Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Social Media Reader Contest

For our February 2013 Washington Gardener Reader Contest, Washington Gardener is giving away an assortment of fresh seed packs (prize value of more than $20).
     The seed assortment includes a savory greens mix, fenugreek sprouts, annual flowers, heirloom tomatoes, and much more. The seeds are freshly packed for 2013 and come from a variety of great seed companies including Botanical Interests, Burpee, Renee’s Garden, and Peaceful Valley.
     To enter to win the Seed Assortment, either ‘Like” us on Facebook at and leave a comment on the page posts of photos OR “Follow” us on Twitter at http:/ and Retweet one of our tweets by 5:00pm on February 28. We will pick a winner at random from among all of our Twitter and Facebook followers. The seed assortment winner will be announced and notified about March 1.

Our winner chosen at random from among all our Social Media followers on Twitter and Facebook is Joseph Schechter. Congrats, Joe! We' hope you enjoy your seed assortment!

Video Wednesday: Rooting DC 2013

Here are the faces and reflections of the 2013 Rooting DC urban gardening forum. February 23rd, 2013 in Washington, DC. Building community, empowering citizens and sharing information and skills to grow a healthier, happier DC! 

Photos are courtesy of the photo booth volunteers. Participants are Rooting DC 2013 attendees. Music: "Everything is Everything" by Lauryn Hill.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Second Nature Next Washington Gardener Book Club Pick

The next selection of the Washington Gardener Magazine Book Club is Second Nature: A Gardener’s Education by Michael Pollan.

Google review excerpt:
"Chosen by the American Horticultural Society as one of the 75 greatest books ever written about gardening, Second Nature has become a manifesto for rethinking our relationship with nature. With chapter ranging from a reconsideration of the Great American Lawn and a dispatch from one man's war with a woodchuck to reflections on the sexual politics of roses, Pollan captures the rhythms of our everyday engagement with the outdoors in all its glory and exasperation."

   I have reserved a meeting room on Wednesday, April 3, 2013, from 6:00 PM to 7:30 PM at the Shaw Library at 1630 7th Stm NW, WDC near the Shaw Metro stop.
   The room allows food and drink and you may bring your dinner and/or snacks to share.
   I have made sure that the DC library system and other local library systems currently have several copies available for borrowing of Second Nature. You should also be able to buy it easily used or new.
   The book club meetings are FREE and open to anyone who would like to attend.
   Please RSVP to “WG Book Club” at I will be limiting attendance to 20. If you need to cancel, let me know ASAP so we can give your spot to someone else, should we have a wait-list. 

In case you like to read ahead, the other book club selections for 2013 are:
Farm City: The Education of an Urban Farmer by Novella Carpenter
Beatrix Farrand: Private Gardens, Public Landscapes by Judith Tankard
   I will announce the date for the next book club meetings after each previous meeting. We will meet roughly once each quarter. We will move the location around to various DC library locations near public transit for each meeting pending library staff approvals, the location will be confirmed to you when you RSVP.


Thursday, February 21, 2013

Video Wednesday: Bishop's Garden Progress

Here is a video by The Agenda News about the damage to and restoration of The Bishop's Garden at Washington National Cathedral.

As Washington Gardener Magazine have read this DC treasure has been through a few ups and downs over the past few years. Here is a link to a past blog post to catch you up:
~ Huge Crane Falls on Herb Cottage and Bishops's Garden at Washington National Cathedral

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Washington Gardener Enews ~ February 2013 ~ Growing Dwarf Citrus Trees

The Washington Gardener Enews ~ February 2013 issue is now sent to all current Washington Gardener Magazine subscribers. It is also posted and archived online at:
~ Growing Dwarf Citrus Trees
~ Washington Gardener Magazine Philadelphia Flower Show Trip Details
~ Magazine Excerpt: How to Get Rid of Deer
~ Mid-Atlantic Garden To-Do List for February-March
~ Reader Contest: Win an Assortment of Garden Seeds
~ Washington Gardener's Recent Blog Post Highlights
~ Spotlights Special: 'Pink Frost' Purple Anise Tree
~ Top Local Garden Events Calendar for February-March
~ Washington Gardener Magazine Back Issue Sale!
and much more...
You can access it as well as all of the other Washington Gardener Enews back issues online now and anytime in the future at

Friday, February 15, 2013

Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day: Striking February Gold

'February Gold' Daffodil

For this February 2013 Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day in my garden on the Washington, DC/Silver Spring, MD border (solid USDA zone 7), I have the following in bloom:
- Hellebore
- Winter Jasmine
- Heathers
- Viola
- Primrose
- 'February Gold' Daffodils
- Snowdrops
- Crocus are any day now, but not quite yet.
So what is blooming in YOUR garden today?

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Video Wednesday: Growing Kale Indoors

Washington Gardener Magazine reader and book reviewer, Rachel Shaw, and her husband, John, took this video of their indoor garden set-up and their Kale harvest.

Wednesday, February 06, 2013

Video Wednesday: Philadelphia Flower Show 2013

Washington Gardener Magazine has two tours this year going up to the Philadelphia Flower Show. The Philadelphia Flower Show is the oldest and largest indoor flower show in the world. The show video above says it all. the Philly Flower Show is fabulous and fantastic way to greet spring. The theme for 2013 is “Brilliant! Britain.” From modern London to Downton Abbey-like estates, this is not your grandmother’s Flower Show … but she’s going to love it too! The Flower Show attracts non-gardeners as well as die-hard green-thumbed people of all ages. Participate in the Lectures and Demonstrations series, Gardener’s Studio, and All-Star Culinary Presentations. First-time and returning riders will enjoy the personalized and welcoming details of our coach service.

The two tours are on different days and from different locations, so make sure you are signing up for the one that fits you best! 
Here are the details:

~ Wednesday, March 6 from 10am-10pm, leaving and returning to downtown Silver Spring, MD - includes a lunch and is nearby to public transit - see the 3/6 registration form for more details
~ Thursday, March 7 from 10am-10pm, leaving and returning to Behnke Nurseries in Beltsville, MD - includes a lunch and free parking at the nursery - see the 3/7 registration form for more details

Here are the registration form links:

(Note: The forms are for printing and mailing along with your payment. They are not interactive online forms.)

Monday, February 04, 2013

Wisteria: You Can Grow That!

A Love/Hate Relationship

Asian Wisteria aka Chinese Wisteria (Wisteria sinensis) or Japanese Wisteria (Wisteria floribunda) is not to be confused with our better-behaved, Native Wisteria (Wisteria frutescens). I have the native 'Amethyst Falls' and it came back last year for me, grew a foot, put on a tiny flower, then did pretty much nothing all summer. This year, there is a green leaf trying to sprout and that is it. So much for natives being "easier" and more suited to our gardens. I have babied that thing and this is how it rewards me?

A few years ago, I went with the Garden Writers to our regional meeting at Mt Cuba and on to Hagley Museum and Gardens. There, adorning the front of the Georgian-style mansion Eleutherian Mills (pictured at top and in close-up here), the first du Pont family home in America, was the most spectacular, wondrous Wisteria I'd ever seen. I took about 30 photos of it. I could have stayed all day. I was enchanted and enthralled. It reminded me all over again just WHY I'd accepted the piece of invasive Wisteria root a friend had dug out of a nearby park and added it to my garden. I had been warned. I knew the risks. I certainly had heard all the horror stories. I didn't care. I was in love. I had seen the Wisteria vine draping the side walls of the National Gallery of Art on the National Mall and I wanted it too. This bad boy was mine and once he got to know ME, he'd surely be tamed, right? Well, you all know how that story ends. I can't say we didn't have our good times. He produced some wonderful memories for me as he bloomed profusely and multiple times in one season on my garden arch framing my pond entrance. We took many photos together there in each other's embrace.

Then I tried to change him. I moved the arch to the front garden and attempted to hack him back into a tree standard form. He rebelled -- sending out tendrils and roots in every direction. He no longer blooms for me. Nor will he just give up and leave. When I see him now, we both turn away and sulk. Secretly though, on long summer nights, I think back on what could have been if I had not tried to change him and sigh.

All who are involved with You Can Grow That! (YCGT!) believe that plants and gardening enhance our quality of life. We want people to be successful with what they grow and to become more aware of the many gifts that horticulture brings. Find out more at

Garden Photo Contest Winners Announced!

Here are the top 17 winners in the Washington Gardener Magazine 7th Annual Photo Contest. There were over 220 photos submitted in this year's contest from 28 entrants. I know our three expert judges had a Herculean task picking out the best of the best.

Note that what you are viewing online here, is a low-resolution version of the photo images. Winning images will be published in Washington Gardener magazine Spring 2013 issue at full, high-res and as large format prints in a local photo exhibit this summer in the Washington. DC region.
The winners were announced during the Washington Gardener Seed Exchange on Saturday, February 2 at Green Spring Gardens in Alexandria, VA.

Friday, February 01, 2013

Seed Exchange Update: Still Spaces Left, No Seeds Required!

We still have some spaces left, so you may register on-site at the Washington Gardener Magazine 2013 Seed Exchange on Saturday,  February 2, 12:30-4pm at Green Spring Gardens in Alexandria, VA.

On-site Registration opens at 12:00noon.
The speaker program begins promptly at 12:30pm.
We start the actual swapping at about 3:30pm.

We recommend that you print out the registration form and fill it in and bring it along with a check made out to "Washington Gardener" in order to speed things up and keep the registration line moving quickly. We will have extra forms onhand as well.

To read about the speaker program, go here.
To prepare your seeds and yourself for the swap, go here.

And yes, you can attend and participate, even if you have no seeds to swap. We always have plenty of extra to share with new and beginning seed starters!

Featured Post

Gifts for Gardeners ~ Gardening Gifts ~ Cool Gardening Gift Ideas

Today is Amazon Prime Day, so I thought I'd again share the garden products I use almost every day. These are the tried-and-true w...