Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Video Wednesday: Win Wings of Fancy Passes

For our May 2012 Washington Gardener Magazine Reader Contest, Washington Gardener is giving away 5 sets of passes to the Brookside Gardens Wings of Fancy live butterfly exhibit in Wheaton, MD (each set has two passes and is a $12 value).
   Running daily through mid-September, from 10:00am to 4:00pm, Brookside Gardens South Conservatory features live butterflies. Come witness the butterfly life cycle as tiny eggs hatch into crawling, chewing caterpillars, which then encase themselves in jewel-like chrysalides and emerge as sipping, flying adult butterflies. Learn about the best annual and tropical plants, and hardy shrubs that are used as nectar sources to attract butterflies to your own garden.
   To enter to win one of the 5 pairs of passes, send an email with “Fancy” in the subject line to by 5:00pm on Thursday, May 31. In the body of the email please include your full name, email, mailing address, and what plant you regret adding to your garden and why. The pass winners will be announced and notified by June 2. Some of the entry responses may be used in future online or print articles.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Fenton Friday: Cool Season Harvest Pre-Heat Wave

After several inches of rain this week the community garden plot is exploding. I picked 2 pounds of sugar snap peas on Tuesday and again today. That does not include the peas I ate right in the garden.

I also cut a large bowl of salad greens. I was hoping to leave some of the lettuce to form heads, but with 90 degree temps expected for the next three days, I figured I needed to harvest what I can now before things start to bolt.

Everyday I pull more radishes and at this point am giving them away to whomever I meet up with. If you don't like radish, you better run when you see me coming :-).

My asparagus is finally starting to surface and I thinned out the carrot seedlings. Garlic and potatoes are taking care of themselves. 

The Calendula most have 40 blooms on it right now. It is quite the showstopper. I may move it to the communal herb garden portion of the garden though as it is taking up valuable growing real estate in my plot.

Basil has re-seeded around from last year's plants and I plan to move it all to one spot when I get a chance.

The marigold seeds I planted last week have not sprouted yet, I'm wondering though if the heavy rains may have washed them away. Will give it a week and maybe re-seed the row if needed.

Finally, I have a flat of tomato and pepper seedlings waiting to go in, but with the ground so soggy, I'm thinking I'll wait to work in it until we get a few rain/storm-free days.

So what is growing in your vegetable plot?

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Container Gardens Made Easy ~ Washington Gardener Enews ~ May 2012

Washington Gardener Enews ~ May 2012


~ Container Gardens Made Easy

 ~ Magazine Excerpt: Brunnera – Bright Star of the Shade Garden

~ Mid-Atlantic Garden To-Do List for May-June

~ Reader Contest: Win passes to Brookside Gardens’ Wings of Fancy butterfly exhibit

~ Washington Gardener's Recent Blog Post Highlights

~ Spotlights Special: New Repeat-Blooming, Double Mockorange

~ Top Local Garden Events Calendar for May-June

~ Washington Gardener Magazine Back Issue Sale!

and much more...

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Fenton Friday: Pea Harvest!

I'm a bit late with my Friday update of what is going on at my Fenton community garden plot as this weekend has been a typical spring one for me - one garden event and tour and plant swap after another.

I did manage to get over to the plot to a couple times on my way back from other events and grab handfuls of radishes. The radish are coming in hot and heavy now -- sized from golfball to cherry tomato. I am giving away more than I eat as, IMHO, a little bit of radish goes a long way.

Two days ago, I ran by and saw that the flowers on my Sugar Snap Pea plants had turned to fully formed peas virtually overnight. I picked a few pounds and snacked on them as I harvested. Yum! The rest I brought home to have for dinner and I will freeze the remainder to see how well they preserve.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day May 2012

Here are a few interesting blossoms in my garden this morning. Took these between the rains. We are finally getting some decent precip here in the Mid-Atlantic USA (Zone 7), not just a few spits here and there. I have so much flowering right now, but this is what caught my eye...

Nigella (Love in a Mist) -- I threw these seeds in my sidewalk median strip a few years ago, they finally came up for me. I love the true-blue color and the delicate foliage of this plant.

Verbena bonariensis (aka Brazilian Verbena or Verbena-on-a-stick) self-seeded along my fence line. I easily weed it out where I don't want it, is a great plant in general. Has a bit of powdery mildew on the lower foliage this year and that has not really happended before.

Bletilla (aka Chinese Ground Orchid) is in a big container now -- may transfer it to a sunny spot after it stops blooming. I got it a few weeks ago at the DCTropics plant swap. Have not grown this before.

Comfrey, the common variety, nothing special, but I just like plants with multi-interest and multi-purposes.

'Scarlet Meidiland' Rose

'Alba Meidiland' Rose

Pawlonia (Princess Tree) - it is an invasive and is coming up within my Lilacs. As soon as it is done blooming I plan to hack it back to the ground. This will be my THIRD attempt to kill it.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Great Plant Bargains at GardenMart

BROOKSIDE GARDENS - Visitor Center grounds at 1800 Glenallan Ave, Wheaton, MD

FREE to attend

• Perennials

• Herbs

• Native Plants

• Shrubs

• Annuals

• Heirloom and Select Tomatoes + Peppers

• House Plants

• Bedding Plants

• Vegetables

• Hanging Baskets

Mother’s Day Gifts

FABULOUS Garden Raffle

Rain or Shine

Cash or Check only. (Note: No ATM on site.)

GREAT Pricing!

ALL of our plants are LOCALLY grown and sourced. Many are from member's own gardens and are proven to thrive in our region. We supply the seeds for our tomato and pepper seedlings, so we know we have unique selections you are not going to find anywhere else!

UPDATE: If you missed the Silver Spring Garden Club's fabulous GardenMart sale last Saturday, you have another chance! Leftover plants will be on sale at the club's 5/21 meeting from 7:30-8pm (and then again after the speaker's presentation about 9-9:30pm). The club meets at Brookside Gardens Visitor Center inside the main auditorium. Bring cash (small bills) or your checkbook. Most plants are $1, $2 or $5 and are premium, locally grown selections -- annuals, perennials, and edibles.

Fenton Friday: Update from my Community Garden Plot

First tomato plant of the season - tip break up eggshells for extra calcium in the plant hole and put in the plant support at same time, because adding the support later can damage the roots and your plant. This one is 'Azoycha' a Hungarian variety I got from a plant swap.

one perfect Cherry Belle radish

Pile of weeds - just a few scattered around my plot, but they add up especially if you don't keep on top of them.

Monday, May 07, 2012

Kill Weeds with Vinegar

We've shared this tip before in Washington Gardener Magazine, but I thought it was worth repeating here for any newbie gardeners:

Vinegar is a safe, cheap, and easy weed-killer. This works best on a sunny, not windy day. Spraying with vinegar (full strength from the hardware/cleaning supply stores, not the grocery store kind) with a dash of dish soap added for "clinge." Spray on in the morning and let the sun "fry" the weeds all day. Wait a few days for full die-back and then pull them. This is so helpful in border places like on a fence line and along pavement cracks where weeding tools just cannot reach to get all the roots out.

Friday, May 04, 2012

Where to Find Washington Gardener this Weekend

The first weekend of May is always the busiest of the year in the local gardening world. Here are the events you'll find Washington Gardener Magazine staff at:

Saturday May 5
~ Brookside Gardens Edible and Native Plant Sale - table from 9am-1pm - sign up for new subscriptions, renew, or purchase the current issue
~ Georgetown Garden Tour - photographing tour from 3-5pm

Sunday May 6
~ Franciscan Monastery Herb and Plant Sale - visiting about 10-11am
~ Takoma Park House and Garden Tour - docent from 1-3pm at 517 Albany Avenue, photographing tour from 3-5pm

Fenton Friday: Baby Radish

  1. Checked on my community garden plot today and saw that my carrot, radish, and lettuce seedlings are all up. I pulled one of the tiny radishes out (see photo) and ate it. It was very flavorful and I can likely get many more next week to snack on, even if not full-sized yet.
The asparagus I planted is still nowhere to be seen.

Potatoes are about 6 inches high.

Sweet Peas are ranging from 6-12 inches and flower buds are forming.

Now, just have to hope that the next few days do not get too hot and send all my seedlings direct to bolting/melting.

Wednesday, May 02, 2012

Video Wednesday: Busy Bumble Bee

A bumble bee browses an azalea bush during a local garden private tour in Montgomery County, MD.

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