A Texas business led by two longtime gardeners is plowing new ground for the National Gardening Association.

The National Gardening Association has disbanded as a nonprofit organization, and its assets — including its name and the Garden.org website — were sold in mid-February to Dash Works, a family-owned web development company in Jacksonville, TX. Dave Whitinger, co-founder of Dash Works, envisions Garden.org evolving into a premier online community for gardeners.

Dash Works now runs the National Gardening Association as a for-profit enterprise from the Whitinger family’s 90-acre farm in East Texas, with Dave serving as executive director and his wife, Trish, serving as chief operating officer. The association had been based in Vermont.

Education and Inspiration

Dave Whitinger

Dave Whitinger (back row, center) with his family.

Dash Works did not take over the association’s KidsGardening.org initiative or its research arm; those two entities were spun off and now operate on their own.

“We are very much supporting those two new organizations,” Dave Whitinger tells the LawnStarter blog, “and will be promoting their activities and collaborating with them in the future.”

Jennifer Tedeschi, former executive director of the National Gardening Association (NGA) and now executive director of KidsGardening.org, confirmed the shutdown of the gardening association as a nonprofit and the sale of its assets.

“Last year, we decided to put our stake in the ground around youth gardening. We’re glad NGA is now with Dave Whitinger, as he is passionate about furthering the mission of the benefits of gardening,” Tedeschi tells the LawnStarter blog. “KidsGardening.org is going on as a stand-alone nonprofit dedicated to providing resources to engage the next generation in all the benefits of gardening.”

Whitinger says he and his wife — both of whom are gardeners — will adhere to the association’s longtime mission of educating and inspiring gardeners, and will continue to promote gardening as a great hobby for people of all ages. In the U.S., about 117.5 million people are gardeners, according to Statista.

Growth for Garden.org

Toward that end, Whitinger says the National Gardening Association will be growing its web presence. This spring, Whitinger plans to merge an existing Dash Works website, AllThingsPlants.com, with Garden.org.

gardening

About 117.5 million people in the U.S. are gardeners.

“Garden.org will become a social media destination for gardeners. We already are visited by many millions of gardeners every year, but the site has not been very interactive. That will completely change,” Whitinger says.

The National Gardening Association put its domain names, trademarks, email lists and content licensing agreements up for sale in January. The primary domain name, Garden.org, garnered more than 4 million unique visitors and more than 9.5 million page views in 2015.

Plant Fan

Whitinger founded gardening blog DavesGarden.com in 2000 and left the site in 2010. In 2011, Whitinger launched AllThingsPlants.com, which he says “quickly became a popular social media gardening site.”

Whitinger’s roots in gardening run deep.

“I have vivid memories of gardening as a very small toddler in our Richardson, Texas, backyard. My grandparents on both sides were gardeners, as were my parents,” he says. “Growing plants has always been a huge part of my life.”

Top photo: Flickr/Sally

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