Elizabeth Rosinski
The Martinsville Garden Club
Ann Favero
Ashley Fultz
Nicole DeShon Nelson
Lisa Watkins

Mill Mountain Garden Club   
Karen Davidson
Alice Light

The Garden Club of the Northern Neck 
Nancy Caprini

Rivanna Garden Club
Dawn Houston
Anne Sartori

The Spotswood Garden Club 
Joy Coakley
Lynn Oddenino
Donna Paynter
Quick Links

Our Mission:
To conserve the gifts of nature, to restore and preserve historic landscapes of the commonwealth, to cultivate the knowledge and love of gardening, and to lead future generations to build on this heritage.