Friday, December 31, 2010

2011 New Year's Gardening Resolutions

Congratulations to Tiffin Shewmake of Rockville, MD, is our December Reader Contest winner of a handcrafted necklace by Foster Hall Design. Tiffin was chosen at random from among the entries received. Be sure to enter our next monthly contest. Upcoming prizes include garden tools, passes to Lewis Ginter Botanical Gardens in Richmond, VA, orchid plants, deer repellant, and much more.

Contest entrants this month were asked to share their 2011 New Year's Gardening Resolution. Here are some of the entrees:

"My New Year's gardening resolution is to USE the seeds I've saved and start them in time so I can stay out of the garden centers with their many temptations! This is really a resolution to keep my budget in line."
 ~ Lucy Goszkowski, Annapolis, MD

"My 2011 New Year's Gardening Resolution is to engage and inspire people to see ourselves as stewards of a common legacy whose every-day gardening practices can either enhance or injure both our land and our lives." ~ Ruth H. Axelrod, Frederick, MD
(Ruth is the new Chair of the Frederick County Master Gardeners Bay-Wise Committee, which is dedicated to educating people about conservation gardening and, thus, improving the condition of the Bay.)

"Here are my 2011 garden resolutions:

(a) In 2011 I resolve to weed more conscientiously--especially in early Spring.
(b) In 2011 I resolve to do a better job of planning my annual garden (instead of just jumping into it.)
(c) In 2011 I resolve to try 3 new things (plant a new and different heirloom vegetable, plant a new ornamental plant, try tp grow something vertically)."
~ Madeline C., Washington, DC

"New Year's gardening resolution:

Be mindful of when my native plants and veggies are seeding, and collect and preserve my own seeds. I'll have to teach myself to do that, but it's worth it -- for the planet and for my wallet!"
~ Lena Rotenberg, Keedysville, MD
"My major Gardening resolutions are:

1 - I will NOT over-plant the vegetable garden. No matter how lonely the tomato plants look when first planted, they will grow and unlike school children, don't need to be surrounded by friends.
2- Stop thinking about creating a bed for asparagus and actually put one it.
3-Do not leave seed packets out where they get rained on."
~ Tiffin Shewmake, Rockville, MD
My own gardening resolution is to actually harvest and consume (or give away) the edible I grow instead of letting them languish and rot for lack of time and pre-planning. Shame on me.
So what is YOUR 2011 New Year's Gardening Resolution?

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Christmas Tree Recycling Tips

You may have already disposed of your Christmas tree, evergreen swags, and wreaths, but if you haven't already -- consider one of the following methods for truly recycling your once living tree:

~ Bird Feeder and Habitat: Prop your tree up along a fence to make a bird feeder and add color and excitement to the winter garden. Utilize orange slices, suet, seed, or peanut butter smeared on a pine cone. You can also string unsalted popcorn to attract the birds. This is especially lovely after a light frost or snow. Birds come for the food and stay for the shelter in the trees branches.

~ Mulch: Even if you don’t have your own chipper, you can still skip the local yard waste pick-up and make your own evergreen mulch. Use a good pair of pruners to cut the branches off and spread them on the ground as a "blanket" around your roses and tender perennials.

~ Firewood: Use the trunk and thicker branches for kindling/firewood in your fireplace, outdoor firepit, or patio Chimenea.

Pick one of these ideas or all three and remember to: reduce, reuse, recycle.


If you want to put the tree out for pick-up, here are links to cities and counties in the DC metro regarding how to recycle your tree. This listing below was put together by the United States Botanic Garden Sustainability Team.






CITY OF ALEXANDRIA VA (hit holiday tab)





Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Video Wednesday: Last Chance to Plant Spring-Blooming Bulbs

Still have any tulips or daffodil bulbs not yet planted? After a month of early frigid weather here in the Mid-Atlantic, looks like we are finally getting a thaw this weekend and it may be your last chance to get those bulbs in the ground in time for spring blooms. The soil will be just workable enough for this purpose and it is far better than letting your bulbs languish and rot in storage.

To help you get motivated, here is a little video of bulb planting tips that local NBC4 put together from a story in Washington Gardener Magazine and put on the air in October 2008.

View more news videos at:

Monday, December 27, 2010

5th Annual Washington Gardener Magazine PHOTO CONTEST Kicks Off!

The 5th Annual Washington Gardener Magazine Photo Contest kicks off now! Time to start sorting and picking out your best 2010 garden shots. The entry period is January 1-22, 2011.
Note that eligible entries must have been taken in the 2010 calendar year in a garden setting within 150-mile radius of Washington, DC.

We have four major entry categories:

~ 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)

A little tip: we have far more entries in these last two categories than in the first two. Meaning, your odds of winning are far higher in the Views and Vignettes categories.

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.

See this PDF for full contest details.

Best of luck to all!

Friday, December 24, 2010

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Video Wednesday: Philadelphia Flower Show Trip

This one minute video photo montage is just a taste of what you'll find in store at the Philadelphia Flower Show. Here are a few stats to wow you:

~ The country’s premier landscape designers and florists are featured and turn 10 acres of exhibit space into a floral fantasy world with exotic plants and eclectic designs.

~ More than 580 artistic and horticultural classes are exhibited with more than 2,000 entries in classes ranging from miniature settings to pressed plants.

~ Over 150 vendors, from across the United States and as far away as the country of Wales, sell plants, flowers, orchids, sheds (even a small barn!), floral-inspired furniture from the romantic to the practical, artwork, unique food and garden-related crafts and supplies.

To sign up to go up to the Philadelphia Flower Show with Washington Gardener Magazine and Cheval's Garden Tours, use this registration form.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Gardening By The Rules: Washington Gardener Enews Dec 10

Washington Gardener Enews December 10


~ Gardening By The Rules: 5 to Break, 5 to Make

~ Magazine Excerpt: Russian Sage

~ Reader Contest: Basil Leaf Necklace by Foster Hall Design

~ Washington Gardener Magazine Photo Contest Announced

~ Washington Gardener's Recent Blog Post Highlights

~ Spotlights Special: Erysimum Fragrant Star (‘Walfrastar’)

~ Mid-Atlantic Garden To-Do List

~ Washington Gardener Magazine Seed Exchange Registration Form

~ Upcoming Local Garden Events

~ Washington Gardener Magazine Back Issue Sale!

and much more...

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Video Wednesday: Create a New Garden Bed WITHOUT Digging

This week's video is on Create a New Garden Bed WITHOUT Digging. This technique is also known as Layer Gardening or Lasagna Gardening (as coined by Pat Lanza. Though it is unseasonably cold here in the Mid-Atlantic this week, this is one garden task you can still do outside and put yourself well ahead for the next growing year.

I'll be sharing a video each Wednesday, starting off with some older ones I've made. Then, when I've run out of all those, I figure it will force me to finally get on the stick and produce some new ones. This one is another production. BTW, you may have to wait a few seconds for the video to load while listening to a brief sponsor commercial. If the above viewer screen, does not work, you can go to to watch it here.

Here are links to the previous Video Wednesday clips:

~ Who Am I?

~ Shutting Off Water Sources

~ Brookside's Garden of Lights Preview

~ How to Clean and Preserve Garden Tools

~ Winterize a Vegetable Garden - the Last Harvest

~ Save Seeds Before Winter

~ How to Winterize Your Vegetable Garden

~ Sow a Cover Crop and Mulch Before Winter

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

A Twiggy Garden Bloggers Bloom Day

A big freeze has moved into the Mid-Atlantic, so I just don't feel like going out in the wicked artic winds and taking any garden photos for the monthly Garden Bloggers Bloom Day. I did take some time earlier this week to trim all my Red Twig Dogwoods (Cornus sericea) and make a tall bouquet for my sofa table. We wrote about Red Twig Dogwoods (and Yellow/Gold varieties) in Washington Gardener Magazine's Winter issue last year. There are so many wonderful selections available from 'Artic Fire' to 'Winter Beauty.'

I'm in the midst of working on this year's Winter issue and it has been slow-going so far. With this early cold and unrelenting gray skies, it is just so hard to get motivated. Don't know about you all, but I want to spend my days curled up in bed with the cats, stacks of newspapers, and a good reality show. How do you all get through these shortest days of the year?

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

Video Wednesday: Who Am I?

It occurs to me that I should have started off the Video Wednesday series with an overall introduction video.
Seems like I just assume that you all know who I am and what Washington Gardener Magazine is all about.
Silly me! In this crazy-busy world, who can keep all their live friends straight much less all their Facebook pals, Twitter followers, blog readers, etc. So here it is, better late than never, right?

I taped this almost exactly a year ago for Shirley Bovshow's Garden World Report. My segment is about 11 minutes into the show. You can speed ahead and just watch that part, but then you'd be missing Shirley's infectious smile and all the other great people she introduces you to in this episode. Enjoy!

Sunday, December 05, 2010

DC's Downtown Holiday Market

I'll be helping out again this year at my brother's booth, Jentz Prints, during the Downtown Holiday Market near Gallery Place in WDC.

I'll have the current issue with me for sale. If you contact me the day before, I can also bring back issues if there are any you need to buy. I'll also have regular subscription plus gift subscription cards.

Here are the dates I'll be there:
Dec 6, Dec 8, Dec 9, Dec 10, and Dec 13
each of these days from 10am-12noon

I buy most of my holiday presents here each year (shhh, don't tell those on my list!). The self-taught artist and crafters are my favorite: necklaces made from scrabble pieces, collage art boxes decorated with Broadway musical programs, magnets decoupaged with naughty classified ads, handknit Ipod cozies, etc. And yes, after spending two hours with their enchanting fragrance wafting right at me, I do succumb to the fresh hot mini-donuts. So if you see powdered sugar sticking all over my lipgloss, don't judge! I'm only human. :-)
Here is the market information:

While you are at your keypads, can I ask a quick favor?
If you have enjoyed my radio garden segments, can you take a minute and let WAMU Metro Connection show know at: which garden segment from this past year was your favorite? They are doing a year-end Best-Of show and want your opinion.

Friday, December 03, 2010

Springtime in Paris with Washington Gardener Magazine

Join Cheval's Garden Tours and Washington Gardener Magazine
for a trip to Paris by way of the Philadelphia Flower Show.

Avoid the airfare, jet lag, and TSA groping. Immerse yourself in Parisian culture -- food, flowers, fashion, and fun -- just a short luxury motorcoach ride away.

After what promises to be a long, cold winter -- you deserve it!

We are sending out the details a bit earlier this year for those who requested it as a holiday gift option.
See our PDF with the full information and registration information posted here.

Open publication - Philadelphia Flower Show Tour

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

Video Wednesday: Shutting Off Water Sources

This week's video on Shutting Off Water Sources is incredibly timely with a huge cold front moving into the Mid-Atlantic area. We had our real first freeze this week and there is even a prediction of snow early next week. If you have never had trouble with a water pipe freezing and bursting, count yourself lucky. I hear many horror stories from new homeowners who were never told they needed to turn off their outdoor water for winter nor even where the shut-off valve is -- if you don't know where that valve is, make a point to find where yours is today!

I'll be sharing a video each Wednesday, starting off with some older ones I've made. Then, when I've run out of all those, I figure it will force me to finally get on the stick and produce some new ones. This one is another production. BTW, you may have to wait a few seconds for the video to load while listening to a brief sponsor commercial. If the above viewer screen, does not work, you can go to to watch it here.

Here are links to the previous Video Wednesday clips:

~ Brookside's Garden of Lights Preview
~ How to Clean and Preserve Garden Tools
~ Winterize a Vegetable Garden - the Last Harvest
~ Save Seeds Before Winter
~ How to Winterize Your Vegetable Garden
~ Sow a Cover Crop and Mulch Before Winter

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