Starting Cool Season Veggies in Northern Virginia

Here is a handy chart courtesy of Seed Savers Exchange. Seeds or transplants of cool season veggies can be planted when the temperatures are at least 40 degrees, which is March and April in Virginia.  There are two types of cool season veggies. Hardy types can withstand a heavy frost and  temperatures as  low as 40 degrees so they can be planted two to three weeks before the average last frost. In Northern Virginia, the average last frost date is between April 10 and 21 so I arbitrarily pick April 15 to be able to remember. That means that I can either directly sow seed into the ground the weekend of March 25 (because I work during the week) or (having started the seeds indoors) I can plant the small plants into the ground. Semi-hardy plants can withstand a light frost and prefer slightly warmer temperatures toward 50 degrees so they have to be planted later, two weeks before average last frost date which would be the weekend of April 1. If a severe temperature drop would to occur, I would protect the plants by covering them with empty 2-liter plastic soda bottles that had bottoms cut off.

cool-season-crops-infographic

Updated Source of Seed Catalogs for Upcoming 2017 Gardening Season!

seed-catalogsI updated my list of companies that produce seed catalogs on my seed catalogs tab. Note that a lot of catalogs are free (check their website), educational, and so visual — a great way to see the possibilities for this year’s growing season!

 

Seed Companies that mail print catalogs (online companies are listed at the end)

Adaptive Seeds http://www.adaptiveseeds.com

Baker Creek Heirloom Seed http://www.rareseeds.com

Botanical Interests http://www.botanicalinterests.com

Burpee http://www.burpee.com

Fedco Seeds http://www.fedcoseeds.com

Harris Seeds http://www.harrisseeds.com

High Mowing Seeds http://www.highmowingseeds.com

Hudson Valley Seed Library http://www.seedlibrary.org

John Scheepers Kitchen Garden Seeds http://www.kitchengardenseeds.com

Johnny’s Selected Seeds http://www.johnnyseeds.com

J.W. Jung Seed http://www.jungseed.com

Kitazawa Seed Company http://www.kitazawaseed.com

Park Seed http://www.parkseed.com

Peaceful Valley Farm and Garden Supply http://www.groworganic.com

R.H. Shumway http://www.rhshumway.com

Seeds of Change http://www.seedsofchange.com

Seed Savers Exchange http://www.seedsavers.org

Seeds from Italy http://www.growitalian.com

Select Seeds/Antique Flowers http://www.selectseeds.com

Southern Exposure Seed Exchange http://www.southernexposure.com

Sow True Seed http://www.sowtrueseed.com

Stokes Seeds http://www.stokeseeds.com

Territorial Seed Company http://www.territorialseed.com

Tomato Growers Supply Company http://www.tomatogrowers.com

Totally Tomatoes http://www.totallytomato.com

Urban Farmer http://www.ufseeds.com

Vermont Bean Seed http://www.vermontbean.com

Online Seed Companies

(companies that do not produce print catalog, order from web site)

American Meadows, Inc. http://www.americanmeadows.com

Renee’s Garden http://www.reneesgarden.com

Sample Seeds http://www.sampleseeds.com

Winter is Witch Hazel Viewing Time in the Washington DC Metropolitan Area

Early Bird

Early Bird

One of my favorite winter bloomers is witch hazel, a small shrub like tree.  The flowers themselves are small, only a few inches big, but their unique shape and ability to cover dark, bare stems with flashes of color add quite a bit of excitement in winter gardens. The flowers are really clusters of four petals shaped like thin ribbons emanating from a dark, leathery base called a calyx. Depending on the cultivar, these inch to two inch long ribbons are translucent yellow or mustard yellow, red/orange or brown/orange, or scarlet red or rust red. On warm winter days, the ribbons unfurl but as temperatures drop, the ribbons curl back as a protective mechanism against the cold.

Gingerbread

Gingerbread

Witch hazels are deciduous, about 15 to 18 feet tall and wide, with wavy-edged, hazel-like leaves. In the fall, the leaves turn a striking yellow, sometimes with orange or red tinges, before dropping to reveal an open vase structure.

There are many Hamamelis species but the more common ones are: Hamamelis japonica (Japanese witch hazel); H. mollis (Chinese witch hazel); H. vernalis (Ozark witch hazel); and H. virginiana (common or Virginia witch hazel). The first three are hardy to zone 4 or 5 while the last is hardy to zone 3. Common witch hazel is known for its use as an astringent in cosmetics. Hamamelis x intermedia is a cross between H. japonica and H. mollis – many cultivars have been bred from this to extend the flower color range as well as fall color of leaves.

Amethyst

Amethyst

Witch hazels like well-drained but evenly moist soil. They are forest understory plants, small enough for suburban properties but possibly requiring shade from the summer sun unless one can guarantee against drought. Usually they are not troubled by pests or diseases.

Witch hazels plants are easy to find and purchase at local nurseries in the spring but now is the time to view them in gardens in order to select your favorite flower color.  In Alexandria, Virginia, Green Spring Gardens has more than 200 Hamamelis plants. Green Spring Gardens’ witch hazel collection became an official Plant Collections Network (PCN) collection in 2006. PCN, a part of the American Public Gardens Association, is a network of botanical gardens and arboreta that coordinate preservation of germplasm. Member gardens make the germplasm available for studies, evaluation, breeding, and research. While Green Spring Gardens has the most extensive collection in the Washington DC area, you also can see them in bloom in other public gardens such as Brookside Gardens in Wheaton, Maryland, and the U.S. National Arboretum in Washington DC. Check out these perfect plants for the winter garden today so you can add few to your own garden this summer.

Hamamelis intermedia "Hiltingbury'; Hiltingbury WH

Hiltingbury

All photos are from Green Spring Gardens, courtesy of the Fairfax County Park Authority.

Peg’s Picks: January 2017 Gardening Events for the Washington DC Metro Area

Despite the cold there are plenty of gardening related activities in our Washington DC metropolitan area!

5, Thursday, The Healing Nature of Gardening by registered horticultural therapist Jan P. Lane, 7:00 to 8:00 pm. Rust Library, Old Waterford Road, Leesburg. Free and sponsored by the Loudoun County Master Gardeners. http://www.loudouncountymastergardeners.org

10, Tuesday, Microgreens: What are they, why they are so fabulous, and how to grow them, 7:00-8:00 pm. Free and must register in advance, Fairlington Community Center, 3308 S. Stafford Street, Arlington. Also offered on January 17 at Barrett Branch Library in Alexandria. E-mail: mgarlalex@gmail.com. http://www.mgnv.org

13, Friday, Tour: Marvelous Morphology, 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

14, Saturday, Lecture: Rock Gardening: Reimagining a Classic Style by Joseph Tychoneivich, author of same book, 10:30 am to noon, free but must register in advance. U.S. Botanic Garden, 245 First Street, SW, Washington DC; (202) 225-8333. http://www.usbg.gov

14, Saturday, opening of exhibit on the New American Garden: The Landscape Architecture of Oehme, van Sweden. Exhibit runs until March 26 and is open from Tuesday through Friday, 10:00 am to 4:00 pm, Vollmer Visitor Center, Cylburn Arboretum, 4915 Greenspring Avenue, Baltimore http://www.cylburn.org

15, Sunday, Winter Lecture: How Plants Got Stripes. 1:30 to 3:00 pm. Joseph Tychonievich shares the science and secrets behind variegated and patterned leaves. Fee and must register in advance at www.fairfaxcounty.gov/parks/parktakes. Green Spring Gardens, 4603 Green Spring Road, Alexandria, VA. http://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/parks/greenspring

16, Monday, Lecture: Sugar: History, Botany, Production and Processing, 10:30 am to noon. Free, but must register, U.S. Botanic Garden, 245 First Street, SW, Washington DC; (202) 225-8333. http://www.usbg.gov

17, Tuesday, Microgreens: What are they, why they are so fabulous, and how to grow them, 7:00-8:00 pm. Free and must register in advance, Barrett Branch Library, 717 Queen Street, Alexandria, VA. Also offered on January 10 at Fairlington Community Center. E-mail: mgarlalex@gmail.com. http://www.mgnv.org

21, Saturday, Houseplants 101: All the Basics and More by Carol Allen. 2:00 pm to 3:30 pm. Free, Behnke Nurseries Garden Center, 11300 Baltimore Avenue, Beltsville, MD. (301) 937-1100. http://www.behnkes.com

22, Sunday, Winter Lecture: New Horizons for the Native Plant Movement. 1:30 to 3:00 pm. Thomas Rainer explores current trends in leading-edge planting design and how native plant advocacy groups must adapt to meet the needs of an urbanizing planet. Fee and must register in advance at www.fairfaxcounty.gov/parks/parktakes. Green Spring Gardens, 4603 Green Spring Road, Alexandria, VA. http://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/parks/greenspring

23, Monday, Keeping Ahead of the Jones: Sourcing New and Rare Plants by Jim Dronenburg, Free. Doors open at 7:30 pm and lecture starts at 8:00 pm. Hosted by the Silver Spring Garden Club at Brookside Gardens, 1800 Glenallan Avenue, Wheaton, MD. (301) 962-1451. http://www.brooksidegardens.org

24, Tuesday, Terrarium workshop. 10:00 am to 11:30 am. Fee and must register. Brookside Gardens, 1800 Glenallan Avenue, Wheaton, MD. (301) 962-1451. http://www.brooksidegardens.org

25, Wednesday, Tour: Backstage Pass: The U.S. Botanic Garden’s Production Facility, 10:30 am to noon. Free but register in advance and meet at the facility at 4700 Shepherd Parkway, SW, Washington DC. Register via USBG’s website, http://www.usbg.gov

26, Thursday, Tour: Behind the Scenes at the U.S. Botanic Garden’s Production Facility, 10:30 to 11:30 am. Free but register in advance and meet at the facility at 4700 Shepherd Parkway, SW, Washington DC. Register via USBG’s website, http://www.usbg.gov

26, Thursday, Vegetable Gardening Part I: Jumpstart Your Garden with Seeds, 7:00 to 8:30 pm. Free and must register in advance. Burke Branch Library, 4701 Seminary Road, Alexandria, VA. Also offered on January 28 at the Westover Branch Library in Arlington. E-mail: mgarlalex@gmail.com. http://www.mgnv.org

28, Saturday, Vegetable Gardening Part I: Jumpstart Your Garden with Seeds, 10:30 am to noon. Free and must register in advance. Westover Branch Library, 1644 N. McKinley Road, Arlington, VA. Also offered on January 26 at Burke Branch Library. E-mail: mgarlalex@gmail.com. http://www.mgnv.org

28, Saturday, Garden Program: Small Space Food Garden. 10:00 am to 11:00 am. Smithsonian gardener Matt Burch provides strategies for creating a productive food garden that will add flavorful variety to your meals even when space is at a premium.  Fee and must register in advance at www.fairfaxcounty.gov/parks/parktakes. Green Spring Gardens, 4603 Green Spring Road, Alexandria, VA. http://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/parks/greenspring

28, Saturday, Washington Gardener Magazine Seed Exchange, 12:30 to 4:00 pm, Brookside Gardens, register online at WGSeedExchange-Brookside.brownpapertickets.com (also offered on February 4 at Green Spring Gardens, 12:30 to 4:00 pm, register at WGSeedExchange-GreenSpring.brownpapertickets.com). Admission fee is $20 but $15 if a Washington Gardener Magazine subscriber, or a “Friends of Green Spring” or “Friends of Brookside Gardens”

28, Saturday, In Offense of Colds and Flu. 10:00 am to noon. Learn which herbs are good for immunity and make a tea blend to boost your immunity this winter. Fee and registration required. Willow Oak Flower and Herb Farm, 8109 Telegraph Road, Severn, MD. (410) 551-2237. http://www.willowoakherbs.com

28, Saturday, Class: Trees 101, 9:00 am to 2:00 pm. Free but register in advance. Casey Trees, 3030 12th Street, NE, Washington DC. http://www.caseytrees.org

29, Sunday, Winter Lecture Series: Summer Flowering Bulbs. 1:30 to 3:00 pm. Jenks Farmer will share creative design ideas combining summer bulbs like crinum and perennials to add “wow” to the summer garden. Fee and must register in advance at www.fairfaxcounty.gov/parks/parktakes. Green Spring Gardens, 4603 Green Spring Road, Alexandria, VA. http://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/parks/greenspring

The Merrifield Garden Center seminars that are held on the weekends will start on January 14, Saturday, stay tuned!

A Gardener’s Christmas Poem

I read an old version of A Gardener’s Christmas in the Garden Club of Virginia’s December Journal. The author is unknown so I took a few liberties to bring it up to date. Merry Christmas!

A Gardener’s Christmas

´Twas the night before Christmas,
And all through the yard
The branches were bare
And the ground frozen hard;

The roses were dormant
And mulched all around
To protect them from damage
If frost heaves the ground;

The perennials were nestled
All snug in their beds,
While visions of fertilizer
Danced in their heads;

The newly planted shrubs
Had been soaked by a hose
To settle their roots
For a long winter’s doze;

And out on the lawn
The new fallen snow
Protected the roots
Of the grasses below;

When, what to my wondering
Eyes should appear,
But a Prius full of gifts
Of gardening gear;

St. Nick was the driver
A jolly old elf,
And he winked as he said,
“I’m a gardener myself.

I’ve brought new seeds
And light systems, too,
Give them a try
And see how they do.

To eliminate weeding,
I brought bags of mulch
To attract the pollinators,
I have flowers for best results.

To add to your joy,
I’ve plenty of herbs
And ornamental grasses
For your hell strip curb.

For seed planting days,
I’ve a trowel and dibble.
And a roll of wire mesh,
If the rabbits should nibble.

I have the latest books
Plus some gadgets you’ll love;
Plant stakes and frames,
And waterproof gloves.

Here are sharp shears
And a new compost pit
And, for pH detecting,
A soil testing kit.

With these colorful flagstones,
Lay a new garden path.
For the view from your window,
A bird feeder and bath.

And last but not least,
Some well-rotted manure.
A green garden year-round,
These gifts will ensure.

Then, jolly St. Nick
Having emptied his load,
Started his Prius
And took on the road.

And I heard him exclaim
Through the motor’s quiet hum,
“Merry Christmas to all,
And to all a green thumb!”

Give an Award-Winning Gardening Book for the Holidays

9781604695533r A great source of gift ideas for the gardeners in your life is the American Horticultural Society’s annual book award program. The American Horticultural Society is an educational, non-profit organization dedicated to making America a nation of gardeners, a land of gardens.  Over the last two decades, they have been recognizing outstanding gardening books published in North America. Books are judged by the AHS Book Award Committee on qualities such as writing style, authority, originality, accuracy, and design quality. The five recipients for 2016 are:

  • The Art of Gardening by the Chanticleer Gardeners and R. William Thomas (Timber Press)
  • How Plants Work by Linda Chalker-Scott (Timber Press)
  • Planting in a Post-Wild World by Thomas Rainer and Claudia West (Timber Press)
  • The Seed Garden edited by Lee Buttala and Shanyn Siegel, with contributors Micaela Colley and Jared Zystro (Seed Savers Exchange)
  • Seeing Seeds by Robert Llewellyn and Teri Dunn Chace (Timber Press)

9781604693386rThe 2016 Book Award Committee was comprised of the following seven members: Jeff Cox, a garden communicator and designer in Sonoma County, CA; Rita Hassert, a botanical librarian at the Morton Arboretum in Lisle, IL; Susan Hines, a garden communicator in Hyattsville, MD; Jim Long, garden communicator and owner of Long Creek Nursery in Blue Eye, MO; Mary Ann Newcomer, a garden communicator in Boise, ID; Doug Oster, a garden columnist for the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and radio personality based in Pennsylvania, PA; and Anne Marie Van Nest, a garden communicator and horticulturist in the Niagara Falls area of New York.

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

The holidays are here: visit public gardens to see winter lights, conservatories to see orchids and poinsettias, and historic estates to see mansions decorated with greens. Register for wreath making workshops, attend indoor gardening lectures, and pop into a few open houses for hours of holiday merry making.

1, Thursday, Gardener’s Focus: Seasons Greetings, 12:45 to 1:15 pm, free but limited tickets available. Tour of mansion’s holiday décor by staff horticulturist on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays in December. Hillwood Estate, Museum and Gardens, 4155 Linnean Avenue, NW Washington DC http://www.hillwoodmuseum.org

2, Friday, Gardener’s Focus: Seasons Greetings, 12:45 to 1:15 pm, free but limited tickets available. Tour of mansion’s holiday décor by staff horticulturist on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays in December. Hillwood Estate, Museum and Gardens, 4155 Linnean Avenue, NW Washington DC http://www.hillwoodmuseum.org

2, Friday, Illuminated London Town, 6:00 to 9:00 pm. Fee and register in advance, dress for weather, also offered on December 9 and 16. Historic London Town and Gardens, 839 Londontown Road, Edgewater, MD.  http://www.historiclondontown.org

2, Friday, Fabulous Wreaths Workshop, 10:00 am to noon and 1:00 to 3:00 pm. Fee and must register. Also offered on Saturday, December 3 and Sunday, December 4. Hillwood Estate, Museum and Gardens, 4155 Linnean Avenue, NW Washington DC. http://www.hillwoodmuseum.org

3, Saturday, Fabulous Wreaths Workshop, 10:00 am to noon and 1:00 to 3:00 pm. Fee and must register. Also offered on Friday, December 2 and Sunday, December 4. Hillwood Estate, Museum and Gardens, 4155 Linnean Avenue, NW Washington DC. http://www.hillwoodmuseum.org

3, Saturday, Winter Wreath Workshop, 10:00 am to noon, fee and must register. Green Spring Gardens, 4603 Green Spring Road, Alexandria, VA 22312; (703) 642-5173. http://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/parks/greenspring/

3, Saturday, Deck the Halls: A family at Christmas, 1:00 to 4:00, Fee and must register. Tudor Place, 1644 31st Street, NW Washington DC. http://www.tudorplace.org

3, Saturday, Fresh Greens Workshop, Merrifield Garden Center, Fair Oaks location, 12101 Lee Highway, Fairfax, VA. 10:00 am, Free. Learn how to make holiday wreaths, garlands and arrangements with fresh flowers, pine, holly, cedar, boxwood, magnolia and adornments. http://www.merrifieldgardencenter.com

3, Saturday, Wreath Workshop, 10:00 to noon, fee and register in advance. Historic London Town and Gardens, 839 Londontown Road, Edgewater, MD. http://www.historiclondontown.org

3, Saturday, Wreath Workshop, Merrifield Garden Center, Gainesville location, 6895 Wellington Road, Manassas, VA. 10:00 am. Fee and must register. http://www.merrifieldgardencenter.com

4, Sunday, Fabulous Wreaths Workshop, 10:00 am to noon and 1:00 to 3:00 pm. Fee and must register. Also offered on Friday, December 2 and Saturday, December 3. Hillwood Estate, Museum and Gardens, 4155 Linnean Avenue, NW Washington DC. http://www.hillwoodmuseum.org

4, Sunday, Gardeners Holiday Open House, noon to 4:00 pm, free admission and puppet show for kids, advance registration for puppet show recommended, Green Spring Garden, 4603 Green Spring Road, Alexandria, VA 22312; (703) 642-5173. http://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/parks/greenspring/

6, Tuesday, Lewis Ginter: Garden Fest of Lights, bus trip to Lewis Ginter in Richmond, 2:00 to 10:45 pm. Fee and must register. Green Spring Garden, 4603 Green Spring Road, Alexandria, VA 22312; (703) 642-5173. http://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/parks/greenspring/

6, Tuesday, Candlight Tour, 6:30 to 7:30 pm, Fee and must register. Also available on December 8, 20, and 21. Tudor Place, 1644 31st Street, NW Washington DC. http://www.tudorplace.org

7, Wednesday, Lecture: Deer Resistant Plants by Ruth Rogers Clausen, 7:00 pm, St. Anne’s Parish Hall, 199 Duke of Gloucester Street, Annapolis, MD. Annapolis Horticultural Society, free and open to the public. http://www.annapolishorticulture.org

7, Wednesday, Tudor Nights: Home for the Holidays, 6:30 to 8:30 pm. Fee and must register. Tudor Place, 1644 31st Street, NW Washington DC. http://www.tudorplace.org

7, Wednesday, Wreath Making Workshop, 11:00 am, Fee and reservation required. Also on December 9 and 12. (Mansion decorated for the holidays). Oatlands Historic House and Gardens, 20850 Oatlands Plantation Lane, Leesburg, VA. http://www.oatlands.org

8, Thursday, Candlight Tour, 6:30 to 7:30 pm, Fee and must register. Tudor (also available on December 6, 20 and 21). Tudor Place, 1644 31st Street, NW Washington DC. http://www.tudorplace.org

8, Thursday, Gardener’s Focus: Seasons Greetings, 12:45 to 1:15 pm, free but limited tickets available. Tour of mansion’s holiday décor by staff horticulturist on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays in December. Hillwood Estate, Museum and Gardens, 4155 Linnean Avenue, NW Washington DC http://www.hillwoodmuseum.org

9, Friday, Gardener’s Focus: Seasons Greetings, 12:45 to 1:15 pm, free but limited tickets available. Tour of mansion’s holiday décor by staff horticulturist on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays in December. Hillwood Estate, Museum and Gardens, 4155 Linnean Avenue, NW Washington DC http://www.hillwoodmuseum.org

9, Friday, Wreath Making Workshop, 11:00 am, Fee and reservation required. Also on December 7 and 12. (Mansion decorated for the holidays). Oatlands Historic House and Gardens, 20850 Oatlands Plantation Lane, Leesburg, VA. http://www.oatlands.org

9, Friday, Illuminated London Town, 6:00 to 9:00 pm. Fee and register in advance, dress for weather, also offered on December 2 and 16. Historic London Town and Gardens, 839 Londontown Road, Edgewater, MD.  http://www.historiclondontown.org

10, Saturday, Candlelight Tours of Mansion, 6:00 to 8:00 pm, Fee but reservation not required. Also on December 11, Sunday, and December 17 & 18. Oatlands Historic House and Gardens, 20850 Oatlands Plantation Lane, Leesburg, VA. http://www.oatlands.org

10, Saturday, Wreath Making Workshops: herbal wreaths from 10 to noon and pine cone wreaths from 1:30 to 3:30. Fee and must register. Tudor Place, 1644 31st Street, NW Washington DC. http://www.tudorplace.org

10, Saturday, Natural Holiday Ornaments Workshop, 9:30 to 11:30 am, fee and must register, Green Spring Garden, 4603 Green Spring Road, Alexandria, VA 22312; (703) 642-5173. http://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/parks/greenspring/

10, Saturday, Holiday Open House, 10:00 am to 3:00 pm, American Horticultural Society’s River Farm, free. Also from December 1-23 is the Indoor Holiday Display at River Farm, 7931 East Boulevard Drive, Alexandria, VA. http://www.ahs.org

11, Sunday, Candlelight Tours of Mansion, 6:00 to 8:00 pm, Fee but reservation not required. Also on December 10, Saturday, and December 17 & 18. Oatlands Historic House and Gardens, 20850 Oatlands Plantation Lane, Leesburg, VA. http://www.oatlands.org

11, Sunday, Floral Workshop: Creating a Williamsburg Centerpiece, 2:00 to 3:30, fee and must register. Green Spring Garden, 4603 Green Spring Rd, Alexandria, VA 22312; (703) 642-5173. http://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/parks/greenspring/

12, Monday, Wreath Making Workshop, 11:00 am, Fee and reservation required. Also on December 7 and 9. (Mansion decorated for the holidays). Oatlands Historic House and Gardens, 20850 Oatlands Plantation Lane, Leesburg, VA. http://www.oatlands.org

13, Tuesday, Lecture: The Art of Gardening by William Thomas, executive director and head gardener at Chanticleer Gardens, 7:30 pm. Hosted by the Horticultural Society of Maryland, lecture is free for HSM members, non-members pay fee at door. Vollmer Center Auditorium, Cylburn Arboretum, 4915 Greenspring Avenue, Baltimore, MD (410) 821-5561. http://www.mdhorticulture.org

13, Tuesday, Holly Daze, 7:00 to 9:00 pm, Enjoy the Garden of Lights and then come inside for paired wine and cheese, create festive holiday air plant ornaments to take home. Fee includes refreshments, air plant ornament, and admission to Garden of Lights. See last paragraph for information about Brookside Gardens’ Garden of Lights. Fee and must register. http://www.brooksidegardens.org

13, Tuesday, Gardener’s Focus: Seasons Greetings, 12:45 to 1:15 pm, free but limited tickets available. Tour of mansion’s holiday décor by staff horticulturist on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays in December. Hillwood Estate, Museum and Gardens, 4155 Linnean Avenue, NW Washington DC http://www.hillwoodmuseum.org

14, Wednesday, Festive Fresh Greens, 10:00 to 11:30 am, fee and must register. Also offered on December 15, Thursday. Brookside Gardens, 1800 Glenallan Avenue, Wheaton, MD. http://www.brooksidegardens.org

15, Thursday, Festive Fresh Greens, 10:00 to 11:30 am, fee and must register. Also offered on December 14, Wednesday, Brookside Gardens, 1800 Glenallan Avenue, Wheaton, MD. http://www.brooksidegardens.org

15, Thursday, Gardener’s Focus: Seasons Greetings, 12:45 to 1:15 pm, free but limited tickets available. Tour of mansion’s holiday décor by staff horticulturist on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays in December. Hillwood Estate, Museum and Gardens, 4155 Linnean Avenue, NW Washington DC http://www.hillwoodmuseum.org

16, Friday, Gardener’s Focus: Seasons Greetings, 12:45 to 1:15 pm, free but limited tickets available. Tour of mansion’s holiday décor by staff horticulturist on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays in December. Hillwood Estate, Museum and Gardens, 4155 Linnean Avenue, NW Washington DC http://www.hillwoodmuseum.org

16, Friday, Wreath Making Workshop using boxwood, is offered in partnership with the Georgetown Presbyterian Church, 10 to noon and 1:30 to 3:30, fee and must register with Tudor Place, 1644 31st Street, NW Washington DC. http://www.tudorplace.org Workshop is one block away from Tudor at Georgetown Presbyterian Church, 3115 P Street NW Washington DC

16, Friday, Illuminated London Town, 6:00 to 9:00 pm. Fee and register in advance, dress for weather, also offered on December 2, and 9. Historic London Town and Gardens, 839 Londontown Road, Edgewater, MD. http://www.historiclondontown.org

17, Saturday, Candlelight Tours of Mansion, 6:00 to 8:00 pm, Fee but reservation not required. Also on December 10 & 11 and December 18. Oatlands Historic House and Gardens, 20850 Oatlands Plantation Lane, Leesburg, VA. http://www.oatlands.org

17, Saturday, Wreath Workshop, mixed greens, 10 to noon and 1:30 to 3:30. Fee and must register. Tudor Place, 1644 31st Street, NW Washington DC. http://www.tudorplace.org

17, Saturday, Gardener’s Focus: Bones of the Winter Garden, 11:00 to 11:30 am, free walking tour but limited tickets available. Tour given on Tuesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays. Hillwood Estate, Museum and Gardens, 4155 Linnean Avenue, NW Washington DC. http://www.hillwoodmuseum.org

18, Sunday, Candlelight Tours of Mansion, 6:00 to 8:00 pm, Fee but reservation not required. Also on December 10 & 11 and December 17. Oatlands Historic House and Gardens, 20850 Oatlands Plantation Lane, Leesburg, VA. http://www.oatlands.org

20, Tuesday, Gardener’s Focus: Bones of the Winter Garden, 11:00 to 11:30 am, free walking tour but limited tickets available. Tour given on Tuesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays. Hillwood Estate, Museum and Gardens, 4155 Linnean Avenue, NW Washington DC. http://www.hillwoodmuseum.org

20, Tuesday, Candlight Tour, 6:30 to 7:30 pm, Fee and must register (also available on December 6, 8, and 21). Tudor Place, 1644 31st Street, NW Washington DC. http://www.tudorplace.org

21, Tuesday, Candlight Tour 6:30 to 7:30 pm, Fee and must register (also available on December 6, 8, and 20). Tudor Place, 1644 31st Street, NW Washington DC. http://www.tudorplace.org

23, Friday, Gardener’s Focus: Bones of the Winter Garden, 11:00 to 11:30 am, free walking tour but limited tickets available. Tour given on Tuesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays. Hillwood Estate, Museum and Gardens, 4155 Linnean Avenue, NW Washington DC. http://www.hillwoodmuseum.org

24, Saturday, Gardener’s Focus: Bones of the Winter Garden, 11:00 to 11:30 am, free walking tour but limited tickets available. Tour given on Tuesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays. Hillwood Estate, Museum and Gardens, 4155 Linnean Avenue, NW Washington DC. http://www.hillwoodmuseum.org

27, Tuesday, Gardener’s Focus: Bones of the Winter Garden, 11:00 to 11:30 am, free walking tour but limited tickets available. Tour given on Tuesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays. Hillwood Estate, Museum and Gardens, 4155 Linnean Avenue, NW Washington DC. http://www.hillwoodmuseum.org

30, Friday, Gardener’s Focus: Bones of the Winter Garden, 11:00 to 11:30 am, free walking tour but limited tickets available. Tour given on Tuesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays. Hillwood Estate, Museum and Gardens, 4155 Linnean Avenue, NW Washington DC. http://www.hillwoodmuseum.org

 

And there is more…….

Hillwood Estate, Museum and Gardens has a new attraction this season in addition to its holiday decorations and events. The contemporary American artist and filmmaker Philip Haas has large sculptures in the garden inspired by the series The Seasons by Guiseppe Arcimboldo (1526-1593). These will be on exhibit through March 31, 2017. Haas’s re-creations transform Arcimboldo’s intriguing works, greatly enlarging the scale, altering the materials, and adding dimensionality to shed a contemporary perspective on the popular paintings.  Arcimboldo, an Italian renaissance painter born in Milan, created the series The Seasons comprising spring, summer, autumn and winter. These portraits depict faces composed of plants associated with each season. Admission fee. http://www.hillwoodmuseum.org

U.S. Botanic Garden’s Season’s Greenings: National Parks and Historic Places is open until January 2, 2017. Immerse yourself in the sights, scents, and sounds of the season with wreaths, garland, trees, and thousands of blooms from exotic orchids to a showcase of heirloom and newly developed poinsettia varieties. Throughout the Conservatory, the U.S. Botanic Garden will celebrate the 100th anniversary of the National Park Service and the 50th anniversary of the National Historic Preservation Act. In this year’s model train show, the trains will chug around, below, through, and above re-creations of iconic national parks and sites in the National Register of Historic Places. See the Grand Canyon, the Gateway Arch, Old Faithful Inn and Geyser, Mount Vernon, Mount Rushmore, a 7-foot-tall Statue of Liberty, and many more representing 48 different national parks and historic sites, all made from plants and other natural materials. 100 Maryland Avenue, SW, Washington DC. Free. http://www.usbg.gov

Winter Walk of Lights at Meadowlark Botanical Gardens is open until January 18, 5:30 to 10:00 pm. Admission fee and dress for weather, tickets are sold online or at door but best to buy online for timed entrance. 9750 Meadowlark Gardens Court, Vienna, VA.  http://www.novaparks.com/parks/meadowlark-botanical-gardens

Garden of Lights at Brookside Gardens is a winter walk-through light display open until January 1, but closed December 24 and 25. Open on Sunday through Thursday 5:30 to 9:00 pm and Friday and Saturday 5:30 to 10:00 pm. Cash at entrance or advance sale tickets. Garden of Lights info line is (301) 962-1453. Brookside Gardens also has a garden railway exhibit and a winter display in their conservatory. 1800 Glenallan Avenue, Wheaton, MD. http://www.brooksidegardens.org