Meeting Calendar

Unless otherwise noted, the Falls Church Garden Club  meets :

WHEN: the first Monday of every month at 7:30 pm 

WHERE: American Legion Post 130 building at 400 N. Oak Street in Falls Church. Plenty of  parking in the lot and nearby streets.

No meetings during the months of  January,July and August. We have a potluck in June and Holiday Annual in December.  Check here for any changes if the first Monday falls on a holiday.

Meetings feature a short discussion of club business, a scheduled speaker, delicious home-made refreshments, door prizes, and time to mingle and exchange garden tips. We welcome volunteers to help with miscellaneous tasks. Bring friends and garden tips to the meeting!


2019 programs

June 8
Members-only garden tour in the morning.  Meet for  Lunch at the Lodge around noon..Bring your own if you have not pre-purchased. July and August will be our summer break.

May 6, 2019

Gardening with the Soil Food Web


Beth Suddaby

Beth has been enthusiastically teaching young students about why plants need fungi for some time.  At this meeting, she will be presenting a more sophisticated discussion of the organisms in the soil that promote good soil and plant nutrition.  She will cover mycorrhizal fungi and their relationship to plant root systems.  The concluding section will provide techniques to apply soil food web concepts for all types of gardeners. 


She has spent the last 30 years “Townhouse” or “small space” gardening, mostly in the shade.  She is a graduate of the 2014 Green Spring Master Gardener class, as a “retirement” activity.

Beth is a strong supporter of native plants and planting to support wildlife diversity, in particular birds. 

April 1, 2019

Mitigating Climate Change

 Climate change is a current matter of great concern to residents of the world.  According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, scientific evidence for warming of the climate system of the world is unequivocal. In fact, ninety-seven percent of climate scientists agree that the current warming trend is of particular significance because most of it is extremely likely to be the result of human activity since the mid-20th century and proceeding at a rate that is unprecedented over decades to millennia.

While it is easy to dismiss this evidence as being global in nature, there are small things that all of us can do on a local level. This practicable presentation will go into some of the significant effects that the urban heat island - as well as climate change - has on vegetable gardening practices, plant selection, and landscape management, and what best practices can be adopted by gardeners to help mitigate these effects.


Kirsten Ann Conrad

Agriculture Natural Resource Extension Agent

Virginia Cooperative Extension

3308 S. Stafford St. 

Arlington, VA 22206


Kirsten Conrad joined Arlington’s office of Virginia Cooperative Extension in September 2007. Born and raised in Oxford Ohio, she holds degrees from Auburn University in Ornamental Horticulture and Landscape Design (BS’80), and from Indiana University in Outdoor Recreation Management (MS’94). 

March 4, 2019
Lessons Learned in 5 Extraordinary European Gardens: Details Do Matter
We are living in a time of great energy in garden making. In Europe, homeowners and professionals are using gardens to express ideas about beauty, place, wildness, and sometimes fantasy. In this talk, Carolyn Mullet will take you on a slide tour of 5 exceptional gardens. The focus will be on details that help make each garden noteworthy and ways for you to adapt those ideas for your own garden. The talk will be illustrated with photos taken on Carolyn's garden tours to Europe.

Carolyn Mullet leads garden tours to Europe each spring, summer, and early fall through her company, CarexTours. She is currently writing a book called Private Gardens of Europe that will be published by Timber Press in late 2019. In addition, she is active on social media where she daily showcases gardens from around the world for an international community of over 23,000 on Instagram and 1.4 million on her Facebook page, Garden Design by Carolyn Mullet. Carolyn is also a retired garden designer who practiced in the Washington, DC metro area for over 30 years. She received her formal training in residential landscape design from George Washington University.

February 4, 2019
Combining Perennials
In this lecture, Karen Rexrode will break down the various ways that a gardener can create perennial combinations. Using harmonious colors versus contrasting, and working with shapes both in flowers and foliage, these are a few key points that will be illustrated in this presentation. Karen will also highlight something she refers to as "seasonal stacking", where a gardener can include bulbs to extend the season and borrow from surrounding colors to inform plant choices.

Karen Rexrode is an accomplished horticulturist, professional photographer, and estate gardener. Her horticultural career began in 1976 when she worked as a cashier for Kenny Robert’s Garden Center. Taking college classes by night and ringing up customers by day, Karen worked her way up to manage multiple tropical greenhouses, eventually developing an expertise in roses and perennials. With the birth of her daughter, she began her own business – Windy Hill Plant Farm – which she ran for 25 years. Today, Karen manages two estates, and until recently, spent weekends giving lectures and working in the perennials section of Merrifield’s Fair Oaks location. When she’s not in the garden, Karen spends her time working on many other forms of creative expression.


Previous programs.....

December 3, 2018
Holiday Potluck
Bring your favorite dishes to share with other club members and bring along your loved ones to celebrate the end of the year.

November 5, 2018
**Talk was cancelled be rescheduled...
Mitigating Climate Change
Kirsten Ann Conrad
Agriculture Natural Resource Extension Agent
Virginia Cooperative Extension

Kirsten Conrad joined Arlington’s office of Virginia Cooperative Extension in September 2007. Born and raised in Oxford Ohio, she holds degrees from Auburn University in Ornamental Horticulture and Landscape Design (BS’80), and from Indiana University in Outdoor Recreation Management (MS’94).

October 1, 2018
The Humane Garden: Cultivating
Compassion for All Creatures by 
Nancy Lawson.

September 10, 2018
The Nuts and Bolts of Tree Selection and Planting
Kate Reich
Falls Church City Arborist

May 7, 2018 , 7:30 pm
Covering Ground: Selecting Groundcovers to Minimize Weeding and Mulching

“We’ll look at choosing groundcovers that work well in Northern Virginia landscapes. How to recognize the difference between a weed and a wildflower? What can you plant to minimize weeding and mulching in the vegetable patch? Mary shares her inspiration and know-how; and offers selections for year-round beauty and a low-maintenance garden.” Members are welcome to bring to the meeting freshly-dug plants for identification as friend or foe.

Mary Van Dyke was brought up in Greece and the UK, and her childhood memories include days spent climbing trees, picking herbs and flowers, and playing outdoors. Mary has lived in the Falls Church and Arlington area for 20 years or so, and she founded Green STEM Learning to provide garden-based education and promote environmental literacy. Mary shares her love of culture, cuisine, communication and creativity in her programs.

April 2, 2018
Testing the Limits: Adventures in Zone-Pushing
John Boggan, Columnist/Blogger,

"You don't have to live in the tropics to garden with bold, exotic, and unusual plants. Many of the garden plants you might expect to see in southern zones love our long, hot, and humid mid-Atlantic summers and some of them are hardier than you think!"

A botanist, garden blogger, and plant breeder, John has a degree in Systematic Botany from Cornell University and has worked as a botanist for the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of Natural History since 1991. John gardens in Washington, DC with an interest in new and unusual plants and writes a blog called "DC Tropics". He has been an amateur plant breeder for over 30 years and is developing hardy begonia hybrids.

March 5, 2018
Getting Excited about Shade
Marianne Willburn
Author, Big Dreams, Small Garden

February 5, 2018
Good Bug, Bad Bug
Nikki Norton, Merrifield Plant Specialist
Come and learn the difference between which
bugs can help or hurt your plants and what you can do to control them.



November 6, 2017
Making Holiday Floral Arrangements.
Melissa Bustamante, a professional florist will speak about combining purchased flowers and gathered greenery and other times from our gardens to make original arrangements for the holidays.

October 2, 2017 
The Layered Garden: Combining Plants for More Beauty, Resilience, and Less Maintenance
Thomas Rainer
Thomas has spoken at many larger venues ( and been quoted in publications (Home section of the Post, Better Homes and Gardens). Lecture followed by book sale ($40) and signing

September 11, 2017
The Care and Maintenance of Tools

John Hardi, a longtime Falls Church Garden Club member, will share his tips on garden tool maintenance . Members are encouraged to bring their own unusual tools to explain their uses. That meeting will also feature the annual plant exchange, so members are encouraged to be potting up some of their unusual or interesting plants to share.

May 1, 2017 
Issues Facing the Chesapeake Bay
Lani Furbank, a Clean Water Captain with the Chesapeake Bay Foundation, spoke about the problems facing the Bay, the health of the waterway today, and what it will take to improve it for future generations. She also discussed a new program by the Virginia Association of Soil and Water Conservation Districts that sponsors the installation of bay-friendly gardening and landscaping projects for homeowners and organizations across the states

April 3 , 2017
Adding Pizzazz to Your Seasonal Containers
Award-winning designer, Claire has been speaker and demonstrator at the Northwest Flower and Garden Show in Seattle, and the Philadelphia Flower Show numerous times.

Seasonal containers will be highlighted, where you start with a basic framework of plants, and with a little tweaking can freshen it with new elements that will keep it updated throughout the entire year. Large pollinator attracting outdoor containers to smaller indoor tabletop arrangements will be highlighted with simple maintenance instructions, design tips, and ideas for unusual pots, for year round color in and around your garden.

March 6 , 2017
Edible Landscapes
Tom Hayes, owner of landscaping business- Edible Landscapes:

In this talk, Tom will touch upon his general approach to vegetable gardening throughout the landscape: succession planting, destructive harvests, almost always using transplants, mulching immediately after setting out your transplants, and how it all works together. He will also touch on why herbs are awesome plants that can and should be planted as close to your path from the car to the house.

February 6 , 2017
Hydroponic and Aquaculture Gardening
Special Meeting location- George Mason High School (GMHS) on Monday, 7:30 pm. GMHS is located at 7124 Leesburg Pike , Falls Church , VA, 22043.

The evening will involve lecture, discussion, and tours of the gardening systems. During Spring 2016, George Mason High School students under Dr. Mecca's supervision started growing lettuce hydroponically -- in water instead of soil. They also created a self-filtering aquaculture system to raise tilapia. Their goal is to serve fresh greens and fish in the school's cafeteria. Come to George Mason HS to hear from students, science teacher Peter Mecca and special education teacher Jamie Lahy talk about the two programs and to tour the systems in Operation.


Past events in 2016

February 1 , 2016
Herb Gardening
Speaker: Sue Clark, Green Spring Master Gardener
Why Grow Herbs?; Choosing a Site; Planting Guidelines; Popular Herbs for Virginia; Using Herbs in your Landscape; Herb Gardens for Bees, Butterflies, and Hummingbirds; Growing Herbs Indoors; Harvesting Herbs; Summer Care; and Winter Protection.

March 7 , 2016
Rain Barrel Gardening
Speaker: Lily Whitesell, Watershed Specialist, Northern Virginia Soil and Water Conservation District

April 4 , 2016
Regionally Adapted Plants
Speaker: Kathy Jentz, Editor/Publisher of Washington Garden Magazine

Plants that have proven themselves in the Mid-Atlantic. Low-maintenance gardening is the goal of many of us in our busy lives and the key is planting the right plants got our local climate. We’ll talk about some native plants, of course, but mostly we’ll explore the tried-and-true plants that can take clay soil, deer, and/or periods of rought. Season-by-season, we’ll share our favorite plants that excel in our local gardens.

May 2 , 2016
Speaker: Sandy Tarpinian, Green Spring Master Gardener

May 7, 2016, 8:00 AM - Noon: Annual Plant Sale!
Location: Falls Church Community Center Gym

June 11, 2016, 10 AM: Club tour of Meadowlark Gardens in lieu of our normal potluck dinner Members notify Vicky Schoenberger of your interest in attending; bring a picnic lunch!

September 12, 2016
Organic Gardening
Danylo Kosovych will talk about edible landscaping, organic gardening and organic lawn care. He will explain the science of organic soil fertility and provide proven techniques of organic gardening, organic lawn care, edible landscaping and rain water collection. He will also explain the ecological benefits of organic lawn care and edible landscaping.

He has a Master’s degree in Anthropology from GMU. He wrote his thesis on westerner participation in Amazonian plant based medicine. He received his Permaculture Design Certification from Wayne Weisman. He is an Accredited Organic Land Care Professional by the Northeastern Organic Farming Association. Mr. Kosovych began Organic Edible Gardens in 2010 with the goal of creating edible and ecological landscapes that sustain and regenerate local ecosystems while providing material and aesthetic benefits to people.

October 3, 2016 
Native Plants
Ms. Kim Young is from Hidden Oaks Nature Center. She is a naturalist at Hidden Oaks and a graduate of the Master Gardener and National Wildlife Habitat Steward programs with a love for native plant gardening! She will present how one can go about transforming an average suburban yard to all native plants that are wonderful for a variety of wildlife habitats.

November 7 , 2016
Inspiring Gardens
Kathy Jentz is editor and publisher of Washington Gardener Magazine. We'll look at stunning landscapes from coast-to-coast -- Pasadena, CA to Princeton, NJ -- and from north to south from Quebec, Canada to Atlanta, GA. The gardens in this presentation are mainly private estates that the public rarely, if ever, gets to access. You will visually go behind the garden-gate to see how the 1% gardens. The presentation will inspire you to implement some of the lower-cost ideas immediately and to dream about ways to spend those
future lottery winnings.

Falls Church Garden Club,
Nov 7, 2018, 3:27 PM