Monday, June 28, 2010

Gardening on the Go

I've been running from one local garden event to another. Who knew mid-June was so jam-packed with local garden events? Of course, many of these events I hosted or co-hosted, so I should have anticipated that flurry, right? I've been taking photos at most of these and have posted albums of them over at my Facebook page. You should be able to click on the links below and view these albums even if you are not on Facebook. If you are on Facebook and recognize yourself, be sure to Tag yourself and also to Friend me.

Washington Gardener Magazine hosted a reception on Sunday, June 20, at Meadowlark Botanical Gardens in Vienna, VA, for the 2010 Washington Gardener Magazine Photo Contest Winners' Show. The winning ohotos will remain on display at Meadowlark's visitor center through Labor Fay:

Charile Koiner an 89+-yrs-old, local, urban farmer in Silver Spring, MD, gets a new short docu made about him. It debuted last week at the AFI Silverdocs documentary festival:

Washington Gardener Magazine hosted a free Plant Swap open to anyone at the FreshFarm Market H St location in NE DC on Sat 6-19. It was our 3rd annual such event:

The Sowing Seeds Conference had 300 or so DC-Baltimore folks gathered to network and learn about new trends in urban farming at USDA-ARS, Beltsville, MD, on Friday, June 18:

City Blossoms annual garden party benefit at Girard Street Children's Garden, Washington, DC, on Thursday, June 24:

A gathering of local DC-area Tweeters who Twittered from my garden on Thursdaym, June 17, and enjoyed some wine, blew bubbles, picked lavender, and got in some low-key networking all in my modest garden in Silver Spring, MD:

Silver Spring Garden Club meeting on Monday, June 21, all about labyrinths at Brookside Gardens, Wheaton, MD:

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Love THIS Local Business

Please nominate us for a chance to win a Local Business grant, nominate Washington Gardener Magazine here:

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Runaway Coleus

This is what happens when you take a small coleus cutting in late autumn and put in a corner of your kitchen window then forget about it. Yes, you are supposed to pinch out the top growth so it stays short and bushy. Hey, at least I watered it! I kinda like it almost a yard long and all leggy - striving for support. Reminds me of a gawky, pre-super model teenager.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Divine Annual Vines featured in June issue of Washington Gardener Enews

June issue of Washington Gardener Enews:
~ Divine Annual Vines
~ Garden Task List
~ Local Garden Events - many FREE!
~ Reader Contest to pamper yourself
~ Washington Gardener Magazine excerpt
and much more...

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Gardening with Kathy Jentz: Keep the Color Alive

My semi-monthly garden segment on WAMU Metro Connection show was taped in my own garden and aired on June 11. Here is a linkedto the archived segmentL: Gardening with Kathy Jentz: Keep the Color Alive or Enjoy your weekend!

PS Had 6 of these pink hardy water lily blooms at once in my small pond yesterday and I never fertilize them. Thinking the fish are doing their job.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Hurray for Red, White, and Blue!

For this month's Garden Blogger Bloom Day, I was actually ahead of schedule and took my photos today (June 14), which is Flag Day in the USA. I'm one of those far-left liberals who refuses to let our country's flag and symbolism be totally co-opted by the right-wingers. In the neighboring People's Republic of Takoma Park, you rarely see any expressions of old-fashioned patriotism as that might brand you a war-mongering, insensitive jerk. Even at the Independence Day Parade, flags are usually green with peace signs or rainbow-hued. For me, though, the flag is graphically stunning and most of the "heavy baggage" that went with it was before my time. So I stick some flags out by my front door starting before Memorial Day and leave them up through Labor Day.

I rarely have red blooms to go with the flags. Even my "red" roses are more lipstick pink and other "red" labelled blooms and foliage looks far more burgundy or maroon to me eyes. This year, thanks to some trial plants and a few plant swap finds, I do have some true fire engine reds. Here they are.

From top to bottom:
- pot on my front porch rail with flag, a neon red New Guinea impatien, and a pale blue lobelia.
- huge planter (I can fit in it!) of tropicals just potted up today: Russian Red canna, red lantana, and bi-color, sun-loving coleus
- 'EarlyBird Cardinal' daylily

(On a funny side-note, I have some recent immigrant neighbors from the former Soviet who hung a BIG USA flag on their porch the day they moved in. I think it was a "we are just like you, really" plea of understanding. The funny part was that they hung it sideways for a few days, then upside-down for a week -- causing passers-by to throw some dirty looks their way and to question whether Homeland Security should be notified. They finally got it right and it is the only other flag I've seen hanging for blocks around.) 

Friday, June 11, 2010

Behnke Herb Festival this Saturday

This Saturday, June 12 from 10a-4p is Behnke's Herb Festival in Beltsville, MD. Herb tasting, planting tips, recipes, and much more. Behnke Nurseries called us: "The best gardening publication in our area!" So I guess we better be there :-) Washington Gardener Magazine will have our current and back issues on sale as well as signing up subscribers and gift subs. We MAY even introduce our new summer intern to the local gardening world there.

See full event details here.
(This picture is from last year at the Behnke Azalea Fest.)

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Photo Show Moves to Meadowlark in VA and YOU are Invited

You are invited to view the winning images of the 4th annual Washington Gardener Photo Contest at an art show at Meadowlark Botanical Gardens in Vienna, VA. All 17 stunning photos were taken in DC-area gardens. Both inspirational and educational, this show represents the best of garden photography in the greater DC metropolitan region.

The photo show reception is Sunday, June 20 from 5:00-7:00pm at the Meadowlark Visitor Center's lobby. The reception is open to the public and is free to attend. You may also come by and view the photos any time during the normal Visitor Center hours (10am-8pm daily). The photo show runs through Labor Day, September 6.

The winning photos are also published in the Spring 2010 issue of Washington Gardener Magazine along with additional details on the entrants and their images. You can subscribe to the magazine for just $20 a year and start with this current issue or you can purchase the single issue at the opening reception. You may also buy the single issue at local Borders, Barnes & Noble, or B. Dalton book stores and several independent stores including Politics & Prose and the USNA Arbor House. Washington Gardener Magazine will also be at the Iris Sale on Saturday, August 14 at Meadowlark Botanical Gardens.

Washington Gardener Magazine is already announcing a 5th Annual Washington Gardener Photo Contest. Start gathering your images now and throughout this year. Most all of the entry rules will remain the same as this year’s contest. We will again accept the entries during the first three weeks of January.

Washington Gardener magazine ( is the gardening publication specifically for the local metro area — zones 6-7 — Washington DC and its suburbs. Washington Gardener Magazine’s basic mission is to help DC area gardens grow better. The magazine is written entirely by local area gardeners.

Meadowlark Botanical Gardens ( is a park of beauty, conservation, education and discovery. Throughout the year at this 95-acre complex are large ornamental display gardens and unique native plant collections. Walking trails, lakes, more than 20 varieties of cherry trees, irises, peonies, an extensive shade garden, native wildflowers, gazebos, birds, butterflies, seasonal blooms and foliage create a sanctuary of beauty and nature. Meadowlark is part of Northern Virginia Regional Park Authority.

To attend the June 20 photo show reception, please RSVP by calling 703.255.3631 ext. 0.

Wednesday, June 09, 2010

Just Around the Corner... Plot

"Corner Plot" is a new 10-minute documentary on Charlie Koiner, 89-years-young, who farms on an urban lot in downtown Silver Spring, MD, just a few blocks north of me. The documentary is being shown three times during the upcoming AFI-Discovery Channel Silverdocs Festival. The pressure on the Koiners to sell their one-acre lot for development has been intense on the last 20 years and I love that they have held out so long. Last June, I co-hosted a neighborhood garden tour which included a stop at the Koiners and it was surprising how many "locals" had no idea this urban farm existed. I'm so excited to see that Charlie and his daughter, Lynn, will soon be on the big screen and not only will the locals learn about them, but so will potentially the whole world.


Just got word from Lynn Koiner that "CHARLIE KOINER DAY" is JUNE 19, 2010 at the FreshFarm Market in downtown Silver Spring, MD. "Charlie is now a film star! On the 19th, come and say Hi to Charlie, share a big celebration cake and meet the directors, Andre Dahlman and Ian Cook. The Market will be held at the Panera Parking Lot at Georgia Ave and Colesville Road.." More informatuon on the film is at:

Tuesday, June 08, 2010

Plant Swap-o-rama Coming to DC on June 19

3rd Annual DC Plant Swap Details

hosted by Washington Gardener Magazine
What: a Plant Swap -- bring and receive free plants to expand your garden

Date: Saturday, June 19

Time: starting at 10am bring your plants for sorting -- swap starts promptly -- do not be late - if you arrive after the swapping starts, sorry, you will not be able to participate due to the structure of this event - after swapping, we can socialize, snack, buy farmer's market goodies, and trade more info on the plants we brought - we plan to conclude before 11am. so you will have the rest of the day to plant and enjoy your Saturday.

Place: H Street Farmers Market at H & 8th -- 624 H Street NE near Union Station on Saturdays (the market runs from 9am-12n)

Who: anyone is welcome as are any of your friends, relatives, or neighbors -- it is FREE -- feel free to forward on this invitation


~ a name tag - home made or from work or school -- whatever works -- so that we know your name and we can all connect our emails, names and faces.

~ pen and paper - you will want to take lots of notes as folks describe their plants and growing conditions

~ plants to swap - pot them up NOW -- the longer they can get settled in their pots, the better their chance of success and survival - (no plants to share? see note below)

~ labels - fully label all your swap plants with as much info as you have - optimally that will include: common and scientific name, amount of sun needed, amount of water needed, any other special care notes, and color of the blooms - if it is not currently in flower

How: be prepared to BRIEFLY introduce yourself and describe your plants

What NOT to bring: common orange daylilies* and other invasive species - use this list to screen your plant offerings

*hybrid daylilies are fine and welcome

What if you do not have plants to swap? Come anyway! Bring refreshments: cold drinks and yummy finger foods to share with swappers will pay your admittance fee :-) Be sure to bring cups, napkins, utensils, etc, if your food item requires those for serving.

A BIG thanks to FreshFarm Markets for hosting us and giving us the space to do this. Don't forget to shop at the market!

(Pictured above are a group of happy swappers from our 2008 event.)

Monday, June 07, 2010

Our "Wood" Anniversary

To celebrate the Washington Gardener Magazine’s 5th Anniversary* in print, I thought it appropriate to plant two new trees in my garden. One is a native Eastern Redbud (Cercis canadensis L.) and the other is Japanese Snowbell Tree (Styrax japonicus). They are both about 6 ft. tall right now and I hope the thrive and mature right along with the publication. We held our celebration event on Sunday afternoon, May 23, at the Historic Society of Washington, DC. It included a panel discussion on local garden trends and the future of urban gardening in the 21st. After the panel, we held a networking reception featuring cupcakes from C and G Catering. Our guest panelists were:
~ Angela Treadwell-Palmer, President of of Plants Nouveau ( on plants being bred now and coming soon to retail and your home garden.
~ John Peter Thompson of Invasive Notes ( on proposed invasive species laws and the impact of invasives and exotics.
~ Sylvia H Wright, author of From Eco-weak to Eco-chic on climate change and enviro-impacts.

Pictured above from left-to-right: John Peter Thompson, Sylvia H Wright, myself (Kathy Jentz), and Angela Treadwell-Palmer. I put an album of photos from the event at my Facebook page here. They were taken by Drena J. Galarza.

I hope to see many of you when we celebrate Washington Gardener Magazine’s 10th Anniversary!

*From the wood nymphs of Greek legend and the Indian Vrikshaka to the present day superstition of “knocking on wood,” forests, trees and woods have always evoked feelings of mystery, warmth, creativity, and wisdom. As a milestone of marriage, giving wood on the fifth anniversary symbolizes the strength, solidity and wisdom inherent to a strong relationship.
~ Paraphrased from The Meaning of Wedding Anniversaries by Gretchen Scoble and Ann Field, Chronicle Books LLC, San Francisco, CA, 2004

Thursday, June 03, 2010

Flying Flowers

For our May 2010 Washington Gardener Magazine Reader Contest, we gave away five pairs of passes to Brookside Gardens “Wings of Fancy" Butterfly Exhibit, which runs through the summer in Wheaton, MD.

We asked entrants to tell us their favorite butterfly attracting plants. Not surprisingly, most entries named Common milkweed (Asclepias syriaca), host plant of the monarch. Mark L. of Washington, DC remarked on its relative Show milkweed (Asclepias speciosa): "Plant is easy to grow, has good structure with beautiful flowers and also provides food for adults and caterpillars of the monarch butterfly. Adults of other butterflies also feed on the flowers."

Katie R. of Gaithersburg, MD, said her favorite butterfly attracting plant is: "Buddleia (aka Butterfly Bush)-- even though it's invasive, my kids love it for the butterflies that it brings to the yard. My older son is a butterfly enthusiast, in no small part due to the butterfly bush in the yard!" Katie was joined by a few others who dared to name this "exotic" as a top butterfly plant. It did gets its common name for a reason!

"Gaillardia is my favorite butterfly-attracting plant," wrote Judith D. of Washington, DC, on her entry email. "It is a perennial which can be grown from seed, tolerates drought, blooms all season, is successful in my yard and is beautiful. What more could I ask for?"

Bee Balm and Lilac both got single votes. I'm personally surprised no one named Lantana, Sage, or Verbena which are probably my three biggest butterfly attractors in my own home garden.

Patricia B. of Indian Head, MD, had an unusual answer: "Azaelas. The azaelas are among the first to bloom and I love to watch the butterflies feed on the flowers. We've got pinks and whites, a few reds and lavender too. The yellow and black swallowtails make a gorgeous color contrast against the flowers. For sanity and pure enjoyment I have my butterfly watch time followed by an evening bat watch. That's my happy pill."

So, what plants bring butterflies to YOUR garden?

Wednesday, June 02, 2010

When I Grow Up I want to be...

It was Career Day at Hollywood Elementary School in College Park, MD today. I was invited to speak because a certain Kindergarten teacher is also Washington Gardener magazine's photographer, Drena J. Galarza. Here she is with her class after my talk to them. Notice the girl in the middle holding up our Spring issue. She is the only one who appears the least bit camera-shy! The kids were great. Besides Drena's class, I also spoke to a 2nd grade and a 3rd grade class. We talked about writing and taking pictures for a magazine, what other magazines they read, and mostly about gardening. Glad to see that many are home gardeners and were VERY enthusiastic about the Black-Eyed Susan seed packs I brought for them and the Serviceberries I passed around for them to try. The best part for me was the questions they asked and some of their comments:
- Worms help you in the garden, right?
- How does a picture you take actually get into the magazine?
- I love growing and eating broccoli the best.
- My mom reads Essence and I read Highlights and People.
- We'll miss you so much when you leave.
- Do you have time for your family with all the magazine work?
- My favorite thing to grow is dandelions.
- What do foxes eat?
- Can you grow rocks?
- When are you going to take us on a printing press tour? Next Saturday?
- Thanks, Flower Lady!

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