Harry Leverone, Sr. shows off the tomatoes in his Colonial Beach, Va., garden ca. 1960. (Photo courtesy of Smithsonian Gardens)
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Smithsonian Gardens celebrates National Garden Month in April with the launch of Community of Gardens, a website for sharing and preserving the stories of gardens and the people who make them grow. Community of Gardens is a digital archive hosted by Smithsonian Gardens in partnership with the Archives of American Gardens and created by public input.
Since the time of the “founding gardeners,” gardeners and gardens have played an important role in shaping American culture. American history can be traced through the gardens of Gilded Age estates and the Victory Gardens of World War II to the community gardens of today. Gardens are ephemeral by nature, often only surviving the decades in photographs and memories. Community of Gardens seeks to preserve the shared garden heritage in America by collecting stories contributed by people about the green spaces in their communities and backyards.
Smithsonian Gardens is seeking stories, images, videos and interviews related to gardens and gardening in the U.S. Public participation in this project will contribute to the documentation of American garden history and enable historians, landscape architects, designers and garden enthusiasts to learn how gardens and gardeners of all backgrounds have shaped America’s landscape. Visit the website to submit gardening stories and photos.
Every Friday during National Garden Month, Smithsonian Gardens will highlight a different story from Community of Gardens on its Facebook page. A free mobile app for Apple and Android will be coming soon.
Smithsonian Gardens was established in 1972 to manage the grounds of the Smithsonian museums and to create interior and exterior horticultural exhibitions. Its research and educational programs promote the ongoing development of collections of living plants, garden documentation and horticultural artifacts. For more information, visit the Smithsonian Gardens website.
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