Sunday, March 30, 2008
Getting Your Garden Ready for Spring
Friday, March 28, 2008
The sources and quotes for this piece were gathered at Brookside Gardens’ Green Matters Symposium and the photo was taken in the Regional Garden portion of the USBG’s National Garden.
Hope to see many of you at the PhotoSynthesis opening tonight and at the MoCo Home Show this weekend. You can print out discount coupons to the MoCo Show here.
Thursday, March 27, 2008
Wednesday, March 26, 2008
The Capital Beltway Horticulture Shows
Tuesday, March 25, 2008
Here are a few alternatives to the Tidal Basin chaos:
~ National Arboretum has a splendid and more varied display and LOTS or parking. Stroll around Fern Valley and the other gardens as well while you are there.
~ The Bethesda neighborhood of Kenwood for their stunning display. Park and walk in for an immersion in cherry tree lined streets.
~ Dumbarton Oaks in Georgetown has a marvelous orchard of cherries. There is an $8 admission feee that goes to support the gardens. Parking is also a bear in that neighborhood -- walk or take the bus.
~ Grow your own. In the very first issue of Washington Gardener Magazine, we did a PlantProfile column on the selection and cultivation of cherry trees for our area. Ever since getting my weeping 'Higan' cherry, I feel no need to rush downtown. I keep a daily watch on my baby tree and celebrate loudly when the buds finally burst open. I highly recommend it.
I took this cherry blossom photo towards the end of last year's festival.
*I define "tourist" as anyone who does not regularly visit the Mall or downtown DC. No matter what your home zip code may be, if you haven't been down there since last year's blossoms, you are a visitor too and have given up your rights to kvetch about all those annoying out-of-towners.
I received the following release from Brookside Gardens a few days ago and then went to vsit them myself yesteday. It is free to visit and I can attest that there are many picturesque views and plenty of gorgeous specimens. You may have to wait your turn behind a few bridal parties jockeying for the best photo ops, but it is nothing compared to the Tidal Basin crowds and is well worth a leisurely stroll around the grounds during any season.
>>Brookside Gardens also has beautiful cherry blossom trees and many other flowering trees like plum, apricot, magnolias, and quince in bloom right now, and you don't have to fight the crowds to see them. The gardens are also full of flowering bulbs like hyacinths, tulips, and hillsides of daffodils. If you come this weekend you'll also see one of the largest and oldest daffodil shows on the east coast sponsored by the Washington Daffodil Society. The show runs from Saturday, April 5, 2-5pm and on Sunday, 6, from 9am-4pm. Of course, you won't want to miss our spring conservatory display featuring orchids, jasmine, lilies, camellias, tulips and more, but hurry because the display ends on the 13th. Brookside Gardens, 1800 Glenallan Avenue, Wheaton, MD 20902. For more information, call 301-962-1400 or visit us online at http://www.brooksidegardens.org/.<<
Sunday, March 23, 2008
Another good article ruined by Incorrect Plant ID
I copied the accompanying photo here -- that "holly bush" is actually the common Nandina and that misidentified "elephant grass" is known locally as "monkey grass" or "Lily turf" or more correctly, Liriope. (Just for clarification, this is elephant grass.) Both Nandina and Liriope are probably the most ubiquitous landscape plants in the DC area -- certainly not anything rare or unique. Nobody is perfect, but I do expect a basic level of plant knowledge in any area resident's brain -- similar to knowing a hot dog from a half-smoke or what times the lane direction's change in Rock Creek Park. You should just know these things.
Thursday, March 20, 2008
Happy Easter Weekend!
Wednesday, March 19, 2008
Is Arbor Day Too Early?
Thanks, Jeff, for the correct date, but isn't every day Arbor Day? :-) Some have stated that it should be shifted to fall when it makes more sense to be planting new trees. Is Arbor Day just about sticking a new seedling in the ground? I always thought it was about honoring what trees give to us and perhaps we should shift the emphasis of the celebration off of planting new trees to maintaining and caring for old and established trees. I think that is where the knowledge gap lies in the general populace.
Tuesday, March 18, 2008
Visit from a Masked Stranger
Monday, March 17, 2008
Top of the Morning - it's Garden Bloggers Bloom Day
This post's subject line reminds me of Fr. Cronin, pastor of my parish (St. Michael's in downtown Silver Spring, MD) for several years until his untimely death at age 50, used to say "top of the morning" to the congregation and expect "and the rest of the day to you" in response. He'd get it with some gusto from the children in attendance, which seemed to tickle him. He was 100% Irish and I'll never forget his love of bagpipes, his standing-room-only funeral, or the way he described a misty spring morning as "a fine soft day."
Picture here are some of my bloomers. This weekend's sun and rain really accelerated spring. It has definitely sprung in these parts. I have: daffodils, dutch iris, crocus, hellebore, flowering plum trees, forsythia, winter jasmine, primroses, and vinca. No need to go over the inside bloomers this month with so much going on outdoors -- hurray!
BTW you can now posts comments again! I was starting to feel really lonely and think no one was visiting until GardenRanter Susan Harris let me know blogspot had reset my preferences and was only allowing those with Google accounts to post!
Saturday, March 15, 2008
Me & Ranger Rick
I'm also scheduled to do a short appearance on Channel 9 news tomorrow morning during the 8am broadcast. The rain tonight needs to clear up by then so we can do some nice outdoor shots. It would really be disappointing to have to do the interview inside the studio, but I'm a professional so I'll cope ;-).
Friday, March 14, 2008
You can also find the Examiner exhibiting an aisle over from me this weekend at the Washington Home & Garden Show. I went out of my way yesterday morning to grab a copy for my files, wish I had known they were there giving out stacks of that issue and I needn't have bothered. Between putting the booth to rights, judging the garden displays, and taking photos that I'll share later on. I sure could've used that extra five minutes. The rest of the day was fairly slow -- as expected on a Thursday. Today should pick up and then Sat-Sun will be gang-busters. We're in booth #702.
The WH&G show guide, published by and inserted into The Washington Times, has three articles by me in it. I'd link to them here, but I can't locate it on the Times' web site. If you see how, let me know.
Off to the show...
Wednesday, March 12, 2008
Odds & Ends
~ Ed Bruske of DCUrbanGardeners reknown sent me an email a few days ago pointing out that we are linked funny as "top picks" on the Washington Post's local blog directory. It is still up as of now. Here is the local blog directory link.
~ We are also linked on Channel 4's site. I did an appearance on 3/6 all about spring bulb care. The best part about that segment is my house is now full of not just my own forced bulbs, but also all the cut and forced bulbs I bought to supplement those and make this segment really colorful and bright. The dozen red tulips in a vase on my kitchen island are on their last legs (or is that last stems?). Anything that looks decent tomorrow morning, I'll pack up and bring to our booth (#702) at the Washington Home & Garden Show. 'Cause you know I'm all about re-use, recycle, and re-purpose.
~ Speaking of re-purposing, I include the above photo to show where I did NOT plant my crocus bulbs last fall -- which would be in the middle of a patch of groundcover ivy and under the leg of this heavy steel bench. I had to move the bench over a bit (a test of my puny upper-body strength), once the foliage coming up caught my eye last week. I attribute this planting to another example of "squirrel-scaping." I wrote about this phenomenon in one of my Editor's Letter columns in the magazine a while ago and many readers told me of squirrel-scaping they have seen or experienced, but none provided photos or put it in writing. So if you've had squirrels (or related rodents) re-arrange your planting plans, please drop me a link, an email, or a letter. I'd like to collect these to share in a future column.
~ One of my favorite garden tours is in the nearby neighborhood of Shepherd Park. I wrote a short "getting ready for spring" piece in their quarterly newsletter (March 08). It is now online and linked here. See page 4.
~ Finally, I almost did a spit-take last night while gulping down a quick fastfood dinner in between appointments. I was reading the March 08 issue of DCNorth. The District Beat column by Mark Seagraves caused me to swallow hard and re-read it twice as I could not believe the insulting language used.
Here is the offending excerpt:
>>Bush budget cuts could hurt azaleas
Friends and employees of the National Arboretum, located in northeast DC, are bracing for hard times. President Bush has proposed cutting the nature center’s budget almost in half. If the massive cut is approved by Congress, it will mean lay-offs at the Arboretum and a reduction in the hours the sanctuary is open to the public. Weekends will probably be the first thing to go. Sandy Miller Hays, a spokesperson for the Agricultural Research Service, the branch of the U.S. Department of Agriculture which operates the arboretum, says President Bush has proposed cutting $2 million from the arboretum’s $4.9 million dollar budget. “One possibility would be losing 20 full-time employees,” Hays says. “We would have to make adjustments such as limiting the hours the arboretum is open to the public.”Hays is quick to point out that the proposed budget cuts are not official until they are approved by Congress, but says agency directors do work for the President. “When you’re told by your boss to cut $84 million, you start planning for cuts.”<<
The cuts could "hurt azaleas"?? The USNA is a "nature center"?!? I think Mark actually thought he was helping their cause, but his misunderstanding of their value and mission is astounding. I'll let you digest that, as it were.
Monday, March 10, 2008
La Dolce Vita
We had a great time on our trip to the show thanks to our intrepid leader Cheval Force Opp, GardenTours, who took care of every detail. Those that met up with us by the Media Tent for dinner at Reading Terminal even had a special bonus treat -- a preview of next year's Bella Italia theme by the show designer himself, Sam Lemheney. His presentation and gracious Q&A afterwards left us salivating for Chianti and cannoli.
We plan on doing this trip again in 2009 and are looking at setting the date now. Let Cheval know at GardenTours@gmail.com if you want to be added to our email list to get the details and information as soon as it is available.
BTW these two photos from different displays at the show this year represent what I'd like my garden to look like this spring/summer. We'll see how far my ambitions and resources take me.
Friday, March 07, 2008
Spring has Sprung
Right now it is raining and chilly as it should be in early March. Here's to hoping we've broken the drought cycle and 2008 is a wet one.
Our March/April '08 issue is hot off the press and in the mail to all you wonderful subscribers. It's you who help pay the ever-inflating print and postal bills, don't you know? A big THANK YOU to you all. To all those who have not yet signed up, here is how to do so.
In this issue:
No Yard? No Problem: Patio, Balcony & Rooftop Gardens
Our 16 Photo Contest Winners
Seed Starting Basics
Brookside Garden’s Phil Normandy
Elevated Edibles: A Garden on High
Captivating Coral Bells (aka Heucheras)
A Living History Farm
Indian Mock Strawberry
An American Garden in the Japanese-Style
Cardozo’s Butterfly Garden of Change
and much, much more.
Drop us a line to let us know what you think.
Thursday, March 06, 2008
Top 10 Home & Garden Events for DC's Spring
Note that our credit line web site link in the Examiner is misspelled! They hit one of my major pet peeves which is dropping that first "e" in gardEner. That is joined by people who add an "s" to the end of Silver Spring, MD, and the many local folks who say "Mac-donalds" instead of "Mc." (I don't know why that last one bugs me as much as it does, you'd think I was Irish or Scottish myself, but I'm not. I think it just grates on my ears when I hear it.)
Note also that this is not a listing of this weekend's top 5 events, as per usual, but was supposed to be a preview of all upcoming spring events. The entire section got cut drastically and some vital information got dropped or mixed up, so I'm pasting here the original Top 10 listing as I submitted it to them.
TOP 10 Home & Garden Events SPRING 2008
(in chronological order)
By Kathy Jentz, Washington Gardener Magazine
1. PhotoSynthesis: Washington Gardener Photo Contest Art Show Opening Reception
March 28, 6:00-8:00pm
World Building, 8121 Georgia Ave, downtown Silver Spring, MD
2. Native Plants: “Cultivars Considered”
22nd Annual Lahr Native Plant Symposium & Native Plant Sale
For more information or for registration information, see our website, http://www.usna.usda.gov/Education/events.html or call 202-245-4521.
3. The Montgomery County Home Show
March 29, 10am-7pm & March 30 11am-5pm
Montgomery County Fairgrounds in Gaithersburg, MD.
Home and garden exhibits will be both indoors and out. Local garden celebrity, Mike McGrath of WTOP News Radio, is one of the event’s featured speakers. Meet Matt Fox and Shari Hiller, popular hosts of HGTV’s long-running hit, “Room by Room,” who’ll share some of their favorite weekend how-to projects at the Show.
Fee: $8. Pre-registration is not required.
For more information: http://www.delmarvahomeshows.com/ or call 703.476.8422.
4. Daffodil Show
Saturday, April 5, 2-5pm and Sunday, April,6, 9am-4pm
The Washington Daffodil Society’s 59th Annual Daffodil Show will be this weekend at Brookside Gardens in Wheaton, MD. A photo contest and flower display is featured. From miniatures to multi-headed, these sweet-smelling harbingers of spring are a delight to view and super-easy to grow.
Fee: $0/Free. Registration is not required. For more information: www.washingtondaffodilsociety.org.
5. Historic Garden Week in Virginia
6. 17th Annual FONA Garden Fair 2008
Friday, April 25 - MEMBERS ONLY DAY: 12 Noon to 7 pm
National Arboretum, 3501 New York Avenue, NE, WDC
Friends of the National Arboretum’s annual Garden Fair is the place to shop for the season for area gardeners. Everyone loads up shopping carts full of plants from their stellar selection of offerings. Spend the day and enjoy the beautiful USNA grounds and performances by the Washington Revels while you are there.
Fee: $0/Free. Preregistration is not required.Details at http://www.fona.org/events.htm or 202.544.8733
7. Franciscan Monastery Garden Guild Annual Plant Sale
8. Flower Mart at the National Cathedral
Friday, May 2, 10 am to 6 pm & Saturday, May 3, 10 am to 5 pm
Washington National Cathedral, Massachusetts and Wisconsin Avenues, NW, WDC
Washington's premier outdoor festival for garden enthusiasts and families is held at the Washington National Cathedral, sponsored by All Hallows Guild for more than 60 years to support the care of the 59-acre grounds surrounding the Washington National Cathedral. All Hallows Guild has sponsored this popular two-day festival since 1939. Plants, herbs, foods, puppet shows, carousel rides, boutiques and entertainment are offered on the Cathedral close on Friday and Saturday, the first full weekend in May. 2008 is the first time that the Republic of South Africa.Free to attend.
For More Information: http://www.allhallowsguild.org/.
9. Takoma Park House & Garden Tour “Carroll Connections”
Takoma Park, MD and Takoma neighborhood of NW, DC
The tour is a self-guided walking tour of private homes and gardens, and is an easy walk for most people. Free refreshments and restroom facilities provided.
The theme for this year's tour is "Carroll Connections" which will highlight the connections of one of the important founding families of Maryland and indeed the United States to the Takoma area. Charles Carroll was a signer of the Declaration of Independence representing Maryland; his descendant Daniel Carroll provided a substantial portion of the land for the District of Columbia; and his descendant, Samuel Sprigg Carroll, a Union hero at the Battle of Gettysburg, resided in what is now Takoma Park. Cost of tickets is $15 in advance from selected Takoma merchants, and $20 the day of the tour.
Details at: http://www.historictakoma.org/.
10. Georgetown Garden Tour
Saturday, May 10, 10am-5pm
The Georgetown Garden Tour of 2008 offers an exceptional collection of eight Georgetown gardens all within easy walking distance from each other. This year’s tour gardens offer a superb combination of beauty, creativity, elegance and originality. Georgetown’s most beautiful and imaginative gardens (and some homes) will be open to visitors for strolling, looking, learning and inhaling wonderful spring fragrances.
More details at: www.georgetowngardentour.com.
11. Silver Spring Garden Club's Garden Mart
Kathy Jentz is editor of Washington Gardener Magazine and is a long-time DC area gardening enthusiast. Washington Gardener is all about gardening where you live. She can be reached at http://www.washingtongardener.com/ and welcomes your gardening questions.
Tuesday, March 04, 2008
Pimps at the Philly Flower Show
Thought I'd take a few minutes and share a couple pics. The first one is of a few GWA elected leaders telling us how they are going to pimp us garden writers out for quick cash to pay for the organization's overdue web site overhaul. Actually, this crew just got a little too "in character" being fresh back from their recent GWA Board meeting in New Orleans. In this case, what happens on Bourbon Street, did not stay there :-).
New Orleans is also the theme of the Philly Flower Show and they did it well. Spanish moss, lots of jazz, moody lighting, and colorful, heady-scented tropicals.
Here is a picture of one of the many dreamy landscapes. This one of a fresh spring day in Ireland. A little throwback to last year's show theme. I'll share more pics upon my return.
Saturday, March 01, 2008
Countdown to Philly
BTW, for those under the impression that this show is just about cut flowers. Perhaps the name has thrown you, but it is so much more. Window boxes bulging with tropical plantings, townhouse demonstration gardens, talks by the top garden book authors, houseplant competitions, cooking demonstrations, avant garde flower arrangements, flower-inspired art exhibits, live music, etc. I'm only scratching the surface here.
Full details on the tour are posted here.
And yes, to get the Washington Gardener Magazine discount you can subscribe at the same time as signing up for the tour.
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