Saturday, April 22, 2023

GardenDC Podcast Episode 147: Sustainable Gardening Practices

In this episode of GardenDC: The Podcast about Mid-Atlantic Gardening, we talk with Lois J. de Vries, Executive Director of the Sustainable Gardening Institute and Library, about sustainable gardening practices. The plant profile is on Golden Ragwort 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 Dr. Allan Armitage, who returns to share the Last Word on Annual Plant Snobs.

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Show Notes: 01:14 Meet Lois J. de Vries, executive director of the Sustainable Gardening Institute and Library. 02:37 “I’ve killed my fair number of plants.” 03:25 Why did Lois used to hate hydrangeas and lilies of the valley? 03:55 Lois’ introduction to horticulture is a “long and winding road.” 06:19 “It really brought home to me how little many homeowners know about the environment and sustainable landscaping practices.” 06:46 Why did Lois start the online garden library and institute? 09:41 “One day I woke up and said ‘what we need is a sustainable gardening library.’” 10:49 Who is the map for? 11:53 All about Lois’ personal garden! 13:18 “We got skipped by the snow, but I’m not complaining about that.” 15:13 Dan: Lois’ other half and official hole digger. 16:58 Eco-Regions app: what is it and how do gardeners use it? 19:45 The app tells you about previous land use – hopefully it wasn’t a brownfield. 20:13 “People think that they have a [brown] thumb, but it can also be that you have a different soil.” 21:58 The topics are vetted by the Sustainability Committee at GardenComm. 27:45 “My first favorite topic is stormwater management, but we won’t get there…” 28:11 What is sustainability? 32:50 One-third of the content providers are in the New York to Virginia area. 33:26 Montana doesn’t have many public gardens and colleges. 34:22 Why aren’t private corporations part of the Sustainable Gardening Institute and Library? 42:24 With sustainability, start small. 42:48 “I enjoy my exotic plants as much as anybody.” 44:33 “No garden is truly sustainable.” 46:21 Advice for new homeowners: do nothing. 49:14 Golden Ragwort: this week’s Plant Profile! 50:59 Garden updates: Carolina Allspice shrub is blooming, Yukon Gold potatoes are popping up! 51:22 Upcoming events: FONA Garden Fair; Beltsville Garden Plant Sale; Shepherd Park Garden Tour; GardenMart Plant Sale. 53:51 “Groundcover Revolution” by Kathy Jentz. 55:13 “The Urban Garden” by Kathy Jentz and Teri Speight 56:19 The Last Word from Dr. Allan Armitage on Annual Plant Snobs

If you liked this episode, you may also enjoy listening to:
GardenDC Episode 101: Sustainable Lawn Care 
~ GardenDC Episode 117: Environmentally Friendly Gardening

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.

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


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