Category Archives: Events

Visit Private Gardens in Frederick Maryland Through Garden Conservancy’s Open Day Program

Surreybrooke, photo courtesy of Garden Conservancy

The Garden Conservancy’s Open Day program will have an Open Day in Frederick, Maryland, on Saturday, June 10, from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm, rain or shine. It will include six private gardens and two Experts in the Garden programs. Admission to each garden is $7. Discounted admission tickets can be purchased in advance; tickets never expire and can be used at most Open Days.

High Glenn Gardens, photo courtesy of C. Kurt Holden

Open Days is an annual program where private gardens are open to the public on specific days across the country. This program is produced almost entirely by volunteers. This is the first time there will be an Open Day in Frederick and is a once in a lifetime opportunity to visit these private gardens. Visit the gardens on your own, in any order. Street addresses are available on the website as well as a map to create your route. Proceeds support the Garden Conservancy’s mission of saving and sharing outstanding American gardens for the inspiration and education of the public.

  • High Glen Gardens: Currently a 64-acre, private estate with plans to become a public garden one day. There are 10 acres of formal gardens, a large perennial border, a rose garden, annual beds, a koi pond, greenhouse, Japanese garden, Mediterranean garden, and an English cottage garden. There are newly restored natural areas including a wetland and upland meadow. High Glen Gardens will feature the Experts in the Garden program where Executive Director, Peter Couchman, and staff will offer free, hourly guided tours.
  • Kremers Paradise: Garden has a stone wall lined pool and several small waterfalls. Nearby is a raised cutting garden and a tennis court with mature river birches, cherry trees, London plane trees and a Norwegian spruce.
  • Lillard Residence: Groves of hardwood trees provide a shady retreat. A meandering path serves as an entrance into the garden. There are planters of annuals and succulents and a small pond.
  • Meadow Brook Manor: Two-acre garden planted by plant lovers. A tree lined driveway with thirty kousa dogwoods, beds of vinca, burning bush, barberries, holly and hosta. There is a monkey puzzle tree and cedars and plenty of summer flowers, roses, and alliums. There is a Japanese garden with a koi pond and a night blooming tropical lilies.
  • Winpenny Tell Garden: This is the owners’ country retreat intended to provide solace with a gentle brook, koi pond, and ornamental grasses and perennials to provide seasonal color.
  • Surreybrooke: Surreybrook has extensive gardens and a Civil war era house and outbuildings. Plants will be available for sale.  Surreybrooke will feature the Experts in the Garden program: Nancy Walz and her staff will offer tours throughout the day.

Celebrate National Public Gardens Day on Friday, May 12

This Friday is National Public Gardens Day, an annual tradition of celebrating public gardens on the Friday preceding Mother’s Day weekend. Communities nationwide are invited to explore the diverse beauty of their local green spaces and to take advantage of the conservation, education and environmental preservation resources that public gardens provide.

The American Public Garden Association (APGA) manages a database of APGA-member gardens participating in National Public Gardens Day. The APGA is the leading professional organization for the field of public horticulture serving public gardens. People can view the database to see which public gardens are having celebrations in their area but be advised that this is a self-reporting tool, it is up to the members to inform APGA of their plans to provide discounts, promotions, demonstrations, and other great celebratory incentives to visitors. There also are non APGA member gardens that celebrate National Public Garden Day as well so it is best to call your local public garden or arboretum to see if they have planned any special activities.

In the Greater Washington DC area, the following APGA member gardens have special activities for Friday, as posted in the database:

Maryland

Adkins Arboretum

Historic London Town and Gardens

Virginia

James Madison’s Montpelier

Lewis Ginter Botanical Gardens

Green Spring Gardens is an APGA member but you will find their activities on their own website at http://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/parks/greenspring

Washington DC

U.S. Botanic Garden

Smithsonian Gardens

Tudor Place Historic House and Garden

Peg’s Picks: May 2017 Gardening Events in the Washington DC Metro Area

May has more than 60 gardening events, workshops, lectures, plant sales, and home and garden tours in the greater Washington DC area.

2, Tuesday, Gardener’s Focus: Woodland Path, 2:45 pm. Fee is included in suggested donation, limited tickets.  Also offered on Thursday, May 4, and Saturday May 6 at same time. Hillwood Estate, Museum, and Gardens, 4155 Linnean Avenue, NW, Washington DC. http://www.hillwoodmuseum.org

2, Tuesday, Container and Balcony Gardening, 7-8:30 pm, free but advance registration requested. Presented by VCE Master Gardeners. Fairlington Community Center, 3308 S. Stafford Street, Arlington. http://www.mgnv.org

3, Wednesday, Foraging for Wild Edibles. 7:00 pm. Wednesdays in the Garden Series, led by Arlington Food Assistance Center volunteers and Master Gardeners. Arlington Central Library, 1015 N. Quincy Street, Arlington VA; (703) 228-5990, free and no need to register. http://www.library.arlingtonva.us/events/garden-talks

3, Wednesday, Lecture: A Year in Half Circle Garden, by Dave Leaverton. Sponsored by Annapolis Horticultural Society, 7:00 pm, open to the public, and free. St. Anne’s Parish Hall, 199 Duke of Gloucester Street, Annapolis, MD. http://www.annapolishorticulture.org

4, Thursday, Gardener’s Focus: Woodland Path, 2:45 pm. Fee is included in suggested donation, limited tickets.  Also offered on Tuesday, May 2, and Saturday May 6 at same time. Hillwood Estate, Museum, and Gardens, 4155 Linnean Avenue, NW, Washington DC. http://www.hillwoodmuseum.org

4, Thursday, Getaway: Charlottesville Private Gardens, 7:00 am to 6:00 pm. Coach bus leaves from Green Spring, is an all day trip. Fee and must register in advance at www.fairfaxcounty.gov/parks/parktakes. Green Spring Gardens, 4603 Green Spring Road, Alexandria, VA. http://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/parks/greenspring

5, Friday, Lecture: Epic Tomatoes from YOUR gardens: Stories, history and tips for success by Craig LeHoullier, gardening author and lecturer, noon to 1:00 pm, Free and pre-registration required. Conservatory Classroom, U.S. Botanic Garden, 245 First Street, SW, Washington DC. http://www.usbg.gov

5, Friday, Garden Talks with Master Gardeners: Gardening for Birds, 1:30 to 2:30, fee and must register in advance at www.fairfaxcounty.gov/parks/parktakes. Green Spring Gardens, 4603 Green Spring Road, Alexandria, VA. http://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/parks/greenspring

5, Friday, 10 to 6; and 6, Saturday, 10 to 5, Flower-Mart at the Washington National Cathedral, 3101 Wisconsin Avenue, NW, Washington DC. Free. http://www.allhallowsguild.org/Flower-Mart/flower-mart/

5, Friday and 6, Saturday and 12 and 13, 9 to 5 pm. Lavender Field Farm Spring Herb Faire. Free admission and parking, rain or shine. 11300 Winfrey Road, Glen Allen, VA. http://www.lavenderfieldsfarm.com

6, Saturday, plant (seedling) sales, 10:00 am to 2:00 pm., Eastern Senior High School, 1700 East Capitol Street NE. Hosted by Mighty Greens. http://cityblossoms.org/mightygreens/

6, Saturday, Gardener’s Focus: Woodland Path, 2:45 pm. Fee is included in suggested donation, limited tickets.  Also offered on Thursday, May 4, and Tuesday, May 2 at same time. Hillwood Estate, Museum, and Gardens, 4155 Linnean Avenue, NW, Washington DC. http://www.hillwoodmuseum.org

6, Saturday, Hanging Basket Workshop, 10:00 am to noon and 1:30 to 3:30. Fee and must register. Hillwood Estate, Museum, and Gardens, 4155 Linnean Avenue, NW, Washington DC. http://www.hillwoodmuseum.org

6, Saturday, Teacup Topiaries, 10:00 to 11:30 am. Fee and must register in advance at www.fairfaxcounty.gov/parks/parktakes. Green Spring Gardens, 4603 Green Spring Road, Alexandria, VA. http://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/parks/greenspring

6, Saturday, Ladew Garden Festival: Specialty Plants and Garden Ornaments, 10 to 4:00 pm, free. Ladew Topiary Garden, 3535 Jarrettsville Pike, Monkton, MD. http://www.ladewgardens.com

6, Saturday, 1:30 to 5:00; 7, Sunday,  9:30 to 4:30 pm; 20, Saturday, 1:30 to 5:00 pm; 21, Sunday, 9:30 to 4:30 pm Orchid Diagnostic and Repotting Clinic. Free advice but a fee for repotting. Behnke Nurseries Garden Center, 11300 Baltimore Avenue, Beltsville, MD. http://www.behnkes.com

6, Saturday, Summer Annual Container, 10:00 am to noon, fee and registration required Brookside Gardens, 1800 Glenallan Avenue, Wheaton, MD. http://www.brooksidegardens.org

6, Saturday, Carroll County; and 13, Saturday, Baltimore County/Oella: Maryland House & Garden Pilgrimage, tickets required. http://www.mhgp.org

6, Saturday, Confidential Backyard Composting, 9:00 am to noon. Teaching Garden at St. Benedict Monastery. Hosted by the Prince William Master Gardeners. 9535, Linton Hall Road, Bristow, VA. Free but must register and dress for weather. http://www.pwcgov.org/grow

6, Saturday, Sustainable Landscaping 4: Maintaining the Sustainable Yard, 9:00 am to noon, free but advance registration requested. Hosted by Master Gardeners of Northern Virginia. Fairlington Community Center, 3308 S. Stafford Street, Arlington. http://www.mgnv.org

6, Saturday, Transitioning from a spring to summer vegetable garden, 10 to 11:00 am. Free garden talk followed by a Q&A session, Saturday in the Garden Series hosted by the Loudoun County Master Gardeners, Loudoun County Master Gardeners’ demo garden, Ida Lee Park, Leesburg, VA. http://www.loudouncountymastergardeners.org

6, Saturday, noon to 5:00 pm. May Day Music Festival, Potomac Overlook Park, 2845 Marcey Road, Arlington. Meet the Master Gardeners who maintain the Organic Vegetable Demonstration Garden. They will be available during the festival to answer organic gardening questions. Free, no registration necessary. http://www.mgnv.org

7, Sunday, Glencarlyn Library Community Garden Plant Sale, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., 300 S Kensington St, Arlington, VA. Hosted by the Master Gardeners of Northern Virginia. http://www.mgnv.org

7, Sunday, Takoma Park House and Garden Tour, 1:00 to 5:00 pm. Ticket required. http://www.historictakoma.org

7, Sunday, Spring Open House and Plant Sale (local ecotype plants), 10:00 am to 2:00 pm. EarthSangha Nursery is in Franconia Park, Cloud Drive, Springfield VA. http://www.earthsangha.org

9, Tuesday, Obsession and Exploitation: A Cultural History of Trilliums, presented by C. Colston Burrell, sponsored by the Horticultural Society of Maryland. 7:30 pm. Vollmer Center Auditorium, Cylburn Arboretum, 4915 Greenspring Avenue, Baltimore, MD. members free, nonmembers fee. http://www.mdhorticulture.org

9, Tuesday, 11:00 to noon, Simpson Gardens Stroll at the Simpson Park Demonstration Gardens, 420 E. Monroe Street, Alexandria, free and no registration necessary. Talk with Master Gardeners who maintain the garden. http://www.mgnv.org

10, Wednesday, Gardening with Your Children. 7:00 pm. Wednesdays in the Garden Series, led by Arlington Food Assistance Center volunteers and Master Gardeners. Arlington Central Library, 1015 N. Quincy Street, Arlington VA; (703) 228-5990, free and no need to register. http://www.library.arlingtonva.us/events/garden-talks

11, Thursday, Wings and Wine, 7:00 to 9:00 pm, fee and registration required. Learn about butterflies, sample several wine varieties and enjoy light refreshment as butterflies and music swirl around in the tropical conservatory. Finish off the evening with a decadent desert. Brookside Gardens, 1800 Glenallan Avenue, Wheaton, MD. http://www.brooksidegardens.org

11, Thursday, Behind the scenes at the US. Botanic garden production facility, 10:30 to 11:30 am, meet in the lobby of the production facility, pre-registration required. Also on Wednesday May 24, 10:30 am to noon. U.S. Botanic Garden, 245 First Street, SW, Washington DC. http://www.usbg.gov

11, Thursday, Bethesda Community Garden Club plant sale, 7:00 am to 1:00 pm., Bethesda Farm Women’s Market, 7155 Wisconsin Avenue, Bethesda, MD. http://www.bethesdacommunitygardenclub.org

13, Saturday, Growing a Cutting Garden, 10:00 to 11:30 am, Fee and must register. Brookside Gardens, 1800 Glenallan Avenue, Wheaton, MD. http://www.brooksidegardens.org

13, Saturday, Market Day, 8:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. admission is free but there is a fee to park, Cylburn Arboretum, 4915 Greenspring Avenue, Baltimore, MD. http://www.cylburn.org

13, Saturday, Beltsville Garden Club Plant Sale, 8:00 am to noon, High Point High School parking lot, 3601 Powder Mill Road, Beltsville, MD, sponsored by the Beltsville Garden Club, http://www.beltsvillegardenclub.org

13, Saturday, Silver Spring Garden Club’s GardenMart plant sale, 9:00 am to 2:00 pm. Brookside Gardens, Visitors Center South Terrace, 1800 Glenallan Avenue, Wheaton, MD http://www.brooksidegardens.org

13, Saturday, Georgetown Garden Tour, 10:00 am to 5:00 pm. Tickets required. Headquarters is Christ Church, 31st and O Street NW. http://www.georgetowngardenclubdc.org

13, Saturday, 4:00 to 7:00 pm and Sunday, 14, noon to 5:00 pm. Capitol Hill Restoration Society’s Annual House and Garden Tour. Tickets required. http://www.chrs.org

13, Saturday, Vegetable Gardening Throughout the Year, 2:00 pm, free. Behnke Nurseries Garden Center, 11300 Baltimore Avenue, Beltsville, MD. http://www.behnkes.com

13, Saturday, Container Garden Workshop: Bright Summer Annuals, 10:00 am to 11:00 am or 1:00 to 2:00 pm. Fee and must register. Hillwood Estate, Museum, and Gardens, 4155 Linnean Avenue, NW, Washington DC. http://www.hillwoodmuseum.org

13, Saturday, Great Falls Garden Club plant sale, 9:00 am to 1:00 pm, Great Falls Library, 9830 Georgetown Pike, Great Falls, VA. http://www.gfgardenclub.org

14, Sunday, Small Space Vegetable Gardening 2:00 pm. free. Behnke Nurseries Garden Center, 11300 Baltimore Avenue, Beltsville, MD. http://www.behnkes.com

13 & 14, Saturday (10 to 6) and Sunday (10 to 5), Annual DC Green Festival at the Washington DC Convention Center, Admission fee. https://www.greenfestivals.org/washington-d-c-2017-may-12-14.html#!243

16, Tuesday, Garden Program: Gable Rhododendrons. 7:30 to 8:30 pm. fee and must register in advance at www.fairfaxcounty.gov/parks/parktakes. Green Spring Gardens, 4603 Green Spring Road, Alexandria, VA. http://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/parks/greenspring

17, Wednesday, Weeds 101: Keeping Those Weeds at Bay. 7:00 pm. Wednesdays in the Garden Series, led by Arlington Food Assistance Center volunteers and Master Gardeners. Arlington Central Library, 1015 N. Quincy Street, Arlington VA; (703) 228-5990, free and no need to register. http://www.library.arlingtonva.us/events/garden-talks

20, Saturday, Workshop: Growing Dahlias, 2-3:30 pm. Fee and must register, Greenhouse Classroom at Cylburn Arboretum, 4915 Greenspring Avenue, Baltimore, MD. http://www.cylburn.org

20, Saturday, Spring Garden Day — the Big Plant Sale, 9 am-3 pm. Sponsored by Friends of Green Spring. Free admission. Green Spring Gardens, 4603 Green Spring Road, Alexandria, VA. http://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/parks/greenspring/

 20, Saturday, Gail Gee’s Peony Garden, 9:30 am to 12:30 pm. Fee, which includes transportation and snack.  Must register. Meet at the Visitors Center at Brookside to visit a Fulton MD garden with more than 400 peonies. Brookside Gardens, 1800 Glenallan Avenue, Wheaton, MD. http://www.brooksidegardens.org

20, Saturday, Herb Garden Container Workshop, 10:00 am to noon or 1:30 to 3:30 pm. Fee and must register. Hillwood Estate, Museum, and Gardens, 4155 Linnean Avenue, NW, Washington DC. http://www.hillwoodmuseum.org

20, Saturday, and 21, Sunday, Loudoun County, VA, Spring Farm Tour, 10:00 am to 4:00 pm, free, self-guided tour in Loudoun County, no tickets required. See map and participating farms as well as craft beverages and special events. http://www.loudounfarms.org

20, Saturday, and 21, Sunday, 1:00 to 5:00 pm, Beyond the Garden Gates Garden Tour of gardens in downtown Frederick, MD. Tickets required.  http://www.celebratefrederick.com/events/garden-tour/

 21, Sunday, 2-5 pm, Annual Shepherd Park Citizens Association Garden tour, ticket required. Self-guided tour of gardens in Shepherd Park in Northwest Washington DC. http://www.shepherdpark.org/garden.html

22, Monday, Lawn Substitute: Easy Alternatives for Beauty and Nature. 7:00 to 8:30 pm., free and no registration necessary. Mt. Vernon Recreation Center, 270 Commonwealth Avenue, Alexandria. http://www.mgnv.org

23, Tuesday, Rediscover Bartholdi Park, 10:30 to 11:30 am, Tour meets by the Bartholdi Park Fountain, free, pre-registration required. U.S. Botanic Garden, 245 First Street, SW, Washington DC. http://www.usbg.gov

24, Wednesday, Behind the scenes at the US. Botanic garden production facility, 10:30 to noon, meet in the lobby of the production facility, pre-registration required. Also on Thursday May 11, 10:30 am to 11:30 am. U.S. Botanic Garden, 245 First Street, SW, Washington DC. http://www.usbg.gov

24, Wednesday, Lecture: Franciscan Monastery Gardens, 7:30 pm, free and open to the public. Sponsored by the Beltsville Garden Club, Duckworth School, 11201 Evans Trail, Beltsville, MD. http://www.beltsvillegardenclub.org

24, Wednesday, Garden Structure: Support, Going Vertical and Rabbit and Deer Control. 7:00 pm. Wednesdays in the Garden Series, led by Arlington Food Assistance Center volunteers and Master Gardeners. Arlington Central Library, 1015 N. Quincy Street, Arlington VA; (703) 228-5990, free and no need to register. http://www.library.arlingtonva.us/events/garden-talks

24, Wednesday, Lecture: Nature’s Temples: The Complex World of Old-Growth Forests with Joan Maloof, (author of same book), 7:00 – 9:00 pm. Book signing. Fee and must register, Cylburn Arboretum, 4915 Greenspring Avenue, Baltimore, MD. http://www.cylburn.org

25, Thursday, Mosquitos and Ticks: Identification and Control, 7-8:30 pm, Burke Library, 4701 Seminary Road, Alexandria. Sponsored by Master Gardeners of Northern Virginia. Free and advance registration requested. http://www.mgnv.org

27, Saturday, Baltimore Herb Festival 2017 Year of Cilantro, 9:30 am to 3:00 pm, Leakin Park, 1920 Eagle Park, Baltimore, outdoor rain or shine, fee but free parking, http://www.baltimoreherbfestival.com

27, Saturday, Herb Gardening: From the Everyday to the Unusual, 2:00 pm, free. Behnke Nurseries Garden Center, 11300 Baltimore Avenue, Beltsville, MD. http://www.behnkes.com

28, Sunday, Flowers, Berries, Bark: Designing a Garden for Interest Throughout the Year, 2:00 pm, free. Behnke Nurseries Garden Center, 11300 Baltimore Avenue, Beltsville, MD. http://www.behnkes.com

31, Wednesday, Stormwater Solutions: Conservation Landscapes and Rain Gardens, 4:00 to 7:00 pm. Fee and must register. Brookside Gardens, 1800 Glenallan Avenue, Wheaton, MD. http://www.brooksidegardens.org

31, Wednesday, Top 10 Vegetable Diseases, 7:00 pm. Wednesdays in the Garden Series, led by Arlington Food Assistance Center volunteers and Master Gardeners. Arlington Central Library, 1015 N. Quincy Street, Arlington VA; (703) 228-5990, free and no need to register. http://www.library.arlingtonva.us/events/garden-talks

The DC Parks and Recreation has a Summer Garden Workshop Series. Free workshops until September. Focused on practical urban gardening and taught by the leaders of DC urban garden movement. Check out the website for more details: https://dpr.dc.gov/node/1124742

Right around the corner so make your reservations now!

June 1, Thursday, evening dinner and lecture with Brie Arthur, author of The Foodscape Revolution, 5:00 to 6:45 pm dinner in Café, garden admission included, weather permitting, 7:00 pm lecture in Barn Gallery with book sale. Fee and must register. Ladew Topiary Garden, 3535 Jarrettsville Pike, Monkton, MD. http://www.ladewgardens.com

Over a Dozen Gardening Events This Weekend in the Washington DC Metro Area

When I was writing my Peg’s Picks of Gardening Events for April 2017, I noticed at least 17 gardening events for this weekend April 21-23 alone. Check out the rest of the April gardening events at pegplant.com on the Classes/Events page.

Friday, April 21

21, Friday, Celebrate Earth Day! 10:00 am to 2:00 pm, free no registration required. National Garden U.S. Botanic Garden, 245 First Street, SW, Washington DC. http://www.usbg.gov

21, Friday, Garden Talks with Master Gardeners: Cover the Ground, 1:30 to 2:30 pm. Fee and must register in advance at www.fairfaxcounty.gov/parks/parktakes. Green Spring Gardens, 4603 Green Spring Road, Alexandria, VA. http://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/parks/greenspring

21, Friday, 10:00 am to noon for AHS members and noon to 4:00 pm for public and 22 Saturday 10 – 4 open to the public. American Horticultural Society’s Spring Garden Market. Nominal fee for parking for non AHS members. 7931 East Boulevard Drive, Alexandria, VA. http://www.ahsgardening.org

Saturday, April 22

22, Saturday, Friends of Carlyle House Garden Day Herb & Craft Sale, 8:00 am to 4:00 pm, free but there is an admission fee to enter the Carlyle House (actual site of the Mansion House Hospital featured in the PBS drama Mercy Street). 121 N. Fairfax St., Alexandria 22314; (703) 549-2997. https://www.novaparks.com/parks/carlyle-house-historic-park

22, Saturday, London Town’s Plant Sale 9:00 am to 2:00 pm. Members and volunteers receive a 10% discount on plants all weekend. Historic London Town and Gardens, 839 Londontown Road, Edgewater, MD. http://www.historiclondontown.org.

22, Saturday through 29, Saturday, Historic Garden Week sponsored by the Garden Club of Virginia, see website for schedule, tickets required. http://www.vagardenweek.org

22, Saturday, Garden Program: New Versus Classic Plants, by David Culp, 10:00 to 11:00 am. Fee and must register in advance at www.fairfaxcounty.gov/parks/parktakes. Green Spring Gardens, 4603 Green Spring Road, Alexandria, VA. http://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/parks/greenspring

22, Saturday, Garden Program: Spring Blooming Natives, 10:30 to noon, Fee and must register in advance at www.fairfaxcounty.gov/parks/parktakes. Green Spring Gardens, 4603 Green Spring Road, Alexandria, VA. http://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/parks/greenspring

22, Saturday, Perennials for Every Garden at the Gainesville location, 1:30 pm, free. Merrifield Garden Center, http://www.merrifieldgardencenter.com

22, Saturday, Planting Gardens with Native Plants, 2:00 pm. Free. Behnke Nurseries Garden Center, 11300 Baltimore Avenue, Beltsville, MD. http://www.behnkes.com

22, Saturday, Teaching Garden: Three topics: What’s That Weed? Beloved Plants of Master Gardener Volunteers and Vegetable of the Month. 9:00 am to noon, free but must register. Outside, dress for weather. St. Benedict Monastery, 9535 Linton Hall Road, Bristow, VA. Sponsored by the Prince William County Cooperative Extension and Master Gardeners, http://www.pwcgov.org/grow

22, Saturday, 10 to 6; 23, Sunday, 10 to 5. Annual Leesburg Flower and Garden Festival. Free and dress for weather and walking. Downtown Leesburg, VA. http://www.flowerandgarden.org

22, Saturday, 10:00 am to noon. Lecture: Great Looking Lawns Using Bay Friendly Practices. Free but space limited so registration is encouraged. Visitors Auditorium, National Arboretum, 3501 New York Avenue NE, Washington DC.  http://www.usna.usda.org

Sunday, April 23

23, Sunday, Earth Day Festival at Brookside, free, no registration required. From 9:00 am to noon, volunteers help with planting projects and from noon to 4:00 pm is the festival. Brookside Gardens, 1800 Glenallan Avenue, Wheaton, MD. http://www.brooksidegardens.org

23, Sunday, Earth Day Miniature Garden workshop, 10:30 am to noon or 1:30 to 3:00 Fee. Historic London Town and Gardens, 839 Londontown Road, Edgewater, MD. http://www.historiclondontown.org.

23, Sunday, Creating a Rain Garden, 2:00 pm, free. Behnke Nurseries Garden Center, 11300 Baltimore Avenue, Beltsville, MD. http://www.behnkes.com

23, Sunday, Container Gardens with Pizzazz at the Gainesville location, 1:00 pm, free. Merrifield Garden Center, http://www.merrifieldgardencenter.com

Time to Register for the Arlington/Alexandria Master Gardener Program

The 2017 Virginia Cooperative Extension Master Gardener Training for Arlington County/City of Alexandria residents is now open for registration. There will be an orientation on May 24 from 6:30 to 8:30 pm at the Fairlington Community Center, 3308 S. Stafford Street, Arlington, VA. If you would like to come and learn more about the Master Gardener program, contact the VCE Horticulture Help Desk at (703) 228-6414 or e-mail at mgarlalex@gmail.com. Note that there are other Master Gardener programs in the DC/MD/VA area which operate on different schedules. For more information on the Master Gardener program in general, see the Master Gardener page/tab at http://www.pegplant.com

Peg’s Picks: April 2017 Gardening Events in the Washington DC Metro Area

Peg’s Picks: April 2017 Gardening Events in the Washington DC Metro Area is now posted on the Classes/Events tab at http://www.pegplant.com. There are over 70 events in April and that is not even including Historic Garden Week’s 30 tours the week of April 22-29. Let the games begin!

An Entertaining Lecture on Herbs at Merrifield Garden Center

Yesterday I attended Merrifield Garden Center’s free lecture on herbs and was pleasantly surprised by the great speaker and the event itself: part entertainment and part educational. Merrifield is known for its free seminars in the spring, which I have promoted on my website for years. The herb lecture was at the Fair Oaks location, which has a spacious room on the second level of the garden center. I arrived early and was surprised to find pastries, brownies, fruit, cheese, crackers, and coffee! Sarah, a Merrifield employee, created this lovely feast and topped it off with an eye-catching display of herbs. Apparently she is known for making such creative displays and generous offerings of refreshments. Sarah was a hoot!  She talked to everyone and encouraged people to submit their drawing on time!

I discovered that at each seat there was a handout on herbs, a 15% discount coupon to use that day or the following day, and a form to complete for the drawing. I did not know there would be a coupon and a drawing but I could tell there were plenty of “regulars” who knew the drill. They seemed to know each other and had been there many times. The mood was so friendly and jolly I almost thought they were part of a gardening club. Filling up on pastries, we completed our forms and dropped them in a large glass container.

At 10:00 am, right before the lecture, Peg Bier, also a long time Merrifield employee, drew slips of paper several times. I did not keep count but was surprised that there were several drawings, not just one. Winners could have their choice of circus tickets or a Merrifield gift card. I did not win but I did use my coupon to buy something after the event.

Peg then introduced our speaker, Nicole Schermerhorn, co-owner of A Thyme to Plant at Lavender Fields Herb Farm (wearing dark brown in the photo). A Thyme to Plant is a wholesale operation near Richmond, growing and selling USDA-certified herbs and vegetables. Her nephew manages Lavender Fields Herb Farm, the retail garden center that focuses on herb classes and demonstrations. Nicole was very entertaining and down to earth – I could have listened to her for more than an hour. She sprinkled her slide presentation with funny learning experiences and witty conversations with her husband. Nicole provided a lot of detail on cultural requirements, including growing herbs in raised beds, while her handout had information on specific herbs. She was very nice about answering everyone’s questions and offered to stay afterward. A few of the interesting tips I learned were: there are 200 varieties of rosemary but only a few are hardy in Virginia (Arp, Salem, and Hill Hardy); Vietnamese coriander is a heat-loving substitute for the cool-loving cilantro; and parsley is the most nutrient-packed herb one can grow (does not matter if curly or flat leaf). I liked the fact that there was a handout to take home about specific herbs and recommended varieties plus cultural requirements on the backside. If you are new to gardening or new to Virginia, I recommend attending Merrifield Garden Center’s free seminars, especially Nicole’s talk on herbs.