Monday, January 17, 2022

January 2022 issue of Washington Gardener Magazine –Indoor Mushroom Kits, Junipers, Northern Cardinals, and much more


The January 2022 issue of Washington Gardener Magazine is now posted.

Inside this issue:

·         Magic Mushrooms:  Indoor Grow Kits for Winter Fun

·         Juniper Plant Profile

·         Beware of the Cuban Tree Frog

·         Photo Contest Entry Deadline

·         DC-MD-VA Gardening Events Calendar

·         Attracting Northern Cardinals to Your Garden

·         2022 Garden Trends

·         Seed Exchange 2022
Great Gardening Books Reviewed

·         Managing Thrips in Houseplants

·         Turning a New Leaf with Chesapeake Conservation Landscaping Council

·         and much more…

Note that any submissions, event listings, and advertisements for the February 2022 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:


Monday Thoughts: “With freedom, books, flowers, and the moon who could not be happy?” – Oscar Wilde


“With freedom, books, flowers, and the moon who could not be happy?”

– Oscar Wilde

Sunday, January 16, 2022

Seed Exchange 2022 Details

Because of so many potential unknowns around COVID-19, we are hosting just one Washington Gardener Seed Exchange this year. It will be at Brookside Gardens on 2/26/22 (rescheduled from 1/29/22). 

Registration is at:

The Seed Exchange scheduled for 2/5/22 at Green Spring Gardens has been canceled. 

If You Have Seeds to Bring and Swap
Please package them in resealable plastic zipper or wax sandwich baggies. Put an average of 20 seeds per baggy—more for small seeds like lettuce, fewer for large seeds like acorns. Label each baggy with a white sticker (such as Avery standard 5160 address label sheets) giving all the information you have about the seeds. If known, include the plant’s common and scientific names; its soil, sun, and watering needs; and, its origins—where and when you collected the seeds. If you don't know all the information, that is okay; just provide as much as you can.
   Yes, you can bring unused or opened commercial seed packs.

What If You Don't Have Any Seeds to Swap?
Come anyway! Even if you don’t have any seeds to trade, you are welcome to attend. We’ll have plenty of extra seed contributions on hand and many attendees will be there just to learn, network, and prepare for next year’s seed collecting.
Education Program 
Expert speakers from the local gardening community will give short talks on seed collection and propagation tips. There will be ample time for individual Q&A throughout the program with the featured speakers, and invited experts as well. 

Tentative Schedule
(Note: This schedule is subject to change.)
12:00-12:30 Registration check-in
12:30-12:40 Introductions
12:40-1:20 Gardening talk
  1:20-1:55 Gardening talk
  2:00-2:15 Snack break and room reset
  2:15-2:30 Seed Swap preview time
  2:30-3:00 Seed Swap
  3:00-3:30 Photo Contest winners
  3:30-4:00 Door prizes and closing talk

How Do We Swap?
As you check in, staff will collect your seeds and place them at the appropriate seed category tables. 
   You will be assigned a random seed swap number. There will be a short period for attendees to preview all the seeds brought in and available for swapping. You will be called in by your number to pick a seed pack from each of the category tables (if desired).

Held Saturday, February 26, 2022 
from 12:30-4pm
at Brookside Gardens' Visitor Center
1800 Glenallan Ave. Wheaton, MD

Registration is at:

COVID POLICY: We require all attendees to show proof of full vaccination at check-in. Masks must be worn during the entire event and social distancing will be maintained.

Saturday, January 15, 2022

GardenDC Podcast Episode 87: Winter Tree Care

In this episode, we talk with Lou Meyer, an arborist with The Davey Tree Expert Company, about winter tree care. The plant profile is on Ginkgo Trees and I share some of the cool things from MANTS 2022.

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.

And be sure to leave us a 5-star review on your favorite platform so other gardeners can find us too!

Episode Credits:
Host and Producer: Kathy Jentz


Monday, January 03, 2022

Sunday, January 02, 2022

Discuss "The Well-Gardened Mind" with the Washington Gardener Magazine Garden Book Club

 For our next Garden Book Club selection, we will be reading: 

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

"The garden is often seen as a refuge, a place to forget worldly cares, removed from the 'real' life that lies outside. But when we get our hands in the earth we connect with the cycle of life in nature through which destruction and decay are followed by regrowth and renewal. Gardening is one of the quintessential nurturing activities and yet we understand so little about it. The Well-Gardened Mind provides a new perspective on the power of gardening to change people's lives. Here, Sue Stuart-Smith investigates the many ways in which mind and garden can interact and explores how the process of tending a plot can be a way of sustaining an innermost self."

Our Winter 2022 club meeting will be on Thursday, February 24 from 6:30-8pm ET via Zoom. To join us, register here: 

The Washington Gardener Magazine's Garden Book Club meets quarterly via Zoom and is free and open to all. 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:

Friday, December 31, 2021

Thanks for Listening to the GardenDC Podcast: Check Our Top 10 List of 2022

Thank you to all of our GardenDC Podcast listeners, supporters, guests, and contributors! We had a great second year and are looking forward to much more educational and informational fun in 2022. Now is a great chance to jump in and catch up on any of the 40 episodes from Season 1 or 46 episodes from Season 2 that you may have missed or re-listen to a past favorite.

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

2. Companion Planting Strategies 
3. Deer-Resistant Native Plants 

4. Flower Farming 

5. Seed Starting Tips 

8. Next Level Container Gardens

10. Pollinator Victory Gardens 

You can see the first season (episodes 1-40) Top 10 List here.

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:
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.

And be sure to leave us a 5-star review on your favorite platform so other gardeners can find us too!

Thursday, December 30, 2021

Top Garden Books of 2021

Here is a list of the best gardening books that were reviewed in 2021 in the 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.)

1. The Vegetable Garden Pest Handbook: Identify and Solve Common Pest Problems on Edible Plants—All Natural Solutions!

Author: Susan Mulvihill

Publisher: Cool Springs Press

List Price: $27.99

Order Link:

Reviewer Erica H. Smith wrote, "Sometimes, a reviewer just has to take a deep breath, stare longingly into a book’s front cover, let out a heartfelt, “WHERE HAVE YOU BEEN ALL MY LIFE?,” and then get on with the review. This book may not be the ideal dream reference guide to insect pests I’ve always wanted, but it is darn close... That said, this book is close to perfect and definitely one to recommend to vegetable gardeners at all levels of experience, especially beginners. Encountering pests when you don’t expect them can be so disheartening; here’s a resource that will encourage, educate, and help."

2. Soil Science for Gardeners: Working with Nature to Build Soil Health

Author: Robert Pavlis

Publisher: New Society Publishers

List Price: $18.99

Order Link:

Reviewer Stacey Evers wrote, "After reading it, I thought about soil and what’s happening in soil in a different, more scientific way. The book also gave me a different way to think about gardening, especially related to watering and disease. I also loved the myth busting."

3. Plant Partners: Science-Based Companion Planting Strategies for the Vegetable Garden

Author: Jessica Walliser

Publisher: Storey Publishing

List price: $24.95

Order link:

Reviewer Andrea F. Siegel said, "This book is great because it encourages gardeners to accomplish several things at once by companion planting, from reducing pests to creating compost. And the companion planting isn't folktales, this explains the science. Often the companions are both edibles.."

4. The Ecological Gardener: How to Create Beauty and Biodiversity from the Soil Up

Author: Matt Rees-Warren

Publisher: Chelsea Green Publishing

List Price: $24.95

Order Link:

Reviewer Andrea F. Siegel said, "This books teaches gardener, including beginners, how & what to plant to help wildlife (which can help you with garden pests too) and use it to improve your soil. Also, a one-stop shopping type of book... You want your garden to be pretty and thriving, and you can do that in a way that contributes ecologically and is a haven for wildlife. Rees-Warren reminds us that we garden for our privacy, too. We are not looking to block an invasion; rather, we are seeking a haven for ourselves, too."

5.  The Comic Book Guide to Growing Food: Step-by-Step Vegetable Gardening for Everyone 

Author: Joseph Tychonievich 

Illustrator: Liz Anna Kozik

Publisher: Ten Speed Press

List price: $19.99

Order link:

Reviewer Khloe Quill said, " I think this might be the best beginner’s guide to gardening I’ve ever read and it’s because of the illustrations. There’s something so inviting about learning new information through a story and for visual learners like myself, it’s easy to conceptualize the process when the authors literally draw it out for you."

6. Unearthing The Secret Garden:  The Plants and Places That Inspired Frances Hodgson Burnett

Author: Marta McDowell

Publisher: Timber Press

List Price: $25.95

Order Link:

Reviewer Beth Py-Lieberman said, "Maytham would be just the beginning of Burnett’s spectacular gardening rehabs. McDowell’s tireless researches and delightful prose recount anecdotes and details of Burnett’s efforts to make a life for flowers at her subsequent homes in Long Island and Bermuda, where she spent her winters. Rich in details, lavish with illustrations, including many from the story’s various print versions, this book is a must-have for anyone whose first horticulture passions were triggered by that gateway drug to gardening, otherwise known as The Secret Garden."

7. Digging and Delighted: Live Your Best Gardening Life

Author: Carol J. Michel

Publisher: Gardenangelist Books

List Price: $14.99

Order Link:

Our reviewer Charlotte Crook wrote, "Carol J. Michel’s book of essays, Digging and Delighted is an easy, yet engaging read, with a conversational blend of warm humor and encouragement for gardeners of all skill levels."

8. Winterland: Create a Beautiful Garden for Every Season

Author: Cathy Rees

Publisher: Princeton Architectural Press

List Price: $30.00

Order Link:

Our reviewer Jim Dronenburg said, "The text is admirably organized and plain-speaking, and the points Rees makes are easy to follow, and seem reasonably uncomplicated to put into practice... In short, if you have any garden at all, you will want to get this book. And if you have a view of a neighbor’s garden, you need to give them this book. (After you read it first.)"

9. Women and Gardens: Obstacles and Opportunities for Women Gardeners Throughout History

Authors: Judith Mundlak Taylor, MD and  Susan Groag Bell

Publisher: Taylorhort Press

List Price: $19.99

Order Link:

Our reviewer Charlotte Benedetto wrote, "This book is full of the tales and personalities that make history make sense. It tells the stories of these women who haunt our libraries, plant names, and seed catalogs. Compelling and relevant stories are found in this work—stories that demand to be known. Educators and readers should invest in Women and Gardens to engage with and harness the power of these empowering, previously untold legends."

10. Gardening by Month: A Monthly Guide to Planning the Northeastern & Mid-Atlantic Garden

Author: Lee Miller


List Price: $29.96

Order Link:

Reviewer Charlotte Benedetto wrote, " Accompanied by fantastic, copious, and generous full-color photographs (on every page!), this book creates an engaging, personable conversation with the reader. We find ourselves scooting forward and backward in time as planning takes over. Any Mid-Atlantic gardener would be captivated and find useful information in this glossy, perfectly formed little volume. Concise, but substantial, Gardening By Month is full of useful facts from a master of the domesticated wild. It is both practical in text and gem-like in presentation, and I think it has a place on the shelf of any local gardener."


Beautiful Flowers: A Guide and Workbook for Growing, Using, and Enjoying Gorgeous Garden Blooms

Author: Janice Cox

Publisher: Ogden Publications

List Price: $17.99

Order Link:

Our reviewer Melinda Thompson said, "This guide is beginner-friendly, explaining all the important things that new flower-growers need to know.  I highly recommend this book for the flower-lover in your life."

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