Lemon Verbena: Queen of Lemon-Scented Herbs

lemon verbenaKnown as the queen of lemon-scented herbs, lemon verbena has the clearest, sharpest lemon scent in the world of herbs. Lemon verbena (Aloysia citrodora) is a tropical plant that we grow as an annual in the mid-Atlantic area. Native to South America, the Spanish brought the plant to Europe where it was primarily used in perfume. In fact, lemon verbena is mentioned in the famous book/movie, Gone With the Wind by Margaret Mitchell. Scarlett O’Hara’s mother Ellen used lemon verbena as her signature fragrance: “The faint of lemon verbena surrounded her, floating gently from Eleanor Butler’s silk gown and silken hair. It was the fragrance that had always been part of Ellen O’Hara, the scent for Scarlett of comfort, of safety, of love, of life before the War.” Continue reading

Herbs Attract and Support Beneficial Insects in the Garden

Small thyme flowers

The herbs in my garden live among the annuals, perennials, vegetables, and shrubs. I do not have a separate, formal herb garden.  Every new herb plant gets tucked in any space I can find. I harvest them to use them fresh in the kitchen and for floral arrangements. By summer, many of my herbs are blooming along with everything else but that’s okay, they still serve a purpose. Even if I didn’t get to harvest them, they are helping the rest of the garden by attracting and supporting beneficial insects. Continue reading

Walking Onions: Perennial Onion Plants for the Garden

walking onionWalking onions, also called Egyptian walking onions, tree onions, winter onions, and perennial onions, are very easy to grow.  Unlike an ordinary onion plant, Allium proliferum will produce little bulbs at the top of the plant in the summer. The weight of these marble-sized bulbils will pull the stem down, enabling the bulbils to root and produce a new plant. Although walking onions seem to walk by producing new plants a few inches away, they are not invasive. Continue reading

Subscribe to Pegplant’s Post: DC’s Local Gardening Newsletter

Enter your e-mail here to subscribe to Pegplant’s Post, an e-newsletter about gardening in the DC metro area. This monthly communication lists local gardening events, recently published gardening books, recipes, articles, and tips specific to this area. Each issue also features the opportunity to win a free plant or gardening-related product. For the upcoming May 2021 Pegplant’s Post, subscribers have a chance to win the Three-Pot Hanging Kit, courtesy of SkyPots.

Owned by Ryan Benoit, SkyPots is a revolutionary way to hang plants. Ryan has been experimenting with this design for several years and has many hanging pots in his California home. He also is the creator of the Horticult website, “a plant lover’s guide to enjoying a plant-infused lifestyle.” In addition, he authored the How to Window Box book.

Ryan has perfected an ingenious way to hang ordinary containers vertically, one above the other. This saves space and enables you to hang plants inside or outside. There are kits for one container, two containers, or three containers. No tools are required. Pots are not included but any container that has a flat bottom and a centered drain hole will work. This is ideal for houseplants, trailing plants, and tropical plants but any plant that will fit in the container will work. Although the kits are easy to assemble, the SkyPots website has detailed instructions.

Twenty Tomato Tips for the DC Metro Area

By now you should have started your tomato seeds indoors under lights. This is just if you want a head start of course, it is not necessary. You can also purchase tomato plants but be aware that the night temperatures are still too cold for them to be out in the garden now. They prefer warmer weather. Waiting to plant tomatoes until the beginning of May or Mother’s Day will give you the best results. For tomato success, read these twenty tips for growing tomatoes in the Washington DC metro area. Continue reading

Before You Buy That Plant, Answer Five Basic Questions

azaleaThe weather has been beautiful lately and the nurseries have been crowded. Plant sales are scheduled (in person!) and gardening events are filling up the weekends. So many plants to get, so much to do. But no matter how tempting those plants are, consider five basic criteria before you purchase them so you can have better success once they are in your garden. Continue reading

Honesty, Money, and Sincerity: What More Could You Want in a Plant?

silver dollar flowers

Some plants provide beauty in the spring and then step off stage, only to be forgotten until next spring. Others provide beauty in the spring, come back with an encore in the fall, and stay with us all winter long. The silver dollar plant (Lunaria annua) is the latter, a plant that keeps coming back to center stage. These are blooming now in April in the Washington DC area.

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Bleeding Heart Blooming Early in March

A few years ago, a friend offered to give me the root of her bleeding heart plant she called Fred. This was in the fall but unfortunately it was some time before I could drive to her home. By the time I picked up Fred, the root was dry and hard. Continue reading

Chives: Culinary Herb, Landscape Edible

chives coming back in early March

chives coming back in early March

Chives are a great addition to the garden, any garden, does not matter what is growing already, add chives. These perennial herbs are great landscape edibles; they come back year after year. Chives (Allium schoenoprasum) are narrow, foot tall plants that can be tucked in between ornamental shrubs and flowers. Continue reading

Subscribe to Pegplant’s Post: Local Gardening Newsletter

fertilizerEnter your e-mail here to subscribe to Pegplant’s Post, an e-newsletter about gardening in the Washington DC metropolitan area. This monthly communication lists local gardening events, recently published gardening books, recipes, articles, and tips specific to this area. Each issue also features the opportunity to win a free plant or gardening-related product. For the upcoming April 2021 Pegplant’s Post, the giveaway is the Boutique Organic Plant Nutrient Kit courtesy of the Whole Gardener.

Whole Gardener is a Virginia-based soil and nutrient company. They sell kits consisting of the three basic fertilizers, micronutrients, and a recipe book so gardeners can formulate the nutrients for their plants.  Using one of almost 200 different Whole Gardener nutrient recipes from the Whole Gardener nutrient recipe book, and the four Whole Gardener nutrient ingredients, gardeners can create a customized fertilizer blend that will fit the nutrient needs of any plant they want to grow. The giveaway is the boutique organic plant nutrient kit which is designed for gardening on a smaller scale. It is tailored to the urban gardener or anyone with limited space to grow plants. The boutique kit consists of the four nutrients, the recipe book, the applicator jar, the measuring spoon set, and the pH test kit.  According to the plant’s needs as outlined in the recipe book, gardeners mix the right amount of nitrogen, potassium, phosphorus and micronutrients in order to have a thriving garden.