Wednesday, March 29, 2023

Phlox Groundcover Plant Profile

Phlox Groundcover Plant Profile

This profile was excerpted from Groundcover Revolution by Kathy Jentz.

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Phlox Groundcover: You Can Grow That!

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

Video and editing by Jessica Harden

Audio and text 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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FIND Washington Gardener Magazine ONLINE





~ Podcast: GardenDC

Tuesday, March 28, 2023

Win a Tree Diaper in the March 2023 Washington Gardener Reader Contest

For our March 2023 Washington Gardener Reader Contest, we are giving away a Tree Diaper TD24R for plants of up to a 12-inch rootball or 3-10 gallon shrubs/trees. (value $33). 

   TreeDiaper ( was created by a Richmond, VA, couple, both Virginia Tech chemical engineers, who wanted to find a way to recycle diapers. It has now turned into TreeDiaper (although the product isn’t made of recycled diapers). It’s proudly made in Ashland, VA. TreeDiaper is a patented, multi-functional plant protection system featuring slow-releasing irrigation, auto-recharging with rain/snow, salt damage mitigation, weed control, and extreme weather protection. It also reduces water and fertilizer runoff, so it decreases erosion/pollution. When used properly, it promotes healthy outward root growth that facilitates establishment of newly planted trees and shrubs, and enhances long-term health. You mulch right over TreeDiaper, so you don’t even see it. 

  To enter, send an email to by 5:00pm on March 31 with “Tree Diaper” in the subject line and in the body of the email. Tell us what your favorite article was in the March 2023 Washington Gardener issue and why. Please include your full name and mailing address. The winner will be announced and notified on/about April 1. 

Monday, March 27, 2023

Saturday, March 25, 2023

GardenDC Podcast Episode 143: Balcony Food Growing

In this episode of GardenDC: The Podcast about Mid-Atlantic Gardening, we talk with Bill Dugan of the Food Gardening Network, all about growing food on your balcony. The plant profile is on the Spirea and we share what's going on in the garden as well as some upcoming local gardening events in the What's New segment. We close out with the Last Word on Signs of Spring from Heather Prince of the Fearless Gardening Blog.

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

Show Notes: 01:20 Meet Bill Dugan of the Food Gardening Network. 02:57 Dugan, a middle child with 7 siblings. 05:29 Dugan initially wanted to study journalism, but went into publishing. 08:52 There was no single resource for planning, planting, growing, tending, harvesting, and cooking your harvest before the Food Gardening Network. 11:20 What does Dugan’s balcony garden look like? 13:34 While Dugan doesn’t have deer problems, he still has pest issues. 18:04 “When the season is over for me, that’s it.” 18:22 Dugan prefers to buy seedlings to gauge the plant's health. 23:02 Growing your own herbs prevents waste. 28:15 “I throw away all of the soil at the end of the season.” 30:52 Dugan had issues with nutrient depletion and pests when reusing the soil. 35:53 “Tomatoes are the easiest… so many different varieties.” 40:05 Never use fish heads or fish emulsions on indoor plants. 40:50 “It’s better to start small.” 43:59 Spirea: this week’s Plant Profile! 46:05 Garden updates: Weeping Higan Cherry is in bloom! 46:32 March edition of Washington Gardener Magazine is out! 47:03 Upcoming events: Camellia Society of the Potomac Valley Show and Sale; Franciscan Monastery plant sale. 48:04 “The Urban Garden” by Kathy Jentz and Teri Speight 49:05 “Groundcover Revolution” by Kathy Jentz. 50:29 The Last Word on Signs of Spring from Heather Prince of the Fearless Gardening Blog.

If you liked this episode, you may also enjoy listening to:

~ GardenDC Podcast Episode 116: Miniature Vegetables
~ GardenDC Podcast Episode 68: Summer Vegetables

This episode is archived 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 podcast platform plus share us on social media with #GardenDC, so other gardeners can find us too!

Episode Credits:
Host and Producer: Kathy Jentz
Editing and Show Notes: Jessica Harden


Friday, March 24, 2023

Fenton Friday: Veterans and Newbies Meet

This past weekend we had an all-gardener meeting to kick off the growing season at our community garden. Everyone introduced themselves and the riles of the garden were reviewed. I think for those outside the garden and the newbies, the rules seem lengthy and onerous -- in fact, they are there to head off potential problems like someone's giant trellis overshadowing a neighbor's plot or the cistern not getting refilled potentially leaving our poor seedlings parched on a hot, sunny day.

I shared some seeds leftover from our recent Seed Exchanges and enjoyed meeting the new gardeners and connecting names to some of the returning folks I hadn't met yet. I hop everyone has a beautiful and bountiful growing year!

In our plot, I harvested a handful of broccoli that I added to a pot of mac-and-cheese. It has been so rainy and windy and super-busy!) that I didn't get any additional seeds in the ground yet. My plan is for us to plant radish, lettuce, and seed potatoes this coming week.

Are you back in your edible garden yet? If so, what are you growing?

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 12th year in the garden. (It opened in May 2011.) See

Thursday, March 23, 2023

Cornelian Cherry (Cornus mas) Plant Profile

Cornus Mas Plant Profile

Cornelian Cherry (Cornus mas) is a small tree or large shrub in the dogwood family. It is deciduous and blooms in the late winter into early spring. The flowers are a clear yellow and held out on short stems along the branches.

It is native to Western Asia and southern Europe. It is hardy to USDA zones 4 to 8. It grows best in full sun to part shade in average soils.

Cornelian Cherry is deer-resistant and low-maintenance. It is a good choice for an urban street tree because of its small size and tough nature.

Remove any root suckers as soon as you see them emerge to control its spread.

Cornelian Cherry gets its common name from the fruits it produces in mid-summer. These are edible -- though a bit astringent. They are quite good processed into jams, jellies, and syrups. The fruits are also eaten by birds and squirrels.

Cornus Mas: You Can Grow That!

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

Video and editing by Jessica Harden

Audio and text by Kathy Jentz

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


Wednesday, March 22, 2023

March 2023 issue of Washington Gardener Magazine –Sedges, Horseradish, Low-Maintenance Gardening Techniques, and much more…


The March 2023 issue of Washington Gardener Magazine is now posted and archived online.

Inside this issue:

·         Sensational Sedges: Carex for the Mid-Atlantic Region

·         What You Need to Know about Mosquitos and PFAs

·         Growing Galloping Horseradish

·         The Magnificent Red-Shouldered Hawk

·         Designing with Native Plants

·         Orchid Watering Tips

·         Low-Maintenance Gardening Techniques

·         Meet Najwa Womack Sistained8 Founder

·         Top Tomato Varieties

·         Sweet Box Plant Profile

·         Great Gardening Books Reviewed

·         Spring Flower Arranging Inspiration

·         DC-MD-VA Gardening Events Calendar

·         and much more…

Note that any submissions, event listings, and advertisements for the April 2023 issue are due by April 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:

Sunday, March 19, 2023

17+ Cherry Blossom Viewing Alternatives in the DC Region

(One of our most popular and imitated annual blog posts is the listing of 17+ Cherry Blossom Viewing Alternatives in the DC Region -- updated for 2023.)

Dumbarton Oaks

It is Cherry Blossom Festival time again in Washington, DC. 

If the crowds are too much for you or you are just looking for a new angle to take a selfie - here are several local alternatives to the Tidal Basin display:


The Trust for the National Mall and The National Cherry Blossom Festival hosts the #BloomCam. Go to the live feed here: to view the trees along the Tidal Basin in real time as they bloom.

Petal Porch Parade

Returning this year is a new-ish feature: the Petal Porch Parade. These are homes decorated to bring the cherry blossom parade feel to your neighborhood. See more about them here and search the map of locations here.

Public Gardens

~ The National Arboretum has a splendid and more varied display and LOTS or parking. Stroll around Fern Valley and the other gardens as well while you are there. Take the Self-Guided Tour: Beyond the Tidal Basin: Introducing Other Great Flowering Cherries to explore the arboretum’s collection of over 2,000 cherry trees representing 600 different cultivars, hybrids, and species of various shapes, sizes, flower colors, and bloom times, including trees that have been created by arboretum scientists. Note: The free self-guided tour covers several miles of arboretum roads, and can be driven, biked, or walked. Pick up a brochure in the Administration Building.
   Also new at the USNA this year are two Cherry Blossom-related features. One is a demonstration of the traditional Japanese support system aka the Japanese Crutching Method (Kurato Fujimoto) that is installed at two cherry trees near the National Herb Garden. The other is the temporary exhibit, Sakura Orihon: Diary of a Cherry Blossom Journey, on display at the National Bonsai & Penjing Museum from March 4 through April 2. The exhibit depicts a landscape architect's pilgrimage to Japan to visit the oldest cherry trees. It is well -worth visiting both!

Tudor Place is a lovely place to take a stroll on your own through the spectacular Yoshino Cherry Blossoms during the full bloom. Event and entry fees may apply.

Dumbarton Oaks in Georgetown, WDC, has a marvelous orchard of cherries. There is an admission fee that goes to support the gardens and you will want to make advance reservations. Parking is also a bear in that neighborhood -- I recommend you walk or take the bus. 

Hillwood Estate in NW DC is pleased to celebrate the National Cherry Blossom Festival with short guided tours of Mrs. Post’s Japanese-style garden. Docents will be available to answer questions between the tours. The suggested entry donation to Hillwood is $12 per adult.

Brookside Gardens in Wheaton, MD, also has beautiful cherry blossom trees and many other flowering trees like plum, apricot, magnolias, and quince in bloom right now, and you don’t have to fight the crowds to see them. The gardens are also full of flowering bulbs like hyacinths, tulips, and hillsides of daffodils.

Meadowlark Botanical Gardens in Vienna, VA, has over 100 cherry trees surrounding a lovely lake that you can stroll around. Admission to the gardens is a mere $5

Lewis Ginter Botanical Gardens in Richmond, VA, has a ring of Yoshino cherry trees around their lake and Okame cherry blooms throughout the gardens. There is an entry fee of $10 to visit the gardens.

~  River Farm in Alexandria, VA, is a historic 25-acre site on the banks of the Potomac River. River Farm was once part of George Washington’s original five farms, and currently the headquarters of the American Horticultural Society. The grounds offer spectacular river views, a wildlife garden, and delightful children’s areas. 

Green Spring Gardens near Annandale, VA, has several flowering cherry trees in its collection. There is also a wonderful witch hazel collection there.

Neighborhoods and Other Less-visited Spots

~ The Bethesda, MD, neighborhood of Kenwood for their stunning display. Park and walk in for an immersion in cherry tree lined streets.

~ Sarah Lawler suggests The Japanese American Memorial to Patriotism During World War II is a beautiful spot to see cherry blossoms. It is located near Union Station at the intersection of Louisiana Ave., New Jersey Ave. and D Street, NW, WDC. And across the street is a grove on the U.S. Capitol grounds.

~ Foxhall and Reservoir Rds, NW. Washington, DC. The Foxhall Village neighborhood near Georgetown has cherry blossom-lined streets that are known as the best-kept secret among locals.

~ Brenda Lynn shared she always bikes from Arlington, VA, in order to avoid having to park to take metro. It's a beautiful ride, and one could also bike along the GW parkway in VA to view all the blooms along the Potomac River

Oxon Run Park at 1200 Mississippi Ave SE, Washington, DC, has fairly new cherry tree plants and a lot of space to spread out and fly a kite.

National Harbor hosts a Sakura Sunday celebration. See:

Anacostia Park at 900 Anacostia Drive, SE. Washington, DC. Cherry trees bloom along the Anacostia River at the 1,200-acre park that is one of Washington, DC's largest recreation areas.

~ An anonymous post to my blog, tipped me off that there are several blocks of cherry blossom trees creating an arch above the streets of Garrett Park Estates in Kensington, MD. "Take Strathmore Road near Holy Cross Church, turn onto Flanders and then I think it’s Waycross. The trees span several streets, are lovely, and totally free of crowds!"

~ Adam Bailey let me know that “Stanton Park and Lincoln Park on the Hill — and the Capitol Hill neighborhoods in general — have a good display of blossoms, too.”

~ "Scott Circle, at Massachusetts & 16th, also has some great cherry blossoms," reports John Boggan. 

~ Katie said, "There's a neighborhood off Query Mill in North Potomac, MD, that has streets lined with cherry trees. Not as fantastic as Kenwood, but if you're in the upper Montgomery County, it may be more accessible. Streets include Moran and Bonnie Dale. It blooms a few days later than Kenwood."

~ Casey Trees has an interactive map to find blooming street trees near your location. To try it out, go here:

Grow Your Own!

 Ever since getting my weeping ‘Higan’ cherry, I feel no need to rush downtown. I keep a daily watch on my baby tree and celebrate loudly when the buds finally burst open. I highly recommend it. 
   Here is a video we created about growing ornamental cherry trees locally: 
   In addition, in the very first issue of Washington Gardener Magazine, we did a PlantProfile column on the selection and cultivation of cherry trees for our area. 

Got other DC-area Cherry Tree viewing locations? Please share them in the comments below.

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