We're all busy raking, pruning, and preparing our beds for the Garden Walk and Open Gardens. As you begin working the soil and think about what to plant this year, images of the past no doubt crop up in your mind. Perhaps your grandmother or a favorite aunt or uncle inspired your love of nature and plants, or you discovered it on your own through an inspiring visit to a botanical garden or arboretum.
All of our stories are threads in the fabric of American gardens and American culture, and now the Smithsonian is offering each of us a chance to contribute our personal stories to their digital archive.
The Smithsonian Gardens Community of Gardens, a digital archive in partnership with their Archives of American Gardens, is a project designed to preserve our diverse garden heritage. Since the very first founding gardeners worked the soil, gardens have changed constantly with the seasons and the individual gardener's vision. Every year we transform, re-imagine, and update our gardens to reflect our lives and the current landscape of plants and animals. Without preservation, these changes will be forgotten.
Participation in the Community of Gardens will contribute to the preservation of American garden history and enable historians, landscape architects, garden enthusiasts and others to learn from all of us.
If you are involved in a community garden or have designed a green space in the community, you might also consider becoming a Smithsonian Gardens Green Ambassador!
For those interested, note that the Archives of American Gardens is not a digital collection. However, representative images may be found in the Smithsonian Archives search page at http://collections.si.edu/search/