Category Archives: Events

General’s Choice of Trees and Shrubs is a Wise Choice for the Mid-Atlantic Gardener

 

Spring is the season for plant sales in the Washington DC area. Every weekend there are plant and garden sales, garden parties, workshops, tours, and lectures. I look forward to these annual events just as much as I look forward to seeing the cherry blossoms. One of the more interesting plant sales is Mount Vernon’s Historic Plant and Garden Sale in Virginia. This year, the month-long sale runs from Saturday April 21 to May 20, 10:00 am to 6:00 pm (members can attend the preview night on April 20). The plants are located outdoors, just outside the Mt. Vernon main gift shop, and admission tickets are not necessary. Gardening accoutrements such as tools, books, mugs, note cards, and gift items also are available. Staff horticulturists, easy to spot by their bright green shirts, are available to answer gardening questions on Wednesdays and Sundays from 1:00 to 2:00 pm.

“At length my dear Marquis I am become a private citizen on the banks of the Potomac, & under the shadow of my own Vine & my own Fig-tree.”

What sets this plant sale apart from other local sales is provenance. The Mt. Vernon horticulturists propagated most of the plants that are for sale from the plants that are grown on the George Washington’s estate. There is a wide assortment of vegetables, flowers, herbs, trees, and shrubs. Of note is the General’s Choice Collection. Staff grew ten trees and shrubs representative of those that were grown by George Washington: three types of boxwood (American, English, and tree), two edibles (pawpaw and fig), tulip poplar, southern magnolia, redbud, dogwood, and red maple. The General’s Choice Collection has distinctive tags and can be grown easily by gardeners and homeowners in the mid-Atlantic area.

In addition, the Mt. Vernon horticulturists collected, cleaned, and packaged heirloom seed from plants grown on the estate. The beautifully designed seed packets make great souvenir gifts, easy to mail. The proceeds from the plant sale support the historical museum and gardens. Every time someone purchases a plant or a seed packet, George Washington’s legacy as a gentleman farmer lives on.

“Planted all my Cedars, all my Pawpaw, and two Honey locust Trees in my Shrubberies and two of the latter in my groves – one at each ‘side’ of the House and a large Holly tree on the Point going to the Sein landing.”

Photos courtesy of George Washington’s Mt. Vernon

Twitter Chats: Online Garden Parties

Participating in a gardening twitter chat is a great way to learn and meet new people. A twitter chat is like attending a party where 20 people are standing in the living room talking generally about the same thing. I visualize them standing because usually a chat is for one hour, which goes by fast.

There are several gardening-related twitter chats, each with their own formats differ. Some have predetermined questions while others have a theme for the day.  In some chats, the moderators compile the conversation like a transcript to be viewed later. Twitter chats also can have guests for a particular topic or collaborate with sponsors for giveaways.

Twitter chats are free and open to anyone who has a Twitter account. The more people are participating, the more often messages are posted, and the faster it seems to move. Messages can appear very fast so you have to really stay focused on the conversation. If you are new to Twitter, it may be helpful to first read as people type. There is no need to actually tweet a response. As you feel more comfortable, jump in and respond when you can. Some people post photos but that is optional.

Sometimes during a chat, a few people seem to get off track, as if they walked into the kitchen, looked out the window, and started discussing the weather. To keep track of the actual chat, it is useful to use tweetdeck or tchat.io. Using the hashtag, these are able to order the tweets so you only see the tweets relevant to that particular chat. These tools help to focus on the chat for the hour instead of seeing all of the tweets from all of the people you are following.

Monday

#gardenchat, 9-10 pm EST, weekly, hosted by Bren Haas @BrenHaas

Tuesday

#treechat, 2-3 pm EST, every 2 weeks (#treechat and #plantchat alternate), hosted by Corona Tools (@Coronatools)

#plantchat, 2-3 pm EST, every 2 weeks (#treechat and #plantchat alternate), hosted by American Horticultural Society (@AHS_gardening) and Corona Tools (@Coronatools)

Wednesday

#landscapechat, 2-3 pm EST, weekly, hosted by Corona Tools (@coronatools)

#seedchat, 9-10 pm EST, weekly, hosted by Growing North @growingnorth

#groundchat, 8-9 pm EST, weekly, hosted by Cristina da Silva @CristinaGardens

Thursday

#herbchat, 2-3 pm EST, weekly, hosted by Geri Laufer @gardengeri

#growingnorth, 9-10 pm EST, weekly, hosted by Growing North @growingnorth

Growing Daffodils: Gold Investments for Your Garden

daffodil

British Gamble is a Division 1 daffodil, with a pale pink, broad, showy cup

Daffodils are great investments for your garden. For very little money, you can plant daffodil bulbs in the fall and enjoy their bloom every spring for years to come. Reliable and dependent, these sunny flowers can be used to landscape your garden or cut for indoor flower arrangements.

Cultural Requirements

Daffodils are long lasting and are not bothered by deer or other animals. They can be divided to increase the numbers or simply left in place. Bulbs are available at local nurseries in the fall or through mail order catalogs. Select large healthy bulbs and plant about 5 to 6 inches deep and apart. Daffodils can be planted in the garden bed, in large swaths for a naturalizing effect, under a deciduous tree, or in containers with other bulbs. One caveat is that after the daffodils bloom, the leaves must be left in place until they yellow so you may want to think about disguising the foliage with other perennials. Do not fold the leaves down, tie with rubber bands, or cut until they are so yellow they detract from the garden’s beauty.

Dutch Master, the classic Division 1 daffodil

Daffodils prefer full sun but will tolerate part sun (a half day of sun). They are not particular about soil but because they are bulbs the soil has to drain well to avoid rot. When planting, apply a balanced fertilizer. On an annual basis apply a low nitrogen fertilizer in the spring and fall. Daffodils do not need to be divided, they multiply naturally, but they can be dug up and divided if you want to increase your number of bulbs. Division should occur after the blooming period, when the leaves yellow. Dig up, divide, and replant immediately if possible. If not possible, store the bulbs in a dry area with good air circulation until can plant in the fall.  If you see a decline in blossoms after several years of growing, you can also dig up and divide daffodils because the bulbs may have increased to the point that they are too crowded.

Daffodil Societies and Shows

While most people are familiar with the foot high daffodil with large yellow blossoms, there is a wide spectrum of colors, sizes, and bloom times. In fact the spectrum is so great that daffodils have been categorized into 13 divisions and there are thousands of cultivars. The divisions below illustrate the diversity but for more information contact the American Daffodil Society or a local daffodil society.

daffodil

In the foreground is Katie Heath, Division 5, and in the background is Pink Charm, Division 2

In the Washington DC metro area, there are three daffodil societies, each with their own spring shows that are open to the public. If you want to know what to plant this fall, visit these shows to see how the flowers will look, meet other daffodil enthusiasts, learn best cultivars for this area, and identify additional resources for purchasing bulbs. There also are local garden clubs that have their own daffodil shows such as the Garden Club of Virginia Daffodil show in Richmond, VA, on March 28; and the District II Federated Garden Clubs of Maryland Daffodil show in Severna Park, MD, on April 9-11. The daffodilfestivalva.org website provides a listing of local daffodil festivals and areas that have substantial daffodil collections.

Daffodil Divisions

One flower to a stem (corona is the center trumpet or cup)

  • Division 1: Trumpet: corona not more than one-third the length of petals
  • Division 2: Large cupped: corona more than one-third but less than equal to the length of petals
  • Division 3: Small cupped: corona not more than one-third the length of petals

One or more flowers per stem

  • Division 4: Double: many petals
  • Division 5: Triandrus: pendulous blooms, petals turned back

One flower per a stem

  • Division 6: Cyclamineus: petals turned back significantly and flower at an acute angle to stem

Several flowers per a stem

  • Division 7: Jonquilla: petals spreading or reflexed, usually has fragrance
  • Division 8: Tazetta: stout stem, petals spreading but not reflexed, usually has fragrance, have minimal to no chilling requirements, this is the division for paperwhites, which often are forced indoors

Division 9: Poeticus: white petals, short corona with green or yellow center and red rim

Division 10: Bulbocodium hybrids, one flower per stem, petals very small compared to a large corona

Division 11a: Split cup collar

Division 11b: Split cup papillon

Division 12: Other types

Division 13: Species or wild variants

Mary Gay Lirette, a Division 11a daffodil, has flowers that open with a yellow cup that turns salmon and folds back

Local daffodil societies and shows (open to the public)

The Washington Daffodil Society will have their spring show on April 14 & 15, 2018, at the Alexandria Scottish Rite, 1430 W. Braddock Road, Alexandria, VA.

The Maryland Daffodil Society   will have their spring show on April 17 & 18, 2018, at The Shops at Kenilworth, 800 Kenilworth Drive, Towson MD.

The Virginia Daffodil Society will have their show on March 31 & April 1, 2018, at the Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden, Richmond, VA. This society does not have a website but the contact person is Jennifer Potter, Jpotter890@msn.com

Sources

All photographs are courtesy of Brent and Becky’s Bulbs

Snowdrops: From Simple Flowers to Complex Collections

galanthusThe common snowdrops are popular, spring blooming bulbs that are easy to grow. After planting the small bulbs in the fall, in masses or drifts for the best effect, you will be rewarded with small, white bells in the midst of winter. Here in the mid-Atlantic area, the common snowdrop (Galanthus nivalis) blooms any time from January through March. Sometimes they push through the snow or a carpet of brown leaves under trees.  Hardy to USDA Zone 4-7, they prefer cool weather, partial shade, and rich soil. They are not fazed by deer but may get relocated by squirrels. By late spring, the green, strap-like leaves die back and the bulb lies dormant during the summer.

Snowdrops seem so simple, so humble, like servants to queen daffodils and regal tulips. Here in America we give them a nod as a small sign that spring will come soon. In Great Britain, however, snowdrops enjoy a cult status. The English have been breeding snowdrops extensively since the Victorian area, yielding over a thousand cultivars. They quite literally put these small perennials on pedestals and table top arrangements during judging shows and grand events.

To me they all pretty but look similar. To a galanthophile each flower is distinct and beautiful. Galanthophiles collect the cultivars, some of which can be costly. They may also collect other Galanthus species — there are about 20 species that vary in bloom time and size.

Here in this country, we are not able to access a wide variety but a good source for many snowdrop cultivars is Carolyn’s Shade Gardens in Pennsylvania. Another source is to visit a private garden or sale such as David Culp’s annual Galanthus Gala which will be on March 3, 2018, in Downingtown, PA. David, a well-known breeder, lecturer, and author, has a collection of snowdrops, among other plants, in his gorgeous gardens at Brandywine Cottage. The Galanthus Gala is open to the public, registration is required, and includes speakers and other plant vendors.

Subscribe to Pegplant’s Post: Free Online Gardening Newsletter for Northern VA, MD, and DC Area

To celebrate the beginning of the 2018 gardening season, I am launching Pegplant’s Post, an online, subscription-based newsletter. Pegplant’s Post focuses on gardening in the Northern Virginia, Maryland, and Washington DC area. Every month this timely, local newsletter will be delivered directly to your e-mail box free of charge. Subscribing to Pegplant’s Post ensures that you will receive Peg’s Picks of:

  • Monthly events. Plan your social life with gardening events in the NoVA, MD, DC area. Depending on the season, there can be over 100 events, many of which are free.
  • New books. Stay abreast of gardening trends and practices with newly published books. Use this list for ideas of gifts to buy for birthdays and holidays.
  • Tips and advice. Learn timely tips and advice relevant to the current gardening season in our area.
  • Giveaways. Enter the monthly giveaway contest to win items such as seed packets, books, tools, and plants.
  • Articles from pegplant.com. Catch up with articles from my website, pegplant.com, about plants, gardens, and resources.

Visit pegplant.com and enter your e-mail address in the “subscribe” field on the right column. Pegplant’s Post will be issued on the last weekend of the month.

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Happy Valentine’s Day!

valentines day

Peg’s Picks: February 2018 Gardening Events in the Washington DC Metro Area

It is only February and there are 100 gardening events, many of which are free and designed to help you get started with this year’s gardening season!

1, Thursday, Webinar: Landscape Maintenance Practices for Native Bees, 4:00 to 5:00 pm, Eastern time, free to $10, must register. Hosted by the Eco Landscape Alliance. http://www.ecolandscaping.org

1, Thursday, Webinar: Foodscaping Gardening, 7-8:30 pm EST. Fee and must register. Presented by Charlie Nardozzi. http://www.gardeningwithcharlie.com

1, Thursday, Presentation: A Visit to Monet’s Garden, 7:00 to 8:00 pm. Free and open to public. Rust Library, 380 Old Waterford Road, NW, Leesburg, VA. Hosted by Loudoun County Master Gardeners. http://www.loudouncountymastergardeners.org

1, Thursday, online ordering begins for the Fairfax County Soil and Water Conservation District’s annual native seedling sale. This year deer resistant native shrubs and trees are available. Orders are placed online in February and seedlings are picked up in April for a nominal fee. https://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/soil-water-conservation/native-seedling-sale

1, Thursday, Workshop: Woodland Critter Fairy Garden, 11:00 am to noon, fee and must register. Homestead Gardens, 743 West Central Avenue, Davidsonville, MD. Also offered on February 2 at Severna Park location. http://www.homesteadgardens.com

2, Friday, Workshop: Woodland Critter Fairy Garden, 11:00 am to noon, fee and must register. Homestead Gardens, 522 Ritchie Highway, Severna Park, MD. Also offered at Davidsonville location on February 1. http://www.homesteadgardens.com.

2, Friday, Lecture: Gardening in the South by Mark Weathington, director, JC Raulston Arboretum at North Carolina State University and author of same book. Noon to 1:00 pm. Free but registration required. U.S. Botanic Garden, 245 First Street, SW, Washington DC. http://www.usbg.gov

3, Saturday, Seed Sale, 10:00 am to 3:00 pm, free and open to the public. Hyattsville Municipal Building, 4310 Gallatin Street, Hyattsville, MD. Hosted by the Hyattsville Horticultural Club. http://www.hyattsvillehorticulture.org

3, Saturday, Planning for Planting Vegetables: A Year’s Worth of Gardening Ideas, 11:00 am, free, Behnke Nurseries Garden Center, 11300 Baltimore Road, Beltsville, MD. http://www.behnkes.com/

3, Saturday, Workshop: Beginner Hands-On Bonsai Class, 2:00 to 4:00 pm, fee and registration required. Behnke Nurseries Garden Center, 11300 Baltimore Road, Beltsville, MD. http://www.behnkes.com/

3, Saturday, Basic Pruning Techniques for Shrubs, 9:15 am to 12:15 pm, Fee and must register, bring gloves and pruners, is outside. Green Spring Gardens, 4603 Green Spring Road, Alexandria, VA. http://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/parks/greenspring

3, Saturday, First Saturday Guided Walk, 10:00 to 11:00 am, free with admission fee. No registration necessary. Adkins Arboretum, 12610 Eveland Road, Ridgely, MD. http://www.adkinsarboretum.org

3, Saturday, Lecture: A Botanical Walk Through Black History by Kobina Abdul-Salim, PhD, Medgar Evers College, City University of New York. 2:00 to 3:30 pm. Free and registration required. U.S. Botanic Garden, 245 First Street, SW, Washington DC. http://www.usbg.gov

3, Saturday, Urban Gardening, 10:00 am, free and do not need to register. Merrifield location of the Merrifield Garden Center, http://www.merrifieldgardencenter.com

3, Saturday, Orchids for Everyone, 10:00 am, free and do not need to register. Fair Oaks location of the Merrifield Garden Center, http://www.merrifieldgardencenter.com

3, Saturday, Houseplants: Bring the Outdoors In, 10:00 to 11:30, free and need to register, Burke Nursery and Garden Center, 9401 Burke Road, Burke, VA. http://www.burkenursery.com

3, Saturday, Wildlife Habitats: Gardening for the Birds, 10:00 am, free and do not need to register. Gainesville location of the Merrifield Garden Center, http://www.merrifieldgardencenter.com

3, Saturday, Community Gardening: Using Native Plant Communities to Create Ecologically Valuable Gardens by Matt Bright, Conservation Manager at Earth Sangha, 1:00 pm, free but must register. Manassas Park Community Center, 99 Adams Street, Manassas Park, VA. Hosted by Prince William County Master Gardeners. http://www.mgpw.org

4, Sunday, Tool sharpening Workshop (to learn how to sharpen tools), 2:00 to 3:30, fee and must register, must bring certain items, see website, Cylburn Arboretum, Greenhouse Classroom, 4915 Green Spring Avenue, Baltimore, MD. http://www.cylburn.org

4, Sunday, Orchid Clinic, Diagnostic and Repotting Clinic, 9:30 to 4:00 pm. Free but if you need your orchid repotted, it will be done for a fee. Behnke Nurseries Garden Center, 11300 Baltimore Road, Beltsville, MD. http://www.behnkes.com/

4, Sunday, Winter Lecture Series: Gardening in the South, 1:30 to 2:30 pm. Mark Weathington, director, JC Raulston Arboretum, author of same book, fee and must register. Green Spring Gardens, 4603 Green Spring Road, Alexandria, VA. http://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/parks/greenspring

5, Monday, Microgreens: What are they, why they are so fabulous, and how to grow them, 7:00 to 8:00 pm, Barrett Branch Library, 717 Queen Street, Alexandria,VA. Free but advance registration requested. Hosted by Master Gardeners of Northern Virginia. http://www.mgnv.org

5, Monday, through March 26, Washington DC Division of Parks and Recreation Urban Growing certification course 101 series. Free. Classes meet every Monday and Wednesday, 6:30 to 8:30 pm, and two Saturday classes in March, must attend all for certificate, Turkey Thicket Rec Center, 1100 Michigan Avenue, NE, Washington DC.  See website for class schedule, is 8 weeks long comprised of 16 sessions, each 2 hours. https://dpr.dc.gov/page/urban-garden-education-program

6, Tuesday, Bus trip to Longwood Gardens to see Orchid show. 8:30 am to 6:00 pm, fee and must register. Homestead Gardens, 743 West Central Avenue, Davidsonville, MD. http://www.homesteadgardens.com

6, Tuesday, Gardeners Focus: Preparing for Spring in the Greenhouse. Also offered on February 7, 8, 22, 25, 27, and 28. Fee is included in suggested donation to enter Hillwood. Hillwood Museum and Garden, 4155 Linnean Avenue, NW, Washington DC. http://www.hillwoodmuseum.org

7, Wednesday, Create a living succulent wreath, 7:00 to 9:00 pm, fee and must register. Greenstreet Gardens, 391 West Bay Front Road, Lothian, MD. http://www.greenstreetgardens.com

7, Wednesday, Lecture: The best herbs for flavor and fragrance by Holly Shimizu, 7:00 pm, free and open to the public. Hosted by Annapolis Horticultural Society. St. Anne’s Parish Hall, 199 Duke of Gloucester Street, Annapolis, MD. http://www.annapolishorticulture.org

8, Thursday, Workshop: Kokedama Moss Ball, 11:00 am to noon, fee and must register. Homestead Gardens, 743 West Central Avenue, Davidsonville, MD. Also offered on February 9 at Severna Park location. http://www.homesteadgardens.com

9, Friday, Workshop: Kokedama Moss Ball, 11:00 am to noon, fee and must register. Homestead Gardens, 522 Ritchie Highway, Severna Park, MD. Also offered on February 8 at Davidsonville location. http://www.homesteadgardens.com

9, Friday, Garden Talk: Success with Seeds, 2:00 to 3:00 pm. Fee and must register, Green Spring Gardens, 4603 Green Spring Road, Alexandria, VA. http://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/parks/greenspring

10, Saturday and Saturday, February 17, Beginner Beekeeping, 9:00 am to 4:00 pm., fee and must register, a 2-day course on Saturdays. Maryland Agriculture Resource Council, 1114 Shawan Road, Cockeysville, MD. http://www.marylandagriculture.org

10, Saturday, Lecture: Restoring Nature’s Relationship at Home by Doug Tallamy, 10:00 am to 11:00 am. Free. Homestead Gardens, 743 West Central Avenue, Davidsonville, MD. http://www.homesteadgardens.com

10, Saturday, Washington Gardener Seed Exchange, 12:30 to 4:30 pm, fee and must register. Green Spring Gardens, 4603 Green Spring Road, Alexandria, VA. http://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/parks/greenspring

10, Saturday, Night Gardens, 10:00 am, free and do not need to register. Merrifield location of the Merrifield Garden Center, http://www.merrifieldgardencenter.com

10, Saturday, Low Maintenance Gardens: Soil and Foundations, 10:00 am, free and do not need to register. Gainesville location of the Merrifield Garden Center, http://www.merrifieldgardencenter.com

10, Saturday, Plot Against Hunger Spring Garden Kick-Off: Growing Food for Our Neighbors in Need, 9:00 am to noon, St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church, 4000 Lorcom Lane, Arlington VA. Free presentations and demonstrations on seed starting, composting, seedling transplanting, common garden pests, tree pruning, grafting and DIY light stands for indoor use. Hosted by the Master Gardeners of Northern Virginia and the Arlington Food Assistance Center. Register at https://afac.org/afac-spring-garden-kick-off/ by February 7. http://www.mgnv.org

10, Saturday, Workshop: Terrariums, 1:00 to 2:00 pm, fee and must register, American Plant Garden Center, 7405 River Road, Bethesda, MD. http://www.americanplant.net

10, Saturday, Basics of Landscape Design, Yes You Can, 10:00 to 11:30 am, free and must register, Burke Nursery and Garden Center, 9401 Burke Road, Burke, VA. http://www.burkenursery.com

10, Saturday, Lecture: Reordering the Landscape: Science, Nature, and Spirituality at Wye House, by Dr. Elizabeth Pruitt (enslaved people at Wye house and their use of plants). 1:30 to 2:30 pm. Free and registration requested. National Arboretum, 3501 New York Avenue, NE, Washington, DC. http://www.usna.usda.gov

10, Saturday, Sustainable Vegetable Gardening Series, 10:15 to 12:30 pm., and on February 10, 17, and March 10. Free and should register. Potomac Community Library, 2201 Opitz Blvd., Woodbridge, VA. Hosted by Prince William County Master Gardeners. http://www.mgpw.org

10, Saturday, Vegetable Garden Season Is Upon Us, 1:30 to 4:30 pm. Gum Spring Library, 24600 Millstream Drive, Stone Ridge, Virginia. Hosted by Loudoun County Master Gardeners. http://www.loudouncountymastergardeners.org

11, Sunday, Lecture: Garden Revolution: How our Landscapes can be a Source of Environmental Change by Larry Weaner, landscape architect and author of same book. 2:00 pm., free and must register. Manassas Park Community Center, 99 Adams Street, Manassas Park, VA. Sponsored by Prince William Wildflower Society, Prince William Conservation Alliance, and Prince William County Master Gardeners. http://www.mgpw.org

11, Sunday, Winter Lecture Series: Seeing Flowers, 1:30 to 2:30 pm. Author Teri Chace will share insight into the unique photo process of Robert Llewellyn’s Seeing Flowers and the details that few have seen in flowers. Bring your magnifier and macro lens to the glasshouse afterwards to explore flowers in the Green Spring collection. Fee and must register. Green Spring Gardens, 4603 Green Spring Road, Alexandria, VA. http://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/parks/greenspring

11, Sunday, National Capital Orchid Society presents the NCOS Orchid Auction. Free admission, open to the public, 10:00 am to 3:00 pm, at Behnkes but see http://www.ncos.us for more information. Behnke Nurseries Garden Center, 11300 Baltimore Road, Beltsville, MD. http://www.behnkes.com/

11, Sunday, Orchid Clinic, Diagnostic and Repotting Clinic, 9:30 to 4:00 pm. Free but if you need your orchid repotted, it will be done for a fee. Behnke Nurseries Garden Center, 11300 Baltimore Road, Beltsville, MD. http://www.behnkes.com/

11, Sunday, All About Water Gardens, 2:00 to 4:00 pm, free and open to the public. Hosted by the Sandy Spring Museum Garden Club. Sandy Spring Museum, 17901 Bentley Road, Ashton-Sandy Spring, MD. http://www.sandyspringmuseum.org

14, Wednesday, Native Plants to Attract Butterflies, Bees and Other Pollinators by Ruth Clausen, 11:15 am to noon, free but must register via Adkins Arboretum website. Offered in partnership with the Garden Club of the Eastern Shore, this program will be held at the Talbot County Free Library, Easton Branch. http://www.adkinsarboretum.org

14, Wednesday, Water Conservation, DIY Sustainable Yard Series, 7:00 to 8:30 pm, free, advance registration requested. Beatley Central Library, 5005 Duke Street, Alexandria, or on February 28 at Westover Branch Library. Hosted by Master Gardeners of Northern Virginia. http://www.mgnv.org

14-16, Wednesday through Friday, Winter Symposium and 49th CVNLA Short Course: Gardening with Purpose and Passion, 8:30 to 4:00 pm. fee and must register. Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden, Massey Conference Center, 1800 Lakeside Avenue, Richmond, VA. http://www.lewisginter.org

15, Thursday, Good Gardening Practices, Late Winter Cleanup, 11:00 am to noon, fee and must register, Homestead Gardens, 743 West Central Avenue, Davidsonville, MD. Also offered at Severna Park location on February 16. http://www.homesteadgardens.com

16, Friday, Good Gardening Practices, Late Winter Cleanup, 11:00 am to noon, fee and must register. Homestead Gardens, 522 Ritchie Highway, Severna Park, MD. Also offered at Davidsonville location on February 15. http://www.homesteadgardens.com

16, Friday, Everything You Wanted to Know About Pruning, 1:00 to 2:30 pm, fee and must register. Brookside Gardens, 1800 Glenallan Avenue, Wheaton, MD. http://www.brooksidegardens.org

17, Saturday, Vegetable Seed and Gardening Introduction, 1:00 to 2:00 pm, free and must register. American Plant Garden Center, 7405 River Road, Bethesda, MD. http://www.americanplant.net

17, Saturday, Edibles: Successfully Starting Plants from Seed, 10:00 am, free and do not need to register. Merrifield location of the Merrifield Garden Center, http://www.merrifieldgardencenter.com

17, Saturday, Garden Hand Tool Sharpening, 1:00 to 3:00 and again on Sunday 1:00 to 3:00. Fee for having tools sharpened, proceeds go to Emmanuel United Methodist Church Foodbank.  Behnke Nurseries Garden Center, 11300 Baltimore Road, Beltsville, MD. http://www.behnkes.com/

17, Saturday, Piet Oudolf’s New Perennial Movement, 10:00 am, free and do not need to register. Fair Oaks location of the Merrifield Garden Center, http://www.merrifieldgardencenter.com

17, Saturday, Winter Greens and Distinctive Bark Soup ‘n Walk, 11:00 am to 1:30 pm. fee and must register, Adkins Arboretum, 12610 Eveland Road, Ridgely, MD. http://www.adkinsarboretum.org

17, Saturday, Getting Hands-on with Bonsai, 10:00 am, free and do not need to register. Gainesville location of the Merrifield Garden Center, http://www.merrifieldgardencenter.com

17, Saturday, Eco-Savvy Symposium: Skyward Gardening, 8:30 am to 12:30 pm. Fee and must register. Green Spring Gardens, 4603 Green Spring Road, Alexandria, VA. http://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/parks/greenspring

17, Saturday, Create and Sip Succulent Container Workshop, 3:00 pm, fee and must register. Gainesville location of the Merrifield Garden Center, http://www.merrifieldgardencenter.com

17, Saturday, Learn how to build your own cold frame, 1:00 to 4:00 pm. Walter Reed Community and Senior Center, 2909 S. 16th Street, Arlington. Fee of $65 and will be able to bring cold frame home. Must register by sending check to VCE at Fairlington Community Center in advance. Call (703) 228 6414 or e-mail mgarlalex@gmail.com for more information, deadline for registration is February 9. http://www.mgnv.org

17, Saturday, Lawn Care: Improve Curb Appeal, 10:00 to 11:30, free and must register, Burke Nursery and Garden Center, 9401 Burke Road, Burke, VA. http://www.burkenursery.com

18, Sunday, Springtime Refresh: Welcome Spring Into Your Kitchen and On to Your Table 11:00 to noon. Free and should register. Homestead Gardens, 743 West Central Avenue, Davidsonville, MD. http://www.homesteadgardens.com

18, Sunday and February 25, Beekeeping 101: A two-part series on two Sundays for people ready to begin beekeeping. 2:00 to 5:00 pm. Fee and must register. Community Forklift, 4671 Tanglewood Drive, Hyattsville, MD. http://www.communityforklift.org

18, Sunday, Garden Hand Tool Sharpening, 1:00 to 3:00 pm and again day before on Saturday, February 17, 1:00 to 3:00. Fee for having tools sharpened; proceeds go to Emmanuel United Methodist Church Foodbank. Behnke Nurseries Garden Center, 11300 Baltimore Road, Beltsville, MD. http://www.behnkes.com/

18, Sunday, Orchid Clinic, Diagnostic and Repotting Clinic, 9:30 to 4:30 pm. Free but if you need your orchid repotted, it will be done for a fee. Behnke Nurseries Garden Center, 11300 Baltimore Road, Beltsville, MD. http://www.behnkes.com/

18, Sunday, Winter Lecture Series: Design Inspirations, 1:30 to 2:30 pm. Plantsman and author Cole Burrell explores the diverse landscapes, magnificent gardens, iconography and experiences that shape the gardens he creates for clients with diverse needs and expectations. Fee and must register, Green Spring Gardens, 4603 Green Spring Road, Alexandria, VA. http://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/parks/greenspring

21, Wednesday, Lecture: Edible Architecture: Espalier and Trellis Design by Michael Judd, 7:30 pm. Free and open the public, Historic Takoma, 7328 Carroll Avenue, Takoma Park, MD. Sponsored by Takoma Horticultural Society. http://www.takomahort.org

22, Thursday, Vegetable Gardening Part 2: Planning and Preparation. 7-8:30 pm. Burke Branch Library, 4701 Seminary Road, Alexandria. Or on February 24 at Westover Branch library at 10:30 to noon. Hosted by Master Gardeners of Northern Virginia. Free, advance registration requested at http://www.mgnv.org

22, Thursday, Workshop: How to Repot an Orchid, 11:00 to noon, fee and must register. Homestead Gardens, 743 West Central Avenue, Davidsonville, MD. Also offered at Severna Park location on February 23. http://www.homesteadgardens.com

22, Thursday, Hometown Habitat Screening (90-minute film), 7:00 to 9:00 pm, fee and must register. Hosted by the Sandy Spring Museum Garden Club. Sandy Spring Museum, 17901 Bentley Road, Ashton-Sandy Spring, MD. http://www.sandyspringmuseum.org

23, Friday, Workshop: How to Repot an Orchid. 11:00 am to noon. Fee and must register. Also on February 22 at Davidsonville location. Homestead Gardens, 522 Ritchie Highway, Severna Park, MD. http://www.homesteadgardens.com

23, Friday, opening of new Orchid Spectrum exhibit, through April 8. U.S. Botanic Garden Conservatory. Annual Orchid Show presented in collaboration with Smithsonian Gardens. Free. U.S. Botanic Garden, 245 First Street, SW, Washington DC. http://www.usbg.gov

23, Friday, Green Matters 2018: Restoring and Renewing Our Urban Landscapes: 8:30 am to 4:00 pm, fee and must register. Brookside Gardens, 1800 Glenallan Avenue, Wheaton, MD. http://www.brooksidegardens.org

24, Saturday, The Basics of Gardening, series of three individual classes taught by Prince William County Master Gardeners. Saturdays, 1:00 to 4:00, free and should register. This particular lecture is on basics such as botany, soils, seed starting containers, and rain gardens. Next classes are on March 3 and 10, Haymarket Gainesville Community Library, 14870 Lightner Road, Haymarket, VA. http://www.mgpw.org

24, Saturday, Winter Seminar, 8:45 am to 4:00 pm., fee and must register via Horticultural Society of Maryland website. Sponsored by Horticultural Society of Maryland and Perennial Plant Association; held at the Conference Center at Sheppard Pratt, 6501 N. Charles Street, Baltimore, MD. http://www.mdhorticulture.org

24, Saturday, How and Why of Pruning, 1:00 to 2:00 pm, fee and must register, American Plant Garden Center, 7405 River Road, Bethesda, MD. http://www.americanplant.net

24, Saturday, Vegetable Gardening Part 2: Planning and Preparation. 10:30 to noon. Westover Branch Library, 1644 N. McKinley Road, Arlington, or at Burke Branch Library, 4701 Seminary Road, Alexandria, on February 22, 7:00 to 8:30 pm. Hosted by Master Gardeners of Northern Virginia. Free, advance registration requested at http://www.mgnv.org

24, Saturday, Lecture: Orchids: Evolution, Physiology, and Biogeography of the Floral Rainbow by Todd Brethauer, 10:30 am to noon, free and registration required. U.S. Botanic Garden, 245 First Street, SW, Washington DC. http://www.usbg.gov

24, Saturday, Common Plant Problems and Solutions, 10:00 am, free and do not need to register. Merrifield location of the Merrifield Garden Center, http://www.merrifieldgardencenter.com

24, Saturday, Talk: Attracting Hummingbirds and Goldfinches, 11:00 am, free. Behnke Nurseries Garden Center, 11300 Baltimore Road, Beltsville, MD. http://www.behnkes.com/

24, Saturday, Wildlife Habitats: Plants for the Birds, Bees and Butterflies, 10:00 am, free and do not need to register. Fair Oaks location of the Merrifield Garden Center, http://www.merrifieldgardencenter.com

24, Saturday, Lecture: The Assassin’s Plot and the Physician’s Garden, 11:00 am to 1:00 pm. Jeffrey Day, MD, will discuss common biochemical mechanisms of plants that can harm humans or heal. Fee and must register. National Arboretum, 3501 New York Avenue, NE Washington DC. http://www.usna.usda.gov

24, Saturday, The Art of Pruning Trees, 10:00 am, free and do not need to register. Gainesville location of the Merrifield Garden Center, http://www.merrifieldgardencenter.com

24, Saturday, Plants and Design: Evergreens to Know and Grow, 10:30 to noon. Fee and must register, lecture will be inside and outside. Green Spring Gardens, 4603 Green Spring Road, Alexandria, VA. http://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/parks/greenspring

24, Saturday, Spring Garden Maintenance: Time to Prepare, 10:00 to 11:30 am, free and must register, Burke Nursery and Garden Center, 9401 Burke Road, Burke, VA. http://www.burkenursery.com

24, Saturday, 18th Annual Montgomery County Master Gardeners Spring Conference, 8:30 to 2:30 pm. Sponsored by University of Maryland Extension. Held at Montgomery County Agricultural History Farm Park, 18410 Muncaster Road, Derwood, MD. Fee and must register. https://extension.umd.edu/news/2018-spring-gardening-conference

24, Saturday, Garden Hand Tool Sharpening, 1:00 to 3:00 and again on Sunday, February 25 1:00 to 3:00. Fee for having tools sharpened; proceeds go to Emmanuel United Methodist Church Foodbank. Behnke Nurseries Garden Center, 11300 Baltimore Road, Beltsville, MD. http://www.behnkes.com/

24, Saturday, Webinar: Native Plants for Urban Design, 10:00 am to 11:00 am, Eastern time, fee and must register. Hosted by the Eco Landscape Alliance. http://www.ecolandscaping.org

25, Sunday, Garden Hand Tool Sharpening, 1:00 to 3:00 and again on Saturday, February 24 1:00 to 3:00. Fee for having tools sharpened; proceeds go to Emmanuel United Methodist Church Foodbank. Behnke Nurseries Garden Center, 11300 Baltimore Road, Beltsville, MD. http://www.behnkes.com/

25, Sunday, Winter Lecture Series: Harvesting Garden Water, 1:30 to 2:30 pm. Designer Michael Judd will show you how to manage and enhance the water resources on your land. Fee and must register. Green Spring Gardens, 4603 Green Spring Road, Alexandria, VA. http://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/parks/greenspring

25, Sunday, Starting Flowers and Vegetables from Seed, 1:00 pm, free. Behnke Nurseries Garden Center, 11300 Baltimore Road, Beltsville, MD. http://www.behnkes.com/

27, Tuesday, Lecture: Dogbanes and Milkweed, 7:30 pm., free and open to the public. Hosted by Maryland Native Plant Society, Kensington Library, 4201 Knowles Avenue, Kensington, MD. http://www.mdflora.org

27, Tuesday, Webinar: Beauty and the Beast: Bold and Fine Foliaged Plants Make Wonderful Dance Partners, 2:00 pm Eastern time, fee and must register. Presented by Kerry Ann Mendez, http://www.pyours.com

28, Wednesday, Workshop: Tree Planting, 6:00 to 9:00 pm., free but must register. Casey Trees, 3030 12th Street, NE, Washington, DC http://www.caseytrees.org

28, Wednesday, Water Conservation, DIY Sustainable Yard Series, 7:00 to 8:30 pm. Free. Westover Branch library, 1644 N. McKinley Blvd., Arlington, or at Beatley Central Library on February 14. Hosted by Master Gardeners of Northern Virginia. Advance registration requested at http://www.mgnv.org

28, Wednesday, Start Your Own Vegetable Seeds This Season, 6:30 to 8:00 pm. free. Sterling Library, 22330 South Sterling Boulevard, A117, Sterling, VA. Hosted by Loudoun County Master Gardeners. http://www.loudouncountymastergardeners.org

For the month of February, Tudor Place, 1644 31st Street, NW, Washington DC, has a reduced admission fee of only one dollar.

The Neighborhood Farm Initiative (NFI) has a kitchen garden education program that is a comprehensive, hands-on growing program at Fort Totten, one block from the Fort Totten Metro Station, Washington DC, NE. The program is intended for new and aspiring urban gardeners, whether one is an absolute beginner, or someone who is ready to take to it to the next level with cool weather crops. One will receive a garden plot, along with a year of instruction & guidance, and enough help & support. The NFI will provide the necessary supplies and materials, and access to the community tool shed. Program cost is $600. The NFI offers tuition assistance, on a sliding scale, for qualified applicants. http://www.neighborhoodfarminitiative.org

Ongoing exhibits are the Beautiful Blooms: Flowering Plants on Stamps until July 2019, at the National Postal Museum, 2 Massachusetts Avenue, NE Washington DC. http://www.postalmuseum.si.edu

And Cultivating America’s Gardens until August 2018 at the Smithsonian National Museum of American History, 1 West, 14th Street and Constitution Avenue NW, Washington DC. https://library.si.edu/exhibition/cultivating-americas-gardens

Many of you who attended the Garden Bloggers Fling last June remember Willowsford, that beautiful development with a farm in Loudoun County. Willowsford is home to a Landscape for Life session starting in February. This is a 6-session course and field trip in sustainable landscaping to teach homeowners and gardeners how to transform your home landscape into a healthy refuge that benefits birds, pollinators and other wildlife. Developed by the Ladybird Johnson Wildflower Center and the U.S. Botanic Garden, Landscape for Life is designed to teach you sustainable practices such as how your landscape affects the Chesapeake Bay Watershed; soil, water, habitat, and plants in a sustainable landscape; and successful plant practices. Students will meet on Tuesdays starting February 13 to April 4, 6:30 to 8:30 pm, with an April 4 snow date and a field trip on April 7. Fee and must register, classes will be at the Sycamore House, 23506 Founders Drive, Ashburn, VA. Willowsford is a great setting for this class.

Seed Swaps: Share Your Seeds and Try New Varieties

It’s that time of year again — seed swaps! National Seed Swap Day is this Saturday, January 27, the last Saturday in January. Seed swaps are a great way to obtain new seeds, share your favorite seeds, and attend a fun event. A seed swap can be as simple as friends getting together to share seeds they saved from the previous gardening season to an all-day planned event with speakers, door prizes, and refreshments. Seed swaps can be a vehicle to teach others how to save seed, the importance of seed diversity, heirloom seeds, and other aspects of gardening. Some organizations exchange more than seeds, tables may be set up to collect used gardening books, magazines, tools, pots, and nursery catalogs. Some may expand their definition of seeds to allow bulbs, rhizomes, and cuttings. Others include related activities such as learning to make handmade seed envelopes.

seeds of blackberry lilies are easy to pick and save

Each swap is different but usually organizers have established guidelines. They may prescribe the preferred container, the number of seed in each bag, and the information required on the label. Organizers should clarify if commercial seed packages or hybrid seeds are accepted. Although no one want seeds from invasive plants, the organizers should clarify the definition of an invasive plant in that geographic area.

If you are interested in attending a seed swap, ask your local county extension agent or Master Gardeners if they know of seed swaps in your area. Check out my monthly list of local gardening events for seed swaps in the Washington DC metro area (three are listed below for this Saturday). Kathy Jentz, owner of the Washington Gardener Magazine, which hosts two events annually, keeps a running list of seed swaps across the country.

tiger beans are not only easy to save but beautiful

If you are interested in starting a seed swap, visit a few first to see the range of activities that could take place and the number of volunteers it would require. Read Seedswap: The Gardener’s Guide to Saving and Swapping Seeds by Josie Jeffery and download the Seed Savers Exchange’s 8-page handout on how to organize a seed swap. Talk with other organizers to learn how to determine guidelines for accepting seed, the process to avoid a mad stampede to the seed table, and possible fun activities or speakers. Determine if you want a simple seed swap or a community event with speakers and an agenda. Now is the time to attend the seed swaps this year in order to plan your swap for next year.

The Washington Gardener Seed Exchange occurs every January-February with speakers and door prizes at Brookside Gardens, Wheaton, MD, and Green Spring Gardens, Alexandria, VA. This year, the Brookside Garden event will be on Saturday, January 27 and the Green Spring Garden event will be on Saturday, February 10. These are from 12:30 to 4:00 pm. There is a fee and registration is done via brownpapertickets.com. 

The Northern Shenandoah Valley Master Gardeners will host a seed exchange with vendors and book/magazine swap at the Blandy Experimental Farm Library, Blandy Farm, Boyce, VA;  January 27, 10:00 am to 2:00 pm, free.

The Central Rappahannock Extension Master Gardeners will host a seed swap, with speakers, door prizes, and refreshments at Central Rappahannock Regional Library, 1201 Caroline Street (theater), Fredericksburg, VA, on Saturday January 27, 10:00 am to 3:00 pm, free.

Discovering New Gardening Products at the Mid-Atlantic Nursery Trade Show

As mentioned in my January 14th article, last week I attended the Mid-Atlantic Nursery Trade Show (MANTS), an annual horticulture trade show at the Baltimore Convention Center.  MANTS is one of the largest shows with over 10,000 attendees and almost a thousand companies exhibiting at booths in the Convention Center. Almost all the companies are wholesale, they are not selling directly to customers or to press such as myself. However, I enjoy attending because it provides me a glimpse of new products and plants and trends in the gardening world.

There were a few products that caught my eye and although the companies attended MANTS for wholesale orders, these companies below said they sell directly to gardeners through their websites.

Through a fellow Garden Writers Association member Ruth Rogers Clausen, I met Dorian Winslow, president of Womanswork, a women-owned, family business in New York.  Womanswork specializes in gloves that fit well for women (although they also sell gloves for men), gardening aprons, raffia and cotton hats, gardening tools, and related items such as hand cream and poison ivy soap. This company sells to garden centers and online directly to gardeners. For over 30 years, they have been specializing in gloves designed to fit women’s hands. Ruth attested to that, she has been using the products for so many years, she is even featured in their catalog. Not only was Dorian a delightful person to talk with but I also found out that she was interviewed recently by one of my favorite podcasters, Jennifer Jewell of Cultivating Place.

I also had the pleasure of seeing Mark Highland again, owner of Organic Mechanics Soil Company, a manufacturer and distributor of premier organic and peat-free potting soils and soil amendments in Pennsylvania. Gardeners can buy products from the site or search the retailer locator for stores. Mark gave a presentation at the Garden Bloggers Fling in June and generously gave us samples of Fuhgeddaboudit! Root Zone Feeder Packs. These small packages of fertilizer, mycorrhizae, biochar, azomite, and micronized oyster shell are placed under or next to a plant’s root ball when planting to help the plant get established. At MANTS, he gave a presentation on Biochar Blend, a bag of biochar, compost, worm castings, bone char, azomite, zeolite, alfalfa meal, and kelp meal. Biochar is highly porous carbon that improves nutrition absorption and provides a permanent home for beneficial soil biology. Biochar can help boost yields and increase the effectiveness of plants’ growth — the best part is that it only has be applied once and will last a lifetime. Mark also published Practical Organic Gardening: The No-Nonsense Guide to Growing Naturally (Cool Springs Press, 2017).

One company that was new to me was City Farmer USA, based in Nevada. Bruce Lebish, president, explained that his company sells raised, plastic planters that gardeners could order directly from their website. They have to be assembled (the instructions on their website look simple) and the models they had at MANTS were black with a strong oriental/bamboo texture because of their woven sides. 

Apparently this woven side is a patented ventilation design that promotes healthy root systems and the patented base retain water. The basket (where you put the soil and plants) is either 16 inches high from the ground or 30 inches, eliminating the need to bend down (may also be wheelchair friendly). There are different sizes and if you buy a few configurations and line them up they would create a very beautiful container appearance on a deck or patio.

More new products and plants in future articles!

Peg’s Picks: January 2018 Gardening Events in the Washington DC Metro Area

It’s cold outside but there are still more than 40 gardening events, lectures, workshops in January in the Washington DC Metro Area.

4, Thursday, Webinar: Nonstop Plants — Making a 365-day Garden, 6:30 to 8:00 pm EST. Fee and must register. Presented by Margaret Roach. http://www.awaytogarden.com

4, Thursday, Lecture: Beginning Bonsai by Tim Ohlwiler, Fauquier County Horticulture Extension Agent, free and open to the public, 7:00 pm, Rust Library, 380 Old Waterford Road, NW Leesburg, VA. Sponsored by the Loudoun County Master Gardeners. http://www.loudouncountymastergardeners.org

6, Saturday, first Saturday guided walk 10 to 11:00 am. Free. Adkins Arboretum, 12610 Eveland Road, Ridgely, MD. http://www.adkinsarboretum.org

6, Saturday, Workshop: Beginners Hands on Bonsai Class, 2 to 4 pm, fee and registration required. Behnke Nurseries Garden Center, 11300 Baltimore Road, Beltsville, MD. http://www.behnkes.com/

6, Saturday through Thursday January 18, Exhibit: Bonsai Winter Silhouettes, 10:00 am to 4:00 pm and free. National Bonsai and Penjing Museum Exhibit Gallery at the U.S. National Arboretum, 3501 New York Avenue, NE Washington DC. Also, the current exhibit of bonsai entitled “Viewing Stones: Falling Into Winter” will end on February 3.  http://www.usna.usda.gov

8, Monday, Lecture: Microgreens: what are they, why they are so fabulous, and how to grow them, 7-8 pm, free, advance registration requested at mgnv.org. Barrett Branch Library, 717 Queen Street, Alexandria, VA. Presented by Master Gardeners of Northern Virginia, also offered on Saturday, January 13, 10:30 to noon at Westover Branch Library. http://www.mgnv.org

10, Wednesday, registration opens for RootingDC which will be on March 3 in Washington DC. http://www.rootingdc.org

12, Friday, Garden Talk: Fixes for a Tired Garden, 2 to 3 pm. Fee and must register. Green Spring Gardens, 4603 Green Spring Road, Alexandria, VA. http://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/parks/greenspring

13, Saturday, Lecture: The Very Best Tried and True Houseplants and Their Care, 11:00 am. Free and registration requested, Behnke Nurseries Garden Center, 11300 Baltimore Road, Beltsville, MD. http://www.behnkes.com/

13, Saturday, Lecture: Lessons from Martha’s Farm by head gardener, Ryan McCallister, 10 to 11 am. Free and must register. Homestead Gardens, 743 West Central Avenue, Davidsonville, MD. http://www.homesteadgardens.com

13, Saturday, Lecture: Microgreens: what are they, why they are so fabulous, and how to grow them, 10:30 to noon, free, advance registration requested at mgnv.org. Westover Branch Library, 1644 N. McKinley Road, Arlington, VA. Also offered on Monday, January 8, at Barrett Branch Library.  Presented by Master Gardeners of Northern Virginia. http://www.mgnv.org

16, Tuesday, outdoor winter walking tour of Brookside Gardens by staff Phil Normandy, 1-2:30 pm, fee and registration required. Brookside Gardens, 1800 Glenallan Avenue, Wheaton, MD. http://www.brooksidegardens.org

17, Wednesday, Landscape Design Basics: DIY Sustainable Yard Series, 7:00 to 8:30 pm, free, advance registration requested at mgnv.org. Beatley Central library, 5005 Duke Street, Alexandria, VA. Also offered on January 30 at the Westover Branch Library. http://www.mgnv.org

17, Wednesday, Webinar: For the Birds, 6:30 to 8:00 pm EST, fee and must register. Presented by Margaret Roach. http://www.awaytogarden.com

19, Friday, Lecture: The Governance and Stewardship of Urban Nature: Forests, Farms and Streetcorners, noon to 1:00 pm, free and must register. U.S. Botanic Garden, 245 First Street, SW, Washington DC. http://www.usbg.gov

20, Saturday, Class: Trees 101, 10 am to 3 pm, free and must register. Provides a foundation in tree anatomy, basic tree identification, and an overview of how trees function to provide the benefit we enjoy in the urban forest. Casey Trees, 3030 12th Street NE Washington DC. http://www.caseytrees.org

20, Saturday, Workshop: Kokodama – the art of crafting living mossballs, 10:00 – 11:30 am, fee and registration required. Brookside Gardens, 1800 Glenallan Avenue, Wheaton, MD. http://www.brooksidegardens.org

20, Saturday, Lecture: Thoreau and the language of trees, 10:30 to noon, free but must register. U.S. Botanic Garden, 245 First Street, SW, Washington DC. http://www.usbg.gov

20, Saturday, and 21, Sunday, Garden Tool Sharpening, 1:00 to 3:00 pm, bring in up to two garden hand tools per person and have them sharpened. Fee and cash only. Proceeds will be donated to Emmanuel United Methodist Church Foodbank. Also offered on January 27 and 28. Behnke Nurseries Garden Center, 11300 Baltimore Road, Beltsville, MD. http://www.behnkes.com/

20, Saturday and 21, Sunday, Orchid Diagnostic and Repotting Clinic, 9:30 to 4:30 pm. Free but if want orchid to be repotted will be done for a fee. Behnke Nurseries Garden Center, 11300 Baltimore Road, Beltsville, MD. http://www.behnkes.com/

21, Sunday, Winter Lecture Series: Trees Find Their Voice, 1:30 to 2:30 pm, Green Spring Historian Debbie Waugh reveals what trees can tell us through the science of dendrochronology. Fee and must register. Green Spring Gardens, 4603 Green Spring Road, Alexandria, VA. http://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/parks/greenspring

25, Thursday, Webinar: A Striking Sustainable Flower Garden, 2:00 pm EST. Fee and must register. Presented by Kerry Ann Mendez, owner of Perennially Yours. http://www.pyours.com

25, Thursday, Vegetable Gardening Part 1: Seed Selection, Starting and Saving, 7:00 to 8:30 pm, free and advance registration requested at mgnv.org. Burke Branch Library, 4701 Seminary Road, Alexandria, VA. Also offered on January 27 at the Westover Branch Library. http://www.mgnv.org

25, Thursday, Webinar: Garden Writing for Everyone, 6:30 to 8:00 pm EST, fee and must register, Presented by Margaret Roach, http://www.awaytogarden.com

27, Saturday, Class: Pruning 101 Workshop, 10:00 am to 1:00 pm, free and must register. Learn how to prune trees with manual tools such as hand pruners and pole saws. Hosted by Casey Trees. Workshop will be held at the American Elm Nursery, 50 Marina Drive, Alexandria. http://www.caseytrees.org

27, Saturday, Vegetable Gardening Part 1: Seed Selection, Starting and Saving, 10:30 am to noon, free advance registration requested at mgnv.org. Westover Branch Library, 1644 N. McKinley Road, Arlington VA. Also offered on January 25 at the Burke Branch Library. http://www.mgnv.org

27, Saturday, Gardener’s Focus: Holly and False Holly, 10:00 am to noon, fee and registration required. Is an inside lecture and will do outside walking tour if weather permits. Brookside Gardens, 1800 Glenallan Avenue, Wheaton, MD. http://www.brooksidegardens.org

27, Saturday, Washington Gardener Magazine seed exchange, 12:30 to 4:00 pm. Fee and must register. Event will be at Brookside Gardens, 1800 Glenallan Avenue, Wheaton, MD, but must register via brownpapertickets.com. Also offered at Green Spring Garden on February 10. WGSeedExchange-brookside.brownpapertickets.com   http://www.brooksidegardens.org

27, Saturday, Lecture: Rock Gardens: Natural and Designed, 10:30 to noon, free and must register. U.S. Botanic Garden, 245 First Street, SW, Washington DC. http://www.usbg.gov

27, Saturday, Lecture: Snake Oil Revisited: Plant Medicine in American History, 2-3:30 pm, free and must register. U.S. Botanic Garden, 245 First Street, SW, Washington DC. http://www.usbg.gov

27, Saturday, 8th Annual Seed Exchange, 10:00 am to 2:00 pm, free. Hosted by the Northern Shenandoah Valley Master Gardeners at the Blandy Experimental Farm Library, Blandy Farm, 400 Blandy Lane, Boyce, VA. http://www.nsvmga.org/projects/blandy-seed-exchange/

27, Saturday, Seed Swap, 10 to 3, free. Hosted by Central Rappahannock Extension Master Gardeners. Central Rappahannock Regional Library, 1201 Caroline Street (theater), Fredericksburg, VA http://www.mgacra.org/seed-swap-event.html

27, Saturday, Lecture: Squirrels, Groundhogs and Rabbits — Oh My! 11:00 am, free and registration requested. Behnke Nurseries Garden Center, 11300 Baltimore Road, Beltsville, MD. http://www.behnkes.com/

27, Saturday, and 28, Sunday, Garden Tool Sharpening, 1:00 to 3:00 pm, bring in up to two garden hand tools per person and have them sharpened. Fee and cash only. Proceeds will be donated to Emmanuel United Methodist Church Foodbank. Also offered on January 20 and 21. Behnke Nurseries Garden Center, 11300 Baltimore Road, Beltsville, MD. http://www.behnkes.com/

28, Saturday, Lecture: The art of planting Terrariums and Dish Gardens, noon, free and registration requested. Then, from 2 to 4 pm, there will be a workshop, a potting party with terrariums and dish gardens for a fee plus cost of materials. Registration required. Behnke Nurseries Garden Center, 11300 Baltimore Road, Beltsville, MD. http://www.behnkes.com/

28, Saturday, Workshop: Potting Party with Terrariums and Dish Gardens, 2:00 to 4:00 pm, fee plus cost of materials, registration required. Behnke Nurseries Garden Center, 11300 Baltimore Road, Beltsville, MD. http://www.behnkes.com/

28, Sunday, Winter Lecture Series: The Humane Gardener, 1:30 to 2:30 pm. Fee and must register. Author Nancy Lawson describes how and why you should welcome wildlife to your backyard. Green Spring Gardens, 4603 Green Spring Road, Alexandria, VA. http://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/parks/greenspring

29, Monday, Lecture: Starting Seeds Indoors … Getting a head start on your garden, 1-3 pm. Free. Walter Reed Community and Senior Center, 2909 S. 16th Street, Arlington. For more information and for registration go to http://bit.ly/VCESenior or contact LeeAnne Kaniut (703) 228-0955.

30, Tuesday, Landscape Design Basics: DIY Sustainable Yard Series, 7:00 pm to 8:30 pm, free and advance registration requested at mgnv.org. Westover Branch Library, 1644 N. McKinley Road, Arlington, VA. Also offered on January 17 at the Beatley Central Library, 5005 Duke Street, Alexandria, VA. http://www.mgnv.org

February 1, Webinar: Foodscaping Gardening, 7-8:30 pm EST. Fee and must register. Presented by Charlie Nardozzi. http://www.gardeningwithcharlie.com

The Fairfax County Soil and Water Conservation District’s annual native seedling sale selections are available for viewing at their website. Orders can be placed in the beginning of February and seedlings are picked up in April. This is your chance to plant native shrubs and trees for a nominal fee. https://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/soil-water-conservation/native-seedling-sale

The Neighborhood Farm Initiative (NFI) has a kitchen garden education program that is a comprehensive, hands-on growing program at Fort Totten, one block from the Fort Totten Metro Station, Washington DC, NE. The program is intended for new and aspiring urban gardeners, whether you are an absolute beginner, or someone who is ready to take to it to the next level with cool weather crops. You will receive your own garden plot, along with a year of instruction & guidance, and enough help & support to get you growing. We provide all the necessary supplies and materials, and access to the community tool shed, you just bring your commitment to grow! Program cost is $600. The NFI offers tuition assistance, on a sliding scale, for qualified applicants. For more information, check their website at http://www.neighborhoodfarminitiative.org

Merrifield Garden Center’s 2018 classes and workshops will begin again on January 20. Check out their website for the list or even better get on their mailing list so you receive the flyer in the mail because it always has coupons. http://www.merrifieldgardencenter.com.