Peg’s Picks: September 2016 Gardening Events in Washington DC Metro Area

September might look like summer is coming to an end but the gardening world is exploding full of activities and events!

1, Thursday, Fall gardening in Containers, 1:00 pm. Free and must register. Walter Reed Community Center, 2909 16th Street, South Arlington, VA. Hosted by Master Gardeners of Northern Virginia. http://www.mgnv.org

1, Thursday, Turf Renovation, 12:15 to 12:45, East Walk of the Smithsonian Enid A. Haupt Garden, Smithsonian, Washington DC.  Part of the Let’s Talk Garden Series on Thursdays, hosted by Smithsonian Gardens horticulturists, free. (202) 633-2220. http://www.gardens.si.edu

3, Saturday, Under the Arbor Series: 2016 Herb of the Year is the Chile Pepper, 1:00 to 4:00 pm in the National Herb Garden, free. Presented by the Herb Society of America and Arboretum staff. U.S. National Arboretum. U.S. National Arboretum, 3501 New York Avenue, NE Washington, DC. http://www.usna.usda.gov

6, Tuesday, Simpson Demonstration Gardens Stroll, 11:00 am to noon, 426 E. Monroe Avenue by the YMCA, Alexandria, VA. Hosted by Master Gardeners of Northern Virginia. Free. http://www.mgnv.org

6, Tuesday, In the Garden Series: Meadow Gardening, 9:30 am, fee unless a member and must register. Ladew Topiary Gardens, 3535 Jarrettsville Pike, Monkton, MD. (410) 557-9570 ext. 261 or rhebert@ladewgardens.com. http://www.ladewgardens.com

6, Tuesday, Putting Your Herb Garden to Bed, 7:00 to 8:30 pm. Barrett Branch Library, 717 Queen Street, Alexandria, VA. Also offered on September 8, at Burke Branch Library, 4701 Seminary Road, Alexandria, VA. Hosted by Master Gardeners of Northern Virginia. Free but must register in advance. http://www.mgnv.org

7, Wednesday, Putting Your Herb Garden to Bed for Winter, 7:00 to 9:00 pm. Wednesdays in the Garden Series at the Arlington Central Library, 1015 N. Quincy Street, Arlington, VA. Taught by Arlington Food Assistance Center volunteers and VCE Master Gardeners, free, no registration required. Library phone and website:  http://www.library.arlingtonva.us (703) 228-5990. http://www.mgnv.org

8, Thursday, Beneficial Insects in the Garden, 12:15 to 12:45, East Walk of the Smithsonian Enid A. Haupt Garden, Smithsonian, Washington DC.  Part of the Let’s Talk Garden Series on Thursdays, hosted by Smithsonian Gardens horticulturists, free. (202) 633-2220. http://www.gardens.si.edu

8, Thursday, Putting Your Herb Garden to Bed, 7:00 to 8:30 pm. Burke Branch Library, 4701 Seminary Road, Alexandria, VA. Also offered on September 6, Tuesday, at Barrett Branch Library, 717 Queen Street, Alexandria, VA. Hosted by Master Gardeners of Northern Virginia. Free but must register in advance. http://www.mgnv.org

8, Thursday, Lecture: Paw Paw: In Search of America’s Forgotten Fruit by author Andrew Moore. 7:00 to 8:30 pm. Fee, must make reservations and book signing to follow. Sponsored by the Foundation of the State Arboretum of Virginia at Blandy, 400 Blandy Farm Lane, Boyce, VA. (540) 837-1758. http://www.blandy.virginia.edu

9, Friday, Lecture: All the Presidents’ Gardens by Marta McDowell, author of same book, noon to 1:00 pm. Free but must register. U.S. Botanic Garden, 245 First Street, SW, Washington DC; (202) 225-8333. http://www.usbg.gov

9, Friday, Lecture: Planting in a Post Wild World by Thomas Rainer and Claudia West. Free but must register. Doors will open at 6:00, lecture from 6:30 to 8:30 pm. U.S. Botanic Garden, 245 First Street, SW, Washington DC; (202) 225-8333. http://www.usbg.gov

10, Saturday, Under the Arbor Series: Lemon Herbs, 1:00 to 4:00 free. In the National Herb Garden. Presented by Herb Society of America and Arboretum staff. U.S. National Arboretum, 3501 New York Avenue, NE Washington, DC. http://www.usna.usda.gov

10, Saturday, Class: Trees 201: Learn to Identify Trees (classroom instruction and field session) 9:00 am to 2:00 pm, Casey Trees, 3030 12th street NE, Washington DC. Free but must register in advance, light breakfast and lunch provided. Casey Trees, 3030 12th Street NE Washington DC. (202) 833-4010. http://www.caseytrees.org

10, Saturday, Paw Paw Festival, noon to 4:00 pm. Meadowside Nature Center, 5100 Meadowside Lane, Rockville, MD. Admission fee. http://www.montgomeryparks.org/parks/meadowside-nature-center/programs

10, Saturday, Ten Unusual Garden Beauties Tour, 7:30 to 8:30 am. Follow horticulturist Carol Miranda for a tour of the gardens to discover unique plants that can add pizza to any garden. Free with paid admission the gardens, wear walking shoes. Pre-registration required. Meadowlark Botanical Gardens, 9750 Meadowlark Gardens Court, Vienna, VA. http://www.novaparks.com/parks/meadowlark-botanical-gardens

10, Saturday, Lecture: Pome Fruit: Apples, Pears, and Quince: Botany, History and Production by Todd Brethauer, 10:30 am to noon. Free but registration required. U.S. Botanic Garden, 245 First Street, SW, Washington DC; (202) 225-8333. http://www.usbg.gov

10, Saturday, Fall Garden Day, Plant Sale and More at Green Springs. 9:00 am to 3:00 pm. Green Spring Gardens, 4603 Green Spring Road, Alexandria, VA. Free. (703) 642-5173. http://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/parks/greenspring/

10, Saturday, Friends of Brookside Gardens (FOBG) plant sale, 10:00 am to 3:00 pm at Brookside Gardens, Visitors Center South Terrace (8:00 to 10:00 am for FOBG members only). Second day, 11, Sunday, 9:00 am to noon and 10 percent discount for FOBG members. http://www.friendsofbrooksidegardens.org for details and listing of plants, Brookside Gardens, 1800 Glenallan Avenue, Wheaton, MD. http://www.brooksidegardens.org

10, Saturday, It’s Basic Gardening – Down and Dirty with Carol Allen, 1:00 pm. Free. Behnke Nurseries Garden Center, 11300 Baltimore Avenue, Beltsville, MD. (301) 937-1100. http://www.behnkes.com

10, Saturday, Fall Herb Faire, 9:00 to 5:00 pm. Lavender Fields Herb Farm, 11300 Winfrey Road, Glenn Allen, VA. Free (also offers classes during month). http://www.lavenderfieldsfarm.com

11, Sunday, Organic Vegetable Garden Taste and Tour, hosted by VCE Master Gardeners. 1-4 pm. Potomac Overlook Regional Park, 2845 Marcey Road, Arlington, VA. Hosted by Master Gardeners of Northern Virginia. Free. http://www.mgnv.org

11, Sunday, Composting Program in Conjunction with Organic Vegetable Garden Taste and Tour, 1:30 to 2:30 pm. No need to register, Potomac Overlook Regional Park, 2845 Marcey Road, Arlington. Hosted by Master Gardeners of Northern Virginia. http://www.mgnv.org

13, Tuesday, Lecture: Plant Breeding for the Home Gardener by Joseph Tychonievich, horticulturist and author. Sponsored by the Maryland Horticultural Society. Vollmer Center Auditorium, Cylburn Arboretum, 4915 Green Spring Avenue, Baltimore, MD. Call (410) 821 5561 or e-mail programs@mdhorticulture.org for more information; free for members; fee for non-members. http://www.mdhorticulture.

14, Wednesday, Eat Fresh in December: Cold Frames and Hot Beds. 7:00 to 9:00 pm. Wednesdays in the Garden Series at the Arlington Central Library, 1015 N. Quincy Street, Arlington, VA. Taught by Arlington Food Assistance Center volunteers and VCE Master Gardeners, free, no registration required. Library phone and website:  http://www.library.arlingtonva.us (703) 228-5990. http://www.mgnv.org

14, Wednesday, Lecture: Pollinators, Their Importance and Status by Sam Droege, biologist with U.S. Geological Survey Patuxent Wildlife Research Center. Sponsored by the Friends of Dyke Marsh, Virginia Native Plant Society Potowmack Chapter; Fairfax Chapter of the Virginia Master Naturalists; VCE and the Audubon Society of Northern Virginia, free. 7:00 to 9:00 pm. Sherwood Regional Library, 2501 Sherwood Hall Lane, Alexandria, VA. http://vnps.org/events

14, Wednesday, Non Native Invasive Plant Removal, two parts, first part is class at Casey Trees at 3030, 12th Street, NE, Washington DC from 6 to 9 pm. Second part is a field session on Saturday 9/17 from 9:00 am to 11:30 am. Free and must register. (202) 833-4010. http://www.caseytrees.org

15, Thursday, Special Event: National Garden 10th Anniversary Gala, 6:00 pm. Must register in advance and fee.  U.S. Botanic Garden, 245 First Street, SW, Washington DC; (202) 225-8333. http://www.usbg.gov

15, Thursday, Fall Soil Preparation for a Fertile Spring, 12:15 to 12:45, East Walk of the Smithsonian Enid A. Haupt Garden, Smithsonian, Washington DC.  Part of the Let’s Talk Garden Series on Thursdays, hosted by Smithsonian Gardens horticulturists, free. (202) 633-2220. http://www.gardens.si.edu

16, Friday, Lecture: Old Roses for a Modern World, noon to 1:00. Presented by the curator of Brooklyn Botanic Gardens’ Cranford Rose Garden. Free but must register. U.S. Botanic Garden, 245 First Street, SW, Washington DC; (202) 225-8333. http://www.usbg.gov

16, Friday, Garden talks with Master Gardeners; Grow Beautiful Bulbs, 1:30 to 2:30 pm, Fee and must register. Green Spring Gardens, 4603 Green Spring Road, Alexandria, VA. (703) 642-5173. http://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/parks/greenspring/

17, Saturday, Seed Saving in the Garden, from Vegetables to Flowers to More, with Carol Allen 11:00 am. Free. Behnke Nurseries Garden Center, 11300 Baltimore Avenue, Beltsville, MD. (301) 937-1100. http://www.behnkes.com

17, Saturday, Saving Tender Plants and Tropicals for Next Spring — Propagation and Recovery with Carol Allen, 1:00 pm. Free. Behnke Nurseries Garden Center, 11300 Baltimore Avenue, Beltsville, MD. (301) 937-1100. http://www.behnkes.com

17, Saturday, How to Attract Pollinators to Your Garden, 7:30 to 8:30 am. Join horticulturist Tammy Burke on a tour through the Pollinators Garden, free with paid admission to the gardens, pre-registration required. Meadowlark Botanical Gardens, 9750 Meadowlark Gardens Court, Vienna, VA. http://www.novaparks.com/parks/meadowlark-botanical-gardens

17, Saturday, Lush Autumn Container Workshop, 9:30 am to 11:00 am. Create a beautiful autumn garden container. Class includes plants, container, soil and design help. Fee and must register. Green Spring Gardens, 4603 Green Spring Road, Alexandria, VA. (703) 642-5173. http://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/parks/greenspring/

17, Saturday, National Garden 10th Anniversary Celebration 10:00 am to 4:00 pm. Free and no registration required; an all day festival for all ages, family event. U.S. Botanic Garden, 245 First Street, SW, Washington DC; (202) 225-8333. http://www.usbg.gov

17, Saturday, Hyattsville Environmental Expo, featuring keynote speaker Thomas Rainer, author of Planting in a Post Wild World at 1:00 pm. Also opportunity to buy rain barrels. Festival is 10:00 am to 4:00 pm at City Building, 4310 Gallatin Street, Hyattsville, MD. http://www.hyattsville.org/grassroots.

17, Saturday, First Annual Paw Paw Festival, noon to 5:00 pm, admission fee. Hosted by Michael Judd’s Ecologiadesign.com. Event at Long Creek Homestead, parking at Brook Hill Church, 8946 Indian Spring Road, Frederick, MD. http://www.ecologiadesign.com

17, Saturday in the Garden, Plant Propagation, Taught by VCE Prince William County staff and Master Gardener volunteers in the Teaching Garden of the St. Benedict Monastery, 9535 Linton Hall Road, Bristow, VA. 9:00 am to noon; free but registration requested. Call (703) 792-7747 or e-mail master_gardener@pwcgov.org.

18, Sunday, Divide and Conquer Your Perennials with Carol Allen, 11:00 am. Free. Behnke Nurseries Garden Center, 11300 Baltimore Avenue, Beltsville, MD. (301) 937-1100. http://www.behnkes.com

18, Sunday AutumnFest Celebration at Glencarlyn Library Community Garden (and plant sale), sponsored by VCE master gardeners of NoVA. 10:00 am to 3:00 pm. Glencarlyn Library, 300 S. Kensington Street, Arlington, VA. http://www.mgnv.org

19, Monday, Tree Selection for Urban Street and Small Yard Plantings, 7:00 to 8:30 pm. Sponsored by the Alexandria Beautification Commission.  Mt. Vernon Recreation Center, 2701 Commonwealth Avenue, Alexandria, VA. Hosted by Master Gardeners of Northern Virginia. Free but must register in advance. http://www.mgnv.org

20, Tuesday, Landscape for Life, a 6-session class on sustainable landscaping developed by Ladybird Johnson Wildflower Center and the U.S. Botanic Garden. Classes meet every Tuesday morning from 10:00 am to 12:30 from 9/20 to 10/25. Fee and must register. Classes held at Crossroads United Methodist Church, 43454 Crossroads Drive, Ashburn, VA. http://www.lflclass.wordpress.com

21, Wednesday, topic to be announced. 7:00 to 9:00 pm. Wednesdays in the Garden Series at the Arlington Central Library, 1015 N. Quincy Street, Arlington, VA. Taught by Arlington Food Assistance Center volunteers and VCE Master Gardeners, free, no registration required. Library phone and website:  http://www.library.arlingtonva.us (703) 228-5990. http://www.mgnv.org

21, Wednesday, A Day with Floral Designer Holly Heider Chapple. 9:00 am to 4:00 pm. Sponsored by the Leesburg Garden Club. Fee and must register. Held at the Riverside on the Potomac, 44337 Spinks Ferry Road, Leesburg, VA. http://www.leesburggardenclub.org.

22, Thursday, Rain Gardens, 12:15 to 12:45, East Walk of the Smithsonian Enid A. Haupt Garden, Smithsonian, Washington, DC.  Part of the Let’s Talk Garden Series on Thursdays, hosted by Smithsonian Gardens horticulturists, free. (202) 633-2220. http://www.gardens.si.edu

24, Saturday, Under the Arbor: Natural Dyes, 1:00 to 4:00 pm. Free. In the National Herb Garden. Presented by the Herb Society of America and Arboretum staff. U.S. National Arboretum, 3501 New York Avenue, NE Washington, DC. http://www.usna.usda.gov

24, Saturday, Garden Program: All About Figs, 10:0 to 11:00 am. Fee and must register. Green Spring Gardens, 4603 Green Spring Road, Alexandria, VA. (703) 642-5173. http://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/parks/greenspring/

24, Saturday, Workshop: Autumn Seed Collecting 10:30 to noon. Fee and must register. Green Spring Gardens, 4603 Green Spring Road, Alexandria, VA. (703) 642-5173. http://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/parks/greenspring/

24, Saturday, Northern Alexandria Native Plant Sale, 9:00 am to 2:00 pm. A collection of vendors from various states. St. Clements Church, 1701 N. Quaker Lane, Alexandria, VA. Corner of Quaker and Oakcrest. www.parkfairfaxnativeplantsale.org

25, Sunday, Simpson Park Gardens Fall Open House, 1:00 to 3:00 pm, 426 E. Monroe Avenue by the YMCA, Alexandria, VA. Hosted by Master Gardeners of Northern Virginia. Free. http://www.mgnv.org

25, Sunday, Hometown Habitat Film Screening. 90 minute film, 6:30 to 8:30 pm. Seating limited; advance registration requested. Sign up at http://bit.ly/2av1P2g. Sponsored by the VCE Master Gardeners of Arlington/Alexandria and Arlingtonians for a Clean Environment. Arlington Central Library Auditorium, 1015 N. Quincy Street, Arlington, VA http://www.mgnv.org

28, Wednesday, Inside Arlington Kitchens: Fermented? Home cooking? 7:00 to 9:00 pm. Wednesdays in the Garden Series at the Arlington Central Library, 1015 N. Quincy Street, Arlington, VA. Taught by Arlington Food Assistance Center volunteers and VCE Master Gardeners, free, no registration required. Library phone and website:  http://www.library.arlingtonva.us (703) 228-5990. http://www.mgnv.org

28, Wednesday, Tour Backstage Pass of the USBG Production Facility, 10:30 to noon. Must pre- register but free and meet at greenhouses. U.S. Botanic Garden, 245 First Street, SW, Washington DC; (202) 225-8333. http://www.usbg.gov

28, Wednesday, Lecture: Dr. Richard Olson, Director of the U.S. National Arboretum, 7:30 to 9:00 pm at the Beltsville Garden Club, James E. Duckworth School, 11201 Evans Trail, Beltsville, MD. Free and open to the public. http://www.beltsvillegardenclub.org

29, Thursday, Fall Tree Care Tips, 12:15 to 12:45, East Walk of the Smithsonian Enid A. Haupt Garden, Smithsonian, Washington DC.  Part of the Let’s Talk Garden Series on Thursdays, hosted by Smithsonian Gardens horticulturists, free. (202) 633-2220. http://www.gardens.si.edu

29, Thursday, Fall Pruning and Care of Trees and Shrubs by Scott Johnston of Johnston Tree Care, 1:00 to 3:00 pm. Workshop begins in library and then outside for demonstration and hands on practice, dress for weather. Free but reservations required. Sponsored by the Foundation of the State Arboretum of Virginia at Blandy, 400 Blandy Farm Lane, Boyce, VA. (540) 837-1758. http://www.blandy.virginia.edu

29, Thursday, Lecture: Soil Evaluation and Composting, sponsored by VCE. 7:00 to 8:30 pm. Beatley Central Library, 5005 Duke Street, Alexandria, VA.  Hosted by Master Gardeners of Northern Virginia. Free but must register in advance. http://www.mgnv.org

29, Thursday, Ladew’s Fall Lecture Series: Living with Southern Style with James Farmer (author of many books). Fee and must register in advance, optional lunch and by reservation. Coffee and Danish served at 10:00 am, lecture begins at 10:30, book sale afterwards. Contact Rachel Hebert (410) 557-9570, ext. 261; rhebert@ladewgardens.org. Ladew Topiary Gardens, 3535 Jarrettsville Pike, Monkton, MD.  http://www.ladewgardens.com

30, Friday, Garden Talks with Master Gardeners: Plant More Natives. 1:30 to 2:30. Fee and must register. Green Spring Gardens, 4603 Green Spring Road, Alexandria, VA. (703) 642-5173. http://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/parks/greenspring/

Start Hardy Annuals now for Spring Flowers

love-in-a-mist

love-in-a-mist

I forgot to grow zinnias. Every year I grow zinnias so I can put a vase of flowers on my desk at work but for some odd reason, I didn’t this year. Now in the heat of summer I don’t have many options to choose from but next year I will grow zinnias for summer blooms and on top of that, will start even earlier with spring flowers.

dianthus

dianthus

To learn more about increasing the diversity of flowers in my Northern Virginia garden, I have been following Lisa Mason Ziegler’s virtual book study for the past month. Each Friday for 10 Fridays, she posts a 10-minute video that corresponds to a chapter in her book, Cool Flowers: How to Grow and Enjoy Long-Blooming Hardy Annual Flowers Using Cool Weather Techniques. The videos can be viewed on her website any time and she is more than happy to answer questions.  Lisa manages a commercial cut flower business in Newport News, Virginia. She is well known in the horticulture field, has written books and given lectures, and has an online garden shop called The Gardener’s Workshop. Lisa is an expert on hardy annuals, which prefer to bloom during spring’s cool temperatures. Hardy annuals differ from the summer annuals in that the seeds are sown in August/September or February/March, depending on the plant. In contrast, summer annuals, like zinnias, prefer the heat so they are sown after the danger of frost has passed in late April/early May.

Of the 30 plants mentioned in her book, I have seeds of six plants on hand. I can start snapdragon, dianthus, and feverfew indoors now and transplant at the end of August. I can direct sow love-in-a-mist, larkspur, and calendula seeds at the end of August to the beginning of September. All of these will bloom in the spring and peter out when summer arrives which will increase my number of cut flowers from spring to early summer. From then on the summer annuals can take over and I will look for a few more in addition to zinnias. In her videos and in her book, Lisa discusses her preference for direct sown versus transplants and starting in the fall versus early spring. If the plant is hardy to a zone colder than one’s own zone, plant in the fall. If the plant is not has hardy as one’s own zone, plant in early spring.  However, early spring can mean cold, wet soil so she suggests preparing the bed in the fall and covering with mulch or landscape fabric to prevent weeds and to enable the ground to be worked easily in February and March.

So far I have viewed 5 of the 10 videos and I have read the book. If hardy annuals are something you would like to try, you can catch up by visiting her web site and listening to her videos or buy her book on her site or at a bookstore but it is not necessary to have the book in order to follow along with her videos.

Success with Eggplant This Year!

eggplant (2)On June 13, I posted an article about my frustrations with growing eggplant here in Northern Virginia. I had tried several times only to be defeated by flea beetles or improper pollination. This year I tried growing them in EarthBoxes and I am pleased to say it worked. Not only do I have plenty of eggplant but my family loved my  eggplant parmesan! I really like eggplant as a summer annual in the garden: structurally, the plant provides large striking leaves and dark purple fruit. Now I am inspired to grow different varieties and to try different eggplant recipes. Maybe even get a few more EarthBoxes!

Believe It or Not: Now is the Time to Plant for the Winter Garden in Virginia

mustard

mustard

August is the time for harvesting and enjoying the summer’s bounty in the vegetable garden while thinking ahead to a winter’s garden. Even though it is hot and humid, planting carrots, green onions (scallions), and cole crops such as cauliflower, broccoli, broccoli raab, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, and collards will give great yields in cold months. Later or by September, also consider planting spinach, Swiss chard, radish, turnip, and Asian or hardy greens such as mustard, tatsoi, mache, and kale. You still have time to plant garlic: that’s in October.

To determine when to plant look at the “days to maturity” on the seed packet. Count backwards from the average first frost date (Halloween in Northern Virginia) to determine when to plant. But the difference between fall and spring planting is the “Short Day” factor, which may not be addressed on the seed packet. If you are going to plant seed, you have to add 2 weeks to the numbers on the seed packet to allow for the cooler night temperatures and the shorter day lengths.  For example, to sow spinach seeds add the 7 to 10 days for germination, 35 days to reach maturation, and 14 days for the Short Day factor for a total of 56 to 59 days. Therefore, the latest one can sow spinach seeds is the beginning of September. The length of time would be shorter if nursery transplants were used instead of seed because they have a head start.

mache

mache

Also, find out the best temperature range for seed germination (start indoors versus outdoors), keep the seeds moist during dry times in the summer, and get to know each crop’s tolerance for cold (soil and air) to know if you should provide additional warmth with row covers. Good sources to learn more about fall/winter gardening are the local extension offices.

Virginia Cooperative Extension

Fall Vegetable Gardening publication #426-334

Vegetable Planting Guide and Recommended Dates #426-331

University of Maryland Extension

Planting Dates for Vegetable Crops in Maryland #HG16

Vegetable Planting Calendar for Central Maryland #GE-007

Best Baptisia Plants for the Mid-Atlantic Gardens

baptisia_lemon_merinque_cjw12_6_copy

Baptisia ‘Lemon Meringue’ photo courtesy of Proven Winners

Baptisia, also called false indigo, is an herbaceous perennial shrub that performs well in our hot and humid summers. Recent breeding efforts have expanded the range of flower colors requiring a new look into an old favorite. I myself have falling in love with two top performers according to Mt. Cuba Center’s 15-page report, Baptisia for the Mid-Atlantic Region. The Mt. Cuba Center’s Trial Garden, managed by George Coombs, research horticulturist, evaluates native plants and their related cultivars. From 2012 to 2015, staff evaluated 46 selections of Baptisia including representatives from 11 species to determine which performs best in the mid-Atlantic region. Over 60 percent of the plants tested receive 4 or 5 stars. Among those, 10 superior cultivars outperformed the rest. Fortunately for me my two recent Baptisia additions to my garden are included in the ten.

baptisialemonmeringue_hh2

Pea-like flowers, photo courtesy of Proven Winners

This year I acquired two Lemon Meringue and two Dutch Chocolate plants. They are small now so a photo won’t give you the full flavor of their beautiful flowers but I was able to borrow Proven Winners‘ photos of what my plants should look like when they grow up. Baptisia plants die back every fall and comes back in the spring. By summer, the plants will have grown to their mature height of about 3 x 3 feet each year. However, they do not like to be moved so give them plenty of space when you do plant them. Chances are the nursery plants will be young thus small but they will grow into full bushes once established in the garden. In May, pea-like flowers bloom on tall spikes, similar to lupines. In the fall, pods appear, which can be used for dried flower arrangements. Baptisia plants are deer resistant, heat and humidity tolerant, and drought tolerant once established. These natives make great additions to the garden and the new cultivars increases the color selection.

baptisia_dutch_chocolate

Baptisia ‘Dutch Chocolate’, photo courtesy of Proven Winners

 

Peg’s Picks: August 2016 Gardening Events in the Washington DC Metro Area

The following are Peg’s Picks of local gardening events for August 2016. If you are new to the Washington DC metro area, check out the classes/events tab on my site for gardening events that have occurred in the past 12 months to get a feel for regularly occurring events.

3, Wednesday, Food Preservation: Can, Freeze, Dehydrate, Ferment. 7:00 to 9:00 pm. Wednesdays in the Garden Series at the Arlington Central Library, 1015 N. Quincy Street, Arlington, VA. Taught by Arlington Food Assistance Center volunteers and VCE Master Gardeners, free, no registration required. Library phone and website:  http://www.library.arlingtonva.us (703) 228-5990. http://www.mgnv.org

4, Thursday, Orchid Repotting, 12:15 to 12:45, East Walk of the Smithsonian Enid A. Haupt Garden, Smithsonian, Washington DC.  Part of the Let’s Talk Garden Series on Thursdays, hosted by Smithsonian Gardens horticulturists, free. (202) 633-2220. http://www.gardens.si.edu

6, Saturday, Fall Gardens Can Be Great, Planning for a Fall Vegetable Garden. 10:00 to 11:00 am at the Loudoun Master Gardeners Demonstration Garden at Ida Lee Park, Leesburg, VA. Free. Call (703) 777-0373 or visit http://www.loudouncountymastergardners.org

6, Saturday, Grow It Eat It Summer Open House, 9:00 am to 1:00 pm. Hosted by the Montgomery County Master Gardeners at the Agricultural History Farm Park, 18410 Muncaster Road, Derwood, MD. Most events free. https://extension.umd.edu/sites/default/files/_images/programs/grow_it_eat_it/8.6%20program%20schedule.web_.shade_.pdf

10, Wednesday, Hydroponic and PVC Pipe Gardening, 7:00 to 9:00 pm. Wednesdays in the Garden Series at the Arlington Central Library, 1015 N. Quincy Street, Arlington, VA. Taught by Arlington Food Assistance Center volunteers and VCE Master Gardeners, free, no registration required. Library phone and website:  http://www.library.arlingtonva.us (703) 228-5990. http://www.mgnv.org

10, Wednesday, Food in the Garden series “Gardens and Community,” 6:00 to 8:30 pm. Fee and must register in advance. Will take place at the Smithsonian’s Victory Gardens, Washington DC (Constitution Avenue entrance of the National Museum of American History) http://americanhistory.si.edu/topics/food/pages/food-garden

11, Thursday, Houseplants 101, 12:15 to 12:45, East Walk of the Smithsonian Enid A. Haupt Garden, Smithsonian, Washington DC.  Part of the Let’s Talk Garden Series on Thursdays, hosted by Smithsonian Gardens horticulturists, free. (202) 633-2220. http://www.gardens.si.edu

13, Saturday, Fall and Winter Vegetable Gardening: Extending Your Harvest, 10:30 am to noon. Burke Branch Library, 4701 Seminary Road, Alexandria. Hosted by Master Gardeners of Northern Virginia. Free but must register in advance. http://www.mgnv.org

14, Sunday in the Organic Vegetable Garden, 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm. Potomac Overlook Park, 2845 Marcey Road, Arlington, VA. Hosted by Master Gardeners of Northern Virginia. Free but must register in advance. http://www.mgnv.org

17, Wednesday, Vegetables for Fall, 7:00 to 9:00 pm. Wednesdays in the Garden Series at the Arlington Central Library, 1015 N. Quincy Street, Arlington, VA. Taught by Arlington Food Assistance Center volunteers and VCE Master Gardeners, free, no registration required. Library phone and website:  http://www.library.arlingtonva.us (703) 228-5990. http://www.mgnv.org

18, Thursday, Floral Design: Building a Winning Arrangement, 12:15 to 12:45, East Walk of the Smithsonian Enid A. Haupt Garden, Smithsonian, Washington DC.  Part of the Let’s Talk Garden Series on Thursdays, hosted by Smithsonian Gardens horticulturists, free. (202) 633-2220. http://www.gardens.si.edu

20, Saturday, “Class: Trees 101,” 9:00 am to 3:00 pm, Casey Trees, 3030 12th Street NE Washington DC. Free but must register in advance. (202) 833-4010. http://www.caseytrees.org

20, Saturday, National Honeybee Day, 10:00 am to noon, Green Spring Gardens, 4603 Green Spring Road, Alexandria, VA. Free but there is a charge for a craft ticket. Designed for children and adults. (703) 642-5173. http://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/parks/greenspring

20, Saturday, Cover Crops, Succession Planting, and Rotation in the Vegetable Garden. 9:00 am to noon. Saturday in the garden series, hosted by the Prince William County Master Gardeners and Virginia Cooperative Extension Prince William County staff. Free but registration requested. Teaching Garden at St. Benedict Monastery, 9535 Linton Hall Road, Bristow, VA. E-mail master_gardener@pwcgov.org (703) 792-7747

24, Wednesday, Preparing the Garden for Winter, 7:00 to 9:00 p.m. Wednesdays in the Garden Series at the Arlington Central Library, 1015 N. Quincy Street, Arlington, VA. Taught by Arlington Food Assistance Center volunteers and VCE Master Gardeners, free, no registration required. Library phone and website:  http://www.library.arlingtonva.us (703) 228-5990. http://www.mgnv.org

25, Thursday, Rose Care, 12:15 to 12:45, East Walk of the Smithsonian Enid A. Haupt Garden, Smithsonian, Washington DC.  Part of the Let’s Talk Garden Series on Thursdays, hosted by Smithsonian Gardens horticulturists, free. (202) 633-2220. http://www.gardens.si.edu

27, Saturday, Best All Round Landscape Shrubs, 11:00 am. Free, Behnke Nurseries Garden Center, 11300 Baltimore Avenue, Beltsville, MD. (301) 937-1100. http://www.behnkes.com

28, Sunday, Keep ‘em Fed: Tips to Extend the Vegetable Garden Through the Fall. 1:00 pm., Free, Behnke Nurseries Garden Center, 11300 Baltimore Avenue, Beltsville, MD. (301) 937-1100. http://www.behnkes.com

27 and 28, Saturday 9:00 am to 4:30 pm and Sunday noon to 3:30 pm. Annual Begonia Show and Sale, hosted by the Potomac Branch of the American Begonia Society at Green Spring Gardens, 4603 Green Spring Road, Alexandria, VA. Free and begonias for sale. (703) 642-5173. http://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/parks/greenspring

Remember the DC Parks and Recreation has a Summer Garden Workshop Series. More than 50 free workshops every Monday, Wednesday and various Saturdays from April 18th to September 28th. Focused on practical urban gardening and taught by the leaders of DC urban garden movement. Monday Classes: 6:30-8:30pm – Deanwood Rec – 1350 49th St. NE; Wednesday Classes: 6:30-8:30pm – Raymond Rec – 3725 10th St. NE; Saturday Classes: 10-12pm – Times and locations vary.  Check registration for more details:
http://bit.ly/UrbanGardeningPrograms

A full schedule flyer is at this link
http://dpr.dc.gov/node/1124742

For more info about all DPR Urban Garden Programs click on this link
http://dpr.dc.gov/service/urban-garden-programs

 

Corpse Flower to Bloom This Week at U.S. Botanic Garden, Washington DC

Peak Bloom in 2013

Peak Bloom in 2013

Take your kids to see the corpse flower! The plant went on display at the United States Botanic Garden (USBG) Conservatory on July 22 and should be at peak bloom between this Thursday and Sunday, July 28-31. Once fully open, it usually remains in bloom for 24 to 48 hours and then quickly collapses. The plant is famous for its large size and pungent odor — it emits a putrid scent while in bloom to attract pollinators such as carrion beetles and flies. Native to the tropical rain forests of Indonesia, Amorphophallus titanum can take several years to several decades to store enough energy to bloom so there are very limited times that the public can see the bloom in the United States. The USBG last displayed a blooming corpse flower in 2013. The USBG is open to public free of charge every day of the year from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm. However, the Conservatory will stay open until 8:00 pm while the corpse flower is on display and will remain open until 11:00 during peak bloom (forget the kids, think of this as an unusual “date”). The USBG Conservatory is at 100 Maryland Avenue SW; (202) 225-8333.

Track the bloom’s progress via live video at http://www.USBG.gov/CorpseFlower