Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Win a signed copy of Big Dreams, Small Garden

For our March 2017 Washington Gardener Reader Contest, Washington Gardener is giving away a signed copy of Big Dreams, Small Garden: A Guide to Creating Something Extraordinary in Your Ordinary Space (prize value: $17.99).
  How do passionate gardeners struggling with limited resources manage to put aside feelings of inadequacy and envy, and begin to create an oasis in the midst of numerous obstacles?
   In her debut book, columnist and blogger Marianne Willburn presents a comprehensive step-by-step plan for creating an ideal garden in less-than-ideal circumstances—encouraging the discouraged to pick up their trowels and get on with it.
   With humor and irreverence, she painlessly guides readers to make a deeper connection with the places they call home, letting go of limiting emotions, and embracing a new perspective, and in doing so, makes a case for one of the longest relationships in human history—that of our relationship with the soil.
   To enter to win a signed copy of the book, send an email to by 5:00pm on March 31 with “Big Dreams, Small Garden” in the subject line and in the body of the email. Tell us what your favorite article was in the March 2017 issue and why. Include your full name and mailing address. The winner will be announced on April 1.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Two Upcoming Garden Talks

I have two garden talks this week that each still have spaces open. I hope you can join me for one or both of them. Register ASAP to reserve your spot.

• Thursday, March 23, 2:00pm
Getting Your Garden Ready for Spring
Taught by Kathy Jentz, Editor/Publisher, Washington Gardener Magazine. Beginner to intermediate gardeners are often overwhelmed by the long spring to-do lists of garden tasks. This class will cover which chores are essential and which ones can you safely skip. Topics include cost-saving tips and tricks; the best plants for our region; how to give them a successful start on life, and soil preparation and testing. Fee: $22. This event will be held at Brookside Gardens in Wheaton, MD. Register at

• Saturday, March 25, 10:30am
Can’t Fail Containers
Washington Gardener Magazine's Editor/Publisher Kathy Jentz shares tips on how you can grow beautiful garden containers. Learn what types of soil to use, pros and cons of different containers, and which plants perform well in our region. Kathy shows you the basics and goes into details of growing ornamental and edible containers while showing you styles and fashions in container gardening. $15/person. Register online at using code 2902892901 or call 703-642-5173. Green Spring Gardens, 4603 Green Spring Road, Alexandria, VA.

Saturday, March 18, 2017

March 2017 issue of Washington Gardener Magazine includes Dahlias, Asian Vegetables, Predatory Mites, and much more

The March 2017 issue of Washington Gardener Magazine is now out.

Inside this issue:
James Madison’s Montpelier: A History in Trees
How Dahlias Provide Garden Diversity 
Your Garden Tasks To-do List
Our 4 Favorite Asian Vegetables to Grow
Local Gardening Events Calendar
Ready, Set, Seed! Reviewing the Best Propagation Equipment
Join the Million Pollinator Garden Challenge
Predatory Mites to the Rescue!
And much more…

Note that any submissions, event listings, and advertisements for the April 2017 issue are due by April 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:

Friday, March 10, 2017

Washington Gardener Donates Garden Books to Brookside Gardens

By India Hamilton

On March 9th, Washington Gardener staff headed over to Brookside Gardens in Wheaton. MD, to donate a variety of gardening books on topics including bonsai gardening, pollinator plants, native gardens, and houseplants--along with garden books for children. 

This year’s donations adds up to a total value of $466.40 (so far). By the close of 2016, Washington Gardener gifted $683.01 in books and, in 2015, the book donation totaled $534.99. The biggest yearly donation yet was in 2013, with $3,070.94 in books given. 

Several of the books that editor and publisher Kathy Jentz donates to the library have been previously reviewed and featured in magazine editions. Check out the latest book reviews of Chinese Kitchen Garden by Wendy Kiang-Spray and Miniature Moss Gardens by Megumi Oshima and Hideshi Kimura in the March 2017 edition of Washington Gardener.

About the author:
India Hamilton is a junior multi-platform journalism major and black women’s studies minor at the University of Maryland, College Park. She copy edits and writes feature and event pieces for the online publication, Pulsefeedz. This winter/spring, she is an editorial intern at Washington Gardener Magazine.

Saturday, March 04, 2017

Primrose: You Can Grow That!

Primrose are a cold hardy perennial for us in the Mid-Atlantic USA, that is also widely sold as a houseplant at local supermarkets and garden centers. At just $2-4 each, I buy several and use them to decorate my home with flowers during the depths of the winter doldrums. Then, when they stop flowering, I plant then out in the garden in a moist, part-shade spot. They come back reliably each year with little/no care and bloom about the same time outdoors as they did inside.

One extra step I do for them inside is that I pinch out any spent blooms as I come across them during weekly waterings. This seems to encourage more and longer flowering from the plants.

This year, rather than compost these sweet little plants, why not plant them out in your garden and be rewarded with blooms for years to come?
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

Wednesday, March 01, 2017

Video Wednesday: Washington Gardener Magazine Seed Exchanges

Never been to one of our events? Find out what it is all about in a new video by Washington Gardener Magazine intern India Hamilton. The two Washington Gardener Magazine Seed Exchanges this year took place on  Saturday, January 28 at Brookside Gardens, Wheaton, MD, and Saturday, February 4 at Green Spring Gardens, VA. Find out more at

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