Start Planting Cool Season, Hardy Annuals for Spring Flowers

snapdragons in the spring

Now is the time to start thinking of planting cool season hardy annuals. This is a group of annuals (grow and die in one season) that can survive the winter and thrive in cool spring weather. In the Washington DC metro area, they are planted in the fall and bloom in the spring. They spend the winter getting established so when spring arrives, they are ready to bolt out the door waving their pretty flowers before the warm season summer annuals appear.

Examples of cool season annuals are snapdragons (Antirrhinum majus), calendula (Calendula officinalis), bells of Ireland (Moluccella laevis), delphinium (Delphinium), lisianthus (Eustoma), love in a mist (Nigella), sweet peas (Lathyrus odoratus), sweet William (Dianthus barbatus), and bachelor buttons (Centaurea cyanus). Many of these make great cut flowers.

I credit everything I have learned about cool season hardy annuals to Lisa Mason Ziegler and her book, Cool Flowers: How to Grow and Enjoy Long-Blooming Hardy Annual Flowers Using Cool Weather Techniques.  Lisa manages a commercial cut flower business in Newport News, which is in Zone 7, similar to my Northern Virginia garden. In addition to growing and selling cut flowers, she writes books, gives lectures, provides free videos as well as Facebook Live presentations, and manages a website called The Gardener’s Workshop.

Several years ago I was inspired by her book to plant calendula and snapdragons in the fall. I was starting them in the beginning of the growing season and was not having great success. The weather became too hot before the snapdragons could bloom and the calendula foliage was covered in powdery mildew because of the summer’s heat and humidity. When I tried her method of starting them in the fall, they both bloomed early enough the following spring that I was able to enjoy the calendula flowers before powdery mildew set in and cut many snapdragons for indoor arrangements.

calendula flowers in the spring

This year, I plan to grow sweet peas, which I have not been able to master in the spring. Our springs are just too short to have a long blooming period. I bought a package of Botanical Interests ‘Old Spice Blend’, a fragrant, heirloom blend of various flower colors. Interestingly, sweet peas are deer resistant and attract pollinators but I am going to grow them for indoor flower arrangements so I can enjoy their beautiful, fragrant flowers in the office.

Although Lisa provides specific information for 30 flowers in her book, in general, we should start 6 to 8 weeks before the average first frost. In Northern Virginia, 8 weeks is August 31 and 6 weeks is September 15. She recommends to err on starting later rather than earlier. Some seeds can be sowed directly in the garden while others work well as transplants. Sweet peas can be done either way so I am going to do both as an experiment to see which works better in my garden. I will start half of the seeds indoors under lights and half outdoors, directly in the garden. In order to have transplants large enough to move into the ground around September 15, I would have to start sowing seeds around September 1. Then I can sow the remaining seeds around September 15. September is still a very hot month so I will have to remember to water often. If this works, next year I will post a photo of the sweet peas.

If hardy annuals are something you would like to try, you can catch up by visiting Lisa’s website, listening to her videos, and reading her book. Although she sells seeds and gardening products, you can also purchase seed packets at your local independent garden center. Good luck!

Time to Cut Those Bagworms!

Last night, during my evening walk I noticed an unusual number of bagworms on a few evergreens. Bagworms are common pests in the Washington DC metro area. What I saw weren’t the bagworms themselves (Thyridoptery x ephemeraeformis) but their “homes,” 2-inch long “bags” they have created from their spun silk and plant debris. These bags were hung like small, brown ornaments on relatively new plantings in someone’s front yard. Some of the needles were clearly brown and dead.  Interestingly, one bag was hanging from the neighbor’s chain link fence, creating a very visible view of the threads wrapped round the metal.

Bagworms are moths, native to North America. They can attack more than 120 different types of trees but we tend to see them on evergreens such as juniper, arborvitae, cedar, spruce, pine, and Leyland cypress.

In the beginning of the summer, the eggs hatch and the larvae move out of the bags. The tiny caterpillars, 2 millimeters long, eat foliage and/or move to other trees via their silk threads. When they settle on their host tree, they spin a small bag of silk and plant debris. As they grow, their bags become bigger with more material collected from the host plant. By August, they have matured and the bags are very visible. During August and September the male adult bagworms, i.e., moths, emerge and fly to find a female to mate. The females cannot fly, they are grub-like and never leave the bag. Mating occurs through the bag and after mating, the female lays 500 to 1,000 eggs within her pupal cast skin and dies. The eggs overwinter and hatch next year in May or June.

Bagworms can defoliate and kill trees, especially evergreens. Although they can attack deciduous trees, most are not defoliated enough to be killed. Bagworms can also kill twigs by winding their silk around the twigs too tightly.

note white silk thread wrapped tightly around chain link fence

Now is the time to look for the bags and remove them by cutting them off–not pulling–bagging and disposing. Do not put them in your compost bin. If they are on the perimeter they will be easy to find but don’t forget to move branches aside and look within the tree. It goes without saying that a tree that has a bag will be damaged repeatedly each year, weakening the tree and possibly killing it.

Another option is to spray the tree with Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) in May or June when the caterpillars have hatched and are on the foliage. This is a type of bacteria that kills the worms but does not harm the tree. If the tree is too tall, call an arborist. Spraying them later in the season after they have created their bags will not work since the bags will protect them. Or replace the evergreens with more resistant plants. But go out there now and inspect your plants, you need to remove them before the males emerge!

Habanada: A New Habanero Without the Heat

As a professional garden communicator I receive plants from nurseries to trial in my Virginia garden. I grow them to see how well they perform in our hot and humid summers, our mild winters, and with our own particular population of insects and diseases. Frequently I am growing plants that I would not have even looked at in a garden center. This year I grew something new to me and a game changer for gardeners as well as chefs: Habanada.

Burpee sent me a Roulette “sweet habanero” pepper plant. I have heard of habanero chilies but I have not grown them before because I cannot tolerate the heat of chili peppers. I always grow sweet pepper plants. This habanada plant has not only grown well, it has been producing many peppers about three inches long. Each pepper has folds and dimples, a broad shoulder, and a tapered end. Now in the beginning of August, the plant has about 10 peppers. I ate one raw and it was not spicy at all. It was not sweet either, certainly not as sweet as yellow and red snacking peppers. Intrigued, I had to learn more.

A search on the Internet told me that several years ago, the University of New Mexico discovered a plant from its habanero line that did not register on the Scoville scale. The Scoville scale measures the level of capsaicinoids, the chemicals that cause the burning sensation or the heat. A normal habanero can reach 300,000 Scoville heat units (very high). They sent seeds to Cornell University plant breeder Michael Mazourek who was interested in peppers at the time. Mazourk was inspired to breed a delicious pepper without the heat as part of his doctoral research. The result was the habanada.

I read that the habanada has “floral properties,” that it tastes like a melon or a guava, but to me it is savory, similar to a soft cheese. I picked them at a more orange than red stage but I will let some mature to red and see how they taste again. With the ones I did pick, I chopped them and made an omelet that was delicious. No doubt chefs will be able to see the possibilities of using habanadas in desserts, as a spread, or maybe even a jelly. It can be used whenever a sweet or hot pepper is called for in an entrée and it certainly can be used to color a dish.

The plant was easy to grow. It is about 3 feet tall now. I used a single stake because a single stake has always sufficed with my other peppers but this plant is bushier so I had to keep it propped up with yarn. Next time, I will use a tomato cage. Oh yes, there will be a next time, I am growing this again next year. My habanada plant grows with my other peppers and tomatoes and they all receive ample sun and water but habanadas do not need as much fertilizer as tomatoes.

I highly recommend the habanada, not only as a star performer in the garden but as a tasty pepper!

Three Heat-Tolerant, Pollinator-Attracting, Deer-Resistant Perennials

We are having a hot, dry streak now which really separates the weak from the strong in the garden. Now is a good time to see which plant is tolerating this weather well in other people’s garden so you can copy for your own garden.

On one particularly hot day this past weekend I was downtown visiting the Smithsonian museums. I spent a lot time in the Pollinator Garden, next to the National Museum of Natural History. This is a 400 x 40 feet area on the east side of the museum at 9th Street between Constitution Avenue and the Mall. The Pollinator Garden is managed by Smithsonian Gardens staff and is a wonderful place to relax and watch the butterflies.

I noticed several plants that were tolerating the heat well, that is, they were in full sun and not covered in powdery mildew.  As expected, they were definitely attracting bees and butterflies. These seemed worthy of copying in my garden. When I got home I looked them up and learned that they are rabbit and deer resistant as well as being full sun, drought-tolerant perennials. This is not to say there weren’t other worthy notables in the Pollinator Garden but these are definitely plants to add to my collection next year!

Wild Petunia

Although this plant is called wild petunia (Ruellia numilis), it is not related to petunias. These plants have lavender blue flowers that bloom from summer to fall. They are low growing with a trailing habit, reaching about a foot tall. They can serve as a groundcover and be used as a spiller in a container.

Allium ‘Millenium’

‘Millenium’ is a member of the onion family (Allium) grown for its ornamental, purple globe flowers. The plants grow to 1 to 1 ½ feet tall, providing a strong vertical interest.  They are great in the garden and can be used in containers as thrillers. After the flowers fade and die, the globe structure becomes tan and remains for a while, which also provides interest.

Walker’s Low catmint (Nepeta) is a member of the mint family, so it has gray green aromatic foliage. In the summer, the plant has small, lavender blue flowers, but each stalk has so many that sometimes the plant seems covered in a purple haze. The plants are low growing, about a 1 to 2 feet tall, and used as a groundcover or small shrub.

Walker’s Low Catmint

Getting Ready for College: Don’t Forget to Bring Your Houseplants

Small Arrowhead Plant

As my kids get ready for college, I think (as all gardeners do) of suitable houseplants for their dorms. My twins will be at different colleges and from orientation tours I know the light level in these rooms will be very low. Quite possibility the plants may not get watered but I think their green will be appreciated and viewed as “decoration.” Unbeknownst to my kids, the plants will be functional. They will improve air quality by removing chemicals and carbon dioxide and supplying oxygen. Plus, they will provide a positive psychological impact by increasing memory retention and concentration and reducing stress. Quite possibility the presence of plants will remind my kids to text their parents every now and then but this remains to be seen.

I knew I would not be able to drag them to a nursery so I showed them photos of five low light, low maintenance plants. I explained that I picked these five because of the variety in shape and color and they don’t have to worry about watering often, it won’t interfere with their studies. For all of these plants, the soil should be kept barely moist and fertilized only once a year.

ZZ Plant

ZZ plant (Zamioculcas zamiifolia)

The ZZ plant is native to eastern Africa. The unusual botanical name comes from the cycad genus Zamia because the foliage is similar to cycads and culcas, the Arabic name for elephant’s ear plant (Colocasia). I thought this fact alone would endear them to my 18-year-olds. But they liked the ZZ plant’s distinctive glossy, dark green foliage. The pinnate leaves are about a foot long with 6-8 pairs of leaflets, about 3 to 6 inches long, spaced in such a manner that they look like a ladder.

The plant can grow to a few feet tall so it is not a desktop plant. The roots are actually swollen rhizomes, which means the plant can tolerate very dry conditions. Although ZZ plants are not grown for flowers, they do bloom at the base of the plant with peace lily type flowers. I doubt this will happen in a dorm.

Chinese Evergreen

Chinese evergreen (Aglaonema spp.)

Chinese evergreen plants vary in color and size. Although it is an upright plant that grows to a foot or two, it is possible to purchase a young small one for the desk. There are plants with variegated green and cream leaves or green and silver leaves, and there is a new variety called red aglaonema with red, pink, and green leaves.

Arrowhead plant (Syngonium spp.)

Like the name suggests, arrowhead plants have arrow-shaped leaves. They are often sold as small plants for terrariums, which make them suitable for desks. There are also full grown plants about a foot tall. The leaves usually are white and green but there are gold and green varieties and plants with a blush of pink.  As the plant matures, the leaf shape and color changes so that mature leaves can be all green.

Arrowhead with Pink Blush

Snake Plant

Snake plant (Sansevieria spp.)

Snake plant is very popular with its foot long, sword-shaped leaves. Leaves are usually a mottled green, with yellow, gray or silver margins. There are varieties with more yellow or silver coloring in the leaves. For a new take on snake plant, look for Bantel’s Sensation, which has narrower leaves with white vertical strips or the cylinder snake plant with very narrow, cylindrical leaves. There are some very short, almost stunted versions, that are suitable for desks. Usually they will be tall enough to grow in a container on the floor or on a stand.

Devil’s ivy or golden pothos (Scindapsus spp.)

Devil’s ivy or golden pothos has heart-shaped leaves with green and yellow or green and white variegation. There are golden varieties as well. In the tropics, this is a vine so it has a trailing or cascading effect when grown indoors. It is available in small containers and can be grown on a desk. The stems also can be allowed to cascade down by placing containers on top of shelves or closets. Cuttings of the stems root very easily, which makes a great plant to share with friends or grow in a vase of water.

White and Green Variegated Pothos

My daughter and son chose the ZZ plant as their top choice for its distinctive foliage. My daughter’s second choice was the Chinese evergreen and my son’s second choice was the snake plant. Try showing this article to your kids to see what they would prefer and surprise them with their choice when you visit in the fall during parents’ weekend!

Golden Pothos

Subscribe to Pegplant’s Post and Be Eligible To Win Six Peonies!

Cheddar Supreme

Enter your e-mail here to subscribe to Pegplant’s Post, a free monthly newsletter about gardening in the Washington DC metropolitan area. Each issue lists 50 to 100 local gardening events, lectures, and workshops in MD, DC, and VA; recently published gardening books; and articles and tips specific to gardeners in this immediate area. Each issue also features a giveaway product or plant that one lucky subscriber can win. Look for your issue in your inbox during the last weekend of the month.

Bowl of Cream

For the giveaway in the upcoming August issue we have collaborated with Peony’s Envy to offer the White Peony Pack. This consists of two Henry Sass herbaceous peonies (the purest white bloom), two Bowl of Creams (very popular), and two Cheddar Supremes (a Klehm original with a hint of yellow). This is a total of six plants valued at $164!  Not only are the flowers fragrant, the plants are deer-resistant too! Only one subscriber will be able to win all six, which will be shipped directly from Peony’s Envy, bare root, in the fall.

Henry Sass

Peony’s Envy has the most extensive collection of tree, herbaceous, and intersectional peonies in the northeast. In addition, they have a display garden open to the public on a 7-acre, New Jersey property and a peony cutting garden. Check out their beautiful website — they sell all things related to peonies such as kitchen towels, jewelry, neckties, aprons, and notecards. Thank you Peony’s Envy for collaborating on such a generous and beautiful giveaway!

Photos courtesy of Peony’s Envy.

Visiting Local Demonstration Gardens for Ideas and Help

As the summer peaks, I like to visit the local demonstration gardens to see how well the plants and vegetables performed in this area. Demonstration gardens are a great way to learn what works in the Washington DC metro area and how to manage our local issues, such as deer and rabbits. Each county that has a Master Gardener program usually has at least one demonstration garden, managed by the volunteer Master Gardeners. To find such a garden, call your local county Master Gardener program representative (your local extension agent). Some have several to showcase various environmental conditions and some use the garden as a place to teach or host workshops.

The Master Gardeners of Northern Virginia (Arlington and Alexandria) have seven demonstration gardens:

  • Glencarlyn Library Community Gardens, corner of S. Third and S. Kensington Streets, off Carlin Springs Road, Arlington
  • Teaching Garden at Fairlington Community Center
  • Master Gardener Tribute Bench and Garden at Fairlington Community Center
  • Organic Vegetable Garden, Potomac Overlook Regional Park, Marcy Road, Arlington
  • Rock Quarry Shade Garden, Bon Air Park on Wilson Boulevard and N. Lexington Street, Arlington
  • Simpson Park Gardens, E. Monroe Avenue at the end of Leslie Avenue, next to the YMCA in Alexandria
  • Sunny Garden, Bon Air Park, Arlington

The Prince William County Master Gardeners manage a very large “Teaching Garden” at St. Benedict Monastery, 9535 Linton Hall Road, Bristow, VA. Within this large garden are mini gardens to illustrate certain conditions or issues, such as a deer resistant garden, shade garden, vegetable garden, and pollinator garden.

The Loudoun County Master Gardeners uses Ida Lee Park on Ida Lee Park Drive, Leesburg, as a teaching garden.

The Montgomery County Master Gardeners have a demonstration garden at the Agriculture History Farm Park, 18410 Muncaster Road, Derwood, MD, and they manage the herb garden at the National Library of Medicine Herb Garden at the National Institutes of Health campus in Bethesda. Each year, for a temporary period they manage award winning gardens near the Old MacDonald Barn at the Montgomery County Agricultural Fair.

The Prince Georges County Master Gardeners have demonstration gardens at their headquarters at 6707 Groveton Drive, Clinton, MD.

The Urban Demonstration Garden, part of the Capital Area Food Bank at the DC warehouse, 4900 Puerto Rico Avenue NE Washington DC.

The Washington Youth Garden, a program of the Friends of the National Arboretum with support from the U.S. National Arboretum (on Arboretum grounds) in Washington DC.

In addition some plant societies such as the National Capital Dahlia Society have demonstration gardens specific to their plant of interest. Contact the society directly to see if they have one. The National Capital Dahlia Society has the Nordahl Exhibition Garden for displaying dahlias at the Agricultural History Park in Derwood, MD. The Plant NoVA Natives has a list of demonstration gardens that have native plants on their website.

Hardy Hibiscus: Summer-Flowering, Native Shrubs

Amaretto

This summer I am enjoying two hardy hibiscus plants in my Virginia garden. I planted them last year along the perimeter of the backyard where the water runs through like a river when it rains. It is a full sun, exposed area and the plants are blooming their heads off.

Hardy hibiscus plants (Hibiscus moscheutos) are native to the eastern United States and are common in swampy areas. They typically grow 4-5 feet tall with large hibiscus-like flowers. The flowers only last a day, attracting pollinators, butterflies, and hummingbirds. For years, several cultivars have been available with flowers in the white, pink, and red range.

My bushes come from a new series of eye-popping colors.  I have Amaretto (salmon-colored flowers) and Bleu Brulee (lavender petals with dark red center) from J. Berry Nursery’s Summer Spice Hardy Hibiscus collection. This is a wholesale nursery but their website has a retailer locator. The collection has unusual flower colors – from dark red chocolate to cornflower blue.

Bleu Brulee

My plants were very small when I planted them last summer but they grew quickly. In the fall, after the first frost, I cut the stems down to about 4 inches above the ground. They overwintered well but as with all hardy hibiscus plants, they were late to the dance. Just when I thought the bushes might be dead, I saw new growth at the base in May. The stems grew so fast that by June the bushes were about 3 feet tall (this series also is more compact). Now in July, they are covered in flowers constantly visited by bees. Hardy hibiscus plants are also deer-resistant, although I have seen some Japanese beetle damage on the foliage. I like their large flowers, especially since I can see them from the house. I have a few areas in my garden where there are depressions in the ground that remain damp after the rain or low lying areas through which rain water channels and hardy hibiscus plants are perfect for these areas. In addition, they thrive despite our heat and humidity and provide great color all summer long.

New Gardening Books Published in 2019

Every month I list newly published gardening books on my website under “New Books: 2019” Now that we are mid-year, I thought I would share the 77 titles I have printed so far because this is a great resource for summer reading as well as gift ideas. My 2018 list, which totaled 86 books, is archived under “Books from 2018“. Of course this is not all gardening books, just my recommendations from looking at publishers’ websites, checking with Amazon, or hearing from the authors themselves.

July 2019

Botany at the Bar: The Art and Science of Making Bitters by Selena Ahmed, Ashley Duval, and Rachel Meyer, Roost Books

Compost Teas for the Organic Grower by Eric Fisher, Chelsea Green Publishing

Deer-resistant Design: Fence-free Gardens that Thrive Despite Deer, by Karen Chapman, Timber Press

DIY Mushroom Cultivation: Growing Mushrooms at Home for Food, Medicine, and Soil by Willoughby Arevalo, New Society Publishers

Field Guide to Urban Gardening: How to Grow Plants, No Matter Where you Live by Kevin Espiritu, Cool Springs Press

Grow Your Own Herbs: The 40 Best Culinary Varieties for Home Gardens by Susan Belsinger and Arthur O. Tucker, Timber Press

How to Make a Plant Love You: Cultivate Green Space in Your Home and Heart by Summer Rayne Oakes, Optimism Press

Naturalistic Planting Design by Nigel Dunnett, Filbert Press

Raised Bed Gardening for Beginners: Everything You Need to Know to Start and Sustain a Thriving Garden by Tammy Wylie, Rockridge Press

June 2019

The Whole Okra: A Seed to Stem Celebration by Chris Smith, Chelsea Green Publishing

Plant Parenting by Leslie Halleck, Timber Press

Temperate Garden Plant Families by Peter Goldblatt and John C. Manning, Timber Press

Wildflowers of the Atlantic Southeast, a Timber Press Field Guide by Laura Cotterman, Damon Waitt, and Alan Weakley, Timber Press

Edible Paradise: How to Grow Herbs, Flowers, Vegetables and Fruit in Any Space by Vera Greutink Chelsea Green Publishing

Grow Your Own Botanicals by Cinead McTernan, Octopus

Urban Garden Design by Kate Gould, Octopus

The Bonsai Book: The Definitive Illustrated Guide by Dan Barton, Racehorse Publishing

The Crafty Garden: Inspired Ideas and DIY Crafts from Your Own Backyard by Becca Anderson, Mango

Gardener’s Guide to Compact Plants: Edibles and Ornamentals for Small Space Gardening by Jessica Walliser, Cool Springs Press

Funky Little Flower Farm by Jenks Farmer, self-published

May 2019

Sand and Soil: Creating Beautiful Gardens on Cape Cod and the Islands by C. L. Fornari, David R. Godine Publisher

The Posy Book: Garden-Inspired Bouquets That Tell a Story, Teresa H. Sabankaya, Countryman Press

Beyond Rosemary, Basil and Thyme: Unusual, Interesting and Uncommon Herbs to Enjoy by Theresa Mieseler, Shady Acres Herb Farm

Grow Your Own Herbal Remedies: How to Create a Customized Herb Garden to Support Your Health and Well-Being by Maria Noel Groves, Storey Publishing

Straw Bale Gardens: Complete Updated Edition by Joel Karsten, Cool Springs Press

Backyard Medicine: Harvest and Make Your Own Herbal Remedies by Julie Bruton-Seal and Matthew Seal, Skyhorse Publishing

The Kew Gardener’s Guide to Growing House Plants: The Art and Science to Grow Your Own House Plants by Kay Maguire, White Lion Publishing

Creative Terrariums: 33 Modern Mini-Gardens for Your Home by Enid G. Svymbersky, Fox Chapel Publishing

The Art of the Japanese Garden: History, Culture and Design by David Young, Michiko Young, and illustrator Tan Hong Yew, Tuttle Publishing

In Bloom: Growing, Harvesting, and Arranging Homegrown Flowers All Year Round by Clare Nolan, Companion House Books

In the Garden Compendium by Euan Hillhouse Methven Cox (E.H.M. Cox), Manic D Press Inc.

Growing Your Own Tea Garden: The Guide to Growing and Harvesting Flavorful Teas in your Backyard by Jodi Helmer, Companion House Books

Propagating Plants: How to Create New Plants for Free by Alan Toogood, DK Publishing

April 2019

The Plant Hunter: Truth, Beauty, Chaos, and Plants by Georgina Reid, photographs by Daniel Shipp, Timber Press

The Tree Book: Superior Selections for Landscapes, Streetscapes and Gardens by Michael A. Dirr and Keith S. Warren, Timber Press

A Way to Garden: A Hands-On Primer for Every Season by Margaret Roach, Timber Press

Everyday Sanctuary: A Workbook for Designing a Sacred Garden Space by Jessi Bloom, Timber Press

Lazy-Ass Gardening: Maximize Your Soil, Minimize Your Toil by Robert Kourik, Chelsea Green Publishing

Living Décor: Plants, Potting and DIY Projects by Maria Colletti, Cool Springs Press

The School Garden Curriculum by Kaci Rae Christopher, New Society Publishers

Bug-Free Organic Gardening: Controlling Pest Insects Without Chemicals by Anna Hess, Skyhorse Publishing

Nature Play at Home: Creating Outdoor Spaces that Connect Children with the Natural World by Nancy Striniste, Timber Press

Vegetable Gardening Wisdom: Daily Advice and Inspiration for Getting the Most from Your Garden by Kelly Smith Trimble, Storey Publishing

Tulips: Beautiful Varieties for Home and Garden by Jane Eastoe and Photographs by Rachel Warne, Gibbs Smith

Gardentopia: Design Basics for Creating Beautiful Outdoor Spaces by Jan Johnsen, Countryman Press

From Garden to Glass: 80 Botanical Beverages Made from the Finest Fruits, Cordials and Infusions by David Hurst, Universe

How to Grow Roses: A Comprehensive Illustrated Directory of Types and Techniques by Andrew Mikolajski, Lorenz Books

The Herbal Kitchen: Bringing Lasting Health to You and Your Family with 50 Easy-to-Find Common Herbs and Over 250 Recipes by Kami McBride, Conari Press

March 2019

Growing Perennial Foods: A Field Guide to Raising Resilient Herbs, Fruits and Vegetables by Acadia Tucker, Stone Pier Press

Homegrown and Handpicked: A Year in a Gardening Life by Carol Michel, Gardenangelist Books

Beginner Gardening Step by Step: A Visual Guide to Yard and Garden Basics by DK Publishing

A Beginner’s Guide to Succulent Gardening by Taku Furuya, Tuttle Publishing

100 Japanese Gardens by Stephen Mansfield, Tuttle Publishing

Trees of Power: Ten Essential Arboreal Allies by Akiva Silver, Chelsea Green Publishing

Year-Round Gardening: Growing Vegetables and Herbs, Inside or Outside, in Every Season by Lena Israelsson, Skyhorse Publishing

Companion Planting: Organic Gardening Tips and Tricks for Healthier, Happier Plants by Allison Greer and Tim Greer, Skyhorse Publishing

The New Plant Parent: Develop Your Green Thumb and Care for Your House-plant Family by Darryl Cheng, Abrams Image

Master Recipes from the Herbal Apothecary: 375 Tinctures, Salves, Teas, Capsules, Oils, and Washes for Whole-body Health and Wellness by JJ Pursell and Photographs by Shawn Linehan, Timber Press

Living with Air Plants: A Beginner’s Guide to Growing and Displaying Tillandsia by Yoshiharu kashima (Protoleaf) and Yukihiro Matsuda (Brocante), Tuttle Publishing

Do It Yourself Garden Projects and Crafts: 60 Planters, Bird houses, Lotion Bars, Garlands, and More by Debbie Wolfe, Skyhorse publishing

February 2019

The Inspired Houseplant: Transform Your Home with Indoor Plants from Kokedama to Terrariums and Water Gardens to Edibles, by Jen Stearns, Penguin Random House

Buffalo-Style Gardens: Create a Quirky, One-of-a-Kind Private Garden with Eye-Catching Designs by Sally Cunningham and Jim Charlier, St. Lynn’s Press

A Taste for Herbs: Your Guide to Seasonings, Mixes and Blends from the Herb Lover’s Garden by Sue Goetz, St. Lynns’ Press

A Garden Can Be Anywhere: Creating Bountiful and Beautiful Edible Gardens by Lauri Kranz, Abrams Publishing

Gardening with Biochar: Supercharge Your Soil with Bioactivated Charcoal: Grow Healthier Plants, Create Nutrient-Rich Soil, and Increase Your Harvest by Jeff Cox, Storey Publishing

Herbal Handbook for the Homesteaders: Farmed and Foraged Herbal Remedies and Recipes by Abby Artemisia, Voyageur Press

Practical Cactus and Succulent Book: How to Choose, Nurture and Display 200 Cacti and Succulents by Fran Bailey and Zia Allaway, DK publishing

The Kitchen Garden: A Month-by-month Guide to Growing Your Own Fruits and Vegetables by Alan Buckingham, DK publishing

Vegetables, Chickens, and Bees: An Honest Guide to Growing Your Own Food Anywhere by Carson Arthur, Random House

Rustic Garden Projects: Step-by-step Backyard Décor from Trellises to Tree Swings, Stone Steps to Stained Glass by Marianne Svard Haggvik, Skyhorse Publishing

Shrubs: Discover the Perfect Plant for Every Place in Your Garden by Andy McIndoe, Timber Press

Pruning Simplified: A Step-by-step Guide to 50 Popular Trees and Shrubs by Steven Bradley, Timber Press

The Proven Winners Garden Book: Simple Plans, Picture-perfect Plants, and Expert Advice for Creating a Gorgeous Garden by Ruth Rogers Clausen and Thomas Christopher, Timber Press

January 2019

The Herbal Recipe Keeper: My Collection of Healing Plant Remedies and Essential Oil Blends by Francoise Weeks, Timber Press

Mastering the Art of Vegetable Gardening: Rare Varieties, Unusual Options, Plant Lore and Guidance by Matt Mattus, Cool Springs Press

The New Farmer’s Almanac, Volume IV by Greenhorns (a ten-year-old grassroots organization whose mission is to promote, support and recruit the incoming generation of organic farms and rangers), Chelsea Green Publishing

Farming for the Long Haul by Michael Foley, Chelsea Green Publishing

Heirloom Rose Giveaway to Pegplant’s Post Subscribers

Anne Hathaway, photo courtesy of Heirloom Roses

I am very excited about the giveaway for the July 2019 issue of Pegplant’s Post. Heirloom Roses has graciously offered a $65 gift card to one winner. The winner can pick the particular rose plant he/she wants for the garden. Heirloom Roses is a family-owned business in Oregon with a terrific online presence. They have every type of heirloom rose plus a lot of information on growing them, including videos. They also have related products for sale such as fertilizer, shears, gloves, and plant ties. All of their roses are grown on their own roots, no grafting. Even if you don’t win the gift certificate, check out their website to learn more about growing roses. This giveaway opportunity is for subscribers of Pegplant’s Post, an online, free newsletter about gardening in the Washington DC metro area. Each issue provides at least 50, and often more than 100, gardening events for the month; newly published gardening books; local tips, advice, and articles; and a monthly giveaway contest. Subscribe now by clicking here or visit pegplant.com and enter your e-mail address in the box above “subscribe!” on the right column. Pegplant’s Post will be issued on the last weekend of the month.