Thursday, November 29, 2012

Gifts for Local DC-MD-VA Gardeners!



If you were away over the Thanksgiving weekend or just got busy and missed our last few posts, here is a round-up of great gifts for the local gardeners in your life. All about Washington DC, Maryland, and Virginia gardening!

Washington Gardener NEW Wall Calendar!

~ Local DC-MD-VA Gardening Calendar from Washington Gardener Magazine.
Includes monthly task lists for local DC-MD-VA gardening and photos of gorgeous flowers from Washington, DC-area public gardens.

Order here:
Washington Gardener Wall Calendar Washington Gardener
http://www.cafepress.com/washgardener

PS Be sure to specify on the initial order page what month you wish to start the calendar with as you can customize it for any 12-month-span you like.

Back Issue Sale!

~ Gift yourself or the local DC/MD/VA gardener in your life with a set of ALL 30+ Washington Gardener Magazine back issues for just $100. This price includes postage and handling!

Your order must be prepaid by check or money order.

Send Your Order to:
Washington Gardener
826 Philadelphia Ave.
Silver Spring, MD 20910

Order by December 17 to guarantee delivery by Christmas!

Social Media Sale!

~ In the spirit of Thanksgiving, I'm running this subscription special through December 5 in gratitude for all my online friends, followers, fans, and frequent commenters.

Print out the coupon posted here:  

Fill it out and mail it in with your check/money order to get 10% off a year's subscription to Washington Gardener Magazine.

Please tell all your local gardening friends!

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Video Wednesday: Smithsonian Gardens Tree Radar Test




Smithsonian Gardens shows how they actively manage their tree collection. One of the large American elm trees at the National Museum of Natural History was being affected by disease and decay issues that were leading to its rapid decline. Using a cutting edge technology, tree RADAR testing, the tests helped to determine the extent of the problems and to evaluate the safety of the tree.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Win Passes to Brooksides’ Garden of Lights

For our November 2012 Washington Gardener Magazine Reader Contest, Washington Gardener is giving away passes to the Brookside Gardens’ Garden of Lights display.

   Brookside Gardens’ Garden of Lights is a half-mile walk through a landscape of almost a million twinkling colorful lights shaped in imaginative displays throughout the gardens. Enjoy the four seasons illuminated as giant summer sunflowers, autumn leaves, winter snowflakes, spring flowers, rain showers, and more.

   The show runs from Friday, November 23, 2012 through Sunday, January 6, 2013 (with the exception of December 24-25 and January 1-3). The hours are 5:30 to 9:00pm, with the last car admitted at 8:30pm. Entry is by car/van and is $20 on Mon-Thurs and $25 on Fri-Sun.

   To enter to win a vehicle pass to Brookside’s Garden of Lights Show, send an email to WashingtonGardener@rcn.com by 5:00pm on November 30 with “Brookside Lights” in the subject line and tell us: what spring-blooming bulbs you planted this fall. In the body of the email, please also include your full name and mailing address. The pass winners will be announced and notified on December 1.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Washington Gardener NEW Wall Calendar!

Now available!
Local DC-MD-VA Gardening Calendar from Washington Gardener Magazine.

Includes monthly task lists for local DC-MD-VA gardening and photos of gorgeous flowers from Washington, DC-area public gardens.

Great gift for yourself and any area gardeners you may know!

Order here:
Washington Gardener Wall Calendar Washington Gardener

PS Be sure to specify on the initial order page what month you wish to start the calendar with as you can customize it for any 12-month-span you like.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Back Issue Sale!

Gift yourself (or the local DC/MD/VA gardener in your life) with a set of ALL 30+ Washington Gardener Magazine back issues for just $100. This price includes postage and handling!

Your order must be prepaid by check or money order.

Send Your Order to:
Washington Gardener
826 Philadelphia Ave.
Silver Spring, MD 20910


Order by December 17 to guarantee delivery by Christmas!







Social Media Sale for Small Business Saturday!



In the spirit of Thanksgiving, I'm running this subscription special through December 5 in gratitude for all my online friends, followers, fans, and frequent commenters.

Print out the coupon above, fill it out and mail it in with your check/money order to get 10% off a year's subscription to Washington Gardener Magazine.

I'm also running a Washington Gardener Magazine Back Issue Sale, full details can be found in on the latest Washington Gardener Enewsletter posted here (see page 8) and also in our next blog post at http://washingtongardener.blogspot.com/.

Please tell all your local gardening friends!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

The Scoop on Poop: Locally Sourced Manure for Your Garden





Washington Gardener Enews ~ November 2012 issue.

INSIDE THIS ISSUE:
~ The Full Scoop on Poop: Locally Sourced Manure for Your Garden
~ Magazine Excerpt: Going Native -- False Solomon’s Seal
~ Mid-Atlantic Garden To-Do List for November-December
~ Reader Contest: Win Passes to Brookside Gardens’ Garden of Lights Display
~ Washington Gardener's Recent Blog Post Highlights
~ Spotlights Special: First Editions® Summer Cascade™ Wisteria
~ Top Local Garden Events Calendar for October-November
~ Washington Gardener Magazine Back Issue Sale!
and much more...

The issue is also posted and archived online at:
You can access it and all of the other Washington Gardener Enews back issues online now and anytime in the future.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day: Post-Sandy

It is chilly and damp in the garden right now here in USDA Zone 7 – on the Washington, DC/Silver Spring, MD border. Yet, still lots of activity. Just got all my spring-blooming bulbs in and did my first raking. I switch out my windowboxes of summer annuals and put in violas. Many perennials and shrubs are in various pot ghettos awaiting planting. Here, for the monthly Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day, are a few of my favorite things I see around the yard today:


I'm loving this purple alyssum is 'Blushing Princess' from Proven Winners. It kind of sat around this summer in the record heat, but really has come to life this autumn. I have it trailing over the edge of a few different pots and hanging baskets.








I sprinkled a packet of mixed cosmos seeds in the hellstrip out front in very late summer. Totally forgot about them until I saw a few blooms had actually emerged through the leaf litter.







This is the longest the beautyberries have ever stayed on for me. I'm thinking it has something to do with the bumper crop of small acorns I have. The birds are finally letting me enjoy these berries after the foliage drops off the shrub.









A red salvia is still hanging on and blooming in my gazebo baskets. Not only that it re-seeded below the baskets this summer and those off-spring are already blooming as well (see photo below). Talk about bang for your buck!








Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Video Wednesday: Wildlife Garden at Wolf Trap in Vienna, VA



Wolf Trap National Park for the Performing Arts in Vienna, VA, creates a one-acre, diverse, native meadow to foster environmentally responsible stewardship of the land. Watch the process, see the beauty and benefits! A Meadow Project production. www.themeadowproject.com

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Local Gardeners' Favorite Gardening Tools



For our October 2012 Washington Gardener Reader Contest, we asked folks to tell us their “favorite gardening tool.” Here are some of our favorite entries:

“I saw the contest in the current issue of Washington Gardener Enews and felt compelled to tell you about my scythe!” wrote Dean Mosher of Annandale, VA. “The European scythe is, hands down, my favorite gardening tool. Not only are they beautifully crafted hand tools, they’ve remained in use since about the dawn of agriculture. In fact, the scythe is the tool that defined what we know as the acre: the area a man can mow (using a scythe) in a single day. Mine was made in Austria by the Schröckenfux company who have been in operation since 1540. Unlike the modern gas powered push mower the scythe helps me create usable hay from my half-acre lawn rather than pulverized grass pulp. Although they require some skill and practice to use, to do so regularly keeps me in fighting shape. ‘If you keep the blade honed and peened, and know how to use one, the scythe is perhaps the most efficient and effective tool for cutting grass ever developed,’ from Why Every Permaculturist Should Own a Scythe by Paul Kingsnorth (www.permaculture.co.uk). It is quiet, simple, run on breakfast, and promotes inner peace and serenity as I work. . . or, allows me to cut the lawn while I meditate.”

“My favorite gardening tool is my cobra head weeder.  It makes weeding so much less miserable, “Madeline Caliendo, Washington, DC.”

Lucy Goszkowski of  Annapolis, MD, said. “My favorite gardening tool is my trowel with inch marks on the blade. Use it all the time for planting depth and spacing transplants. “

“My favorite gardening tool is the sturdy, wood-handled Craftsman shovel designed for kids,” wrote Ruth H. Axelrod, Frederick, MD. “It is also perfect for women! Light and easy to use, it is the perfect size for most transplanting and moving small loads of dirt around. For really small jobs, I use a trowel, but this shovel allows me to stand and put my weight on it to open a hole in the mot-always-soft ground. I hate it when I have to switch to a regular, large and heavy men's shovel for larger jobs like planting shrubs and digging up clusters perennials to be divided; of course, sometimes, I can persuade my husband to do that part of the chores ;-).”

Tom Pluecker of Annapolis, MD shared, “My favorite garden tool has always been the Corona by-pass clippers.  I keep them in a holster and use them all day for things that I am sure they were not intended to be used for. Once when I broke them I sent them back and received a new pair by return mail. Wonderful products and wonderful customer service.”

“My favorite gardening tool by far is a Corona "razor tooth" pruning saw,” said George Graine of Falls Church, VA. “The teeth are designed for precise cutting of small and medium sized branches up to 6" diameter. This ergonomically designed saw folds up so that it is only 8 1/2" and easily fits into a pocket. This is a don't leave home without it tool!”

Sarah Urdaneta of Berwyn Heights, MD, said, “My favorite gardening tool is a soil knife. I use it for everything, including planting, weeding, dividing plants, making furrows to plant seeds and lots of other garden tasks. It's tough and unbreakable with a comfortable handle that's orange so it's easy to find in the weeds, which is a definite bonus!”

Katie Rapp of Gaithersburg, MD, said, “Favorite garden tool and why: Sharp clippers! I am a big believer in naturalistic pruning and there is nothing more important than sharp clippers!”

Paul Lazar of Silver Spring, MD, wrote, “I use my pruner more than any other tool. I always keep it in my pocket while I garden. I tried to use a holster but it wasn't as
convenient.”

“My favorite tool in the garden, if I must pick one, is my long handled garden claw. It chops hard dirt, it cultivates and mixes the soil; it makes small furrows and it weeds quite handily. My claw must be over 60 years old,” said John P. Haslinger of Silver Spring, MD.

Sue Hauser of Kensington, MD said, “My favorite gardening tool is my short round-point shovel with a D handle. The proportions are perfect for my aging body. It fits in the car
trunk. It digs a great hole.”

We selected two winners at random. They are: Dean Mosher of Annandale, VA and Sarah Urdaneta of Berwyn Heights, MD. Congratulations!

Each receives a red Coronoa Tools t-shirts (size XL) and garden clippers from Corona Tools. An authentic American brand, Corona tools were born in the orange groves of California in the 1920s. Since then, generations of agriculturists, gardeners, landscapers, arborists, and construction professionals have turned to Corona to find high-quality tools that work as hard as they do. They know that Corona’s iconic red handles are an immediate symbol of quality and long-lasting durability. Learn more about CoronaTools at http://coronatoolsusa.com/.

Wednesday, November 07, 2012

Video: Save Seeds Before Winter



Another video from our vaults at MonkeySee.com...

Save Seeds Before Winter
In this video, Kathy Jentz, Editor/Publisher of Washington Gardener Magazine, demonstrates how to save seeds before winter. I hope you are saving and carefully labeling your seeds for our upcoming Washington Gardener Magazine Seed Exchanges this coming January/February!

Sunday, November 04, 2012

Chrysathemums: You Can Grow That!



Chrysanthemums: the Golden Flower
By Kathy Jentz

I’ll confess I had a longtime aversion to chrysanthemums. Both their smell and commonness turned me off. But recently I had a change of heart. I discovered a whole new world of mum growing that goes far beyond those boring mums sold in bunches at your local supermarkets.

Chrysanthemums are an asset to any perennial garden. They provide quiet foliage all through the growing season and then set bloom right when most everything else is finished. From gold to pink to white and maroon, there is a color for every planting scheme. Don’t limit yourself to just the pompon cushion variety either. A personal favorite of mine mum is the Sheffield Pink, which looks like a peach-colored daisy on tall stems. It is terrific for cutting and is especially nice planted next to Autumn Joy sedum.

The flower is significant in many world cultures. The name “Chrysanthemum” is derived from the Greek, chrysos (gold) and anthos (flower). Chrysanthemums were first cultivated in China as a flowering herb as far back as the 15th century BC. In many countries, it is associated with funerals and grief. In the United States, mums are generally seen as a cheerful bloom. The flowers have medicinal, culinary, and insecticidal properties – aside from their ornamental attributes.

According to Gary Mangum, president of Bell Nursery, who supplies plants to Home Depot throughout the Mid-Atlantic, “Yellow is the most popular mum color for us.” Bell Nursery has taken the love of mums to the next level by breeding giant mums that are upwards of three feet across! “We find that people get instant gratification by covering a lot of area and getting a lot of color with fewer plants,” said Mangum. “We have seen a huge growth in the popularity of the giant mums each year they are in the stores.” Home Depot expects to sell 30,000 of the giant mums in the region this year, doubling last year’s sales, as well as selling 500,000 of Bell Nursery’s regular sized mums.

Whether giant or mini or in between, mums deserve a place in your garden. Here are some chrysanthemum growing tips:
  • Mums are ideal container plants and can then be planted after blooming.
  • Be sure you select plants that are cold hardy and healthy.
  • Plant in full sun and give them space. They need good air circulation.
  • Every three years divide the plants in spring.
  • They need good drainage and a light mulching in spring helps.
  • Pinch them back before July to create compact, bushy plants with more blooms.
  • Provide extra mulch in fall for winter protection and do not cut them back until early spring when some new basal growth begins to emerge.
  • A hard frost will turn the blooms brown, so if you know a freeze is predicted, you can give them protection to prolong the bloom life by covering with a frost blanket.
Both Longwood Gardens in Kennett Square, PA, and Brookside Gardens in Wheaton, MD, hold chrysanthemum shows each autumn. The displays include a variety of chrysanthemum colors and forms – from cascading baskets to topiary to single, large blossoms. Plan a visit to one or both to get an overview of the mums available to you.

If you find yourself growing more interested in breeding and cultivating chrysanthemums, you may want to join a local mum enthusiast group.

The Potomac Chrysanthemum Society (PCS). The club holds an annual plant sale each May in various locations around the beltway. All plants are $1.25 and selection is wide. The club also hosts monthly meetings at the Twinbrook Library in Rockville, MD, and other regular events such as a plant exchange. For more information, contact the PCS President Warren Pfeiffer at Potomac@mums.org.

The Old Dominion Chrysanthemum Society is based in Alexandria, VA, meets monthly at the Falls Church Community Center in Falls Church, VA. For details, contact Jim Dunne at jim.dunne@mums.org.

About the Author:

Kathy Jentz is editor/publisher of Washington Gardener magazine. Washington Gardener magazine, is a new gardening publication published specifically for the local metro area — zones 6-7 — Washington DC and its suburbs.
   The magazine is written entirely by local area gardeners. They have real-world knowledge and practical advice with the same problems you experience in your own gardens. They share their thoughts on what to plant in deep shade, how to cover bare spots, which annuals work best throughout the humid DC summers, and much more. If you are a DC area gardener, you’ll love Washington Gardener magazine!
    The magazine is published quarterly with a cover price of $4.99. A year’s subscription is $20.00 — that’s a savings of almost 40% off the per issue price. To subscribe to the magazine: Send a check/money order for $20.00 payable to “Washington Gardener” magazine to: Washington Gardener, 826 Philadelphia Ave., Silver Spring, MD 20910 OR to pay via Paypal/credit card click on the “subscribe” link at www.WashingtonGardener.com.
     Washington Gardener magazine also makes a great gift for the gardeners and new home owners in your life.




All who are involved with You Can Grow That! (YCGT!) believe that plants and gardening enhance our quality of life. We want people to be successful with what they grow and to become more aware of the many gifts that horticulture brings. Find out more at http://www.youcangrowthat.com/.

Friday, November 02, 2012

Fenton Friday: Sandy Ends the Season

Hurricane Sandy came through the Mid-Atlantic earlier this week and we got off fairly lucky. For me, it was a few large tree limbs down, some roof leaks, and a bunch of shredded tropical plants to clean up.

At my Fenton Community Garden plot, anything that was standing is down (tomato cages, trellis, plot markers). Anything covered by insulating fabric was exposed and needed to be re-pinned. I'm at the top of the sloping garden site so the mulch on the beds and pathways also went to the bottom of the garden, along with some nice top soil.

It is about time to pull out the last of the summer crops in any case. I have a few lettuce plants coming in. I left in the carrots to see if they will sweeten up any after we get some frosts and I have a row of asparagus that will stay so it can mature for future harvests. The spinach and broccoli are in good shape as well. I plan to put in few rows of garlic also as soon as the hurricane-soaked soil dries out a bit.

 This will be my last weekly report from the Fenton garden in 2012. I plan to be back in the plot and regularly checking in next March.

Thursday, November 01, 2012