Thursday, February 25, 2016

ADVERTISER OF THE WEEK: Grow Your Health Festival

On Saturday, March 5, 2016, the Northern Virginia Whole Food Nutrition Meetup Group will host its fourth annual Grow Your Health Festival at Fairfax High School in Fairfax, Virginia.  The event will celebrate home gardening, sourcing organic and local food, and nutrition and wellness.  We will show a documentary film; offer class instruction on gardening and nutrition; and host an exhibit hall for gardening services, farmers, food artisans, organic food distributors, and wellness products and services.  This is a family focused event that includes education and entertainment for children of all ages.  See details:

Every Thursday on the Washington Gardener Magazine Facebook page, Blog, and Yahoo list we feature a current advertiser from our monthly digital magazine. To advertise with us, contact today.

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Video Wednesday: Flora Exhibit at the US Botanic Garden

Flora of the National Parks exhibit runs February 18 - October 2, 2016 at the US Botanic Garden's Conservatory West Gallery. Here is a short video created by Washington Gardener Magazine intern Daisy-nelly Nji at the press preview of the exhibit.
In celebration of the 100th anniversary of the National Park Service, this art exhibit will showcase some of the plant species and communities found throughout the more than 400 national parks. From giant redwoods and aspen forests to endangered Virginia spiraea and water lilies, the national parks contain a diverse representation of the North American flora. Illustrations, paintings, and photography will take you on a tour of the beauty and importance of the American flora.
See more about the exibit at:

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Discuss The Rambunctious Garden with Washington Gardener Book Club

For our Garden Book Club Winter Meeting we will be discussing The Rambunctious Garden:  Saving Nature in a Post-Wild World by Emma Marris. Please join us on Thursday, April 7 from 6:30-8pm at Soupergirl, located right next to the Takoma metro stop.
A paradigm shift is roiling the environmental world. For decades people have unquestioningly accepted the idea that our goal is to preserve nature in its pristine, pre-human state. But many scientists have come to see this as an outdated dream that thwarts bold new plans to save the environment and prevents us from having a fuller relationship with nature. Humans have changed the landscapes they inhabit since prehistory, and climate change means even the remotest places now bear the fingerprints of humanity. Emma Marris argues convincingly that it is time to look forward and create the "rambunctious garden," a hybrid of wild nature and human management.

Please RSVP to washingtongardener (at) or at the book club event page at by April 5, so we know how many chairs to hold for our group.

Here are the rest of our 2016 selections for the Washington Gardener Magazine's Garden Book Club:

SUMMER - Planting in a Post-Wild World: Designing Plant Communities for Resilient Landscapes by Thomas Rainer and Claudia West

FALL - Paradise Under Glass: An Amateur Creates a Conservatory Garden by Ruth Kassinger

The Washington Gardener Magazine's Garden Book Club is free and open to all. We meet quarterly on a weekday evening near a metro-accessible location in the DC-area. We will announce the details of each upcoming meeting about two months in advance. Please check back on this blog for schedule updates and announcements.


Monday, February 22, 2016

Win Passes to the Maryland Home & Garden Show

For our February 2016 Washington Gardener Reader Contest, Washington Gardener is giving away five sets of passes to the Maryland Home & Garden Show (including Craft Show) at the Maryland State Fairgrounds (prize value: $24).
   Trade winter blues for shades of green at the Spring Maryland Home & Garden Show. Landscaped gardens brimming with bold and beautiful flowers, trees, and shrubs will fill the Maryland State Fairgrounds and—as suggested by this show’s theme, “Art in the Garden”—inspire visitors to transform their gardens from blank canvases into creative masterpieces.
   Showgoers will discover their hidden talents and learn the tricks of the trades at daily seminars, from flower arranging to vegetable gardening.
   Fun surprises! Every hour, one lucky attendee will receive a beautiful bouquet from Radebaugh Florist.
   Held over two weekends, the Maryland Home & Garden Show runs Saturday, March 5, and Sunday, March 6, as well as Friday, March 11, through Sunday, March 13. See more details online at
   To enter to win a pair of passes to Maryland Home & Garden Show, send an email to by 5:00pm on February 29 with “Maryland Home & Garden Show” in the subject line and in the body of the email. Tell us what your favorite article was in the February 2016 issue of Washington Gardener Magazine and why. Please also include your full name and mailing address. Winners will be announced and notified on March 1.

Our 5 winners chosen at random from among the submitted entries are: 
~ Rajat Sarkar, North Potomac, MD
Jeffrey Trunzo, Takoma Park, MD
~ Christa Carignan, Rockville, MD 
~ Kathy Pongor, Savage, MD 
~ Nancy Khan, Washington, DC

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Cultivating Kale in February 2016 issue of Washington Gardener Magazine

The February 2016 issue of Washington Gardener Magazine is now out and posted online at:

In this issue:
~ 17 Award-Winning Garden Photos
~ Cultivating Kale
~ Local Gardening Events Calendar for the DC-MD-VA Area
~ Meet Dr. Cohan UMD’s Green Roof Research Expert
~ Growing Native Fraser’s Sedge
~ Your Monthly Garden Tasks To-Do List for the Mid-Atlantic
~ New Stamps Feature Vintage Seed Catalog Art
~ Latest Research Shows Gardening is Good for the Brain
~ 8 Exciting Trends for the 2016 Gardening World
and much more!

Note that any submissions, event listings, and advertisements for the March 2016 issue are due by March 10.
Subscribe to Washington Gardener Magazine today to have the monthly publication sent to your inbox as a PDF several days before it is available online. You can use the PayPal (credit card) online order form here:

Monday, February 15, 2016

Indoor Flowers for Garden Blogger's Bloom Day

zonal geranium
drumstick primrose

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 on the Mid-Atlantic USA (USDA zone 7) on the DC-MD border it snowed, so my garden is covered in 2-4 inches of white fluffy stuff and I did have Hellebore, Heather, and Winter Jasmine blooms I could have shared with you.

Instead I will share some of my indoor blooms, which include some Geraniums wintering over on a windowsill and grocery-store Primroses that popped back into flower this week. I also have Forsythia branches and Freesia bulbs that I am forcing.

What is blooming in your indoor or outdoor garden this week?

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Video Wednesday: Explore America! at the Philadelphia Flower Show

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 theme for 2016 is “Explore America.” Guests will discover the range of horticulture in the national landscape, including the rainbow of wildflowers, desert blooms, coastal flora, verdant meadows, fragrant pinelands, and ancient redwoods. The Flower Show will tell the diverse stories that forged the United States with exhibits inspired by the nation’s monuments and places where history happened. “Explore America” will spotlight Independence National Historical Park, Lincoln’s birthplace, Liberty Island, and other sites honoring our national heritage.

The Flower Show attracts non-gardeners as well as die-hard green-thumbed people of all ages. Foodies of all tastes will love the Garden to Table Studio. Participate in the Lectures and Demonstrations series, Gardener’s Studio, and the “Make & Take” workshops. First-time and returning riders will enjoy the welcoming, custom details of our coach service.

The two tours are on different days; from different locations. Here are the details:
~ Wednesday, March 9 from 10am-10pm, leaving and returning to downtown Silver Spring, MD - includes a lunch and is nearby to public transit - see the registration form for more details:
~ Thursday, March 10 from 10am-10pm, leaving and returning to Behnke Nurseries in Beltsville, MD - includes a lunch and has free parking - see this registration form for more details: 

Note: The forms are for printing and mailing along with your payment. They are not interactive online forms.
If you have any trouble printing them out, please send an email to and I can send the forms directly to you. 
Our coaches fill up quickly, so please act fast to reserve your spot with us!

UPDATE: WE are now sold out of seats on both coaches. 

Sunday, February 07, 2016

17 Gorgeous Photos of DC-area Gardens

Go to the link below to see the 10th Annual Washington Gardener Magazine Photo Contest winners -

They will also be share in a photo exhibition this summer and in our next issue of Washington Gardener Magazin.

Friday, February 05, 2016

Meet the New Interns...

This winter/spring semester, I have taken on two new editorial interns. If you attend any of our upcoming events, like the Seed Exchange in Virginia this Saturday, you are bound to run into one of them. As a first assignment, I asked them to write a short introduction to our readers...

Hello Loyal readers, my name is Daisy-Nelly Nji and I am a senior multiplatform major at the University of Maryland. I am honored to be one of the two spring interns for a innovative and informative magazine such as the Washington Gardener. While this is my first internship, I‘ve written for many organizations on campus and off such as The Writer's Bloc and PublicAsian. I am confident in my skills as a writer and I am excited to present it to you readers. I have been armed with the necessary tools throughout my college career that could be beneficial to the magazine. I look forward to take part of the different gardening events that the magazine will cover. I can’t wait to make great memories with the publication while presenting my style of writing to everyone.     

My name is Seema Vithlani and I am a junior multi-platform journalism major and French minor at the University of Maryland. I am a former journalism intern for the Council on the Environment and the local news editor of Plex, a student publication focused on minority interests. I also work as a copy editor for The Diamondback, the university newspaper. I like to travel and eat Italian food, and I love most fruit (particularly berries). I have grown tomatoes, strawberries, and mint at home in the past, and I am excited to learn more about gardening as a journalism intern for the Washington Gardener magazine this spring. 

Thursday, February 04, 2016

Arugula: You Can Grow That!

Guest Blog by Joelle Lang

On September 3, the first day of my internship with the Washington Gardener Magazine, I was confronted with a difficult decision — what did I want to grow? As part of my internship, I was to plant something and monitor its growth over the course of the semester. While I can’t remember what my options of seeds were that day, I do remember that I chose to plant arugula because I use it at least four times a week in salads and was excited to be eating something I planted from scratch.

I planted the arugula seeds that day in editor Kathy Jentz’s community garden plot in the ground and in a raised pot. I planted two longs rows in both spots, sprinkling the seeds up and down, covering them with some soil, watering them with a little bit of water and hoping for the best. 

I checked on the seeds one week later on October 7 and was extremely happy to see that they actually began to sprout. The plant grew faster in the ground than in the pot. I held off on cutting them just yet, so they could grow a bit taller.

The next time I checked them on October 19, I was pleased again at the rate of their growth. Once again, I held off on cutting the plant, but I did nibble on some leaves and it was delicious!

I was finally able to cut leaves from my plants on November 2 because of the rapid rate at which it was growing. I did note that the container plants grew at a slower pace than the ones in planted directly in the soil. I made myself an amazing arugula salad for dinner and bragged about my green thumb to my friends and family.

I came back to cut the plants one week later and the plants in the soil had re-grown to an impressive height! I cut those down and enjoyed another salad and bragging session. However, the container-grown arugula continued to lag slightly behind.

I returned to my plants on November 18 to find that the container plants began to sprout dark purple leaves and tasted a little peppery.

After experiencing some rain and gloomy weather, I checked my plant again on December 14 for the last time and saw that the in-ground plants grew enough to make another nice salad and the container plant had also filled in — though they grew more slowly and showed purple and red leaves. I cut both sets of plants back and said a tearful goodbye. I will definitely plant arugula in the future because of how simple it was to care for and how leaves sprouted and re-grew so quickly.

About the Author 
Joelle Lang, a senior at the University of Maryland, College Park, is a multi-platform journalism student in the Philip Merrill College of Journalism. This past autumn, she was also an editorial intern for Washington Gardener Magazine.

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

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