Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Video Wednesday: Eat Your Superpowers

Here is a fun video share for later winter garden dreaming, White House Chef Sam Kass parties with the Super Sprowtz in the White House vegetable garden. Don't those greens look yummy?

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Win a tube of Zanfel Poison Ivy, Oak & Sumac Wash in Washington Gardener Magazine Reader Contest

For our February 2014 Washington Gardener Magazine Reader Contest, Washington Gardener is giving away tubes of Zanfel Poison Ivy, Oak & Sumac Wash (prize value $40).

   Zanfel® Poison Ivy, Oak & Sumac Wash ( is a safe and effective topical solution for poison ivy, poison oak, and poison sumac. It removes urushiol, the toxin responsible for the reaction, from the skin after bonding, enabling the affected area to immediately begin healing. After using Zanfel®, the itching and pain are the first things to be relieved, usually within 30 seconds. Zanfel has a 10-year shelf life.

   To enter to win a tube of Zanfel, send an email to by 5:00pm on February 27 with “Zanfel” in the subject line and in the body of the email, please also include your full name and mailing address. Tell us: “What makes me itch most in the garden is... ” The Zanfel winners will be announced and notified on February 28.

Update: Text edited for accuracy per submitted comments.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Video Wednesday: Supermarket Bouquet

How to transform a generic Supermarket Bouquet into several small flower arrangements to brighten up your home and office. Sprinkled in among the bouquet how-to are several tips on making your cut flowers last longer. Watch to the end for a glimpse of our feline gardening assistant, Santino.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Making It Though Until Spring ~ Washington Gardener Enews ~ February 2014

The Washington Gardener Enews ~ February 2014 issue is now out. It is also posted and archived online at:
• Back Issue Sale
• February-March To-Do List
• Iris Borer Column Excerpt
• Latest Blog Links
• Local Garden Events Listings
Making It Though Until Spring with Local Conservatories, Garden Shows, and Catalogs
• New ‘Persian Spire’ Parrotia
• Reader Contest to Win Zanfel Poison Ivy Wash
• Philly Flower Show Trip Detail
s and Registration Form

Subscribe to Washington Gardener Magazine today to have the monthly enewsletter sent to your inbox as a PDF. 

Saturday, February 15, 2014

A Winter Weary Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day

It is Garden Blogger's Bloom Day again! On the 15th of each month, we gardeners with blogs share a few bloom photos from our gardens. Here is the Mid-Atlantic USA (USDA zone 7) on the DC-MD border, we had had a very harsh winter -- below-freezing temps starting in November and rarely a break. In years past, I was able to get my summer annuals to last up to Christmas - - not this year. On top ofthat, we ust had 12+ inches of snow and ice dumped on us so I cannot show you any Hellebore, Snowdrops, or early Daffs as they are totally hidden from view. Instead for this month's GBBD, I will share the indoor blooms that are sustaining me though til Spring arrives.

forced hyacinth bulb
basket of purple primrose (bought for $1.50 from Safeway and in bloom for 5+ weeks now)
forced Forsythia branches
forced Quince branches - cut from a neighbor's garden
Cyclamen (bought for $1 in Giant supermarket clearance bin -- blooming for 2+ months now)

Plectranthus (with bonus cat hair - the cats like this window spot for bird watching)

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Video Wednesday: Kent's Favorite Gardening Tools

Maryland Master Gardener Kent Phillips' talks about his favorite gardening tools. Watch what he thinks are the best tools to use in the garden to help your vegetables grow.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Sharing Seeds -- Kickstart the Garden Season!

We had so many seeds leftover from our two recent Washington Gardener Seed Exchanges that we are pleased to announce we will be donating several hundred seed packs to RootingDC and a few other area gardening events and groups. This is part of the reason we tell folks that bringing seeds is not a requirement for attending our seed exchanges, we always have plenty of extra to share!

Rooting DC is a FREE, all-day gardening forum that aims to provide education about urban food production and consumption, to cultivate health and preserve the environment. The program includes dozens of interactive workshops, cooking and food preservation demonstrations, and panel discussions focusing on youth gardening, nutrition, sustainable growing techniques, and healthy food access. The event also hosts 50+ green businesses and nonprofit from throughout the region at an information fair.

In addition to RootingDC, we will be sharing seeds with the Maryland Master Gardeners and librarians of the state at an upcoming conference on seed library creation.

If you are a local nonprofit in the DC-area and would like some seeds to kick off your gardening season, please contact Washington Gardener Magazine at with your seed request by April 2. Put "Seed Request" in the subject line and list in the body of the email what specific seeds you would like to grow. You will need to arrange seed pick-up from our headquarters office in downtown Silver Spring, MD. We have all kinds of seeds -- annual flowers, herbs, and edibles. We will try to fill all the seed requests we can as long as supplies last.

Thursday, February 06, 2014

Thank You Seed Exchange Donors and Sponsors!

THANK YOU to the following companies  and organizations that contributed items to our Washington Gardener Magazine Seed Exchanges 2014 goody bags, door prize drawing, and freebies table.

American Meadows
Authentic Haven Brand Moo Poo Tea
Botanical Interests
Brookside Gardens
Gardener’s Supply
Garden Stamps 
Green Spring Gardens
• Homemade Soaps by Diane 
Proven Winners/Spring Meadows Nursery  
Shambhala Publications  | Roost Books
Southern Exposure Seed Exchange
Stadler Nurseries 
Washington Gardener Magazine


We could not have done it without you!

Wednesday, February 05, 2014

Video Wednesday: How to Clean Hand Pruners

This short video from Behnke Nuseries shows how to clean the accumulated gunk and rust from your hand pruners. Now is a good time of year to get your tools in top shape before the coming busy season!

Tuesday, February 04, 2014

A More Beautiful Washington, DC? You Can Grow That!

Washington, DC, IS a beautiful city, but it is far from what it could be potentially. There are many missed opportunities for color and life.With just a few simple steps this city could be a gardener's paradise. I'd like to propose the following pledge for every citizen of the District and its surrounding suburbs. Please feel free to put any additions you have in the comments below.

1. This spring, I will plant at least one container of flowers on my front steps/ porch/deck/balcony and take care of it.

2. Every day I will pick up and dispose of properly at least one piece of trash.

3. I will respect and leave any streetbox and curbside plantings alone. Whether public or private, I will avoid stepping in, sitting on, or otherwise mutilating what other gardeners have tried to add to our shared environment.

4. I will pull weeds from between sidewalk cracks and other public spots when I notice them.

5. I will assist one neighbor, family member, or friend with planting and maintaining a garden this summer. I will pick someone who would have trouble doing this on their own such as a young child or a person with a mobility issue.

A More Beautiful Washington, DC? You Can Grow That!

Garden Bloggers You Can Grow That! Day was started by C. L. Fornari of Whole Life Gardening because she believes “Gardening is one of the most life-affirming things we can do.…We need to thoroughly saturate people with the belief that plants and gardening are worth doing because of the benefits gained.” Garden bloggers who agree post about something worth growing on the fourth day of every month. Read this month’s You Can Grow That! posts.

Sunday, February 02, 2014

2014 DC Garden Photo Contest Winners Revealed

Here are the 17 winners in the Washington Gardener Magazine 8th Annual Photo Contest. There were almost 400 photos submitted in this year's contest from 46 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 2014 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 live during the Washington Gardener Seed Exchange on Saturday, February 1 at Green Spring Gardens in Alexandria, VA.

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