Thursday, January 30, 2014

Welcome SPRING at the Philadelphia Flower Show

Sick of Winter? Me too! 

Come join us for a day-trip to a virtual Garden of Delights at the upcoming Philadelphia Flower Show!

Washington Gardener Magazine has two tours this year going up to the Philadelphia Flower Show. The Philadelphia Flower Show is the oldest and largest indoor flower show in the world. The theme for 2014 is “ARTiculture.”Experience the combination of art and horticulture as the 185th PHS Philadelphia Flower Show celebrates everyone from Michelangelo to Monet, Picasso to Pollock, and da Vinci to Dali. Join us for a visit to magnificent floral and garden exhibits, special programming, and new attractions like the interactive Butterfly Experience. This is not your grandmother’s Flower Show … but she’s going to love it! The Flower Show attracts non-gardeners as well as die-hard green-thumbed people of all ages. Foodies of all tastes will love the Garden to Table Studio. Participate in the Lectures and Demonstrations series, Gardener’s Studio, and new “Make & Take” workshops. First-time and returning riders will enjoy the welcoming, custom details of our coach service.

The two tours are on different days, at different times, from different locations. Here are the details:

~ Wednesday, March 5 from 10am-10pm, leaving and returning to downtown Silver Spring, MD - includes a lunch and is nearby to public transit - see the registration form for more details
~ Thursday, March 6 from 10am-10pm, leaving and returning to Behnke Nurseries in Beltsville, MD - includes a lunch and is nearby to public transit - see the registration form for more details

Here are the registration form links:
Note: The forms are for printing and mailing along with your payment. They are not interactive online forms.
If you have any trouble printing them out, please send an email to kathyjentz@gmail.com and I can send the forms directly to you.

Our coaches fill up quickly, so please act fast to reserve your spot with us!

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Video Wednesday: Growing Spinach All-Year-Round



Here is an excerpt from the "Growing Greens All-Year-Round" talk by Cindy Brown of Smithsonian Gardens speaking at the Washington Gardener Magazine Seed Exchange 2013 on Saturday, February 2, 2013, at Green Spring Gardens in Alexandria, VA.

If you missed last year's Seed Exchange, don't fret! Cindy is back again to talk about "Growing Root Vegetables." Join us this Saturday, February 1, 2014, at Green Spring Gardens in Alexandria, VA! You can register on-site starting at 12noon. See event details at: http://washingtongardener.blogspot.com/2013/12/seed-exchanges-2014.html

Sunday, January 26, 2014

One Seed Swap Down, Own More to Go for 2014

Thanks to all who came and joined us at Brookside Gardens yesterday for our Seed Exchange! (If you missed it, remember we have a second one THIS Saturday at Green Spring Gardens! See the details below.)

I was going to write a whole wrap-up, but one of our attendees, Terersa Speight who blogs at Cottage int he Court, already wrote up a marvelous recap. You can read it here: http://t.co/1lel7phxUK

Also, many attendees shared their photos from the event on Twitter and other social media using the hashtage #SeedSwapDay. 

Here are a few shares: https://twitter.com/search?src=typd&q=%23seedswapday
Don't miss the fantastic, hand-made origami seed packs!

I put up my own album of photos from yesterday at facebook.com/WashingtonGardenerMagazine -- included in that album is a gallery of folks who made their own name badges -- many used seed packets and seed-related materials. HOw creative!
 

Next Seed Exchange details>>
~ Saturday, Feb 1, 2014 from 12:30-4pm

Washington Gardener Seed Exchange - VA/DC - MidAtlantic

Green Spring Gardens, Alexandria, VA

Washington Gardener Magazine, the publication for DC- area gardening enthusiasts, is co-hosting the seventh annual Washington Seed Exchange at Green Spring Gardens. This event includes lectures, face-to-face seed swap, and more. You bring your extra seeds to swap with other gardeners. Everyone will leave with a bag full of seeds, new garden friends and expert planting advice. Fee includes lectures, goody bag and seed swap. Register by calling 703-642-5173 or in-person starting at 12noon.
Fee: $15/person $10 for Washington Gardener subscribers and Friends of Green Spring.

For more information, contact Kathy Jentz, Washington Gardener Magazine, 301-588-6894, WGardenermag@aol.com.

Directions: http://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/parks/greenspring/
<<


UPDATE:
Garden blogger Alison Gillespie attended last Saturday's swap and shared her recap here:
http://whereyouareplanted.com/seed-swapping-order-avoid-neonics/ 

If you have a blog recap to share of your Seed Exchange experience, please let us know!

Friday, January 24, 2014

Seed Exchange Update: Still Spaces Left, No Seeds Required!

We still have some spaces left, so you may register on-site at the Washington Gardener Magazine 2014 Seed Exchange on Saturday, January 25 12:30-4pm at Brookside Gardens in Wheaton, MD.

On-site Registration opens at 12:00noon.
The program begins promptly at 12:30pm.

We recommend that you print out the registration form and fill it in and bring it along with a check made out to "Washington Gardener" in order to speed things up and keep the registration line moving quickly.

For the registration form and event details go here.
To read about the speaker program, go here.
To prepare your seeds and yourself for the swap, go here.

We also still have spaces left for the Seed Exchange on February 1 at Green Spring Gardens in Alexandria, VA. You can still mail in your registration for that, please ensure that it will arrive by January 30.

And yes, you can attend and participate, even if you have no seeds to swap. We always have plenty of extra to share with new and beginning seed starters!

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Win Passes to the Washington Gardener Seed Exchanges

For our January 2014 Washington Gardener Reader Contest, Washington Gardener is giving away two passes to either of the Washington Gardener Seed Exchanges (prize value $30).

   The 9th Annual Washington Gardener Seed Exchanges, hosted by Washington Gardener Magazine, takes place on January 25, 2014 at the Brookside Gardens in Wheaton, MD AND on February 1, 2014 at Green Spring Gardens in Fairfax, VA. You have a choice on which side of the DC beltway you want to attend! Seed Exchange attendees trade seeds, exchange planting tips, hear expert speakers, and collect goody bags full of gardening treats. The event also includes such “green” features as the garden book and catalog swap. Everyone will leave with a bag full of seeds and gardening inspiration!  To sign up for this year's Seed Exchanges, go to this form and print it out. If you want to attend the one in MD on 1/25, there are some spots still left -- print it out and bring it with you to register onsite at 12noon. Be sure to mail it in soon if you want to attend the VA one on 2/1, space is limited!

   To enter to win a Seed Exchange Passes, send an email to WashingtonGardener@rcn.com by 5:00pm on January 23 with “Seed Swap” in the subject line and in the body of the email, please also include your full name and mailing address. The pass winners will be announced and notified on January 24.

UPDATE:

We have selected a winner at random from among the submitted entries. Congratulations, Michael Kelley of
Berwyn Heights, MD!

If you entered and did not win, we encourage you to still join us. To sign up for this year's Seed Exchanges, go to this form and print it out. If you want to attend the one in MD on 1/25, there are some spots still left -- print it out and bring it with you to register onsite at 12noon. Be sure to mail it in soon if you want to attend the VA one on 2/1 as space is limited!

Video Wednesday: Think Green at the Seed Exchange

video

This video was taken at our Washington Gardener Seed Exchange five years as part of the "ThinkGreen" show and it aired multiple times on Montgomery County, MD cable television.

To sign up for this year's Seed Exchanges, go to this form and print it out. If you want to attend the one in MD on 1/25, there are some spots still left -- print it out and bring it with you to register onsite at 12noon. Be sure to mail it in soon if you want to attend the VA one on 2/1, space is limited!

A BIG thank to to Phil Shapiro of self-described "public geek" of Takoma Park, MD for his assistance in ripping and uploading this file online.

Saturday, January 18, 2014

12 Hot Garden Trends ~ Washington Gardener Enews ~ January 2014


The Washington Gardener Enews ~ January 2014 issue is now out. It is also posted and archived online at: http://issuu.com/washingtongardener/docs/wgenews-jan14.
INSIDE THIS ISSUE:
• Back Issue Sale
• 12 Hottest Garden Trends for 2014
• Garden To-Do List
• Latest Blog Links
• Local Garden Events Listings
• Magazine Excerpt: Tree Planting Commemorates Civil War Dead
• New 'Green Tiger' Squash
• Photo Contest Details - Deadline for Entry is 1/21!
• Reader Contest to Win Passes to the Washington Gardener Seed Exchanges
• Seed Exchange 2014 Details and Registration Form
• Philly Flower Show Trip Details and Registration Form
Subscribe to Washington Gardener Magazine today to have the monthly enewsletter sent to your inbox as a PDF. 




Thursday, January 16, 2014

Seed Exchange FAQ


I have been getting a number of emails and phone calls about the Washington Gardener Seed Exchanges. I thought I'd put together the following FAQ. Feel free to pass it on to any fellow gardeners:

- Yes, you can still register. We have plenty of spaces open. The preregistration deadline is by Friday, January 24 for the Brookside event and Friday, January 31 by the Green Spring event. To register onsite, you can still fill out the registration form and bring it with payment to the event starting at 12:00noon on Saturday. The form is posted here: http://washingtongardener.blogspot.com/2013/12/seed-exchanges-2014.html
or email wgardenermag@aol.com with "Seed Exchange" in the subject field and we can email it directly to you.

- We recommend eating lunch before coming. We will be serving a healthy, light snack break mid-way through the event -- fruit, granola bars, etc. We have filtered water - if you have a travel mug, bottle, or cup you like, please bring that to fill up. We will have some plastic/paper cups on hand, but are trying to keep this event as “green” as possible.

- We will have generic blank name tags -- but we ask participants to be creative and make their own tags or if you have your own name tag from work or another event, by all means bring it. We will do prizes for the most creative name tags :-). Again, we are trying to recycle and make this event eco-friendly.

- When you get your goody bag at check-in, please make sure to label it with your name -- all the bags look alike and can get easily mixed up. Bringing a few sheets of those personalized address labels you get with charity mailings will come in handy for this and for labeling your seed packets, giving out your contact information to fellow gardeners, etc.

- If you are bringing seed catalogs for our give-away table, be sure to rip off the address labels and tear out any order insert with your personal information on it. 
 
~ We also welcome gardening books for swapping, so feel free to bring those too.

- We screen incoming seeds and do not accept any invasives listed in the "Plant Invaders of Mid-Atlantic Natural Areas" booklet from the National Park Service. See the listing at: http://www.nps.gov/plants/alien/pubs/midatlantic/toc.htm. (We do not allow GMO seeds in either, but chances are slim that any home gardener would have access to them.)

~ You can bring unused seeds from purchased packs or seeds you gathered from your own garden. Carefully pack and label your seeds as best you can. The more information you can provide, the better. More details on seed packing and labeling are on the registration form. Did you know you can make your own seed packs? Get great free downloadable templates are here: http://tipnut.com/seed-packets/

   Please do NOT bring large quantities of seed in one bag. Our volunteers are over-whelmed at the check-in tables already with sorting seeds into the table categories, please break them up into smaller quantity packs ahead of time or we will not be able to put them out.
    (No, you don't have to bring seeds. It is great though if you do bring them. Store-bought is fine.)
    (Yes, you can bring bulbs, tubers, corms, etc. to the swap. They should be bagged and labeled just like seeds.)
   (Older seeds are fine, if you can test for viability that would be great. The exceptions are lettuce, onions, and impatiens seeds, which should all be less than a year old.)

~ Make a list of your seed “wants” in advance.  It is easy to get caught up in the excitement of the day and forget the basics that you came for or the rarities that you had been seeking.

- Here is the updated event schedule*:

12:00-12:30 Registration and seed drop off to WG Staff & Volunteers
12:30-12:35 Introductory remarks and overview
12:35-1:25 Speaker 1
 1:30-2:00 Speaker 2
2:00-2:30 Refreshment Break and Seed Swap Preview
2:30-3:00 Seed Show and Tell**
3:00-3:30 Seed Swap!
3:30-3:45 Garden Photo Contest Winners Presentation
3:45-4:00 Final Door Prizes and closing remarks - Kathy Jentz Washington Gardener magazine

*As with all live events, the schedule is subject to last minute change.

**Show-and-Tell participation is voluntary. We encourage you to introduce yourself, share some fun facts and background on the seeds you bring, or tell us about any local garden projects or groups that you are involved in.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Video Wednesday: MANTS Report



Garden writer pal, Doug Oster of the Digging with Doug blog and the Pittsburgh Gazette newspaper, explores the Mid-Atlantic Nursery Trade Show (MANTS) in Baltimore, MD. This gives you a good overview of the show, but it is so vast that he could only share a bit of what you would see there. It is a trade-only event that tales place each winter for the garden centers, designers, and landscapers to see what is new, shop for their customers, place retail orders, and to network.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Washington Gardener Magazine Book Club - Winter 2014 Selection

For our first 2014 selection of the Washington Gardener Magazine Book Club, we will be reading: Flower Confidential: The Good, the Bad, and the Beautiful in the Business of Flowers by Amy Stewart.


I have reserving a meeting room at the Takoma Park* DC Neighborhood Library in the downstairs meeting room on Thursday, February 13 from 6:00-7:30pm. 
The room allows food and drink and you may bring your dinner and/or snacks to share.

The book club meetings are FREE and open to anyone who would like to attend.
Please RSVP to "WG Book Club" at WashingtonGardener@rcn.com. I will be limiting attendance to 20. If you need to cancel, let me know ASAP so we can give your spot to someone else, should we have a wait-list. 
From AmyStewart.com, here is a bit about the book selection:
Does it matter that a bouquet of roses travels halfway around the world before it arrives at your supermarket or florist? Or that growers force tulips to bloom in December? Are we being tricked when a scientist engineers a lily that doesn't shed pollen?
For over a century, hybridizers, geneticists, farmers, and florists around the world have worked to invent, manufacture, and sell flowers that are bigger, brighter, and sturdier than anything nature could provide. Almost any flower, in any color, is for sale at any time of the year.
Amy Stewart travels the globe to take us inside this dazzling world. She tracks down scientists intent on developing the first genetically modified blue rose; an eccentric horticultural legend who created the world's most popular lily (the 'Star Gazer'); a breeder of gerberas of every color imaginable; and an Ecuadorian farmer growing exquisite, high-end organic roses that are the floral equivalent of a Tiffany diamond. She sees firsthand how flowers are grown and harvested on farms in Latin America, California, and Holland. (It isn't always pretty.)
What has been gained-and what has been lost-in tinkering with Mother Nature? Should we care that roses have lost their scent? Or that most flowers are sprayed with pesticides? In a global marketplace, is there such a thing as a socially responsible flower? At every turn, Stewart discovers a fascinating intersection of nature and technology, of sentiment and commerce.
You'll never look at a cut flower the same way again.
In case you like to read ahead, the other book club selections for 2014 are:

~ American Green: The Obsessive Quest for the Perfect Lawn by Ted Steinberg
~ Into the Garden with Charles by Clyde PhillipWachsberger
~ The Signature of All Things by Elizabeth Gilbert

I will announce the date for the next book club meetings after each previous meeting. We will meet roughly once each quarter.

*Note that there is also a Takoma Park, MD town library. This meeting will take place at the library in Takoma, DC at 416 Cedar Street, NW, WDC. It is just a couple blocks from the Takoma metro station and is near several bus lines. Street parking is available.

UPDATE:
Due to the snowstorm, we are officially moving the Garden Book Club meeting. We will meet at 3:30-5:00pm on Sunday 2/16 at La Madeline in downtown Silver Spring, MD. (Please no outside food and plan to buy a tea or little something so we are not ticking off the management.) I plan to arrive about 3:00pm myself to secure a table space for our group. I will have a blue nametag on and a copy of "Flower Confidential" with me.

Here is a map of La Madeline's location:
https://maps.google.com/maps?saddr=20910&daddr=8435+Georgia+Ave,+Silver+Spring,+MD,+20913-4425
It is on the corner of Georgia and Wayne Avenues -- two blocks from the Silver Spring metro and across the street from the Wayne Avenue garage (free parking on weekends).

Monday, January 13, 2014

Seed Exchange 2014 Speakers Announced

Here are the speakers for the upcoming Washington Gardener Seed Exchanges 2014. Seed Exchange attendees trade seeds, exchange planting tips, hear expert speakers, and collect goody bags full of gardening treats. For more information on the exchanges and how to register, go here.

Saturday, January 25 at Brookside Gardens, MD


“Year-Round Bounty for the Home Gardener
Crisp winter salads, rainbow carrots, fresh kimchee, and sweet braised greens are just a few of the fresh from the garden delights awaiting food gardeners in the southeast in winter. Covers practical information for planning, planting, and producing a garden all year where summer heat is more of an issue than winter lows. Learn techniques for using shade in summer, starting fall seedlings in the "dog days of summer" as well as planning and planting enough in our fall garden for harvesting until spring. Ira Wallace, Southern Exposure Seed Exchange (VA)
Speaker: Ira Wallace, author of The Timber Press Guide to Vegetable Gardening in the Southeast, is a Central Virginia Master Gardener and a worker/owner of the cooperatively managed Southern Exposure Seed Exchange. Ira serves on the boards of Organic Seed Alliance, Virginia Association for Biological Farming(VABF)  and  the Organic Seed Growers and Trade Association(OSGATA) , the lead plaintiffs in OSGATA ET AL v Montsanto. Ira was one of nine cooperators with the Southern SARE-sponsored Saving Our Seeds Project.  She co-organizes the Heritage Harvest Festival at Monticello and speaks throughout the southeast.  She blogs at www.Motherearthnews.com  and www.southernexposure.com

AND

“Mighty Microgreens”
Not simply a garnish, microgreens are highly nutritious and fun to grow.  Learn why gourmet chefs and nutritionists alike love these tiny and beautiful greens.  Participants will learn how to grow microgreens and how to use them in the kitchen.  Anyone can be successful with microgreens, from a child with a little handful of seeds to a city dweller with merely a windowsill.
Speaker: Wendy Kiang-Spray is a speaker and freelance writer whose articles about gardening and food have appeared in local and national publications.  She loves to write about growing and cooking the vegetables of other countries.  By day, she is a high school counselor and in her free time, she volunteers as a DC Master Gardener and blogs about family and garden at www.greenishthumb.net.  Learn about her garden happenings and food projects by following her on Facebook.  


Also, at the 1/25 Seed Exchange during the break period will be Pam Rowe from the Montgomery County Watershed Management Division Rainscapes Rewards Rebate program.  The RainScapes Rewards Rebate Program offers financial incentives in the form of rebates to property owners who install RainScapes techniques.



Saturday, February 1 at Green Spring Gardens, VA:

"Growing Underground – How  to Grow Root Crops"
Find out how to collect seeds, direct sow, and grow various root crops through-out the year in the Mid-Atlantic. From carrots to beets, an up-close view of our underground edibles.
Speaker: Cindy Brown, Smithsonian Gardens

AND 

“Cool Season Cover Crops”
Where to source cover crop seeds, when/why to use them, and what varieties do best here in the Mid-Atlantic.
 Speaker: Elizabeth Olson, Prince George's County Master Gardener and "EdibleHarvest" columnist for Washington Gardener Magazine 

We hope to see you at one or both of the upcoming Washington Gardener Seed Exchanges. Please send in your registration today as space is limited and spots fill fast. Print out the details and registration form here.

Wednesday, January 08, 2014

Video Wednesday: Philadelphia Flower Show 2014 ARTiculture



Experience the combination of art and horticulture as the 184th PHS Philadelphia Flower Show celebrates everyone from Michelangelo to Monet, Picasso to Pollock, and da Vinci to Dali.

Washington Gardener Magazine has two tours this year going up to the Philadelphia Flower Show. The Philadelphia Flower Show is the oldest and largest indoor flower show in the world. The show video above says it all. the Philly Flower Show is fabulous and fantastic way to greet spring. This is not your grandmother’s Flower Show … but she’s going to love it too! The Flower Show attracts non-gardeners as well as die-hard green-thumbed people of all ages. Participate in the Lectures and Demonstrations series, Gardener’s Studio, and All-Star Culinary Presentations. First-time and returning riders will enjoy the personalized and welcoming details of our coach service.


The two tours are on different days and from different locations, so make sure you are signing up for the one that fits you best! 
Here are the details:
~ Wednesday, March 5 from 10am-10pm, leaving and returning to downtown Silver Spring, MD - includes a lunch and is nearby to public transit - see the 3/5 registration form for more details

~ Thursday, March 6 from 10am-10pm, leaving and returning to Behnke Nurseries in Beltsville, MD - includes a lunch and free parking at the nursery - see the 3/6 registration form for more details
(Note: The forms are for printing and mailing along with your payment. They are not interactive online forms.)

UPDATE:

Looks like they took down the original video a couple days ago and  re-posted with a better version - here it is: http://youtu.be/FhUMnflemDA.

Monday, January 06, 2014

Seed Exchange Sponsors Sought

Seed Exchange swag has been coming in my door. (And my living room becomes a bigger mess than normal!) 

I've been tweeting out photos and links to the sponsors as new items arrive. You can follow me @WDCGardener to see what wonderful garden goodies await our Seed Exchange attendees and drool along with the other seed-heads. Most items are inserted into the bags each attendee receives as they check-in and the larger items are reserved for door prizes.

Here are just a few of the items that have come in so far:

~ Homemade Soaps by Diane -- soaps made from Jewelweed said to be great for Poison Ivy

~ D. Landreth Seeds - heirloom seed varieties from America's oldest seedhouse

~ Herbanatur -- a natural herbicide that is a safe for pets and phosphorous-free

If YOU would like to donate items for the Washington Gardener Seed Exchanges, please contact wgardenermag (at) aol (dot) com. The deadline for sponsorships is January 22.

For full Seed Exchange information and registration see the post here.

   We also welcome sponsors for the annual Garden Photo Contest prizes. Our winning entrants welcome getting prize items both garden-related and of interest to avid photographers. To be a contest prize sponsor, email DCGardenPhotos (at) aol (dot) com by January 28.

UPDATE:

Thanks to American Meadows for contributing thousands of seed packs and to
Authentic Haven Brand Natural Brew for donating packs of premium soil conditioner for our swap!

Thursday, January 02, 2014

Washington Gardener Magazine PHOTO CONTEST Kicks Off!

The 8th Annual Washington Gardener Magazine Photo Contest kicks off now! Time to start sorting and picking out your best 2013 garden shots. The entry period is January 1-21, 2014.

Note that eligible entries must have been taken in the 2013 calendar year in a garden setting within 150-mile radius of Washington, DC.

We have four major entry categories:

~ Garden Views (landscape scenes)

~ Garden Vignettes (groupings of plants in beds or containers, unusual color or texture combinations, garden focal points, and still scenes)

~ Small Wonders (flower or plant part close-ups)

~ Garden Creatures (any living creature in a garden setting)

Remember that garden photos need not all be taken during the first week of May nor should they all be tight close-ups of a red rose. Look for the unusual and for beauty in the off-season too. Our judges give equal weight to the following criteria when evaluating the entries: technical merit, composition, impact, and creativity.

Anyone can enter: professional or amateur, adult or student, local area gardener or visiting DC tourist. Past winners have included teenagers entering their first-ever photo contest and home gardeners trying out their new digital cameras. Our next Grand Prize Winner could be YOU!

See this PDF for full contest details:



http://issuu.com/washingtongardener/docs/wgphotocontestrules_1129d3b0fb35bd

Wednesday, January 01, 2014

Video Wednesday: Time-Lapse of a Year in the Washington Youth Garden



Every day from March- December at 4pm a time-lapse camera mounted to the deer fence at the Washington Youth Garden took a single picture. Here are the results.

See more about the Washington Youth Garden in a recent guest blog by Anna Benfield posted here.