Thursday, February 21, 2019

Win Passes to the Maryland Home & Garden Show in the February 2019 Washington Gardener Reader Contest

For our February 2019 Washington Gardener Reader Contest, Washington Gardener is giving away five pairs of passes to the Maryland Home & Garden Show (including Craft Show) at the Maryland State Fairgrounds (prize value: $24).
  The Maryland Home and Garden Show ( is back at the Maryland State Fairgrounds for two weekends (Saturday and Sunday, March 2–3, and Friday, March 8–Sunday, March 10) with 400 contractors and experts to make it all possible. There is a Petting Zoo for kids and a Wine Tasting for adults. The Maryland Orchid Society will present a stunning flower show and sale with thousands of orchids on display. Visitors will be amazed at the many varieties of these spectacular flowers!
   To enter to win a pair of passes to the Maryland Home & Garden Show, send an email to by 5:00pm on February 28 with “Maryland Home & Garden Show” in the subject line and in the body of the email. Tell us what your favorite article was in this issue and why. Include your full name and mailing address. Winners will be announced on March 1.

Wednesday, February 20, 2019

Award-winning Garden Photos, Container-sized Blueberries, Native Lanceleaf Loosestrife, and More in the February 2019 issue of Washington Gardener Magazine

The February 2019 issue of Washington Gardener Magazine is out.

Inside this issue:
·         17 Award-winning Garden Photos
·         Two New Container-sized Blueberry Plants
·         Little-known Native Lanceleaf Loosestrife
·         Proven Bug-free Gardening
·         DC-MD-VA Gardening Events Calendar
·         Are Your Soils Too Salty?
·         Top Tips for Starting Sweet Peppers from Seed
·         Your Garden Task List
·         And much more….

Note that any submissions, event listings, and advertisements for the March 2019 issue are due by March 5.

>>  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:

Monday, February 11, 2019

Three Spring Talks

Registration just opened up for three talks I am giving at local public gardens this spring. These fill fast, so sign up soon!

Dealing with Deer and Other Mammals in the Gardens
Speaker: Kathy Jentz, Editor/Publisher, Washington Gardener Magazine
Saturday, April 6 from 2-3:30pm
At Green Spring Gardens in Alexandria, VA
Bambi may be cute, but he would love to make a feast of your garden. Learn proven and humane tactics for gardening with deer, rabbits, rodents, groundhogs, and other creatures that are attracted to both edible and ornamental gardens. $18/person. Register online at using code 27C.63BB or call Green Spring Gardens at 703-642-5173.

Dealing with Dry Shade
Speaker: Kathy Jentz, Editor/Publisher, Washington Gardener Magazine
At Brookside Gardens in Wheaton, MD
Thursday, April 18 from 2-3:30pm
In our hot and humid summers, a shade garden can be a soothing sanctuary but dealing with dry shade is a common challenge for many local gardeners. Kathy will discuss design choices, soil amendments to increase moisture retention, and proven plant choices that work in these tough conditions. We'll also examine case studies of local gardens who have not only conquered dry shade but made it a rewarding environment to grow in. FOBG Fee: $20, Regular Fee: $22

Water in the Landscape: Creating A Garden Oasis
Speaker: Kathy Jentz, Editor/Publisher, Washington Gardener Magazine 
Tuesday, June 25 from 2-3:30pm
At Brookside Gardens in Wheaton, MD
Water features and water gardens can be a magical addition to your landscape. Water can be stimulating or calming, depending on how it is used. There are numerous uses for water gardens from sustaining native wildlife to masking ambient noise. This class explains the basics of installing and maintaining a water feature of any size into a garden. It also highlights water garden plant choices appropriate for our region. FOBG Fee: $22, Regular Fee: $25

Wednesday, February 06, 2019

Video Wednesday: What Brings You to the Seed Exchange?

We asked our Seed Exchange attendees to let us know, "Why do you attend?" Their answers were many and varied.
    This Washington Gardener Seed Exchange took place on Saturday, February 2, 2019, at Green Spring Gardens in Alexandria, VA. Seed Exchange attendees trade seeds, exchange planting tips, hear expert speakers, and collect goody bags full of gardening treats. This video was shot by John Moseman and edited by Alexa Silverberg.

Monday, February 04, 2019

Washington Gardener Magazine 13th Annual Garden Photo Contest Winners

Here are the 17 winners in the Washington Gardener Magazine 13th Annual Photo Contest. There were close to 200 photos submitted in this year's contest from 24 entrants. I know our expert judge had a Herculean task picking out the best of the best! It was great to see several first-time entrants place highly. Many of these photos come from the photographers own home gardens, while the majority of the rest of the images were taken at public gardens in our region.

Note that what you are viewing online here is a low-resolution version of the photo images. Winning images will be published in the next issue of Washington Gardener magazine and as large format prints in a local photo exhibit this summer at Meadowlark Botanical Gardens in Vienna, VA.

The winners were announced live during the Washington Gardener Seed Exchange on Saturday, February 2 at Green Spring Gardens in Alexandria, VA.
Congratulations to the 2019 DC Garden Photo Contest winners and thank you to all who entered! 

And a BIG Thank You to our Prize Sponsors: 

Thursday, January 31, 2019

Meet the New Spring 2019 Interns

This summer, I have taken on two editorial interns. If you attend any of our upcoming events, like this Saturday's Seed Exchange at Green Spring Gardens, you are bound to run into one or both of them. As a "first assignment," I asked them to write a short introduction to our readers...

Hello Everyone! My name is Alexa Silverberg from Short Hills, NJ, and I am a senior broadcast journalism major at the University of Maryland. I am very excited to be interning at Washington Gardener Magazine this spring semester. I love producing creative content, and am excited to share that passion with all of you! I love making videos, from filming, to writing and editing, the process excites me. You can see my first video for Washington Gardener here. I am looking forward to gaining magazine experience and expanding my knowledge of gardening!

Hi! I am Johnny Moseman, a senior multi-platform journalism major at the University of Maryland from Columbia, Maryland. I grew up around the university my whole life and my mother and older brother attended UMD. I playing every sport growing up that I could and covered any sport I could during my time at UMD. While reading and writing about sports is my true passion, gardening is not far from my heart as I have helped my grandmother in her vegetable garden in Hyattsville, MD, when I was younger.

Wednesday, January 30, 2019

Video Wednesday: Seed Exchange Highlights

The 14th Annual Washington Gardener Seed Exchange took place on Saturday, January 26, 2019, at Brookside Gardens in Wheaton, MD. Seed Exchange attendees trade seeds, exchange planting tips, hear expert speakers, and collect goody bags full of gardening treats. This video was shot and edited by intern Alexa Silverberg.

If you missed it, you can still join us for the next Washington Gardener Seed Exchange on Saturday, February 2, 2019 at Green Spring Gardens in Fairfax, VA. Details and registration information is at:

Tuesday, January 29, 2019


UPDATE: We are now sold out of seats on the Behnke Nurseries trip on Thursday, March 7, but still have a few left for the SilVER Spring trip on Wednesday, March 6. If you are interested in attending, please SEND in your form and check ASAP.


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 2019, “Flower Power,” will pay tribute to the enormous impact of flowers on our lives. America’s leading floral and garden designers will create stunning landscapes, imaginative gardens, and breathtaking floral displays. Through imaginative exhibits, guests will see ideas like community, healing, peace, transformation, and hope brought to life in surprising, vibrant ways. 

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 the “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; from different locations. Here are the details:

Wednesday, March 6 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 7 from 10am-10pm, leaving and returning to Behnke Nurseries in Beltsville, MD - includes a lunch and has free parking - see this registration form for more details: 

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 and I can send the forms directly to you. 

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

Friday, January 25, 2019


UPDATE: We still have some spots left for the February 2nd event! 

Online Registration ends at 6:00pm on 2/1/19 for the Seed Exchange at Green Spring Gardens.
If you miss that online window, y
ou can register in-person at the event starting at 12noon on Saturday, 2/2/19.

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

-The online registration links are -
 Saturday, January 26 at Brookside Gardens, Wheaton, MD go here:
and for 
Saturday, February 2 at Green Spring Gardens, VA go here:
 > You can also register at the door of the event starting at 12noon. 

- 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, refillable 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/garden catalogs for our give-away table, be sure to rip off the address labels and tear out any order inserts 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. You can also see the listing at:
(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:   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.    (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 & Volunteers12:30-12:35 Introductory remarks and overview12:35-1:25 Speaker 1
1:30-2:00 Speaker 2
2:00-2:30 Refreshment Break and Seed Swap Preview2:30-3:00 Seed Show and Tell**3:00-3:30 Seed Swap!
3:30-3:45 Garden Photo Contest Winners Presentation (only at VA location)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. 

Monday, January 21, 2019

Witch Hazels, Cool-Season Edible Gardens, and much more in the January 2019 issue of Washington Gardener Magazine

The January 2019 issue of Washington Gardener Magazine is out.

Inside this issue:
  • Under the spell of Witch Hazel
  • 8 New Garden Trends for 2019
  • Year of the Dahlia
  • Your Garden Task List
  • Dealing with Pesky Critters Humanely
  • DC-MD-VA Gardening Events Calendar
  • Curtailing the Colorado Potato Beetle
  • Top Tips for Success with Cool-Season Edible Gardens
  • And much more….

Note that any submissions, event listings, and advertisements for the February 2019 issue are due by February 5.

>>  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:

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