Notes from the Field

What's in a name? The story behind The New Garden Society's name

One of the questions we're most frequently asked is about the name of our organization: Why is it called The New Garden Society?  Renee Portanova, co-founder and director provides an explanation. 

"When Erika and I began the process of brainstorming names for our fledgling organization, we employed the help of friends and families. We sent emails, made phone calls and cornered strangers at bars, asking for suggestions.  We got many in return; some hilarious, lots of puns, but most didn’t capture the essence of our mission or programs.  How could anyone come up with a name that would summarize and clearly represent the work we were doing? 

Traditional horticultural societies and garden clubs have a long history in our country dating back to the late 1800’s and early 1900’s.  Prison farms date back to the inception of our penal system. Yet our work goes beyond prison gardens.  

We are helping to create a new generation of gardeners, a new gardening culture , and a new setting for gardens. We (our partners, participants, and volunteers) are players in shifting the paradigm surrounding who gardens serve, their therapeutic benefits and potential for vocational skills-based learning.  Our name, as is our work, is forward looking, but  loyal to the garden societies that pioneered horticulture education, promotion, and advocacy efforts."