Tuesday, September 02, 2014

Next Flower Arranging Class Announced for Sun 9/21

Come and spend time with me at On the Purple Couch in Kensington, MD, and come and PLAY WITH FLOWERS AND CREATE. I will be teaching a Flower Arranging Class on Sunday, September 21st from 2:30-4:00 PM. The fee is $40.00 and all supplies are included.
The class will go over Flower Arranging and participants will have a hands practicum. In class we will discuss the basics such as container selection, how to get flowers to last longer, design techniques, stretching your flower budget, and much more.  Bahia will add a little Chalk Paint to this mix you don’t want to miss this…Did you know you could paint Chalk Paint on Glass…
Each attendee will leave with at least one arrangement of her own to take back to their home/apartment. You will learn how to make a country casual, hand-tied arrangement that you can take home and proudly display or give as a gift. Aside from learning the Hand-Tied method, we will cover: Sourcing Cut Flowers. Prepping Flowers, Flower Arranging Tools, Making Arrangements  Last Longer, and the Basic Rules of Arranging (and the ones you can ignore). No prior florist skills or experience required!  

Sign up at: http://www.onthepurplecouch.com/shop/flower-arrangement-w-editor-of-washington-gardener-sept-21st-230-400-pm/

Friday, August 29, 2014

Fenton Friday: Harvest Donation for the Hungry

This week at the Fenton Community Garden, three of us gathered donations from various plots and then tallied and weighed our annual harvest donation for a local food pantry. Here is our preliminary total:

cut flowers 3 dozen (not counted in total weight)
squash 5 lbs
beans 2 lbs
swiss chard 1 lb 11 oz
beets 2 lbs 2 oz
cherry tomatoes 39 oz
tomatoes (full-sized) 6 lbs 11 oz
melons 5 lbs
peppers (hot) 1 lb 12 oz
carrots 3 lbs
basil 2 oz
parsley 2 oz
cucumber 12 oz
misc. 9 oz

TOTAL: 31 lbs 2.5 oz

Thank you to all who participated! If you would like to donate excess harvest from your garden, it can be as simple as picking it, weighing it, and dropping it off at your local food pantry or shelter. See the Plant A Row for the Hungry for more details.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Win Passes to the Morris Arboretum at the University of Pennslyvania

For our August 2014 Washington Gardener Reader Contest, Washington Gardener is giving passes to the Morris Arboretum at the University of Pennslyvania (www.morrisarboretum.org).

    Spend time with family and friends exploring the Arboretum’s 92-acre lush and colorful gardens just outside of Philadelphia, PA. Discover your favorite garden spaces and learn from 12,000 labeled plants, trees and flowers. See the forest from a new perspective from 50 feet up in the treetops on the Out on a Limb canopy walk, part of the Arboretum-wide interactive Tree Adventure exhibit.

  To enter to win one of three sets of passes for two, send an email to: WashingtonGardener@rcn.com by 5:00pm on August 31 with “Morris Arb” in the subject line and in the body of the email, please also include your full name and mailing address. Tell us: “I knew it is Autumn in my garden when...” The pass winners will be announced and notified on September 1.

UPDATE: Congratulations to our three pass winners: Joyce Crider of Landisville, PA; Kathy May of Kensington, MD; and, Mavis Burdett of Silver Spring, MD. They each won two passes to the Morris Arboretum and they are in the mail to them now. Enjoy!

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Video Wednesday: Busy Bumblebee

I lost my computer hard-drive and as I was going through recovering files these last few weeks, I noticed that there were several videos I had created that were never shared on the Washington Gardener Magazine Youtube channel. This one of a very busy bumblebee was among them. I will try to add more of these "lost" videos to the channel in coming weeks, inbetween filming new ones and will share the links from this blog every Wednesday.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Support the Garden Media Before it is GONE ~ Washington Gardener Enews ~ August 2014 issue

The Washington Gardener Enews ~ August 2014 issue is now out. It was emailed as a PDF to all Washington Gardener Magazine current subscribers. It is also posted and archived online at: 

Inside This Enews Issue:
• Back Issue Sale
• August-Sept To-Do List
• Magazine Excerpt: Eastern Yellow Jackets
• Latest Blog Links
• Local Garden Events Listings
• Support the Garden Media Before it is GONE!
• New ‘Velour’ Wave Petunias
• Reader Contest to Win Passes to the Morris Arboretum

Subscribe to Washington Gardener Magazine today to have the monthly enewsletter sent to your inbox as a PDF several days before it is available online.

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Sun Sugar Reigns Supreme in Field Crowded with Sweet Competitors

Tomato Taste 2014 Results

We had over 150 come to today's Washington Gardener Magazine 7th Annual Tomato Taste at the FreshFarm Silver Spring Market. This is about 100 fewer than in previous years, but is not surprising given the weather. We had two heavy downpours and spitting rain throughout the morning, so many market shoppers may have stayed home.

Here are the results of the more than ballots submitted.

  1. Sun Sugar from Chicano Sol Farm
  2. Pineapple from Three Springs Fruit Farm
  3. Sun Gold from The Farm at Our House
  4. Chocolate (Black) Cherry from Mock's Greenhouse and Farm
  5. Doctor Yellow from Spiral Path Farm
  6. Beefsteak from Spring Valley Farm

Anne Hardmann of Silver Spring, MD, won the prize drawing of a gift bag full of luscious tomatoes and a tomato growing system.

Most of the taste attendees were local, though we also had many who came quite a distance. About half live in Silver Spring. Another third live close by in Washington, DC or the towns of Takoma Park, Chevy Chase, College Park, and Riverdale in MD. Some were from farther afield in Maryland -- Columbia. Clarksville, Gaithersburg, LaPlata, Suitland, etc. A few attendees made the trip across the river from Virginia. From outside of the local area, we had attendees from Pennsylvania and even as far away as Alabama! 

See many more photos from the event at http://www.facebook.com/WashingtonGardenerMagazine.

Thank you to all who came and participated. A BIG thanks to the farmers for growing great tomatoes and to FreshFarm Markets staff for hosting us. Special thanks also to volunteers Teri and Martha for helping with all the tomato sample cutting and helping greet all the tasters in the short, intense two-hour event.

See you next August!

Friday, August 22, 2014

Fenton Friday: Green Beans and Tomatoes (no Ham)

 This week in my plot at the Fenton Community Garden, I was able to pick a second quart of 'Kentucky Wonder' green beans. (The first quart I picked the day I left for the annual Garden Writers Symposium and gave to my neighbor/cat sitter as I was running out the door.) They were more than enough for a big dinner for myself and were delicious. If I'm lucky I may get a third quart off the plants before they are spent and I will have to pull them out.

My tomatoes are all ripening at once, it seems. The 'Evergreen' tomato though is a bit of a puzzler. How do you know when a green tomato is actually ripe? I tried one about a month ago and it was definitely not ready. As you see pictured here they are now beyond green and getting into the yellow-orange range. I left a few on the vine past this point and they rotted, so I feel fairly sure this is as ripe as they are going to get. I ate one of them and it was "okay" -- not sure I'll grow this one again.

How is your edible garden growing this week?