Thursday, June 30, 2016

ADVERTISER OF THE WEEK: Behnke Nurseries


Behnke Nurseries today reflects the same old-fashioned principles set by our founders. We offer the widest practical selection of top quality plants, with knowledgeable staff to assist in plant choices and educate in plant care.
Behnke Nurseries now enjoys nationwide recognition as Washington’s premiere plant and garden center. Here you will find all kinds of great articles and tips on a wide variety of plants and products from our staff of seasoned horticulturists.

See: http://behnkes.com/website/

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

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Thyme to Grow Your Own Herbs! Class

Basil 'Genovese'
Join me for a summer afternoon talking about growing herbs -- no gardening experience required!

Register now at the link below - spaces are limited.

The class is this Sunday afternoon (7/3) at 2pm near downtown Silver Spring, MD.

Sign up at -

 http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/2569943

>>Thyme to Grow Your Own Herbs!
You don't need to cultivate an entire backyard plot to grow enough herbs to use in meals; a simple container on a deck or patio can provide herbs all season, as you need them. This class provides you with the information you need to grow herbs in a container garden or in a small garden bed.

You'll discover which herbs are best started from seeds and which are best bought as seedlings. Youll also get tips on different sources for herbs and how to care for them.


Attendees will sample, smell, and taste a variety of herbs.


Instructor:

Kathy Jentz is editor and publisher of Washington Gardener Magazine. A life-long gardener, Kathy believes that growing plants should be stress-free and enjoyable, and her philosophy is inspiration over perspiration. She is currently the Green Media columnist for the Mid-Atlantic Grower. Kathy's work has been featured in numerous publications, including the Washington Examiner, Pathways Magazine, and Washington Women magazine. In addition, she appears on regular gardening guest spots on Channel 9, Channel 4, and WAMU radio in D.C.

Video Wednesday: Golden Streets of DC


The best street plantings in the downtown DC Golden Triangle District were selected this past week by a panel of judges including Washington Gardener Magazine, Smithsonian Gardens, and Ahmed Hassan: Celebrity Landscaper. Here is a video glimpse into the judging process.

The 2016  Winners are:
Fan Favorite - “Stars and Stripes Forever” at 1801 K Street NW.
Best in Design -  "Island in the Sun" at 1901 L Street NW
Sustainability Award - "Pollinators' Paradise" at 1200 19th Street NW

More photos are posted at:
https://www.facebook.com/145383542145752/photos/?tab=album&album_id=1365119740172120

Monday, June 27, 2016

Fun Flower Arranging Class on Sunday July 10 at On The Purple Couch


Learn to "Arrange Flowers with Ease" on Sunday, July 10 from 1-3pm. Join us and learn hands-on how to put together a charming flower arrangement using the bounty of your own garden or sourcing from a florist. The class will go over Flower Arranging 101 — 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.

Then, we will cover the Hand-Tied method of flower arranging and you will get to make an arrangement of your own to take home in a rustic tin can or jam jar. We will paint the can/jar container with Annie Sloan chalk paint as part of the class.

  No prior florist skills or experience required! Bring your friends and family for a fun afternoon.

 The class is hosted at On The Purple Couch in Kensington, MD.
(Note that they moved recently to 10513 Metropolitan Avenue.)

   Register at http://www.onthepurplecouch.com/event/flower-arranging-washington-gardener-otpc/
 

Friday, June 24, 2016

Fenton Friday: Small-ish Garlic Harvest

Garlic cleaned and ready to be cured
This week at the community garden plot started off hot and dry and then the rains came and it cooled off for a bit -- now it is in our usual hot, humid, and pop-up storm pattern.

The garlic foliage was browning so the interns and I dug it up. The bulbs are about half the size of last year's crop -- nothing to brag about, but not awful. Thy are hanging now in my sunroom to cure for a couple weeks.

Intern John's watermelon seeds did not really germinate, so we put in sweet potato slips in that spot instead. Intern Jacqueline's cucumber seedlings are doing just fine and we thinned them back to the strongest two.

I also planted 3 each -- Nicotiana seedlings, 'Genovese' Basil, and 'Black Pearl' Ornamental Peppers. About half of my cut-flower seeds have not germinated so I may go in and re-space out some of the flower seedlings that did come up and add a few new seeds.

The strawberry crop has ended and the peas have petered out. I'll pull the latter's vines this week and put in green beans and some 'Baby Boo' pumpkin seeds.

Has is your edible garden growing this week?

About Fenton Friday:
Every Friday during the growing season, I'll be giving you an update on my community garden plot at the Fenton Street Community Garden just across the street from my house. I'm plot #16. It is a 10 ft x 20 ft space and this is our 5th year in the garden. (It opened in May 2011.)

Thursday, June 23, 2016

ADVERTISER OF THE WEEK: University of Maryland Extension Home & Garden Information Center

The Home and Garden Information Center (HGIC) is a state-wide program that provides outreach education to Maryland residents and beyond.

HGIC has been a national model for outreach education since 1990. Their success is the result of inter-disciplinary programming and multiple learning/teaching modes. Their educators develop web resources and are engaged in social media, direct client consultations via email and phone, classroom instruction, hands-on training, and demonstration projects.

From their website you can access:

See: http://extension.umd.edu/hgic

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

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Video Wednesday: Joseph Tychonievich Gives Plant Breeding Talk to Silver Spring Garden Club



Joseph Tychonievich , is a life-long gardener and lover of plants. Joseph earned his BS in horticulture from Ohio State University, went on to work for Shibamichi Honten Nursery in Saitama, Japan, has been a repeated guest on public radio’s food show “The Splendid Table,” wrote a book, Plant Breeding for the Home Gardener (Timber Press, 2013), spent two years working at the famed rare plants nursery Arrowhead Alpines, and was named by Organic Gardening Magazine as one of “...six young horticulturists who are helping to shape how America gardens.”

Plant Breeding, the art of creating your very own new varieties of plants, may sound complex and technical, but it isn’t. People have been breeding plants since agriculture began, and you can easily create your own new plants in your backyard. In this talk, you’ll learn the simple principles and techniques that will allow you to start creating a perfectly delicious tomato, columbines in JUST the right shade of purple, technicolored corn, or whatever else you can dream up.

Wildflower Wednesday: Spiderwort


For this month's Wildflower Wednesday post, I am sharing a humble and lovely plant -- Spiderwort (Tradescantia virginiana). I first came across this flower 15 years ago at a neighborhood yard sale, where they had self-sown all along the driveway. The neighbor was selling plants from her garden for a few bucks each so I asked for a piece of this plant and brought it home to plant along a newly laid-out garden bed in fairly dry, part-shade.


Since this it has reliably returned and self-seeded along the path here-and-there, but is not aggressive and never need any care. I mean literally ZERO care. I never cut it back, water it, fertilize it, weed it nada, nothing. It has no serious insect or disease problems plus a long blooming period. Occasionally, a stem falls over into the pathway. I simple step on it and keep going -- it is that resilient.

If you are looking for a native wildflower to plant that is truly no-maintenance, Spiderwort is a great choice.

Wildflower Wednesday is about sharing wildflowers from all over the world. It was started by Gail Eichelberger on her "Clay and Limestone" blog. It is always on the fourth Wednesday of the month.

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Win a Copy of the Idiot’s Guides: Foraging

For our June 2016 Washington Gardener Magazine Reader Contest, Washington Gardener is giving away two copies of the Idiot’s Guides: Foraging (a $22 value).  To enter to win one of the copies of the book, send an email to WashingtonGardener@rcn.com by 5pm on Thursday, June 30, with “Foraging” in the subject line and in the body of the email. Tell us which was your favorite article in the June 2016 issue of Washington Gardener and why. Please also include your full name and mailing address. The book winners will be announced here and notified on July 1.


UPDATE:

Congratulations to our two book winners! They are:
~ Madeline Caliendo, Washington, DC 
~ Faith Hood, Falls Church, VA

Monday, June 20, 2016

June 2016 issue of Washington Gardener Magazine - Herbaceous Peonies, Okra, Native Clintonia, and much more...



The June 2016 issue of Washington Gardener Magazine is now out.
You can view it online at: 
http://issuu.com/washingtongardener/docs/washingtongardenerjune2016
Inside this issue:

  • Herbaceous Peonies: You Can Grow That!
  • How to Grow Okra
  • Your Monthly Garden Tasks To-do List
  • Schwartz Peony Gardens at Seneca Creek State Park
  • Gain More “Legroom” in the Garden
  • Local Gardening Events Calendar
  • Learn all about the Lily Leaf Beetle
  • At Home with the Clintons (Native Clintonia)
  • Future Plans for the Smithsonian Gardens
  • New Photo Feature:  Local Pets in Gardens
  • And much more!
Note that any submissions, event listings, and advertisements for the July 2016 issue are due by July 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, June 17, 2016

Fenton Friday: Baby Veg


cherry tomato
This week in my community garden plot, I continued to pick a few handfuls of snap peas and strawberries. I put in some new bark chips for the pathways and continue to battle the nastiest of weeds -- Canada thistle!

The tomatoes, peppers, and okra are flowering and forming tiny fruits -- promises of good things to come.

The cut-flower seeds I planted are coming in very sporadically, I will give them another week and may re-plant some sections.

Meanwhile, the cucumber and watermelon seeds the interns planted last week are already making their appearances.





red okra
A fellow community gardener gave me some sweet potato slips so I will clear a space for them next.

How is your edible garden growing this week?
















cucumber seedlngs


About Fenton Friday:
Every Friday during the growing season, I'll be giving you an update on my community garden plot at the Fenton Street Community Garden just across the street from my house. I'm plot #16. It is a 10 ft x 20 ft space and this is our 5th year in the garden. (It opened in May 2011.)

Thursday, June 16, 2016

ADVERTISER OF THE WEEK: Plant a Row for the Hungry


Plant a Row for the Hungry is People Helping People Since 1995, over 20 million pounds of produce providing over 80 million meals have been donated by American gardeners. All of this has been achieved without government subsidy or bureaucratic red tape -- just people helping people.

Plant A Row is a public service program of the Garden Writers Association and the GWA Foundation. Garden writers are asked to encourage their readers/listeners to plant an extra row of produce each year and donate their surplus to local food banks, soup kitchens and service organizations to help feed America’s hungry.

There are over 84 million households with a yard or garden in the U.S. If every gardener plants one extra row of vegetables and donates their surplus to local food agencies and soup kitchens, a significant impact can be made on reducing hunger.

Support Plant A Row and help make a difference in your community.

PAR Hotline 1-877-492-2727 or go to  http://www.gardenwriters.org/GWA-Foundation-Projects-Plant-a-Row-for-the-Hungry-Start-a-PAR-Campaign

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

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Bring on the Butterflies for Bloom Day!

Butterfly Weed
It is Garden Blogger's Bloom Day again! On the 15th of each month, we gardeners with blogs share a few bloom photos from our gardens. Here is the Mid-Atlantic USA (USDA zone 7) on the DC-MD border, we had lots of rain this spring - interrupted by two long bouts of dry, heat that stressed out my garden. We got a bit of rain today after the latest week of desert-like winds, so I'm feeling some relief.

Yesterday, I found this Butterfly Weed (pictured above) finally blooming in the hell-strip pollinator garden I planted last year. The area needs a bit of attention and TLC, but this IS a weed so it fought its way through and I hope will soon be munched on by some Monarch caterpillars.

This Gladiola (pictured below) is an odd one. I think I planted it from a purple mix I bought, but cannot recall for sure. Can anyone ID it? It looks very different in low-light and much more purple in person. This photo was the best direct lighting I could give it to show the striping in the throat.

Gladiola - name?

What is blooming in your garden today?


Video Wednesday: 9th Annual DC Plant Swap



Here is a short vidseo of the recent 9th Annual DC Plant Swap Details hosted by Washington Gardener Magazine at the US National Arboretum in Washington, DC. Make plans to join us for the next one in early June 2017!

Monday, June 13, 2016

Intern Introductions: Summer 2016


John Powers (pictured above at left) is a rising senior multi-platform journalism major and environmental economics and policy minor at the University of Maryland. He has worked as a staff writer for "Stories Beneath the Shell," an online publication at UMD, and currently works at the copy desk of The Diamondback, the university’s official newspaper. He has spent a summer working as a farmhand back in his home state of Massachusetts. He said, "I am eager to further my knowledge about cultivating plant life while developing my writing skills in Washington Gardener Magazine this summer."

Jacqueline Hyman (pictured above at right) is a junior journalism and English major at the University of Maryland. She is the editor-in-chief of the Mitzpeh, an independent Jewish newspaper at UMD. In addition, Jacqueline enjoys musical theater, and teaches piano and voice at Guitar Center. She is excited for the opportunity to work for the Washington Gardener.

Picking strawberries
at the US National Arboretum
 

Friday, June 10, 2016

Fenton Friday: Suddenly Scapes

Every year the sudden appearance of the Garlic Scapes baffles me. One day, not a hint of them. The next day, there they are -- all these pig tails full of springy-energy.

I cut them today and I think the garlic bulbs themselves are very close to be ready for harvesting soon as well.

The torrential rains have stopped. Followed by days of high winds that are desiccating anything I have still in pots waiting to go in the ground. I have spending most of my "gardening time" watering pots of seedlings.

I did finally manage to get the cut-flower seeds mapped out and planted. The two new interns planted cucumber and watermelon seeds as well.

The strawberries are still producing very well and the peas are hanging in. I see an okra forming on one of the still-small plants along with some tiny tomatoes emerging.

How is your edible garden growing this week?

About Fenton Friday:
Every Friday during the growing season, I'll be giving you an update on my community garden plot at the Fenton Street Community Garden just across the street from my house. I'm plot #16. It is a 10 ft x 20 ft space and this is our 5th year in the garden. (It opened in May 2011.)

Thursday, June 09, 2016

ADVERTISER OF THE WEEK: Wings of Fancy at Brookside Gardens


The Wings of Fancy live butterfly exhibit in Wheaton, MD, runs daily through September 25, from 10am to 4pm, Brookside Gardens South Conservatory features live butterflies. Come witness the butterfly life cycle as tiny eggs hatch into crawling, chewing caterpillars, which then encase themselves in jewel-like chrysalides and emerge as sipping, flying adult butterflies. Learn about the best annual and tropical plants, and hardy shrubs that are used as nectar sources, to attract butterflies to your own garden.

See more details at http://www.montgomeryparks.org/brookside/wings_of_fancy.shtm.

Every Thursday on the Washington Gardener Magazine blog, we feature a current advertiser from our quarterly print magazine or monthly online enewsletter. To advertise with us, contact wgardenermag@aol.com today. 

Wednesday, June 08, 2016

Discuss "Planting in a Post-Wild World" with Washington Gardener Book Club

For our Garden Book Club Summer 2016 Meeting we will be discussing Planting in a Post-Wild World: Designing Plant Communities for Resilient Landscapes by Thomas Rainer and Claudia West. Please join us on Thursday, July 21 from 6:30-8pm at Soupergirl, located right next to the Takoma metro stop.
"This groundbreaking guide presents a powerful alternative to traditional horticulture: designed plantings that function like naturally occurring plant communities."
"Thomas Rainer and Claudia West, two leading voices in ecological landscape design, reveal how plants fit together in nature and how to use this knowledge to create landscapes that are resilient, beautiful, and diverse. As practical as it is inspiring, Planting in a Post-Wild World is an optimistic manifesto pointing the way to the future of planting design."
Please RSVP to washingtongardener (at) rcn.com or at the book club event page at facebook.com/WashingtonGardenerMagazine by July 15, so we know how many chairs to hold for our group.
 
If you like to read ahead, here are the next selection for the Washington Gardener Magazine's Garden Book Club:

FALL 2016 - 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.

Monday, June 06, 2016

Growing Your Own Cutting Garden Class Sun June 12


Learn to "Growing your own Cutting Garden" on Sunday, June 12 from 1-3pm. Why pay high florist prices? Grow your own flowers for cutting and enjoying in bouquets! We’ll cover the best plants for each Mid-Atlantic season for local gardeners to have available for arranging. We will also talk about the “slow flower” movement and why it is important to buy local.
   We will have different cutting garden flowers on-hand to discuss and then we'll all make a simple Farmer’s Market Bouquet in a Canning Jar that will be painted with Annie Sloan chalk paint as part of the class.
   The class is hosted at On The Purple Couch in Kensington, MD.
(Note that they moved on February 1 to 10513 Metropolitan Avnue.)
Register at http://www.onthepurplecouch.com/event/growing-cutting-garden-washington-gardener-otpc/

Friday, June 03, 2016

Fenton Friday: Paltry Peas


The peas that the spring interns planted finally produced some pods. The handful I harvested are delicious and are, as promised, edible as pod or pea. The pea vines though are wilting in the hot, humid sun between torrential rains. They might not last much longer.

Meanwhile, strawberries are going gang-busters still. I have not kept up picking them all and some are rotting and others are being feated on by slugs and mealy bugs, but I am trying hard to pick them daily and keep up with them.

Between storms, I also managed to plant tomatoes ('Sun Sugar' and 'Matt's Wild Cherry'), one 'Fish Pepper, and two red Okra plants.

I also cleared out a whole bed (except for 9 garlic plants I put in last fall) for my cutting garden seeds. I was going to plant them last week but every day promised another gully-washer storm, some of which materialized and some of which just blew on by. I didn't want to risk all my new seeds going down the street drain, so I have waited. Hope to get them in early next week.

How is your edible garden growing this week?

About Fenton Friday:
Every Friday during the growing season, I'll be giving you an update on my community garden plot at the Fenton Street Community Garden just across the street from my house. I'm plot #16. It is a 10 ft x 20 ft space and this is our 5th year in the garden. (It opened in May 2011.)

Thursday, June 02, 2016

ADVERTISER OF THE WEEK: Love & Carrots

Love and Carrots provides gardening assistance to people who would like to have an organic vegetable garden in their backyard, front yard, patio, balcony, or even bay window. DC is unique in that it has abundant yard space for a city. Many people here have both a front and back yard, however not many people use these spaces to grow food. They would like to see that potential realized and so far, they have seen that the interest in home gardening in DC already exists. Their aim is to help get people started growing their own food as locally as possible – in their own yard!

They design, install, and maintain organically grown vegetable gardens, transforming backyards and rooftops into fresh, organic banquets. Veggies are just a part of what they do – Love and Carrots also works with native plants, chicken coops, and rain gardens. 

See:  http://loveandcarrots.com/

Every Thursday on the Washington Gardener Magazine blog, we feature a current advertiser from our quarterly print magazine or monthly online enewsletter. To advertise with us, contact wgardenermag@aol.com today.

Wednesday, June 01, 2016

Video Wednesday: Tomato Planting Tips


Kathy Jentz, Editor/Publisher, Washington Gardener Magazine shares some tomato planting tips -- basically plant deep and don't worry that it is getting late in the planting season -- just get them in the ground ASAP!