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PRESIDENT'S LETTER: What a Year! Recap and Looking Forward

By Karen England.

To all the members of the San Diego Horticultural Society,

We all know that 2020 started out as any other year but, "boys howdy!", quickly became like none other and looks to continue to be challenging well into the new year.

The year started with Frank Mitzel as president (thank you Frank for all you have done and do for the SDHS) and myself as newsletter editor and now I am both. Honestly, I have said this before, "I did not see that coming!" However, I'm enjoying the challenge immensely and am loving my new job. Thank you to all the members, for allowing me to do this role. This year we've kept moving forward in spite of the obstacles and started a YouTube channel and we are becoming Zoom experts. Your feedback has been kind, encouraging and gratifying and I'm hopeful for a great 2021 for our organization.

For me, it's given me a purpose in isolation and needed connections that I would not have otherwise. If you want or need something to do in these strange times, and all from the comfort of your own garden, if you want modern, safe connections too, I invite you to join me on the board and/or the newsletter. We are doing some jobs by committee these days - Jennifer and I are doing programs together, and we would very much like another person to join us. Please consider volunteering to help us so that we can continue to bring great presenters and wonderful programs to our zoom meetings. Once we get the help we need, we will be able to get the meeting information online quicker and the meeting recordings uploaded to YouTube in a streamlined manner. You can make a difference! Please consider volunteering. We will train you in what to do, it is okay if you are shy about technology, and we will always keep you safe, all work can be performed from home.

Looking Ahead -

  • We are staying on Zoom for the foreseeable future of our general meetings and won't be gathering together again until it's absolutely positively perfectly safe. Even when it is safe again to meet, we will still be Zooming the meetings as well, recording them and putting them up on our YouTube channel for those who cannot attend either in person or on Zoom.

  • I'm adding more quarterly, bi-monthly and monthly columns to the newsletter in the new year and writing them myself to begin with as I look for columnists for each. Hint, Hint . . . (have you caught on yet to my many noms de plume [pen names]? I have used several since I started as the newsletter editor of Let's Talk Plants! back in September of 2019) Please email me if you'd like to write for the newsletter, even if it is just once, or if you would like to make ongoing newsletter contributions. I can be reached at

Some of the new columns are . . .

1. Garden Gear - I'm starting a column about garden tools and fashion. No kidding! Garden fashion is a thing...

2. Book Club - Do you read novels, biographies, poetry and literature? I sure do! So much so, that I ran a Garden Literature Book Club at Sunshine Gardens Nursery in Encinitas some 20 years ago. These days there are so many more new books with gardens and plants in them to choose from, that I'm very excited to do this again. That book group met once a month in the nursery's amphitheater to discuss the books we were reading and the plants in them and I'm bringing the idea back newly redesigned for the SDHS and in Zoom form. The first six garden rich books will be picked by me, then, if you are enjoying the Garden Literature Book Club, and want to continue, participants will pick the future books to be read. Anyone can participate. It should not be costly. I am trying to make sure the books that I pick are all easily available. Whether in hard copy or digitally on Nooks and Kindles, even including unabridged audio-versions in Audible and, of course, from libraries. Some titles we'll be reading are

-Green Mansions by W.H. Hudson

-The Language of Flowers by Vanessa Diffenbaugh

-My Summer in a Garden by Charles Dudley Warner

-An Island Garden by Celia Thaxter

-and more!

3. Come into the Kitchen, Gardener - A selection of seasonal recipes designed for using and enjoying the produce growing in so many of our gardens.

Here's to surviving 2020 and to a great new year ahead!

Your President,

Karen England


Writer, blogger and social media influencer, Karen England, is the President of the San Diego Horticultural Society and Editor-in-chief of the SDHS Newsletter, Let's Talk Plants! Her home, called Edgehill Herb Farm, is located on a two acre sloping garden in Vista, California. She's on Instagram as @edgehillherbfarm.


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