Year's end is a fine time to consider a gift to one of the many local gardening organizations that do worthy work. Memberships to such groups often include informative newsletters...

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Year’s end is a fine time to consider a gift to one of the many local gardening organizations that do worthy work. Memberships to such groups often include informative newsletters, plants sales, discounts to workshops and lectures as well as early notification for all kinds of events, plus the knowledge that you’re participating in the exciting world of Northwest horticulture.

There are a great many gardening organizations bustling with experienced people doing good deeds that can use all the support they can get; these are just a few of the possibilities:


The Arboretum Foundation:

It’s an exciting time to be involved with the support group for the Washington Park Arboretum, for new director David J. Mabberley brings fresh ideas just as the first stage of the master plan gets under way. You have only a few days left to join at 2004 member rates, which will go up next year. Membership is $25 annually. Members receive early entry to plants sales, newsletters, reciprocal admission at other botanical gardens, discounts on classes and the quarterly Washington Park Arboretum Bulletin. Call 206-325-4510 or visit www.arboretumfoundation.org.

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The Bellevue Botanical Garden

also supports a stunning botanical garden with a world-famous perennial border and lots of lively member events. Membership includes a newsletter filled with gardening information and updates, discounts at the shop, invitations to events and, of course, the opportunity to volunteer alongside other dedicated gardeners. Call 425-452-2750 or visit www.bellevuebotanical.org.


The Northwest Horticultural Society

brings speakers worldwide to Seattle, inspiring gardeners as well as giving us an excuse to get together every month. The group supports the Miller Horticultural Library as well as other gardening endeavors around town, and puts on a fine plant sale every autumn. You might want to join just to get hold of a membership directory, which reads like a who’s who of horticulture. Membership rates, with varying perks, run from $20 to $1,000; expect discounts on books and lectures, a lively newsletter and camaraderie even at the lowest levels. Call 206-527-1794 or www.northwesthort.org.


PlantAmnesty:

You, too, can help stop the senseless torture and mutilation of trees and shrubs by joining with the dedicated folks at PlantAmnesty.

Headed up by pruning diva Cass Turnbull, this group is media-savvy and never dull, offering members a newsletter filled with humor and information on pruning, as well as classes, workshops, up-to-date pruning information and fun for a good cause. It costs a minimum of $30 to join; call 206-783-9813 or visit www.plantamnesty.org.

Valerie Easton also writes about Plant Life in Sunday’s Pacific Northwest Magazine. Write to her at P.O. Box 70, Seattle, WA 98111 or e-mail planttalk@seattletimes.com with your questions. Sorry, no personal replies.