Thursday, November 26, 2015

Happy Thanksgiving!

The broccoli took for-ev-er to form this little head -- but the green beans are still producing in my community garden plot! How is your garden growing today? Is anything you grew part of your Thanksgiving feast today?

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Video Wednesday: Holly Shimizu Talks Trees



Holly Shimizu, former head of the US Botanic Garden, took a break during the recent Trees Matter Symposium 2015 to talk to us about her favorite trees.

Monday, November 23, 2015

Win Garden of Lights Passes in November 2015 Washington Gardener Reader Contest

For our November 2015 Washington Gardener Reader Contest, Washington Gardener Magazine is giving away several passes to the Garden of Lights at Brookside Gardens in Wheaton, MD. Make a new holiday tradition at the Garden of Lights! This walk-through holiday light display features 1 million dazzling, colorful lights shaped into hand-crafted, original art forms of flowers, animals and other natural elements. Enjoy nightly musical performances and visit the conservatory to watch G-scale model trains wind through a seasonal landscape. The event will be open nightly from November 27, 2015, through January 3, 2016 (closed December 24 and 25).
   Stroll from garden to garden, enjoying twinkling tree forms, fountains, sparkling snowflakes overhead, and more. The Garden of Lights celebrates its 18th season as a Baltimore/Washington, DC-area family holiday tradition.
   Warm up in the Visitors Center while you sip hot cocoa and listen to one of the nightly musical performances. Find out more at http://www.montgomeryparks.org/brookside/garden_lights.shtm
   To enter to win a pass that admits one car-load of guests to the Garden of Lights, send an email to WashingtonGardener@rcn.com by 5pm on Monday, November 30, with “Lights Show” in the subject line and in the body of the email. Tell us which was your favorite article in the November 2015 issue of Washington GardenerMmagazine and why. Please also include your full name and mailing address. The pass winners will be announced and notified on December 1.

UPDATE:
Here are the winners chosen at random from the submitted entries. Congratulations and enjoy!


~ Stephanie Richard, Rockville, MD



~ Susanne Wiggins, Germantown MD
~ Stacy Myers, New Windsor, MD



~ Jen Gardiner, Washington, DC



~ Jennifer Whalen, Silver Spring, MD 
~ Anne Hardman, Silver Spring, MD



~ Susan Walker, Takoma Park, MD



~ Sidney Chang, Bethesda, MD  
~ Aldene Ault, Silver Spring, MD   
~ Madeline Caliendo, Washington, DC



~ Katie Rapp, Gaithersburg, MD   
~ Pete Lublin, Silver Spring, MD  
~ Cindy Bertaut, Bethesda MD  
~ Carolyn Leonard 

Friday, November 20, 2015

NEW DC-MD-VA Gardening Calendar 2016 from Washington Gardener Magazine

Now available! The Local DC-MD-VA Gardening Task Calendar 2016 from Washington Gardener Magazine. It includes monthly task lists for local DC-MD-VA (zones 6-7) gardening and photos of gorgeous flowers from Washington, DC-area public gardens.

All new photos for 2016!

The calendar is a great gift for yourself and any area gardeners you may know!

Order here at our shop: http://www.cafepress.com/washgardener
or go directly to the item page here: http://www.cafepress.com/washgardener.1436102069

NOTE:
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.

Local First Friday: Merrifield Garden Center

Guest Blog by Joelle Lang




The History Behind It:
Merrifield Garden Center is a family-owned business that has been serving North Virginia and the DC metro area since 1971. About 44 years ago, founder Bob Warhurst asked his friend and co-founder, Buddy Williams, to help him open a nursery and garden center. The pair scouted out an open patch of land between Lee Highway and Gallows Road and the company grew from there. The shop first opened as a barn, a small store, and with less than an acre of plants. The founders vowed to value customer service, exceptional quality, and superior selection.
While Bob and Buddy have both passed away, their children, spouses, and grandchildren run the shops today.    
What’s It is Like Today:
Merrifield Garden Center has three locations in Virginia: Merrifield, Fairfax, and Gainesville. They offer plants ranging from trees and shrubs to tropical houseplants and vegetables. They provide gardening supplies and planters, home decor and gifts, and landscaping services. The stores also have Plant Clinics, where customers can come in to ask about landscape management and the best products to use for the environment.  
The locations host events every month and around the holidays, such as Ladies Night Out and Wreath workshops.
Dedicated to environmental health, Merrifield Garden Center plants tens of thousands of trees around the area every year, and recycles soil and brush from landscape jobs. They also carry native plants, which are critical for sustaining birds and butterflies.   
Aside from servicing individual gardeners, Merrifield Gardens also provides plants and landscape expertise to local, state, and federal government agencies such as schools, parks, golf courses, and commercial properties.
What Makes It Special:  
Merrifield Garden Center (http://merrifieldgardencenter.com/) states that they have “one of the largest and most complete nurseries in the country.”
Merrifield Garden Center strives to provide the newest and cutting edge varieties that come out each year, along with the tried-and-true varieties that customers will have success with. The staff is very friendly and knowledgeable and can help with any questions or problems customers have.
About the Author 
Joelle Lang, a senior at the University of Maryland, College Park, is a multi-platform journalism student in the Philip Merrill College of Journalism. This autumn, she is also an editorial intern for Washington Gardener Magazine.
"Local First Friday" is a weekly blog series profiling independent garden businesses in the greater Washington, DC, and Mid-Atlantic region. Washington Gardener Magazine believes strongly in supporting and sourcing from local businesses first!

Thursday, November 19, 2015

ADVERTISER OF THE WEEK: Garden of Lights at Brookside Gardens in Wheaton, MD


Make a new holiday tradition at the Garden of Lights! This walk-through holiday light display features 1 million dazzling, colorful lights shaped into hand-crafted, original art forms of flowers, animals and other natural elements. Enjoy nightly musical performances and visit the conservatory to watch G-scale model trains wind through a seasonal landscape. The event will be open nightly from November 27, 2015, through January 3, 2016 (closed December 24 & 25).
   Stroll from garden to garden, enjoying twinkling tree forms, fountains, sparkling snowflakes overhead, and more. The Garden of Lights celebrates its 18th season as a Baltimore/Washington, DC-area family holiday tradition.
   Warm up in the Visitors Center while you sip hot cocoa and listen to one of the nightly musical performances. Find out more at: http://www.montgomeryparks.org/brookside/garden_lights.shtm.

ADVERTISER OF THE WEEK Details:
Every Thursday on the Washington Gardener Magazine Facebook page, Blog, and Yahoo group list we feature a current advertiser from our monthly digital magazine. To advertise with us, contact wgardenermag@aol.com today.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Video Wednesday: Trees Matter Conference 2015







The fourth annual Trees Matter Symposium, was themed “Trees and the Built Environment.” It took place November 4, 2015, in the Silver Spring Civic Building and was sold out. This year’s event focused on the welfare of trees in developing landscapes, and included six speakers.
   Experts such as Dr. Michael Dirr, founder of Plant Introductions Inc., spoke about the economic and environmental value of trees. Dirr also closed the event with a second talk on top tree selections for surviving in various environments. Keynote speaker and horticulturist Holly Shimizu spoke about how trees change and adapt over time. Dr. Chris Luley, vice president of Urban Forestry in New York, spoke on fungi that affect trees in urban environments. Dr. Kelby Fite, a member of the Barlett Tree Research Lab, covered the importance of root development and proper soil in urban settings.
   The symposium included vendors from places such as the Maryland Native Plant Society, Kelly Landscaping, the Montgomery County Forest Board, and Stadler Native Plants. There was also a speaker book-signing table and door prizes. The event was presented by the Horticulture, Forestry, and Environmental Education Division of Montgomery Parks and Pogo Tree Experts.

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Washington Gardener Magazine ~ November 2015 issue ~ Ornamental Alliums, Mammal Pests, Easy Landscape Fixes, Local Manure Sources, and much more.


  
The November 2015 issue of Washington Gardener Magazine is now out and posted online at: http://issuu.com/washingtongardener/docs/washingtongardenernovember15/1
This issue includes: 

~ Alliums: Starpower in the Garden
~ Dealing with Mammal Pests
~ Your Garden Tasks To-Do List
~ How to Attract Resident Birds
~ Local Garden Events Calendar
~ Meet Artist/ Plantswoman Karen Rexrode
~ Easy Landscape Fixes
~ The Scoop on Poop: Locally Sourced Manure
~ and much more...


Note that any submissions, event listings, and advertisements for the December 2015 issue are due by December 10.
Subscribe to Washington Gardener Magazine today to have the monthly publication sent to your inbox as a PDF several days before it is available online. You can use the PayPal (credit card) online order form here: http://www.washingtongardener.com/index_files/subscribe.htm

Friday, November 13, 2015

Local First Friday: Meadows Farms

Guest Blog by Joelle Lang



The History Behind It:
Meadows Farms have been supplying the Washington, DC, region with plants since 1960. Farmer Bill Meadows, who founded the company 55 years ago, began by selling tomatoes in a broken-down van door-to-door with his high school students. The nursery business began when a grower asked Farmer Bill to sell his distressed plants after another nursery closed. Farmer Bill found a permanent shop, one without wheels, in which to sell the plants and the company grew from there. Farmer Bill has since retired, but his son, Jay Meadows, now serves as Meadows Farms’ president.
What’s It is Like Today:
There are 22 Meadows Farms located around DC in Maryland and Virginia. They offer outdoor trees and shrubs, annuals and perennials, mulch, soil, fertilizer, and garden accessories. The company also has an additional location that handles landscape and employs over 30 designers. Their landscape service, in which they design and install things such as plants, decks, and ponds, spans all around the beltway. While the locations vary in their hours, most locations run from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., and all but two nurseries close for the months of January and February.   
What Makes It Special:  
With regards to the retail division, Meadows Farms has a tremendous plant selection and still offers reasonable prices well under many other nurseries.
With regards to the landscape division, Meadows Farms has a lifetime guarantee for any plants they install. If a plant dies, Meadows Farms will cover the cost of the plant so you can purchase a new one.   

About the Author 
Joelle Lang, a senior at the University of Maryland, College Park, is a multi-platform journalism student in the Philip Merrill College of Journalism. This autumn, she is also an editorial intern for Washington Gardener Magazine.
"Local First Friday" is a weekly blog series profiling independent garden businesses in the greater Washington, DC, and Mid-Atlantic region. Washington Gardener Magazine believes strongly in supporting and sourcing from local businesses first!

Thursday, November 12, 2015

ADVERTISER OF THE WEEK: DCGardens.com

What is DCGardens.com?
   • Images and videos of DC-area gardens by month, enticing people to visit year-
    round (see DCGardens.com for examples).
   • Deep local resources for turning more residents into gardeners.
   • Digital images donated by volunteers, so DC Gardens is inexpensive.
    managed and funded independently from the gardens; nimble and very useful! 

Why Gardens (and Gardening) Matter
The Washington, DC, area is blessed with fabulous gardens that are open to the public, most of them free. Sadly, many are largely unknown and lack the funds to get the word out. If people could just see what they look like throughout the year, more would visit, and that matters because:

    • Gardens bring visitors close to plants and to all of nature, which benefits them
     mentally, spiritually, and physically.
    • Visiting gardens is a gateway experience to taking up gardening at home and in
     the community.
    • Public gardens are the primary teaching facilities for turning residents into
     gardeners, with classes and workshops on growing food, providing for wildlife,
     protecting our waterways from polluting runoff, and creating beauty in our home
     gardens or balconies.
    • Turning people on to gardening results in more beauty for all of us to enjoy and
     better stewardship of our land — without nagging.

ADVERTISER OF THE WEEK Details:
Every Thursday on the Washington Gardener Magazine Facebook page, Blog, and Yahoo group list we feature a current advertiser from our monthly digital magazine. To advertise with us, contact wgardenermag@aol.com today.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Native Spotlight: Fothergilla



Guest Blog by Rachel Shaw 

I like to advocate for plants that are native to our region, by which I generally mean the Chesapeake Bay watershed, and the closer to home the better. But today I’m going to talk about one that falls outside of the Mid-Atlantic region. This is Fothergilla, a lovely shrub for all seasons. According to the USDA Plants Database, its native range is limited to a handful of states to the south of us, of which North Carolina is the closest.  Not only is this sweet little shrub not native to our immediate area, most (including mine) are probably hybrids. But I would love to see this genus replace the ubiquitous Nandina, favored by the nursery trade and many landscapers, which to my mind it is both unattractive and invasive.

Before reading a very thorough and informative article by Rick Darke on Fothergilla, I knew little about this plant except what I had seen: beautiful fall color, attractive and fragrant spring flowers, and am upright habit. From Darke’s article, I learned that it is in the witch hazel family and that there are two species, both native to the southeastern U.S.: Fothergilla gardenii, or Dwarf Fothergilla, and Fothergilla major or Large Fothergilla. The dwarf form is a low growing coastal species, the larger form is found in more mountainous areas. In recent years the two have apparently hybridized when grown in proximity in the nursery trade, creating Fothergilla x intermedia, which now has numerous cultivars.

Fothergilla was growing close to my front door when we moved into the house. Its tallest stems are about six feet; it has never gotten much taller or spread, and has been quite well behaved. Its biggest vice is that following heavy rains, some of the exterior stems tend to droop over our walkway and need to be trimmed back. Other than that, it has required no care. The bottlebrush-like flowers are a delight in spring, the leaves are a pleasing shape, and the fall color is reliably attractive. Sometimes what I’d call a near-native, even a likely cultivar, is just too good to be overlooked!

About the author:
Rachel Shaw focuses on vegetable gardening and growing native plants in her small yard in Rockville, MD. She blogs at http://hummingbirdway.blogspot.com/
This guest blog post is part of a monthly Native Plants series posted around the 10th of each month. \


Saturday, November 07, 2015

Garden Book Club 2016 Selections



Here are the 2016 selections for the Washington Gardener Magazine's Garden Book Club:

WINTERThe Invention of Nature: Alexander von Humboldt's New World by Andrea Wulf

SPRING - The Rambunctious Garden:  Saving Nature in a Post-Wild World by Emma Marris

SUMMER - Planting in a Post-Wild World: Designing Plant Communities for Resilient Landscapes by Thomas Rainer and Claudia West

FALL - Paradise Under Glass: An Amateur Creates a Conservatory Garden by Ruth Kassinger

The Washington Gardener Magazine's Garden Book Club is free and open to all. We meet quarterly on a weekday evening near a metro-accessible location in the DC-area. We will announce the details of each upcoming meeting about two months in advance. Please check back on this blog for schedule updates and announcements.