Wednesday, June 29, 2022

Gladiola Plant Profile

Plant Profile: Gladiola 

This summer-blooming bulb is known for its showy flowers that come in a rainbow of colors. My favorites are the chartreuse green ones, but I also enjoy the lavenders and pink blends as well. 

Gladiolus can be planted in spring after the last spring frost (mid-May here in the Mid-Atlantic). It comes up in mid-summer (about 90 days from planting). After that, it will behave as a perennial in your garden. Be sure to plant the bulb deep enough and give it some mulch for extra winter protection, especially if you are in USDA Zone 6 or lower.

Glads require full sun for best blooming and may need some staking if they are not supported by surrounding plants.

After blooming, remove the faded flowers and then cut the whole stalk down. You can also cut the stalk when just a few blooms are open to enjoy the rest as they open in your indoor arrangements.

Gladiolus: You CAN Grow That!

Did you know that 2022 is Year of the Gladiolus?
Read more about them at

The video was produced by Washington Gardener Magazine as part of our Plant Profile series for Mid-Atlantic USA gardeners.

Audio, video, and text by Kathy Jentz

Editing by Jamie Oberg

Still photos courtesy of the National Garden Bureau

 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


~ Podcast: GardenDC


Sunday, June 26, 2022

Win a Tree Watering Ring in June 2022 Washington Gardener Reader Contest

For our June 2022 Washington Gardener Reader Contest, we are giving away three tree watering rings (one each to three different winners). The prize value is $20.

   Avoid overwatering or underwatering trees and shrubs with IKE’S TREE WATERING RING, designed for deep root saturation with little runoff. Constructed from a heavy-duty PVC, UV-treated material to withstand the elements, it provides continuous and even water distribution and saturation, giving parched trees exactly what they need—and nothing more—while giving yourself more time to tackle other tasks. IKE’s offers professional-grade products that deliver exactly what you need at a cost that doesn’t break the bank. Created right here in the United States, IKE’s lawn and garden chemicals, fabrics, watering solutions, pond care, and ice melt products give you the freedom to grow your self-driven ambition into something greater. For more information, visit

   To enter to win one of the three tree watering rings, send an email by 5:00pm on JULY 5 to with “Tree Ring” in the Subject line and in the body of the email. Tell us what your favorite article was in the June 2022 issue of Washington Gardener and why. Please include your full name and mailing address. Winners will be announced and notified on/about July 6.

(UPDATE: Because some folks had trouble sending to our contest email, I'm extending the entry deadline to 5pm on July 5.)


Congratulations to our reader contest winners:

Maureen Wynn, Berwyn Heights, MD

Jennifer Whalen, Silver Spring, MD 

- Jacqueline Pfeffer Merrill, Ph.D., Takoma Park MD

Saturday, June 25, 2022

GardenDC on Short Summer Break

The GardenDC Podcast is on a short summer break. We encourage you to catch up with some of the past episodes that you may have missed or re-listen to some past favorites.
May we suggest these two summer-themed episodes?
BTW, YOU can become a listener supporter for as little as $0.99 per month! See how at:

Friday, June 24, 2022

Fenton Friday: Zinnias Up!

We got passed over by the last few rainstorms then got hit by a streak of unusually windy and dry days, so it has been a week of daily watering to keep the new cutting-garden seedlings alive that are just emerging. The Celosia, Zinnia, and Marigolds that we planted last week are up. The other cutting-garden seeds may take a few more days to weeks to come up. I also added rows of Basil and Green Beans, which I hope pop up soon.

By the way, see that pile of bricks/rocks at the head of the Zinnia seedling row? That is my years-long attempt at killing a Mulberry tree that keeps coming back and is also sending runners throughout my plot. It is such a pain to deal with, but I just keep pruning it back and it keeps roaring right back. One day it will give up -- or will I?

The self-sown Zinnias are also doing well. I cut a handful of flowers from them this week -- they are mostly bright oranges and a couple pinks. The funny thing is, most of the cutting-garden seeds I have been sent are also orange hues, not my favorite, but a fun change and should contrast nicely with many of my purple flowering plants.

The two cherry tomato plants are forming fruits already, but the two heirloom (larger) tomato varieties will be a while yet. The pepper plant is also settling in with no signs of flowers or fruits yet.

The dwarf, thornless Blackberry keeps pumping out fruit! I picked and froze 2 quarts in the last few days and am now sharing the extras.

What are you growing and eating this week from 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 11th 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, June 22, 2022

June 2022 issue of Washington Gardener Magazine –Astilbe, Peanuts in Pots, Native Tassel-Rue, and much more…


The June 2022 issue of Washington Gardener Magazine is now out.

Inside this issue:

·         All About Astilbe: A Care-free, Shade-loving Perennial

·         Discovering Native Tassel-Rue

·         Growing Peanuts in Containers

·         Solar Power Recharges the Smithsonian Gardens

·         Ornamental Grasses in Pots

·         Tomato Foliage Woes

·         A Visit to Carroll Creek Linear Gardens

·         Meet an Urban Food Garden Coordinator

·         How to Water Your Lawn Properly in Summer

·         Great Gardening Books Reviewed

·         DC-MD-VA Gardening Events Calendar

·         and much more…

Note that any submissions, event listings, and advertisements for the July 2022 issue are due by July 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:

Stewartia Plant Profile

Stewartia Plant Profile

Stewartia (Stewartia spp.) is a small tree that is known for its ornamental flower buds, its camellia-like white flowers, its fall color, interesting seed pods, and attractive, exfoliating bark in winter.

It is called the “Summer Dogwood” in the southern US due to its late spring into early summer blooming period.

There are both Asian and Native kinds of Stewartia. In fact, there are two native species and 12 recognized Asian ones — some with branches that zig-zag, some shrubby, and two species have fragrant flowers. Silky Stewartia (S. malacodendron) and Mountain Stewartia (S. ovata), have purple anthers with blue stamen. The Asian species have golden-yellow centers. The plant most available in nurseries is the Japanese Stewartia (Stewartia pseudocamellia).

Stewartia requires consistent watering during its first year. Pick its location in your garden carefully as transplanting has a low survival rate.

Stewartia does like well-drained, organic soil, and a sheltered spot, with protection from the afternoon sun and the north wind. It does not like wet feet.  An understory woodland habitat tree, it will thrive under similar conditions in your garden.

Pruning is not required. Allow it to develop its natural structure and shape, pruning only to remove dead, broken, or crossing branches -- or to remove a waterspout.

Stewartia is known to be pest-free as well as non-aggressive. It grows to about 30-feet tall and is highly recommended for small space gardens.

Stewartia: You Can Grow That!

The video was produced by Washington Gardener Magazine as part of our Plant Profile series for Mid-Atlantic USA gardeners.

Audio and text by Kathy Jentz

Video footage by Tori Vandergriff

Editing by Jamie Oberg


 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


~ Podcast: GardenDC





Monday, June 20, 2022

Saturday, June 18, 2022

GardenDC Podcast Episode 109: Lavender

In this episode, we talk with Lloyd Traven of Peace Tree Farm all about lavender. The plant profile is on Stewartia and we share what's going on in the garden as well as some upcoming local gardening events.

BTW, YOU can become a listener supporter for as little as $0.99 per month! See how at:

SHOW NOTES: 1:16 Meet Lloyd Traven, president of Peace Tree Farm located in Pennsylvania! 2:05 Love story of Lloyd and Candy Traven 4:03 Peace Tree Farm is one of the oldest herb growers in the country 4:49 1.5 million herbs propagated every year! 5:30 They are second-generation growers 6:25 98% wholesale company 7:02 Lloyd mentions the Philadelphia Flower Show 8:29 Peace Tree Farm is equidistant from NYC and Philadelphia 9:12 Large and exclusive group of retailers and botanical gardens 10:46 Strictly greenhouse growers (not in-ground plants) 11:34 Natural rock walls! 13:07 Lavender farms are now all over PA, MD, VA, and more 13:38 “People are not growing your grandmother’s lavender.” –Lloyd 15:12 Lavender is not a ‘pass-along plant’ 15:50 You can never give lavender too much sun 17:10 “Drainage, drainage, drainage” –Lloyd 17:48 Light fertilization to grow lavender well 18:45 Calcareous plant = loves calcium! 19:27 Low levels of phosphorus are key 21:20 Egg, clam, and oyster shells are great to add calcium 22:48 Bone meal is also great but be careful of critters 23:27 Lavender is almost bulletproof 24:24 Blooming and pruning tips 25:45 English varieties are earlier bloomers with giant flush of harvest 26:38 Don’t cut when fully open for wreaths or other projects 26:43 Cut when they open for fresh flowers with a little water 26:58 Looking for buds? Cut when they’re tight! 27:34 Maintenance of the plant is necessary for lavender to thrive 28:21 Labor Day is a good cut-off to be done pruning 29:43 Don’t over-prune the plant 30:00 There was a nationwide issue of dying lavender this past winter! 31:46 Rapid cycling of temperatures disrupting gardens all over the Mid-Atlantic 33:00 Lavender thrives in neglected city planters at Baltimore’s Inner Harbor 34:32 Lavender LOVES to be left alone 36:24 New lavenders coming soon! 37:35 Lavender is the only perennial that is grown in acreage 38:43 Lavender ‘Phenomenal’ was a game-changing plant 40:01 Lavender intermedia is a sterile plant 41:11 Hundreds of new Lavender angustifolia out today 42:00 Peace Tree Farm has the only two patented Lavender intermedias in the marketplace with another on the verge 43:05 New lavenders have to be hardy for the winter and heat/humidity tolerance due to changing climate 44:00 Farms in Florida growing Peace Tree Farm lavenders that are thriving! 45:25 Unusual uses for lavender 47:14 Adult beverages with lavender! 48:45 Medicinal uses likely to come soon 50:12 Contact information for Lloyd and Peace Tree Farm 51:58 “It’s a worthy plant.” —Lloyd 52:16 Learn all about Stewartia in this week’s Plant Profile 54:24 New in the garden: summer heat is upon us, Philadelphia Flower Show, hydrangeas, tomatoes, peppers and more! 55:33 Local gardening world: Pollinator week (June 20-26), summer garden tours at Green Spring Gardens in VA 56:33 Washington Gardener Magazine’s June 2022 issue is coming out this week! 56:43 The GardenDC Podcast is taking a summer break for the next two weeks 57:45 Order your copy now of “The Urban Garden” by Kathy Jentz and Teri Speight

If you liked this episode, you may also enjoy listening to:
GardenDC Podcast Episode 62: Edible Flowers with Denise Schreiber
GardenDC Podcast Episode 16: Garlic, Lavender, and No-stress Gardening

This episode is archived online at: 

We welcome your questions and comments! You can leave a voice mail message for us at: Note that we may use these messages on a future episode.

And be sure to leave us a 5-star review on your favorite platform so other gardeners can find us too!

Episode Credits:
Host and Producer: Kathy Jentz
Editing and Show Notes: Tori Vandergriff


Lavender 'Phenomenol'

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