As I wrote about last year, the American Public Gardening Association (APGA) created National Public Gardens Day as a “national day of celebration to raise awareness of America’s public gardens and their important role in promoting environmental stewardship and awareness, plant and water conservation, and education in communities nationwide.”
Now in its third year, National Public Gardens Day is Friday, May 6, 2011. APGA timed National Public Gardens Day to coincide with Mother’s Day weekend, which they call the “unofficial” start of spring and a time when the environment is top of mind for most consumers.
The whole purpose of a public garden is to provide the knowledge and love of plants to a community, something that every gardener needs.
Public gardens are a great source of information. For example, many of them host or house local garden clubs and societies. These groups provide a wealth of information on specific plants and flowers, ranging from African violets to roses.
There are also countless other educational opportunities at a public garden. There are classes, workshops, lectures, and book talks with both local and nationally known gardening experts, often offered free or included in the price of garden admission.
And, if you are still searching for that perfect Mother’s Day gift, why not give the gardener in your life a free admission to her local public garden?
How? Better Homes and Gardens Magazine has partnered with the APGA to offer a free admission pass good for two free adult admissions to public gardens participating in National Public Gardens Day. You can get your free pass at the Better Homes and Garden web page.
You might also want to consider giving her a membership to her local garden. Memberships pay for special programs, classes, and support local garden clubs and horticultural societies, which can all serve to inspire her the entire year, not just on Mother’s Day.
The APGA has over 500 garden members listed on its site, in all 50 states and eight other countries. They are not all botanic gardens and arboretums. There are also historical sites or homes, local golf courses, “entertainment” gardens such as theme and water park gardens, college and university gardens, and museum gardens.
Check out the site to find one near you to see what events are scheduled for Public Gardens Day and throughout Mother’s Day weekend.