By Lisa Marun.
As SDHS members, we are all part of a greater gardening community that's bound by a love of and appreciation for plants. Be they edibles or ornamentals, succulents or tropicals, well-behaved or temperamental and unruly, we can't live without them. We "Ooh!" and "Ahh!" at the sight of unusual plant species and we snatch pups from shopping center parking lot planters (only those that were being crowded out anyways, of course) and jump at the offer of free propagation material at garden meetings.
Yes, we share all of these funny, albeit quirky, tendencies, and we are bound by these things and more. And so it is that in a time of fires and floods that have caused so much destruction both near and far, I hope that we can each find it in us to reach out and in some small way lend a helping hand to the communities that have been affected. I know that gardeners, along with our idiosyncrasies, are also a generous bunch, and many of us have already found ways to help those affected by hurricanes and fires.
For those who are still wondering how to help, there are at least a dozen or so botanical gardens and arboretums that have suffered tremendous losses and are looking for both monetary donations and gardening manpower in the form of volunteers. There are also a handful of gardens that are now up and running, but would be grateful for the support of visitors.
Here are a few of the gardens that are currently in need of monetary assistance to get back on their feet:
Cummer Gardens has been severely impacted by Hurricane Irma and is seeking help via the Garden Reconstruction Fund.
Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden has a Hurricane Irma Relief Fund to assist with its recovery efforts.
Mounts Botanical Garden of Palm Beach County is looking for funds to assist with their Hurricane Irma recovery efforts.
Mercer Botanic Gardens has sustained flood damage from Hurricane Harvey and is asking for donations to rebuild and restore the Gardens.
Also, the following gardens have fared better, but are still in need of volunteers and would be grateful for the support and business that visitors provide:
Quarryhill Botanical Garden in Glen Ellen, Sonoma County
Bok Tower Gardens, Jacksonville Arboretum & Gardens, and Marie Selby Botanical Gardens in Florida
Lockerly Arboretum and Massee Lane Gardens (home of the American Camellia Society) in Georgia
St. George Village Botanical Garden in St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands