Sunday, April 28, 2019

Beatrix Farrand’s Everlasting Impact

Lynden B. Miller and Patrick Chassé in NYBG’s Peggy Rockefeller Rose Garden.

By Johnny Moseman

During her lifetime, Beatrix Farrand was one of the the most influential and decorated garden designers during the 20th century. More importantly, she was a trailblazer, setting the path for women to become successful garden designers; a field where women were not too common before Farrand.

The only female member of the American Society of Landscape Architects, Farrand was known for her innovate designs, including works at Dumbarton Oaks, the New York Botanical Garden (NYBG), and campuses such as Yale and Princeton.

Beatrix Farrand’s American Landscapes, directed by Stephen Ives and Anne Cleve Symmes and hosted by Lynden B. Miller, tells the story of how Farrand was able to become one of the most prolific garden designers of the 20th century; and the first woman to do it.

“We had a desire to share how modern her designs are,” consulting producer Karen Waltuch said of the film. “She was very vibrant, modern, and forward thinking.”

In a time where not many people may know who Farrand is these days, this film was the perfect opportunity for the filmmakers to show how influential Farrand was during her time as a garden designer, as well as inspiring the next generation of garden designers.

“This was a great opportunity to introduce a new audience to her,” Waltuch said. “It’s hard to make her feel alive and vibrant as us gardeners know her so this was a great chance to expose people to something they might not have known.”

The film started production three years ago and premiered last month during the Environmental Film Festival held in Washington DC.

One thing Waltuch wishes of the film was that they could have included the hours of footage that did not make it in, but she said the goal is to now compile those interviews and make them available since they are valuable documentation of Farrand’s life and impact on garden landscaping.

The filmmakers, including Symmes and Waltuch, are now trying to keep Farrand’s legacy alive through her existing gardens by coordinating the Beatrix Farrand Alliance.

“We hope this film was a catalyst for keeping this going and we hope to continue that relationship this film has developed,” Waltuch said. “The first step is bringing the community together.”

To try and help in bringing this community back together, the Beatrix Farrand Alliance is hosting Farrand/FORWARD, a symposium on the future of Beatrix Farrand’s public landscapes held Saturday, June 1 and Sunday, June 2 at the Henry A. Wallace Visitor Center in Hyde Park, New York. This symposium will offer garden tours of the Beatrix Farrand Garden in Hyde Park as well as screenings of the film after with a Q&A from Ives and Miller.



(Note that there is another Farrand documentary recently released, The Life and Gardens of Beatrix Farrand, by filmmaker Karyl Evans. The two films are similar, but have a different focus and viewpoint.)

About the Author
Johnny Moseman is a senior multi-platform journalism major at the University of Maryland from Columbia, MD. He is an editorial intern at Washington Gardener this spring semester.

Friday, April 26, 2019

Fenton Friday: Brassicas for Beginners


I'll be giving two Vegetable Gardening talks this weekend, see the talk details at: https://washingtongardener.blogspot.com/2019/04/where-to-find-washington-gardener-this.html.

I went to a local garden center and bought a couple six-packs of Brassicas (broccoli and cauliflower) to show at these talks. If they survive the show-and-tell excursions, I'll plant a few of these out in the plot.

The lettuces are going strong and we cut a few salads worth this week. The peas have not flowered yet, but the strawberries have. I also harvested a few more asparagus stalks.

I am also starting to get on top of the weeds and clean up the beds to get prepared for the summer crops that we'll soon be putting in.

What is growing in your edible garden this week?

About Fenton Friday: Every Friday during the growing season, I'll be giving you an update on my community garden plot at the FentonStreet Community Garden just across the street from my house. I'm plot #16. It is a 10 ft x 20 ft space and this is our 7th year in the garden. (It opened in May 2011.) See past posts about our edible garden by putting "Fenton" into the Search box above.

Where to Find Washington Gardener This Weekend...

The next few spring weekends are CRAZY-busy for Washington Gardener magazine. We will be running around to various events giving talks, hosting information tables, taking photos/videos, etc. Here are our plans for this weekend:

SATURDAY, APRIL 27


~ Earth Day at NOBEJoin NoBe Market on April 27th in celebration of Earth Day! Earth Day at NoBe Market will be hosting three family-friendly classes open to all ages. Learn natural blueprinting from an international artist, gardening from the editor of Washington Gardener magazine, and get an inside look at beekeeping from one of Marylands master Beekeepers.
"Herb Garden in a Pot"Time: 12:30-1:30PMTaught by Kathy Jentz, Editor, Founder, & Publisher of Washington Gardener Magazine:There's nothing like a home-cooked meal flavored with herbs cut fresh from your garden. The best part is that you don’t need to cultivate an entire backyard plot to grow enough herbs to use in meals – a simple container on a balcony or patio can provide herbs all season, as you need them. Come join us to POT up a summer herb container garden. Tools and supplies will be provided. *All attendees will receive pot and herbs as part of the class. First come, first served basis. Only 20 spots available. *SOLD OUT*
AND
MD Grow It Eat It Spring Open House
A fun event about growing anything edible! Meet with Master Gardener consultants, attend classes, demonstrations, tables of information, and visit our plant sale. Held at the Agricultural History Farm Park, 18400 Muncaster Road, Derwood, MD. See giei2019.eventbrite.com
   At 3:00pm, come to the "Vegetable Gardening for Urban Places/Small Spaces" Talk by Kathy Jentz, editor of the Washington Gardener Magazine. Free and no pre-registration required.

SUNDAY, APRIL 28

We'll be at the Montgomery County Green Fest. This year it is at Brookside Gardens in Wheaton, MD. Note that there is NO onsite parking. Go to the Glenmont Metro and take the provided shuttles.
See more details at: https://montgomerycountygreenfest.org/


Growing A Bountiful Vegetable Garden
Instructor: Kathy Jentz, editor of the Washington Gardener Magazine
Location: Brookside Gardens Visitor Center Auditorium
The class is Free; but registration required Course # 67780 Click here to register: 
Are you a beginner looking to grow your own vegetables this summer or an experienced gardener seeking ways to get more out of your garden plot? Learn what edible plants grow best in our Mid-Atlantic region, along with best practices for timing, crop succession, starting plants from seed or seedling, and much more. Whether you are a novice or a veteran edible gardener, you will get great tips and learn new information from this talk.
AND be sure to also stop by the Garden Tool “Repair Cafe” hosted by the Silver Spring TimeBank in the Visitor Center Atrium at Brookside Gardens from 11:00am – 4:00pm during the MC Green Fest. Bring in your tools for a tune-up and lesson on garden tool maintenance! Members of the Silver Spring TimeBank will be on-hand to help clean, sharpen, and repair garden hand tools such as pruners, hedge clippers, trowels, weeders, etc. (No electric or gas-powered tools.) 
--------
In-between these events, we'll be running around to some of our favorite plant sales including:
• Saturday, April 27, 10am–6pm, and Sunday, April 28, 10am–5pm
Leesburg Flower & Garden Festival
More than 150 vendors will be on display, featuring landscape designs, gardening supplies, outdoor living items, plants, flowers, herbs, and so much more. Held in the beautiful historic downtown of Leesburg, VA. Free parking for event guests is available in the Town of Leesburg parking garage or the Loudoun County parking garage. There is a $3.00 suggested donation for this event. See flowerandgarden.org.
• Saturday April 27, 9am–6pm, and Sunday, April 28, 8am–3pm
Franciscan Monetary Garden Guild Plant Sale
Plants will include herbs and vegetables; roses, annuals, and perennials; shrubs and fruit trees; camellias and azaleas; and monastery-grown plants. Plus food and craft vendors, garden tours, and more. See: http://fmgg.org/.
• Saturday, April 27, 9am–12pm, Friends of the National Arboretum members only; Saturday, April 27, 12n–4pm, open to the public; Sunday, April 28, 9am–4pm, open to the public
FONA Garden Fair & Plant Sale
The annual sale features new, rare, and hard-to-find plants; garden supply vendors; books; children’s activities; refreshments; entertainment; and more. Bring your garden questions to National Arboretum staff members for expert advice. Free admission. Note that the sale has moved to a new location on the U.S. National Arboretum grounds. See fona.org/gardenfair, including lists of the plants available.

Tuesday, April 23, 2019

Win a Signed Copy of Homegrown and Handpicked: A Year in a Gardening Life in the April 2019 Washington Gardener Reader Contest

For our April 2019 Washington Gardener Reader Contest, Washington Gardener is giving away a signed copy of Homegrown and Handpicked: A Year in a Gardening Life by Carol J. Michel ($14.999, Gardenangelist Books, https://www.maydreamsgardens.com). The sequel to the popular essay book, Potted and Pruned: Living a Gardening Life, which taught us about gardening math, distance, time, and other important fundamentals, Homegrown and Handpicked is a journey through the seasons, with just as many laugh-out-loud, hey-that’s-me stories as the first book.
  One of our book reviewers, Erica H. Smith, read it and wrote in our January 2019 issue, “Any gardener, in fact, will feel some affinity with these well-written depictions of horticultural happenings. Michel grows everything from trees to pansies to zucchini; she buys too many plants; she’d rather mow the lawn than clean the house. I can relate!” and “This book would be a great gift for a fellow gardener, or for that person in your life who doesn’t quite understand why you are so into gardening and so peculiar about it, or for yourself, for those days when charm and whimsy would be just the right flicker of light in the darkness.”
   To enter to win Homegrown and Handpicked: A Year in a Gardening Life by Carol J. Michel, send an email to WashingtonGardener@rcn.com by 5:00pm on April 30 with “Homegrown and Handpicked” in the subject line and in the body of the email. Tell us what your favorite article was in the April 2019 issue and why. Include your full name and mailing address. Winners will be announced on May 1.

UPDATE:
Our contest winner is Joanna R. Protz of Lynch Station, VA.

Saturday, April 20, 2019

April 2019 Washington Gardener: Garden Tours, Blackeye Peas, Peonies, and much more...




The April 2019 issue of Washington Gardener Magazine is now out.


Inside this issue:
  • Spring Garden Tours Round-up: Explore the Best Private Gardens in Our Region
  • Top Tips for Peony Success
  • Earliest, Sweetest, Easiest Spring Peas
  • Grasscycling for a Healthy Lawn
  • Native Pussytoes, an Almost-ideal Groundcover
  • Bamboos for the Home Garden
  • Bountiful Blackeye Peas
  • DC-MD-VA Gardening Events Calendar

and much more…

Note that any submissions, event listings, and advertisements for the May 2019 issue are due by May 5.

PS  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: http://www.washingtongardener.com/index_files/subscribe.htm




Friday, April 19, 2019

Fenton Friday: Lettuce Eat


This week the lettuces are taking off. They are almost full-size and I think ready for cutting and making a few big salads. The wire cage did its job, there were no rabbit incursions. However, something is nibbling at one of the lettuce mixes. Maybe slugs? I'll try sprinkling a bit of Sluggo around it after the storm system passes through the area today.

The pea plants are also putting on some growth, but no flowers yet.

I harvested a BIG batch of asparagus.

I never got time to weed or plant the radishes and carrots. Maybe can get to that on Easter Monday. Then next on the to-do list will be sowing a cutting garden.

What is growing in your edible garden this week?

About Fenton Friday: Every Friday during the growing season, I'll be giving you an update on my community garden plot at the FentonStreet Community Garden just across the street from my house. I'm plot #16. It is a 10 ft x 20 ft space and this is our 7th year in the garden. (It opened in May 2011.) See past posts about our edible garden by putting "Fenton" into the Search box above.






Monday, April 15, 2019

Bloom Day: The Most Wonderful Time of the Year

two lilacs - one pink, one purple
Move over, Santa! Spring is in full swing and every bird is singing with joy! If I weren't tied to this desk, doing our April issue layout, I'd be outside twirling away madly like Maria in the Austrian hills.


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 in the Mid-Atlantic USA (USDA zone 7) on the DC-MD border, we had a few bad wind/thunderstorms this past week, but today it is sunny and calm,

In my garden, I have a multitude of blooms. Here is my list of what is in flower today:

- Carolina Jasmine
- Corydalis - yellow and purple
- Redbud Tree
- Lilacs
- Primroses
- Violas
- Snapdragons
- Rhododendrons
- Forsythia (ending)
- Weeping Cherry Tree (ending)
- Alyssum
- Epimedium 'Pink Champagne' and 'Sulfur'
- Leucojum 
- Azalea (just opening)
- Hellebores - various
- Daffodils - various
- Tulips - various
- Muscari (Grape Hyacinth) 
and more....

I cut a bunch of 3 big Lilac bouquets and plan to do more this week.

So what is blooming today in YOUR garden?

redbud - straight native species
last fall I planted this "river" down my front slope

Friday, April 12, 2019

Fenton Friday: Asparagus Between the Weeds

This week we built a rabbit-proof cage for around our lettuce crop. (We'll share plans in an upcoming DIY post.)

The peas are popping up too and will soon need a rabbit-barrier in place as well.

The weeds are starting to get away from me as I spent the week running around the tour various gardens and attend/give garden talks. Despite their incursion, the asparagus is still emerging and throwing up several deliciously edible spikes.

What is growing in your edible garden this week?

About Fenton Friday: Every Friday during the growing season, I'll be giving you an update on my community garden plot at the Fenton Street Community Garden just across the street from my house. I'm plot #16. It is a 10 ft x 20 ft space and this is our 7th year in the garden. (It opened in May 2011.) See past posts about our edible garden by putting "Fenton" into the Search box above.

Thursday, April 11, 2019

Community Gardens of the DMV: Common Good City Farm

By Johnny Moseman


Sitting on V Street between 2nd and 4th Street in NW Washington, DC, is a community garden like no other. Established in 2007, Shaw EcoVillage gave permission to Common Good City Farm to direct garden programs at the 7th street site and they then named it the “7th Street Garden.”

This garden stood from 2007 to 2009 and then after their work each year  expanding our programs to feed more people, educate DC residents’ young and old, and contribute to the sustainability of the organization they were invited to their new location that stands in LeDroit Park in 2008.

Now, over 10 years of farming on almost half an acre in the middle of DC, Common Good City Farm can feed more people through their farm market, engage more students in their Seed to Table Workshops and Youth programs, and serve more community members at their events.

The goal of Common Good City Farm is to “create a vibrant, informed, and well-nourished community through urban farming while also actively engaging with all members of a diverse community and create opportunities for connections on our farm, while emphasizing intensive vegetable production and modeling best practices in sustainable urban agriculture,” according to their website.

“Our goal is to feed people and bring them together while also helping teach them about healthy environmental practices,” Executive Director of Common Good City Farm, Sam Wetzel said.

Since January 2007, this garden has provided over 10 tons of fresh produce to the community, engaged over 2,700 adults and 4,500 young people in educational programs, and hosted over 3,000 volunteers.

Common Good City Farm offers a plethora of free community events that help provide hands-on training in food production, healthy eating and environmental sustainability. They also hold an after-school activity for students to help teach them healthy eating as well as cooking skills. All upcoming events can be found on their website (www.commongoodcityfarm.org).

“We just want to get better at what we do,” Wetzel said. “We are very hyper-local and focused on helping the neighborhood. We just want to stay connected with people and also spend time with our hands in the dirt.”

There are no current plans for expansion, Wetzel said, citing that the nature of expansion creates a disconnect between the community and they want to stay as connected with the community that they help each year.

To get involved, Wetzel said the best way is to come to some events and check out the garden, talk to people and see what they like. There are also two open community work days coming up where people can come and volunteer if they want to start helping out.

Come join hem on Saturday, April 20, 2019, at 10am for their Spring Kick-Off Event.



About the Author: Johnny Moseman is a senior multi-platform journalism major at the University of Maryland from Columbia, MD. He is an editorial intern at Washington Gardener this spring semester.


The Community Gardens of the DMV blog series is profiling community gardens across the DC-MD-VA region. If you have a community garden you would like profiled, please leave a comment below and let us know how to reach you.

Friday, April 05, 2019

Fenton Friday: Feeling Fresh

emerging pea shoot
Our last Fenton Friday post was mid-November when a freeze pretty much ended what he had left in our community garden plot. It was a long, cold winter with a few dips into polar vortex temps, but the plotted is cleared and things are looking good for coming season. There is still a fair bit of weeding to do, which I hope to complete this weekend.

Returning from last year are Garlic and Asparagus.

Newly planted from seed by the magazine interns are three different kinds of Peas and three different Lettuce varieties. We are building wire rabbit barriers for protecting both crops - we have temporary ones right now as the seedlings emerge.

I plan to add in Radish and Carrot seeds in the next few days and to renew my Strawberry patch, which seems to have all petered out.

garlic
What is growing in your edible garden this week?

About Fenton Friday: Every Friday during the growing season, I'll be giving you an update on my community garden plot at the Fenton Street Community Garden just across the street from my house. I'm plot #16. It is a 10 ft x 20 ft space and this is our 7th year in the garden. (It opened in May 2011.) See past posts about our edible garden by putting "Fenton" into the Search box above.
lettuce under bunny barrier

Thursday, April 04, 2019

Community Gardens of the DMV: Columbia Gardeners


By Johnny Moseman

Ever since the 1960s, Columbia, MD, has had their own set of community gardens that foster and inspire leadership, committed memberships, and thousands of hours of hard work.

Starting in 1968, Columbia activist Evelyn Haynes persuaded Columbia developer James Rouse to donate land for for community gardening. Initially, 30 people gardened on land that is now the Columbia Mall.

In 1974, word had spread and soon 1,000 families rented garden plots to use. This was when the term "Columbia Gardeners" (CG) was coined and they began to campaign to keep the plots permanently.

Howard County’s first permanent garden came in 1977 at the Elkhorn Branch Community Garden on Oakland Mills Road. Two more permanent gardens were added in 1988; one in Long Reach and the other on Martin Road. Both of these sites added raised beds for physically-challenged gardeners.

In 2010, 100 plots were added to these gardens through cooperation with the Howard County Department of Recreation and Parks.

Today, there are over 600 plots across the three garden sites.

Gardeners within CG have a very diverse background and range from novice gardeners to expert gardeners, representing countries all over the world as well as those from cities to those that grew up on farms.

Each site offers garden plots that are approximately 20 by 25 feet, access to these plots by common pathways, centrally located water supplies, common compost bins, wood chips, parking, a locking entrance gate, and picnic tables.

 
Gardeners are then responsible for any work that needs to be done on their individual plot and they can grow whatever fruits, vegetables, or flowers they please in those plots.

CG’s mission is to provide safe and affordable garden space to community residents, be a knowledge-sharing resource for healthy, sustainable gardening practices, partner with other groups and communities to enhance gardening opportunities.

They hold a variety of social and educational events from April through October, including talks by Master Gardeners, talks by regional gardening experts, seed exchanges, garden work days, bird walks, butterfly walks, plant diagnostic workshops, garden tours, and picnics.

All information regarding Columbia Gardeners or future events they are holding can be found at columbiagardeners.com or their Facebook page.


About the Author: Johnny Moseman is a senior multi-platform journalism major at the University of Maryland from Columbia, MD. He is an editorial intern at Washington Gardener this spring semester.

Photo Source: Columbia Gardeners

The Community Gardens of the DMV blog series is profiling community gardens across the DC-MD-VA region. If you have a community garden you would like profiled, please leave a comment below and let us know how to reach you.

Monday, April 01, 2019

DIY: Watering Can Pours Crystals

By Alexa Silverberg

Have an old metal watering can wasting away in your basement? Maybe one that has holes in it and that is no longer usable for watering, but is still pretty or has sentimental value? Use this fun and easy do-it-yourself project to create beautiful garden accessories out of new or recycled materials.



Things you will need:




Watering can 
Beads, crystals, or old necklaces 
- Thread, fishing line, or string*
Scissors 
Tweezers 

Steps:

1. Cut the string of beads/crystals into smaller pieces. You want them to be different lengths about 3-5 inches each.

2. Push the cut bead string through the holes in the top of the water can's pour spout head. Use tweezers if necessary to help pull through the string.

3. Tie string into secure double knots. 

4. Repeat stringing until you achieve the desired look.

5. Hang your masterpiece in your garden!

*Pro-tip: don't have string handy? Dental floss will do the trick!



About the Author: Alexa Silverberg is a senior broadcast journalism major at the University of Maryland and is from Short Hills, NJ. She is an editorial intern at Washington Gardener Magazine this spring semester.

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