Monday, December 06, 2021

Monday Thoughts: ​Make your life a garden where you plant seeds of possibility and water them with gratitude.

 

​Make your life a garden where you plant seeds of possibility and water them with gratitude.
- anonymous

Saturday, December 04, 2021

GardenDC Podcast Episode 85: Camellias

In this episode, we talk with Matthew Millage, a horticulturist at the U.S. National Arboretum, all about Camellias. The plant profile is on Hardy Orange and I share what's going on locally and in my garden.

BTW, YOU can become a listener supporter for as little as $0.99 per month! See how at: https://anchor.fm/gardendc/support.

The episode is posted at: https://anchor.fm/gardendc/episodes/Camellias-e1atceq

The GardenDC podcast is also available on -

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

Episode Credits:
Host and Producer: Kathy Jentz
Interview Edits: Charlotte Crook
Show Notes: Melena DiNenna

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Friday, December 03, 2021

Fenton Friday: The Joy of Bok Choy

Guest Post by Charlotte Crook

I grew Bok Choy during my fall internship at Washington Gardener Magazine. I had experience raising houseplants and helping my parents with their garden, but I had never worked in an edible garden before. Though there was lots of trial and error, the experience proved to be rewarding and I can see myself growing more edibles in the future. 

Washington Gardener's editor, Kathy Jentz, two other interns, and I met on Friday afternoons throughout the season. After discussing our assignments, we went to the plot at the Fenton Community Garden in downtown Silver Spring. 

At the beginning of September, I planted Bok Choy and 'Cherry Belle' Radish seeds. I waited eagerly to see my sprouts start forming, expecting to see them by the next week or so. The seeds ended up being "stale," so they never grew. It was disappointing, but I knew this could be part of the process. 

By October, I had replanted, this time using newer 'Shanghai Baby' Bok Choy seeds and a five-color radish seed mix. These seeds germinated quickly and I was relieved. 

Once the seeds germinated, there wasn’t too much maintenance. I watered the plants on weeks when we didn’t get much rain and weeded the bed around them. I had to remove some extra seedlings because the bed got crowded, but that was a quick fix and the plants didn’t suffer any long-term damage from that issue.

I harvested my Bok Choy in mid-November. I cooked it in a stir fry later that week. It tasted noticeably different than my store-bought produce. Not only was it fresher, I felt prouder about the meal, having grown an ingredient myself. 

My radishes are almost ready to be harvested and I’m already looking up recipes for them as well. 

Growing edibles for the first time impacted me more than I thought it would. I now have a better understanding and appreciation for fresh produce. I will definitely be doing this more in the future.

About the Author:

Charlotte Crook is a senior journalism major minoring in history at the University of Maryland, College Park, MD. She is an intern this fall with Washington Gardener and is passionate about raising house plants (to varying degrees of success).

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 8th year in the garden. (It opened in May 2011.) See past posts about our edible garden by putting "Fenton" into the Search box above.

Wednesday, December 01, 2021

Ginkgo Plant Profile

Ginkgo tree (Ginkgo biloba) also known as Maidenhair tree have beautiful fan-shaped leaves that turn a golden yellow in autumn. They drop their foliage en masse in late November to dramatic effect.

This is not the only thing these trees drop. If you have a female Ginkgo tree, the fruits drop in late summer and are either a gift or a curse -- depending on your personal viewpoint. Some people treasure these fruits for the tasty nuts inside them. Others revile the fruits for their vomit-like odor that can linger for days.

The trees are hardy to Zones 3 through 9 and are good choice for urban locations as they withstand both street pollution and road salt spray. They are slow-growing and can take 30 or more years to mature. Ginkgo trees prefer to grow in full sun and in well-draining soils.

This ancient tree dates back to the Jurassic period and has a growth habit similar to conifers, with its straight central trunk and branches radiating out from it. It is found in fossil records in the Americas, then disappeared here, and was brought back into cultivation from Asia by plant collectors.

There are more than two dozen Ginkgo cultivars listed in Dr. Michael Dirr’s Manual of Woody Landscape Plants.  The ‘Princeton Sentry’ and ‘Presidential Gold’ are both seedless males that are commonly available. Note that male Ginkgo cultivars have been known to convert to female trees on rare occasion.

Dwarf Ginkgo tree cultivars are also available that are suitable for growing in containers. Ginkgo trees can be trained into an espalier form as well. Here are examples from Chanticleer and in the courtyard of the National Bonsai and Penjing Museum at the U.S. National Arboretum.

You can read more about Ginkgo trees in the October 2017 issue of Washington Gardener Magazine.

Ginkgo Trees: You Can Grow That!

The video was produced by Washington Gardener Magazine.

Audio and Text by Kathy Jentz

Video and Editing by Melinda Thompson
Additional Photos and Video Footage by Kathy Jentz

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

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~ Podcast: GardenDC

Tuesday, November 30, 2021

The Urban Garden Book Trailer

 Here is a book trailer video for our new book, The Urban Garden: 101 Ways to Grow Food and Beauty in the City, with co-author Teri Speight of the Cottage in the Court blog and podcast. The book comes out next spring and you can pre-order it now on Amazon. This Amazon link is an affiliate link and Washington Gardener Magazine may earn a few pennies, if you click through on it, or you can order it though Bookshop.org.

In The Urban Garden you’ll find dozens of inspiring and creative ways to grow flowers, shrubs, vegetables, herbs, and other plants in small spaces and with a limited budget.
 
Whether you want to grow on a balcony, rooftop, front stoop, or a tiny urban patio, turn your growing dreams into reality and build a gorgeous and unique garden that showcases your personal style while still being functional and productive. With the ingenious ideas and resourceful tactics found here, you’ll be maximizing yields and beauty from every square inch of your space, while also making a lush outdoor living area you’ll crave spending time in.
 
Take inspiration from urban gardeners around the world and learn to:

  • Install planting pockets on fences and walls
  • Grow a rooftop garden in lightweight grow bags
  • Tips for designing small spaces that feel BIG
  • Build a salad table for growing lettuce and greens
  • Utilize garden structures and plants for decorative screening
  • Support pollinators by creating a small-scale habitat
  • Design a pet-friendly urban yard
  • Employ climbing plants and vines to add privacy and reduce noise
  • Plant in layers to maximize yields and add beauty

Whether you’re growing edible plants or beautiful flowers, the 101 amazing growing ideas found in The Urban Garden will turn your tiny urban yard into a treasure trove of green you’ll be proud to share with family and friends.

Friday, November 26, 2021

Holiday Gifts for Gardeners ~ Top Gardening Gifts ~ 21+ Cool Gardening Gift Ideas

The holiday season is here and I bet you have a gardener on your gift list, so we've updated our annual a Holiday Gifts for Gardeners ~ Top Gardening Gifts ~ 21+ Cool Gardening Gift Ideas.

Here are the garden products I use almost every day. These are the tried-and-true work tools that make my garden grow, save my back from breaking, and generally make life a little easier. Buy a few for others, but also treat yourself!


Disclosure: the gift ideas here are linked to an Amazon affiliate account, so if you click on them and order any, Washington Gardener Magazine gets a few pennies added to the account for the referral. Our full Amazon storefront is at:



  



















Need even more ideas? Here are some more links-

Disclosure: Clicking on these links and then ordering anything from Amazon may put a few pennies in the Washington Gardener Magazine bank account. Thank you for anything you can direct our way. We are participants in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com.

Wednesday, November 24, 2021

Aucuba Plant Profile

Spotted Laurel (Aucuba japonica) is a large, evergreen shrub also known as Japanese Laurel and Gold Leaf Plant. This plant is grown for its striking variegated foliage with yellow or white spots or streaks -- there is also a plain green kind.

This shade-loving plant is great for a spot in the back of the border to add some bright foliage interest or as a hedge. It tolerates dry soils and air pollution well. It is easy to propagate new plants from cuttings.

 It has long-lasting red fruits that appear in the fall that are also attractive.  To produce the fruit, you must have male and female plants nearby to each other.

Aucuba typically grows to 8 feet wide and high. It can be pruned in spring to keep its size in check. There are also dwarf varieties available.

It is hardy to Zones 7 to 9 and is native to Asia. Aucuba can be grown in containers outdoors and also does well as a house plant. Plant it in a protected spot out of prevailing winds and direct sun in well-draining soil. This is a low-maintenance, easy-care plant.

Aucuba: You Can Grow That!

The video was produced by Washington Gardener Magazine.

Audio and Text by Kathy Jentz

Video and Editing by Melinda Thompson
Additional Video Footage by Kathy Jentz

Partially filmed at the US National Arboretum’s Asian Collection.

 

 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

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Gifts for Gardeners ~ Gardening Gifts ~ Cool Gardening Gift Ideas

Today is Amazon Prime Day, so I thought I'd again share the garden products I use almost every day. These are the tried-and-true w...