National Country Garden
at the U.S. National Arboretum
From April 16, 1984 Press Release
Construction is now underway on the new National Country Garden, located on a three acre site at the U.S. National Arboretum in Washington. D.C. The new garden takes its place among 30 other landscape gardens and plant collections which currently attract some 500,000 visitors to the world famous Arboretum each year.
The National Country Garden features Vegetables and Flowers and will serve as a model garden and source of inspiration and education for the millions of American families who plant vegetable and flower gardens each year. It will be funded through contributions to the Friends of the National Arboretum.
The garden will provide unique displays of home food and flower gardening demonstrations which emphasize gardening as a fun-filled, healthful and rewarding activity for anyone, regardless of circumstances.
The National Country Garden consists of a series of carefully planned garden rooms arranged along a landscaped garden path. As with all gardening in urban areas, the gardening rooms will be fenced or placed in front or back of facades of buildings The design is intended to lend flexibility for changes in displays and demonstrations in the future.
Particular attention is given to innovative solutions for the problems of urban gardening. Demonstration gardens will include a townhouse garden, apartment balcony gardens, windowbox gardens, gardening in the shade, found container gardening, gardening on a clothesline and others. As the visitors will be mostly on foot, areas of soil-less container growing system developed by the Living Wall Garden Company, features the innovative alternative of vertical gardening.
Additional demonstration gardens will include:
Basic structures for the garden, including trellises, fences, plant containers, scarecrows and other garden features, are built largely of found materials. Construction methods are simple, requiring little more than handsaw, hammer, paintbrush and imagination for anyone to turn readily available urban cast-off materials into productive beauty of a garden.
The scrap material is tied together with simple continuous forms and a bright cheery lilac color. These elements will help bring order to some of the untidiness of life, and form the background for the richness of plant material in the garden.
The National Country Garden was designed by Guy L. Rando, an urban planner and landscape architect who has been involved in numerous projects worldwide. Mr. Rando continues to design daily as found materials arrive on the site. Informal signage and educational materials will be coordinated with displays and garden events to enhance the educational experience and enjoyment of visitors.
Rando feels that the ground rules used in the design of a demonstration, display and educational urban garden are to keep the exhibition simple, fun and attractive. This is his aim in communicating with a large number of people. He feels that if the experience is fun, the visitor will find it interesting, and inviting, and will take with him the experience and pleasure of gardening.
The National Country Garden is a result of the combined efforts of knowledgeable members of the gardening community, horticulturalists, and landscape architects. The garden is made possible by generous contributions from many sectors of the gardening community and industry. Major contributions from many sectors of the gardening community and industry. Major contributors and participants include: George J. Ball Inc., Living Wall Garden Company, The Gould Foundation, Guy L. Rando & Associates, Inc.
The garden will be greatly helped by generous volunteer assistance of members of area garden clubs and individuals, in demonstration of community spirit. Anyone wishing to volunteer for constructing and planting of for financing of the garden is urged to contact the U.S. National Arboretum Education Department at (202) 475-4859.
The original inspiration to have a demonstration home garden at the National Arboretum came from Gardens for All, a non-profit community organization based in Burlington, Vermont. The idea was acted upon by National Arboretum Director, Dr. Henry M. Cathey, who called upon Guy L. Rando, ASLA, for assistance in developing the imaginative concept and design for the garden. Edwin Toth will serve as the Curator of the National Country Garden and will provide educational experiences for all visitors in cooperation with volunteer guides.
An opening dedication is scheduled for June of 1984.