Monday, August 30, 2021

Sunday, August 29, 2021

Sunflower Fields at the McKee-Beshers Wildlife Management Area

 

Sunflowers as far as the eye can see! This video captures some of sunflower fun at the McKee-Beshers WMA, a 2,000-acre area on River Road just outside Seneca, MD (between Potomac and Poolesville in Montgomery County).

Each summer, McKee-Beshers Wildlife Management Area (WMA) is planted with several fields of sunflowers. The location and varieties of sunflower planting change each year. Some fields may be a far hike from nearby parking spots; other fields can be situated right near the main road. Local flower-lovers enjoy the annual hunt for the sunflowers and exchange tips online for tracking when they will be at absolute peak.

Read more about the Sunflower Fields at the McKee-Beshers Wildlife Management Area in the August 2021 issue of Washington Gardener Magazine.

#YearoftheSunflower

Saturday, August 28, 2021

GardenDC Podcast Episode 72: Low-Maintenance Gardening

In this episode, we talk with Lee Miller, landscaper designer and bloggerabout low-maintenance gardening, her favorite fall plants, and much more. The plant profile is on Garden Phlox and I share what's going on locally and in my garden.



Lee's book is Gardening By Month and can be ordered* at: https://amzn.to/3mGwNMz


BTW, YOU can become a listener supporter for as little as $0.99 per month! See how at: https://anchor.fm/gardendc/support.

The episode is posted at: https://anchor.fm/gardendc/episodes/Episode-72---Low-Maintenance-Gardening-e16isfd

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.

*Amazon affiliate link

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Friday, August 27, 2021

Fenton Friday: Pepper Report

Shishito Peppers

These next few weeks, I'm letting the summer interns take over the community garden plot reports to share what they grew and how that went.

By Molly Cuddy

This summer, while interning at Washington Gardener, I grew peppers at our community garden plot. I grew two different varieties: 'Shishito' (smokey peppers, sometimes a bit spicy) and 'Lunchbox' (mini snacking sweet peppers). I’ll admit it, I think this was my first time ever growing something edible. That being said, I was a little nervous about how my pepper plants would do throughout the summer! Of course, every week, we made sure to take good care of my peppers so they could thrive. 

Lunchbox Peppers
Thankfully, I’m able to say a lot of my peppers grew. I got to take home a handful of the Shisito peppers and I’m researching a recipe I can make with them (any suggestions?). I love snacking on the  Lunchbox peppers (especially dipping them in ranch dressing!), so I’m excited to eat them.

My plants even grew enough peppers that we got to enter them in the Montgomery County Fair and they each won a ribbon -- the Shishito got a 4th place and Lunchbox earned a 3rd! I’m super-excited that I even got to enter what I grew, so I’m even more excited they won anything.

I had a great time learning more about gardening this summer. I’m hoping to get some plants for my apartment soon. I was too scared before, because I didn’t think I had much of a green thumb, but now I have complete confidence in my “plant mom” abilities!

What is growing in your kitchen garden?

About the Author
Molly Cuddy is a journalism major at the University of Maryland, College Park, and was 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.

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, August 26, 2021

Win a Set of All-natural SallyeAnder Skincare Remedies in the August 2021 Washington Gardener Magazine Reader Contest

For our August 2021 Washington Gardener Magazine Reader Contest, Washington Gardener is giving away a set of all-natural SallyeAnder skincare remedies from https://sallyeander.com/ to one lucky winner. The set includes:

• SallyeAnder Poison Ivy Soap ($8) removes those toxic oils, can be used in your bath or shower, and can be a pre-treatment for your clothes. The soap also provides itch relief and is safe for the face, body, and children’s delicate skin. 

• For when your skin breaks out, breaks open, or needs a break, look no further than intensive care Rescue Me Balm ($22). 

• No-Bite-Me Bug Repellent Cream ($13–$45) contains 18 safe, active ingredients and is effective against black flies, mosquitos, fleas, ticks, ants, and spiders. 

• Made from soap scraps and cornmeal, Gardener’s Hand Soap ($8) can cut through any stain. It is rich in glycerin and won’t dry out your hands or body. 

  To enter to win the set of four all-natural SallyeAnder skincare remedies, send an email to WashingtonGardenerMagazine@gmail.com by 5:00pm on Tuesday, August 31, with “SallyeAnder skincare remedies” in the subject line. In the body of the email, tell us what your favorite article was in the August 2021 issue and why. Include your full name and mailing address. The winners will be announced by September 2.

UPDATE: Congratulations to our contest winner, Dawn Ellis of Washington, DC!

Wednesday, August 25, 2021

Lycoris Plant Profile

Lycoris (Lycoris sp.) is also known as Naked Lady, Surprise Lily, Magic Lily, Resurrection Lily, British Soldiers, and many other common names. Truth is, they are not lilies at all and are in the Amaryllis family. They are native to eastern and southern Asia.

Lycoris are gorgeous and a great cut flower, lasting well over a week in a vase. They give off a lovely fragrance to boot! The most common are the pink (Lycoris squamigera) and the red (Lycoris radiata). There are also yellow, white, and mixed color versions.

Lycoris grow from a large bulb and can take a few years to recover and bloom after you plant them, so be patient and leave them be to settle in and get flowering. They are an old-fashioned favorite and you will often see them coming up around abandoned home sites. If you are not lucky enough to inherit some as pass-along gifts, you can order them from companies like Brent & Becky’s Bulbs.
 
They are hardy to zones 5-9 and prefer a sunny to part-sun location. Lycoris naturalizes by bulb-offsets. They prefer medium moisture in well-drained soils and to be covered with a bit of mulch in winter.

In the spring, you will see the strappy foliage come up and then quickly die back and disappear.  In mid-summer, after a good soaking rain, the tall stalks will suddenly shoot up and the flowers will appear without any foliage, hence their colorful nicknames. These are the ultimate "set-it and forget-it" plant.

Lycoris - You Can Grow That!

 

The video was produced by Washington Gardener Magazine.

Video and Audio by Kathy Jentz

Additional Video provided by Brent & Becky’s Bulbs

Additional Photo by Namazu-tron, CC BY-SA 3.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0>, via Wikimedia Commons

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

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Tuesday, August 24, 2021

Washington Gardener Magazine Receives 2021 Media Awards Silver Medal of Achievement

I've been sitting on a bit of Big News! Washington Gardener Magazine received the 2021 Media Awards Silver Medal of Achievement for Consumer Magazine > Magazine (Circulation < 20K), presented by GardenComm: Garden Communicators International.


This national award recognizes individuals and companies who achieve the highest levels of talent and professionalism in garden communications. The 2021 competition had more than 135 entries in 62 categories. Recipients of the Silver Medal represent the top winners each competition category in the areas of writing, photography, digital media, broadcast media, publishing, and trade.

Kathy Jentz received the Silver Medal of Achievement for her editing and production of Washington Gardener Magazine. Washington Gardener Magazine is the gardening publication published specifically for the Washington, DC area and its near and far suburbs. We sent out our premiere issue in March/April 2005 and we are now about to be celebrating our 17th anniversary. 

“The GardenComm Media Awards showcase the writers, photographers, editors, publishers and trade companies that have pursued excellence in gardening communication in print or electronic communications,” says Becky Heath, past president of GardenComm. “The Media Award winners have been judged by industry experts and show significant distinction and merits that exemplify exceptional work.” 


Since the early 1980s, the GardenComm Media Awards program has recognized outstanding writing, photography, graphic design and illustration for books, newspaper stories, magazine articles, and other works focused on gardening. In recent years, the awards program has expanded to include on-air talent, production and direction for radio, television, video, Internet and other electronic media.


The full list of winners is available on the GardenComm website. For more information about this award, contact Crystal Goodremote 212.297.2198 or crankin@kellencompany.com


About GardenComm 

GardenComm, formerly GWA: the Association for Garden Communicators, is an organization of professional communicators in the green industry including book authors, bloggers, staff editors, syndicated columnists, free-lance writers, photographers, speakers, landscape designers, television and radio personalities, consultants, publishers, extension service agents and more. No other organization in the industry has as much contact with the buying public as GardenComm members. Learn more at www.gardencomm.org

Sunday, August 22, 2021

August 2021 issue of Washington Gardener Magazine –Cucamelons, Agapanthus, Composting Tips, and much more

The August 2021 issue of Washington Gardener Magazine is out.

Inside this issue:

·         Cucamelons: Mexican Sour Gherkin

·         Saving and Testing Old Seeds 

·         Horticultural Therapy in Northern VA

·         Composting Tips for Home Gardens

·         Preserve Your Garden Produce

·         Agapanthus Plant Profile

·         Diagnosing Tree and Witch Hazel Issues

·         Sunflower Fields at McKee-Beshers WMA

·         Meet Joy Columbus, Smithsonian Gardens New Director

·         DC-MD-VA Gardening Events Calendar

·         Move Your Virtual Workplace Outdoors

·         Planting in Masses

and much more…

Note that any submissions, event listings, and advertisements for the September 2021 issue are due by September 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

Saturday, August 21, 2021

GardenDC Podcast Episode 71: Soil Health

In this episode, we talk with Mark Highland of Organic Mechanics about soil health, biochar, and more. The plant profile is on Mountain Mint and I share what's going on locally and in the garden.


Mark's book is Practical Organic Gardening and can be ordered at:
 https://amzn.to/3D8yKqY/


BTW, YOU can become a listener supporter for as little as $0.99 per month! See how at: https://anchor.fm/gardendc/support.

The episode is posted at: https://anchor.fm/gardendc/episodes/Episode-71---Soil-Health-e1661ih

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, August 20, 2021

Fenton Friday: Award-Winning Garden






At the Montgomery County Fair, our entries received 17 ribbons. I've shared a few in the photos here. We collected awards for our 'Shishito' and sweet peppers, 'Sungold' tomatoes, and Garlic. In the flower categories, we won for our Roses, Zinnia, Celosia, Gomphrena, and Coleus.

This week, we've had a lot of rain including 4 inches in one storm this morning. I've been picking more beans, tomatoes, and cucumbers. I'm hoping for more zucchini soon as I have a recipe I want to try out. 

What is growing in your kitchen 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, August 19, 2021

Discuss The Revolutionary Genius of Plants with the Garden Book Club


For our next Garden Book Club selection, we will be discussing The Revolutionary Genius of Plants by Stefano Mancuso.

You can order it new or used at our Amazon link - https://amzn.to/2WdiGDn.

We will also be choosing our 2022 garden book club selections at this meeting so bring your ideas and suggestions! To see a list of all the garden books we have previously discussed in this group, go to Garden Book Club Selections.

Our Fall 2021 club meeting will be on Thursday, November 18 from 6:30-8pm ET via Zoom.

Please register at -
to have the Zoom link sent to you. 

The Washington Gardener Magazine's Garden Book Club is free and open to all. We meet quarterly on a weekday evening online (usually near a metro-accessible location in the DC-area when COVID is not a factor). 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.
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Wednesday, August 18, 2021

Garden Phlox Plant Profile

Garden Phlox (Phlox paniculata) is also known as Tall Phlox or Summer Phlox, as opposed to the low-growing spring phloxes. Garden Phlox is a perennial wildflower that is native to the Eastern United States and is hardy to USDA zones 4-8.

True to its common names, this phlox blooms in high summer and grows to three to four feet high. The flowers are visited by many kinds of pollinators.

Garden Phlox needs a location in full sun to do best and it likes moist, but well-draining soils. For a neater appearance, deadhead the flowers when they start to fade.

This plant is susceptible to powdery mildew, which is unattractive, but not deadly. To prevent it, chose cultivars that are bred to be more mildew-resistant and plant it where it can get good air circulation.

Phlox ‘David’ has a pure white flower and has been a garden mainstay for many years now. Phlox ‘Jeana’ is a newer introduction that has purple-pink flowers and superior mildew resistance. Other great performing phlox cultivars to try include ‘Glamour Girl’, ‘Delta Snow’, ‘Lavelle’, ‘Robert Poore’, and ‘Shortwood’.

Read more about phlox cultivars in the phlox trial report at the Mt. Cuba Center website (https://mtcubacenter.org/).

Garden Phlox - You Can Grow That!

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Tuesday, August 17, 2021

TikTok Tuesday: Farm Tour

@wdcgardener

A summer visit to the UMD Central Maryland Research and Education Center in Upper Marlboro, MD. ##gardendc ##farmtour ##hayride ##agresearch

♬ original sound - Kathy Jentz

By Molly Cuddy

Two weeks ago, Jackie, one of the other summer interns, and I went to the Central Maryland Research and Education Center (CMREC) Upper Marlboro Farm for the Twilight Tour and Ice Cream Social. The farm is part of the University of Maryland extension, and is 30 minutes from campus. 

The night started off with an ice cream social, where we were able to get some homemade vanilla ice cream. It was super good and a great treat in the summer humidity. 

Then, we loaded onto the four tractors they had for the event, and took a hayride around the farm facilities. Both agricultural students and professors from UMD, as well as employees from the farm, all presented on what they have been growing and even gave out informative papers about their findings. We even got some free flowers and I was able to take home some delicious tomatoes that were grown on the farm.

It was a wonderful night! The weather was perfect, and the sunset over the farm was gorgeous. If you’re in the area, and they ever do a farm hayride tour again, I would absolutely recommend going! You can check out my TikTok here to get a feel of what the farm tour was like.

This is also my last ever TikTok Tuesday, as my internship with Washington Gardener is coming to an end. I hope you all have enjoyed my blog posts and TikToks as much as I enjoyed making them every week!

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.

Sunday, August 15, 2021

Devil's Trumpet Blasting on 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 in the Mid-Atlantic USA (USDA zone 7) on the DC-MD border, the past month has been another HOT ONE -- the big difference from last month to now is that we have RAIN and lots of it and cooler temps coming with it. Hurray!

For this month's Bloom Day. I thought I'd share a pic of a Datura Hybrid  'Double Purple' aka Devil's Trumpet, aka Horn of Plenty aka Downy Thorn Apple aka Angel's Trumpet aka Brugmansia. Those late two names really apply to a totally different plant, but they have been used so interchangeably that much confusion still ensues. 

To easily tell the difference between Datura (Devil's Trumpet) and Brugmansia (Angel's Trumpet), think of which way they would be pointed when played. The devil from below points his trumpet facing up and the angel from heaven points hers facing down.

My photo here is looking straight down into the trumpet as it is just starting to unfurl. That is my favorite stage of these flowers. They are so amazingly beautiful -- like a dancer swirling and unswirling her skirts.

This datura is a tropical plant and will only last until a frost. One could try to winter it over indoors, but I will not as it is poisonous and I have cats that like to nibble on growing things. I bought this one from Thanksgiving Farms in Adamstown, MD, on a whim and plan to just enjoy it for the season.

In the rest of the garden today, I have blooming: Sunflowers, Abelia, Lycoris, Goldenrod, Celosia, Tall Phlox, Japanese Anemone, Butterfly Bush, Tall Verbena, Petunias, Agapanthus, Hydrangea, Black-eyed Susan, Zinnias, Cosmos, Daylilies, Fuchsia, Bacopa, Impatiens, etc.

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?

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