Saturday, April 20, 2024

GardenDC Podcast Episode 191: Plastics in Gardening


In this episode of GardenDC: The Podcast about Mid-Atlantic Gardening, we talk with Marie Chieppo, an ecological landscape designer, about the ubiquitous use of plastic in gardening. The plant profile is on Native Azaleas and we share what's going on in the garden as well as some upcoming local gardening events and this week's garden tasks in the What's New segment. We close out with the Last Word on Herb Garden Labels from Christy Page of Green Prints.

If you liked this episode, you may also enjoy listening to:

~ GardenDC Podcast Episode 101: Sustainable Lawn Care 

https://washingtongardener.blogspot.com/2022/04/gardendc-podcast-episode-101.html

~ GardenDC Podcast Episode 147: Sustainable Gardening Practices

https://washingtongardener.blogspot.com/2023/04/gardendc-podcast-episode-147.html

~ GardenDC Podcast Episode 117: Environmentally Friendly Gardening

https://washingtongardener.blogspot.com/2022/08/gardendc-podcast-episode-117.html

~ GardenDC Podcast Episode 189: Organic Gardening

https://washingtongardener.blogspot.com/2024/04/gardendc-podcast-episode-189-organic.html

This episode is archived at: 

https://podcasters.spotify.com/pod/show/gardendc/episodes/Plastic-in-Gardening-e2ijckr

BTW, YOU can become a listener supporter for as little as $0.99 per month! 

See how at: https://podcasters.spotify.com/pod/show/gardendc/support.

SHOW NOTES will be posted after 4-23-2024.

We welcome your questions and comments! You can leave a voice mail message for us at: https://podcasters.spotify.com/pod/show/gardendc/message Note that we may use these messages on a future episode.

And be sure to leave us a 5-star review on your favorite podcast platform plus share us on social media with #GardenDC, so other gardeners can find us too!

Episode Credits:

Host and Producer: Kathy Jentz

Interview Edit and Show Notes: Hannah Zozobrado

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Friday, April 19, 2024

Fenton Friday: Potatoes Planted



This week, I finally got the potatoes planted. They are Dark Red Norland seed potatoes that I got from Valley View Farms in March. I had this potato grow bag (see photo at right) that was given to me a few years ago sitting around and thought I'd finally use it to test our grow potatoes in it. There is a flat on one side near the bottom that is attached with velcro, so you can open it and harvest the potatoes then reclose it and let them keep growing. I'll be eager to see if this will be easier than digging and hilling them as you normally would when growing potatoes.

In other updates from the garden, the radishes and carrots seedlings are up and thriving -- so much so that we had to thin them out. 

The lettuce greens, cilantro, arugula, and pea seedlings are now all up too. We did a bit of watering and weeding around those.

The onions, dill, parsley, and broccoli plants we put in a few weeks ago are all doing fine. The thornless blackberry bushes are loaded with white flowers. The garlic we planted last fall is growing rather large for this time of year -- fingers crossed for big bulbs when we harvest them this summer!

I harvested a few more asparagus spears, but the additional ones I planted last fall have not shown up yet. I'll still hold out hope for those.

We also decorated and refreshed our community bulletin board as it was looking really faded. (That sun is a powerful thing!) I added pockets with free seeds to give away -- they are basil, marigolds, and zinnias.

 What are you growing in your edible garden 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 in zone 7 Mid-Atlantic MD/DC border. I'm plot #16. It is a 10 ft x 20 ft space and this is our 13th year in the garden. (It opened in May 2011.) See past posts about our edible garden by putting "Fenton" into the Search box above (at the top, left on this blog).

Thursday, April 18, 2024

Top Local Spots for Azalea Viewing: Best Bloom Displays in the DC-MD-VA Region

Top Local Spots for Azalea Viewing: Best Bloom Displays in the DC-MD-VA Region - updated for 2024

What is a spring in the Mid-Atlantic without abundant azalea blooms? Masses of bright blossoms make for a wonderful sight after a long, cold winter. Sure, they can be over-used at times, but the reason we love them so much is because they are so successful and reliable in our gardens.

   Azalea season runs from April through June with early-, mid-, and late-season blooming shrubs. (Though technically, with the new re-blooming varieties, the flowering season can extend through fall.) Be sure to re-visit some of these locations throughout the several weeks of bloom so you can enjoy the changing mix of colors as different varieties wax and wane.

   A few years ago, Washington Gardener Magazine asked local azalea fans for their favorite bloom-viewing spots in our region. “I’ve always enjoyed the ride along Prosperity Avenue between Little River Turnpike and Route 50 in Fairfax County, VA. Many homes have beautiful, mature azaleas,” said Rick Bauer, president of the Northern Virginia Chapter, the Azalea Society of America.

   “My first place vote will always go to the National Arboretum,” said Mike Welsh, retired city gardener for Takoma Park, MD. “It has everything: a great collection, many different forms and varieties, the wonderful lay of the land for viewing, and a central location. By far, the most fascinating lore and history. It gets better, year after year. All one needs do is to go and look at the faces of those visiting and witness first-hand their expressed pleasure and their interaction with those beautiful azaleas.”

   Mike’s professional gardening domain was Takoma Park, MD, which is well-known for its many beautiful azaleas, in both private and public gardens. The location is the former home of Benjamin Y. Morrison, the famed horticulturist who was the founder and first director of the U. S. National Arboretum. Morrison is noted for cross-breeding different strains of azaleas to produce the Glenn Dale azaleas, which are prevalent today throughout the eastern United States. Morrison lived near Piney Branch Road and many of his Glenn Dale introductions can be seen throughout the city’s private home gardens and public parks.

   “Azaleas have a glamorous presence that few other plants have; beautiful azalea viewing can be anywhere and everywhere,” added Mike.
Azaleas at the USNA bonsai collection. Photo courtesy of DCGardens.com
   Indeed, most of these azalea-viewing suggestions are free and open to all. A few are on private property and we ask you to respect the homeowners by not trespassing and staying in the public right-of-way to take any photos.
• Brighton Dam in Brookeville, MD, has more than 20,000 azaleas and is provided by the Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission.
•  Brookside Gardens in Wheaton, MD, features more than 300 varieties of azaleas represented by 2,000 plants.
• Landon School in Bethesda, MD, hosts an annual Azalea Festival on the first weekend of May. The Perkins Gardens include 15,000 azaleas.
• The U.S. National Arboretum in Washington, DC, is where thousands of azaleas cover the flanks of Mount Hamilton in a blaze of color. 
• McCrillis Gardens in Bethesda, MD, was the private collection of an azalea gardener before being given to Montgomery County Parks in 1978.
• Franciscan Monastery in Washington, DC, features a hillside of azaleas on its 40-acre grounds.
• Tudor Place in Washington, DC, has pink and white azaleas around the Lion Fountain.
• Dumbarton Oaks in Washington, DC, and the Dumbarton Oaks Park next door, both have azaleas in their garden.
• U.S. Botanic Garden in Washington, DC, and the adjacent grounds of the U.S. Capitol building offer both native azaleas and Asian kinds in many colors.
• Hillwood Estate, Museum, and Gardens in Washington, DC, includes hundreds of azaleas sprinkled throughout the many garden rooms.
• Green Spring Gardens in Alexandria, VA, has a small collection of natives and some Asian varieties.
• Rachel Carson Conservation Park, in Olney, MD, is known, in part, for Rachel Carson’s famous wild azaleas (Pinxters), which are in full bloom in mid- to late-May.
• Norfolk Botanical Garden in Norfolk, VA, contains an azalea collection with more than 50,000 plants representing more than 550 species in full bloom. They also host an annual Azalea Celebration Week in early May.
• Cylburn Arboretum in Baltimore, MD, is known for its Azalea Trail and offers guided walks on occasion.
• Maymont in Richmond, VA, includes a Japanese Garden with spectacular combinations of azaleas, Japanese Maples, and spring-flowering trees.
• Annmarie Garden in Solomons, MD, has about 500 shrubs in its Glenn Dales collection established in 1997 and tended by volunteer gardeners.
   Did we leave any of your favorite local azalea viewing spots off this list? Let us know where you go to be amongst “the royalty of the garden.”  

Here are some tips and sources for growing great azaleas in YOUR garden: 


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Wednesday, April 17, 2024

Pieris japonica Plant Profile

Pieris japonica Plant Profile

Japanese Andromeda (Pieris japonica) is a landscape shrub that has clusters of delicate white or pink blossoms that drip from the branches in early spring and are visited by a number of pollinators such as the native Mason Bee. It is also known as the Lily-of-the-Valley Shrub.

It has thick, glossy leaves that start off in shades of red that turn a deep green as they mature. This evergreen is deer-resistant and attractive in all seasons.

It is native to Asia and is a member of the Ericaceae family, which includes rhododendrons.

It is hardy to USDA Zones 5 to 8. This shrub thrives in part-shade and prefers moist, well-drained soil. Give it protection from winter winds.

Spread pine needle mulch around the base of the plant and feed it with a fertilizer for acid-loving shrubs such as that formulated for camellias and azaleas.

Pruning is generally not necessary, but if you must do so, cut it back after it finishes flowering. It can be propagated by stem cuttings.

Depending on the variety, it can reach 8 feet wide and high. There are also dwarf cultivars available. Newer varieties have variegated foliage and the smaller versions can be grown as container plants.

Pieris japonica: You Can Grow That!

The video was produced by Washington Gardener Magazine.

Audio, Photos, and Text by Kathy Jentz

Video and Editing by Cassie Peo

 If you enjoy this video, please give it a thumbs up and subscribe to our Youtube channel (thank you!)

Remember to TURN ON notifications to know when our new videos are out

 FIND Washington Gardener Magazine ONLINE

WashingtonGardener.blogspot.com

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~ Podcast: GardenDC

If you liked this video, we think you will like these Plant Profiles:

~ Flowering Quince   Description: https://www.gstatic.com/youtube/img/watch/yt_favicon.png • Flowering Quince Plant Profile  

~ Spirea   Description: https://www.gstatic.com/youtube/img/watch/yt_favicon.png • Spirea Plant Profile  

~ Weigela   Description: https://www.gstatic.com/youtube/img/watch/yt_favicon.png • Weigela Plant Profile  

~ Daphne   Description: https://www.gstatic.com/youtube/img/watch/yt_favicon.png • Daphne Plant Profile  


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Saturday, April 13, 2024

GardenDC Podcast Episode 190: Dogwoods


In this episode of GardenDC: The Podcast about Mid-Atlantic Gardening, we talk all about dogwoods with George Waters, a horticulturist with the U.S. National Arboretum. The plant profile is on Loropetalum and we share what's going on in the garden as well as some upcoming local gardening events and this week's garden tasks in the What's New segment. We close out with the Last Word on Stalking My Local Nursery by Christy Page of Green Prints.

If you liked this episode, you may also enjoy listening to:

~ GardenDC Podcast Episode 144: Flowering Cherry Trees 

https://washingtongardener.blogspot.com/2023/04/gardendc-podcast-episode-144-flowering.html

~ GardenDC Podcast Episode 119: Crapemyrtles

https://washingtongardener.blogspot.com/2022/09/gardendc-podcast-episode-119.html

~ GardenDC Podcast Episode 6: Spring-Flowering Trees and Shrubs

https://washingtongardener.blogspot.com/2020/04/gardendc-podcast-episode-6-spring.html

~ GardenDC Podcast Episode 106: Ancient Plants

https://washingtongardener.blogspot.com/2022/05/gardendc-podcast-episode-106-ancient.html

This episode is archived at: 

https://podcasters.spotify.com/pod/show/gardendc/episodes/Dogwoods-e2i7jeq

BTW, YOU can become a listener supporter for as little as $0.99 per month! 

See how at: https://podcasters.spotify.com/pod/show/gardendc/support.

SHOW NOTES will be posted after 4-16-2024.

We welcome your questions and comments! You can leave a voice mail message for us at: https://podcasters.spotify.com/pod/show/gardendc/message Note that we may use these messages on a future episode.

And be sure to leave us a 5-star review on your favorite podcast platform plus share us on social media with #GardenDC, so other gardeners can find us too!

Episode Credits:

Host and Producer: Kathy Jentz

Interview Edit and Show Notes: Hannah Zozobrado

PIN THIS FOR LATER!


Friday, April 12, 2024

Fenton Friday: Runaway Asparagus

As you can see in the above photo, I was away last week so the Asparagus spears have gotten a bit tall. I went ahead and cut them in hopes that the tops are tender enough to still eat for dinner tonight.

We had more rain this week and fierce winds. I took down the old, faded items from our bulletin board and next week I will laminate replacements as well as a new sign at our pollinator garden strip. The pathways are freshly chipped and the community garden is looking great overall!

We planted the white onion sets and weeded a bit. The radish, arugula, and spinach seeds have emerged -- and I finally saw a few peas emerging too. 

I still need to clear a space for planting the potatoes. I think I may do them in a grow bag, because everywhere I think to put the potatoes is a spot I have something else coming up (dahlias) or planned to go in (tomatoes, peppers, and okra).

What are you growing in your edible garden 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 in zone 7 Mid-Atlantic MD/DC border. I'm plot #16. It is a 10 ft x 20 ft space and this is our 13th year in the garden. (It opened in May 2011.) See past posts about our edible garden by putting "Fenton" into the Search box above (at the top, left on this blog).

Wednesday, April 10, 2024

Flowering Almond Plant Profile

Flowering Almond Plant Profile

Dwarf Flowering Almond (Prunus glandulosa) is a multi-stemmed shrub with beautiful light pink or white flowers in early spring. It can reach 3 to 5 feet wide and high.

It prefers full to part-sun and is tolerant of a range of soil types. It also does well in urban conditions. However, it cannot stand to sit in wet soil for long periods. Once established, it is quite drought-tolerant. It is a rose relative and is native to Asia. Despite the common name of “Flowering Almond,” it does not produce almonds (that is a different tree entirely). Butterflies and other pollinators are attracted to the flowers. It is the larval host plant for the Eastern Tiger Swallowtail Flowering Almond is hardy to zones 4-8. It requires frequent pruning, do so right after it flowers. Take out any old wood and anything dead, diseased, or damaged. It is easy to propagate from softwood cuttings in late spring or early summer. It can be a short-lived plant in the garden due to its susceptibility to diseases and insect issues, but it is worth growing for its decorative value and as a cut flower. This was a favorite shrub of Thomas Jefferson, who planted it extensively at Monticello. Flowering Almond: You Can Grow That! The video was produced by Washington Gardener Magazine as part of our Plant Profile series for Mid-Atlantic USA gardeners. Audio and text by Kathy Jentz Video and editing by Cassie Peo ➤ If you enjoy this video, please give it a thumbs up and subscribe to our YouTube channel (thank you!) ➤Remember to TURN ON notifications to know when our new videos are out ➤ FIND Washington Gardener Magazine ONLINE ~ WashingtonGardener.blogspot.com ~ http://twitter.com/WDCGardener ~ https://www.instagram.com/wdcgardener/ ~ Facebook.com/WashingtonGardenerMagazine ~ Podcast: GardenDC If you liked this video, we think you will like these our Plant Profiles: ~ Flowering Quince https://youtu.be/pl8rAgzJ40E?si=3lF83le8N9XpcjjX ~ Spirea https://youtu.be/Dp1vbWuiuG8?si=c3t-nmgTG0H5XDOX ~ Weigela https://youtu.be/tUsZZj3iTHU?si=FfB5ld0g-LhlaYwL ~ Daphne https://youtu.be/rOXRQ_xWywE?si=EhvSQE7J1MDYpQij

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