Wednesday, July 28, 2021

Plant Profile: Indian Pink or Pink Root (Spigelia marilandica)

Indian Pink or Pink Root (Spigelia marilandica) is a perennial plant that blooms in early to mid-summer. It is native to the Eastern United States and is hardy to zones 5-9.

Spigelia prefers neutral, well-drained soils, and woodland edge conditions in light shade.

Spigelia is a favorite of pollinators and is particularly attractive to hummingbirds.

This plant is notoriously hard to source. Once established, it hates being transplanted. Seed collection is difficult, if not impossible. According to Rick Dark and Doug Tallamy’s The Living Landscape, Spigelia’s seeds are dehiscent, meaning the seed capsules are propelled some distance from the mother plant to start new seedlings.

Two recent introductions have made the plant more accessible to the home gardener. They are both vegetatively propagated and available now from local independent garden centers.

The first is ‘Little Redhead’, which improves on the straight species by being more tolerant of full sun conditions. It has deep-red flowers held above dense clumps of dark-green foliage.

The other is ‘Ragin Cajun’, which has flowers that are more orange-red. It also stays more rounded and compact while sending out more flowers per plant than the straight native species or ‘Little Redhead’.

Spigelia - You Can Grow That!

The video was produced by Washington Gardener Magazine.

Visuals by Amanda Cash
Audio by Kathy Jentz

 

 If you enjoy this video, please give it a thumbs up and subscribe to our Youtube channel (thank you!)

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~ Podcast: GardenDC

 

Tuesday, July 27, 2021

TikTok Tuesday: Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens

@wdcgardener

A visit to Kenilworth Aquatic Gardrns in Washington, DC. It is a national park property and is free and open to the public. ##gardendc ##publicgarden

♬ original sound - Kathy Jentz

By Molly Cuddy

This past week, we visited Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens, which is a national park located in northeast Washington, DC. It was a super quick and easy drive from my apartment in College Park, because it’s so close to the Maryland border. The garden spans several acres along the Anacostia River. It’s awesome that DC has that much public green space for gorgeous, spacious gardens.


Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens is filled with lotus and waterlilies as well as lots of wildlife. The best time for spotting birds is early in the morning. 


Entry is free to the gardens and it is open 8am-4pm daily (except Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year's Day). The U.S. National Arboretum is nearby (literally just across the river), so you could easily check out both in one day.


My TikTok video linked here shows a preview of what the garden looks like in mid-July. The video doesn’t even do all of it justice, so be sure to go to the aquatic gardens when you can; it’s a perfect summer day activity. 


About the Author
Molly Cuddy is a journalism major at the University of Maryland, College Park, and an intern this summer with Washington Gardener. She is also a campus tour guide and will be a teaching assistant for a professional writing class next semester.

Monday, July 26, 2021

Monday Thoughts: Gardening is Art

"Gardening is the art that uses flowers and plants as paint, and the soil and sky as canvas."
– Elizabeth Murray

Sunday, July 25, 2021

Win Mosquito Dunks® and more in the July 2021 Washington Gardener Magazine Reader Contest


For our July 2021 Washington Gardener Magazine Reader Contest, Washington Gardener is giving away a kit containing one 6-pack of Mosquito Dunks®, one bag of Mosquito Bits, 1 pint (concentrate) of Summit Year-Round Spray Oil, and one hose-end spray bottle of Summit Caterpillar & Webworm Control to one lucky winner.

   To prevent mosquitoes from breeding in places where water collects (including ponds, bird baths, animal watering troughs, gutters, ditches, drainage pipes, and rain barrels), you can use a sustained-release mosquito control product such as Mosquito Dunks that contains BTI to kill mosquito larvae. BTI (Bacillus thuringiensis israelensis) is a bacterium that kills mosquito larvae naturally before they can become disease-spreading adults.

   To enter to win a 6-pack of Mosquito Dunks, bag of Mosquito Bits, pint (concentrate) of Summit Year-Round Spray Oil, and hose-end spray bottle of Summit Caterpillar & Webworm Control, send an email to WashingtonGardenerMagazine@gmail.com by 5:00pm on Saturday, July 31, with “Mosquito Bits-Dunks” in the subject line. In the body of the email, tell us what your favorite article was in the July 2021 issue and why. Include your full name and mailing address. The winners will be announced by August 2. 

Saturday, July 24, 2021

GardenDC Podcast Episode 67: Beyond Behnkes

In this episode, we talk with Stephanie Fleming of Beyond Behnke's about her memories growing up at the now-closed Behnke Nurseries. The plant profile is on Agapanthus and I share what's going on locally and in the garden.


 

The GardenDC podcast is also available on -
We welcome your questions and comments! You can leave a voice mail message for us at: https://anchor.fm/gardendc/message Note that we may use these messages on a future episode.

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Friday, July 23, 2021

Fenton Friday: Cukes and Zukes

This week at the community garden plot the temperatures finally moderated, but still not a drop of rain! Once again, the promised storms went directly south and north of us. Nothing here. It is getting really desperate in my home garden and I am so grateful once again to have a plot near the cistern as hauling water to keep the plants alive is become a daily chore. 

Last week, I wrote about our first baby zucchini. I was able to harvest that a few days later and have a few more zukes quickly following. I hope we can keep up the pace for a bit -- at least enough to share with all 3 interns and then have enough extra to shred and freeze packages for winter baking.

The cucumbers, blackberries, and the 'Sungold' tomato are all setting fruit. As a matter of fact, the cucumbers seems to be set with all female flowers! I hope somebody has a vine nearby with male ones. The beans are sending out lots of flowers themselves, so am hoping they'll start producing purple pods soon too,

I was able to start cutting bouquets from the celosia and zinnia. The yarrow is done and needs to be cut back.

We are gleaning for a harvest share group this weekend, so I plan to cut a bunch of swiss chard for that.

What is growing in your edible garden?

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 in zone 7 Mid-Atlantic MD/DC border. I'm plot #16. It is a 10 ft x 20 ft space and this is our 8th year in the garden. (It opened in May 2011.) See past posts about our edible garden by putting "Fenton" into the Search box above.

Wednesday, July 21, 2021

July 2021 issue of Washington Gardener Magazine –Lilies, Green Beans, Tomato Hornworm, and much more


The July 2021 issue of Washington Gardener Magazine is out.

Inside this issue:

·         Fragrant Lilies for the Summer Garden

·         Year of the Garden Bean 

·         Natural Pyrethrum vs. Synthetic Pyrethrin

·         Washington Youth Garden Turns 50

·         The Height of Native Fashion: Seersucker Sedge

·         Attracting Butterflies with Nectar Plants

·         Vacation Care for Container Gardens

·         Carlyle House Historic Park

·         Meet Carrie Engel of Valley View Farms

·         DC-MD-VA Gardening Events Calendar

·         Dealing with Tomato Hornworm

·         Carolina Wrens

and much more…

Note that any submissions, event listings, and advertisements for the August 2021 are due by August 5.

>>  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

Plant Profile: Hens and Chicks Succulents (Sempervivum)

"Hens and Chicks” Succulents (Sempervivum sp.) are like chips--you cannot have just one! Once you start growing them, you'll find yourself collecting the many different varieties. There are over 3,000 named sempervivum cultivars, in numerous colors, shapes, textures, and sizes.

Sempervivum literally means "live forever" as they can be divided and propagated almost effortlessly. However, don't think that you can just set-it-and-forget-it. Each individual plant has a three-year life cycle and produces off-shoots for two of those years, so you will need to pull out those baby "chicks" and replenish the mother "hen" spot periodically.

These easy-to-grow succulents are great for indoor or outdoor containers. They can also be grouped with other cactus/succulents for a nice layered or contrasting look.

Sempervivum prefer full to part sun and very well draining (sandy/rocky) soils. They need little water and are very drought-tolerant.


Note that there are winter hardy varieties available here in the Mid-Atlantic. They are great in rock gardens and thrive in stone containers or concrete troughs. If you select a tender variety, you must bring it indoors for the winter and they should be kept as container plants to save you from digging and re-planting them out every growing season. 

The video was produced by Washington Gardener Magazine.

Visuals by Amanda Cash
Audio by Kathy Jentz

Additional photos courtesy of iBulb.org

 If you enjoy this video, please give it a thumbs up and subscribe to our Youtube channel (thank you!)

Remember to TURN ON notifications to know when our new videos are out

 FIND Washington Gardener Magazine ONLINE

WashingtonGardener.blogspot.com

http://twitter.com/WDCGardener

https://www.instagram.com/wdcgardener/

~ Facebook.com/WashingtonGardenerMagazine

~ Podcast: GardenDC

 PIN THIS FOR LATER!



Tuesday, July 20, 2021

TikTok Tuesday: Tomato Party

@wdcgardener

Check out the recent Tomato 🍅 Party hosted by Common Good City Farm in Washington, DC. ##gardendc ##urbanfarm ##tomato ##dmv ##tomatotaste ##dc

♬ original sound - Kathy Jentz

By Molly Cuddy

Last Thursday, I attended the Tomato Party at Common Good City Farm. I’ll be doing a more indepth article on this event in the August 2021 issue of Washington Gardener, so look out for that in about a month.


The urban farm had been closed to visitors because of COVID-19, but has recently started hosting events again. They’ll be having cooking demos, a cocktail demo, and plenty more all happening over the summer. You can find the links to all the events on this page. Most of the events are free and for many of them you have to register in order to attend them. 


The farm was just a quick walk from the Shaw Metro station. They had arts and crafts for kids, as well as gardening themed books. 


There was plenty of free food to try, which you can see in my TikTok video for this week posted above. My favorite was definitely the catfish taco with a cucumber and tomato salsa, from Fish Scale. Everything was delicious, and the tomatoes from the farm were so fresh. 


I would definitely recommend attending the farm’s future events if you are in the area and available! It’s a great place to spend time with friends and family.


About the Author
Molly Cuddy is a journalism major at the University of Maryland, College Park, and an intern this summer with Washington Gardener. She is also a campus tour guide and will be a teaching assistant for a professional writing class next semester.



Monday, July 19, 2021

Saturday, July 17, 2021

GardenDC Podcast Episode 66: Small-Space Gardening


In this episode, we talk with Teri Speight of Cottage in the Court all about small-space gardening. The plant profile is on Lilies and I share what's going on locally and in the garden.

To pre-order the upcoming book, The Urban Garden: 101 Ways to Grow Food and Beauty in the City, go to:


The GardenDC podcast is also available on -
We welcome your questions and comments! You can leave a voice mail message for us at: https://anchor.fm/gardendc/message Note that we may use these messages on a future episode.

PIN THIS FOR LATER!


Friday, July 16, 2021

Fenton Friday: Baby Zucchini

This week at the community garden plot was another scorcher and the rains keep missing us - so I spend my time that I should be weeding instead on watering and triage.

The Morning Glory vines are trying to take over the whole plot as are the Mulberry tree seedlings that pop up everywhere and just will not die. No matter how many times I cut them back to the ground! And don't get me started on the Nutsedge, which is a true curse on many of the plots and common areas of our community garden.

The good news is the heat is continue to push growth spurts from the cucumbers, blackberries, and the 'Sungold' tomato. We even have a baby zucchini forming! Of course, in a few weeks, I may be lamenting the coming zucchini explosion, but for now I am thrilled to see this little cutie forming.

The marigolds are coming up and join the cosmos, celosia. and zinnia seedlings in putting on good growth. I hope to have some of each of these in flower to be able to enter them into the Montgomery County Fair next month.

What is growing in your edible garden?

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 in zone 7 Mid-Atlantic MD/DC border. I'm plot #16. It is a 10 ft x 20 ft space and this is our 8th 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, July 15, 2021

No, it is not Pot! (Or Weed, Dope, Mary Jane...)

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, the past month has been HOT and for the past week the promised rains have gone just north or just south. It is so frustrating when we get in that pattern. I hope that we get a break from it this weekend. 

For this month's Bloom Day. I thought I'd share a pic of one of my favorite small trees/large shrubs in bloom:

This is Vitex. I have two of them. One in a container inside my yard, the other I planted in my sidewalk median to test it out in that very tough spot.

While reading in my gazebo today, I heard a passerby gasp and say, "Is that marijuana?" This is not the first time I've heard this observation. No, it is not weed. Don't try to smoke it! Unless you want some very disappointing side effects

To me, it looks nothing like Cannabis -- and certainly not in July when it is in bloom! Maybe it is wishful thinking on their part, but if I WERE to be growing Mary Jane in my garden, it wouldn't be out in my sidewalk median aka hellstrip! 

It probably doesn't help that a medical marijuana dispensary is less than two blocks away from my house! Maybe they just have Mary Jane on the brain?

In the rest of the garden today, I have blooming: Abelia, Kniphofia, Agapanthus, Hydrangea, Echinaciea, Black-eyed Susan, Monarda, Daylilies, and many annuals!

For more about Vitex, see the cover story of the August 2017 issue of Washington Gardener Magazine. 

Be sure to follow @WDCgardener on Instagram for daily pics of what is blooming in the garden and area gardens that I visit.

So what is blooming today in YOUR garden?

Wednesday, July 14, 2021

Plant Profile: Agapanthus

African Lily (Agapanthus sp.) is a beautiful flower that blooms on the tip of a long stalk held above strappy green foliage.

Most folks are familiar with the agapanthus flower in many shades of blue from aqua to navy, but it is also available in pure white.

This perennial bulb grows easily in most any soil from sandy to clay. It is resistant to wind and salt air, so it is a great choice for growing in coastal regions. It prefers full sun, though it tolerates part-shade as well.

Agapanthus has many other positive attributes such as being very drought-tolerant, deer- and rabbit-resistant, and a pollinator favorite.

Most African Lilies are hardy to USDA Zones 8-11, like the compact Storm™ Agapanthus series from Anthony Tesselaar Plants. If you are in a cooler climate, plant them in pots and move the containers inside to a protected spot during the winter.

Some cultivars are bred to thrive in zone 7 with extra mulching to insulate them, such as the Agapanthus ‘Stevie's Wonder’ available from Brent & Becky’s Bulbs, and others, like Agapanthus 'Blue Yonder', are said to be hardy down to zone 5. Your mileage may vary.

The only care they need is an initial boost with a slow-release fertilizer after being planted, then apply fertilizer annually thereafter to encourage flowering.

Agapanthus - You Can Grow That!

The video was produced by Washington Gardener Magazine.

Visuals by Amanda Cash
Audio by Kathy Jentz

Additional photos courtesy of iBulb.org

 If you enjoy this video, please give it a thumbs up and subscribe to our Youtube channel (thank you!)

Remember to TURN ON notifications to know when our new videos are out

 FIND Washington Gardener Magazine ONLINE

WashingtonGardener.blogspot.com

http://twitter.com/WDCGardener

https://www.instagram.com/wdcgardener/

~ Facebook.com/WashingtonGardenerMagazine

~ Podcast: GardenDC

 PIN THIS FOR LATER!



 

Tuesday, July 13, 2021

TikTok Tuesday: Wilted Swiss Chard with Garlic

@wdcgardener

Harvesting Swiss Chard from the garden and preparing it wilted with garlic and shallots. ##gardendc ##garden101 ##recipe ##swisschard ##eathealthy

♬ original sound - Kathy Jentz

By Molly Cuddy


We harvested swiss chard from the garden yesterday and I wanted to make something simple, but flavorful. I had never had Swiss chard before, so I didn’t want to make anything that would mask its flavor, but instead compliment it. I found this recipe, which is an easy and quick one you can pair with any protein. I had just got home from work when I whipped this up, and it took less than 10 minutes to make, which is perfect after a long day. I also already had all of the ingredients on hand, and I’m sure you probably do too!


I made it for myself, so this recipe serves one. I added my own spin to it as well, so here’s my take on the recipe:

  • About 2 whole Swiss chard leaves (they’re huge, if you’ve never seen them, so this is plenty!)

  • 2 cloves of garlic 

  • Olive oil

  • Half a shallot

  • Red pepper flakes (a lot of them if you like it spicy)

  • Salt to taste


I cut the swiss chard leaves into more manageable strips and sautéed them with the garlic, shallots, and olive oil for about 5 minutes until the Swiss chard was wilted. You can see my exact steps for this recipe in the TikTok video posted here


If I make this again, I would use less garlic and shallot or add another Swiss chard leaf.


It was truly the perfect simple side dish and had so much flavor! I love garlic and spice, so if you do too, definitely try out this recipe for yourself.


About the Author
Molly Cuddy is a journalism major at the University of Maryland, College Park, and an intern this summer with Washington Gardener. She is also a campus tour guide and will be a teaching assistant for a professional writing class next semester.

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