Monday, January 18, 2021

January 2021 issue of Washington Gardener Magazine – 2021 Garden Trends, Culinary Sage, Growing Potatoes, and much more

The January 2021 issue of Washington Gardener Magazine is posted above.

Inside this issue:

·         7 BIG Garden Trends for 2021

·         Selecting the Right Tool for the Pruning Task

·         Attracting the Northern Flicker

·         Native Broad Beech Fern

·         Potato-Growing Tips and Tricks

·         Monarch Butterfly Protection Status

·         What to Do in the Garden this Month

·         Culinary Sage Plant Profile

·         Meet a Local Urban Homesteader

·         Flower Arranging to Cure the Winter Blahs

·         Call for Garden Photo Contest Entries

and much more...

Note that any submissions, event listings, and advertisements for the February 2021 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:

Sunday, January 17, 2021

2021 Seed Exchanges Announced

On National Seed Swap Day ( this year -- January 30, 2021 -- we will host a free, LIVE chat from 2:00-4:00pm Eastern Time for seed swappers everywhere. We will explore ways to hold in-person seed swap events during the COVID-19 pandemic and other options for safely swapping seeds. This event will feature surprises and special guests talking about everything seed-related from seed collecting tips to easy propagating tricks.

We hope you can join us for the live session, but if you cannot, we will be recording the event and have it available on YouTube to view anytime. The link for the live session will be posted here shortly and the recording link will be shared here afterwards as well. Check back for updates soon.

Our in-person Washington Gardener Magazine Seed Exchanges will take place on Saturday, March, 27, at Green Spring Gardens in Fairfax County, VA, and on Saturday, April 3, at Brookside Gardens in Montgomery County, MD. The event registration links will be posted in early March.

We expect our in-person events to have several changes for safety during the pandemic. First, there will only be advance registrations and none at the doors. Next, we may change the format to eliminate the speaking sessions and instead schedule swapping groups in staggered shifts. Finally, as the events are later in the growing season, we will encourage swappers to bring not only seeds and plant cuttings, but also started seedlings as well. These details will evolve as local COVID-19 procedures and restrictions allow.

Saturday, January 16, 2021

GardenDC Podcast Episode 42: Hellebores with Barry Glick

This episode we talk with Barry Glick of Sunshine Farm and Gardens about Hellebores, as well native plant seed collection and propagation. The plant profile is on Smooth Hydrangea and I share an update on my National #SeedSwapDay project.

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

The episode is posted at:

The GardenDC podcast is also available on -

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


Saturday, January 09, 2021

GardenDC Podcast Episode 41: New Plant Introductions with Dr. Allan Armitage

This episode we talk with renowned plantsman Dr. Allan Armitage all about New Plant Introductions. The plant profile is on River Birch and I share my MANTS 2021 experience.

Dr. Armitage is offering all GardenDC podcast listeners a special. Purchase any book(s) from his web site link,, and receive free postage on your order by entering "Kathy" in the Discount Code box until 1/30/2021.

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

The episode is posted at:

The GardenDC podcast is available on -

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


Thursday, December 31, 2020

Thanks for Listening to the GardenDC Podcast

Thank you to all of our GardenDC Podcast listeners! We had a great first year run and have big plans for 2021. Now is a great chance to jump in and catch up on any of the 40 episodes from Season 1 that you may have missed or re-listen to a past favorite.

Here is our Top 10 episodes from our first season in order of number of listens:

3. Beekeeping

5. US Botanic Garden’s 200th Anniversary
6. Preserving Your Harvest -- Canning Freezing and Drying
7. Fruit Trees, Crape Myrtle, and Low-Maintenance Lawn Alternatives

8. Growing Paw Paws
9. Colorful Foliage and Longwood's Chrysanthemum Festival
10. Gardening with Bulbs

Note that the GardenDC podcast is taking a break for the rest of the holiday season and will be back in the new year. 

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

The GardenDC podcast is available on -

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

Wednesday, December 30, 2020

Reach Local Gardeners

 Are you trying to reach gardeners in the greater DC region?

We invite you to advertise in Washington Gardener magazine, the only regional gardening publication specifically targeting Washington, DC-area gardening enthusiasts.

Top 10 Reasons to Advertise with Washington Gardener

1. You will increase your sales and exposure with our targeted list of DC area folks who are wild about gardening.
2. We are distributed by subscription as a PDF attachment every month and then the issue is posted free online to, so you receive thousands of extra eyeballs viewing the issue each month.
3. Your ad will show your direct support for the local gardening community.
4. We are the only regional gardening magazine for the greater DC commuting area and are unique in our focus.
5. Our readership is GROWING, while other publications are wilting.
6. Other local media increasingly look to us as the experts on the local gardening scene.
7. The more ad pages — the more content we can expand — the more we can cover in the local gardening scene. We have several new features and columns we are looking to add. As we grow, so do you.
8. You get a link on our web site “Sponsors” page for a year. More links to you, mean higher rating in search engines and more traffic to your site.
9. Each issue your advertising will appear alongside “must reading” for area gardeners. All of our writers are avid local gardeners themselves and their enthusiasm shows.
10. We direct our readers to our advertisers first when asked for referrals and recommendations.

Advertise with us for as little as  $200* for a  "Business Card" sized  (one-eighth page), full-color display ad.

To book an ad space today, contact Kathy Jentz at 301-588-6894 or

Tuesday, December 29, 2020

Discuss A Gentle Plea for Chaos with the Garden Book Club


For our next Garden Book Club selection, we will be reading: A Gentle Plea for Chaos by Mirabel Osler.

"In this book the author describes the way her garden evolved and how, without meaning to do so, she let it take over her life. She suggests moving away from planning, regimentation and gardening with the mentality of a stamp-collector. Frequently funny and always stimulating, she writes of the alchemy of gardens, of the 19th-century plant-collectors and plant illustrators and of the gardening philosophers, all fertilizing great thoughts along with their hollyhocks. She won the 1988 Sinclair Consumer Press Garden Writer of the Year Award."

You can order it new or used at our Amazon link:

Our Winter 2021 club meeting will be on Thursday, February 25 from 6:30-8pm ET via Zoom.

Please RSVP to washingtongardenermagazine (at) to have the Zoom link sent to you. 

The Washington Gardener Magazine's Garden Book Club is free and open to all. We meet quarterly on a weekday evening usually near a metro-accessible location in the DC-area (when COVID is not a factor). 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.

Want to read ahead? The next book club selections are:

Thursday, December 24, 2020

Top 10 Garden Books of 2020

Here is a list of the best gardening books that came out in 2020 as reviewed in Washington Gardener Magazine. (These 10 selections are in no particular order.)

Buy a few of these for yourself and for the plant geeks, garden lovers, and horticultural nerds in your life! (Note that if you click on the links, it takes you to the book's Amazon page and we get a few pennies if you order it from there through our affiliate link.)

By Lisa Eldred Steinkopf

Our reviewer Lindsay Garbacik said, "I enjoyed reading this book, and as a beginner plant owner, felt comforted by Steinkopf’s humor and the ease with which she approaches plants. The book is full of colorful photos and is very organized. I would recommend this book to any houseplant lover, regardless of skill level or plant-owning experience"

By Ross Bayton

Our reviewer Jim Dronenburg said, "...each page in the listings has one or two botanical illustrations of item(s) on that page. Beautiful work, and all labeled. 
   In the back, as a start for those who have no Latin nor desire to learn it, is an index of common names of some plants and their Latin names. This is a trap. When you see the Latin name of your favorite plant and the listing explains what it means and why it is named the way it is, you will be amused… and before you know it, you will be hooked." 

By Sue Goetz

Our reviewer Beth Py-Lieberman wrote, "For kitchen gardens, you’ll pick up tips for choosing herbs for French, Italian, and Thai recipes, along with growing for herbal teas and beverages, rooting them at the beginning of the season, and drying them at the end. And the pictures—so pretty. 
   So nice to sit here by the fire this winter with this book and think about spring. Dear gardeners, go Goetz this book."

By Carol J. Michel

Our reviewer Taylor Calavetinos wrote, "After reading this book, I don’t think I’ll ever look at a garden the same way. I can now truly appreciate all of the creatures and critters that make gardens their home. After all, you’re never truly alone in your garden; there’s so much to discover about who’s living there."

By Alan Stein and Nancy Virts 

Our reviewer Lindsay Garbacik said, "While you shouldn’t necessarily buy a book based on appearances, this is certainly a book I would buy for its look. The large pages and oversized cover, along with the bright colors of the conservatories and plants, make this book so satisfying to look at and page through. 
   The book is very well organized and provides valuable, in-depth research into the history of these conservatories. This is the perfect gift for the architect, gardener, historian, or photographer in your life."

Our reviewer Nicole Noechel said, "Whether you’re an avid gardener, an expert on mindfulness, or a beginner in both areas, I recommend picking up a copy of RHS Gardening for Mindfulness to help get you thinking more calmly, especially during the stressful pandemic. The dazzling pictures of plants, animals, flowers, and gardeners throughout the book complete the guide, making it a great coffee table piece.' 

By Kim Eierman

Our reviewer Andrea Siegel said, "For a fairly slim volume, it is packed with an impressive amount of helpful information, and of course, lovely photos—though many readers would benefit from captions that named the flowers in photos of diverse plantings. This book has a very straightforward approach. Everything in here can be adapted to every climate and location, and there are growing suggestions for all.
   "As a whole, the book is valuable for the insights it gives gardeners at every level of skill and knowledge. It could serve as a textbook and guide for schools and community groups looking to create Pollinator Victory Gardens, pollinator paths, meadows, and opportunities for volunteers."

By Eva Monheim

Our reviewer Jim Dronenburg said, "The title of the book is misleading;  its content branches off in so many ways that it is hard to describe, but certainly 'shrubs and hedges' falls far short of what is covered here. Overall, the book is a well-written and glowingly illustrated manual of the care of woody plants. What applies to “shrubs” applies also to trees....This book is well worth buying. It is clear enough for beginners, and detailed enough for pros. "

9. Nature’s Best Hope: A New Approach to Conservation That Starts 
in Your Yard

By Douglas W. Tallamy

Our reviewer Kit Gage said, "I’ve been waiting for this book. Like many of you, I have read all of Tallamy’s other books and seen him speak a few times. I always came away wanting some more clarity on how to proceed, besides plant trees and plant natives. This book does it, with more detail, and yet, pretty straightforward recommendations"

10. You Bet Your Garden Guide to Growing Great Tomatoes,  Second Edition: 
How to Grow Great-Tasting Tomatoes in Any Backyard, Garden, or Container

By Mike McGrath

Our reviewer Andrea Siegel said, "The advice here is not novel, but it is coherently organized, all with McGrath’s trademark humor, lots of tomato photos, and line art that will make you smile...The book shows popular backyard tomatoes, their characteristics, and how they’re generally used...Plenty of McGrath’s tomato expertise is based on experience in addition to book knowledge....The information leads readers from selecting tomato varieties through all facets of growing—from germinating seeds and buying plants, to planting, feeding and staking/caging through dealing with pests and disease to harvesting and making sauce (recipe included)."

Wednesday, December 23, 2020

Garden PHOTO CONTEST Kicks Off!

The 15th Annual Washington Gardener Magazine Photo Contest kicks off now! The entry period is January 1-22, 2021. 

Note that eligible entries must have been taken during the 2020 calendar year in a garden setting within 150-mile radius of Washington, DC.


~ Garden Views (landscape scenes)

~ Garden Vignettes (groupings of plants in beds or containers, unusual color or texture combinations, garden focal points, and still scenes)

~ Small Wonders (flower or plant part close-ups)

~ Garden Creatures (any living creature in a garden setting)

Remember that garden photos need not all be taken during the first week of May nor should they all be tight close-ups of a red rose. Look for the unusual and for beauty in the off-season too. Our judges give equal weight to the following criteria when evaluating the entries: technical merit, composition, impact, and creativity.

Anyone can enter: professional or amateur, adult or student, local area gardener or visiting DC tourist. Past winners have included teenagers entering their first-ever photo contest and home gardeners trying out their new digital cameras. Our next Grand Prize Winner could be YOU!


Also, here is the entry form text:

Washington Gardener Magazine Photo Contest Entry Form
• Name -      
• Full address-
• Phone number –
• Email –
• Years of photography experience-
• Whether you are a Pro or Amateur-
• Image File name and title-
• A brief description of each image-
• The category each image is to be entered in -
• The location where each image was taken -
• All available photographic information regarding the image (i.e. camera type, lens, lighting, etc.)

For any contest inquiries, contact

*A PDF of the rules is available on request to the email above, if the JPG is not legible for you.

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