American Horticultural Society faces an uncertain future

On paper at least, the American Horticultural Society, founded in 1922, should be poised to move into its second century as a major player in the green world, an organization with a compelling mission and a rosy future.

The pandemic has reinforced the importance of gardens and gardening, reflected in surging vegetable seed sales and the desire of people to visit public gardens and other green spaces to find succor in anxious times.

        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        

 

COVID-19 aside, public gardens offer enormous potential to connect an ever urbanizing population to a planet in environmental crisis and to bring together diverse groups at a time of social, political and economic unrest.

But the AHS, located at its pastoral 25-acre property on the Potomac, River Farm, is facing its own moment of reckoning.

Citing the pandemic as a contributor, the society recently announced on its website that it was considering leaving River Farm, merging in

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