Tag Archives: Washington Gardener

Philadelphia Flower Show in Five Weeks!!

2015FSposterNow is the time to book your trip and buy your tickets to the Philadelphia Flower Show, the nation’s largest and longest running flower show in North America. This year, the theme is “Celebrate the Movies.” From Saturday, February 28, through Sunday, March 8, the Flower Show will “Celebrate the Movies” with the world’s great floral and garden designers taking inspiration from the world’s great cinema. All proceeds from the Flower Show will support the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society and its acclaimed urban greening programs including City Harvest.

The Flower Show is held at the Pennsylvania Convention Center, 12th and Arch Street, but you don’t have to drive there by yourself. In the Washington DC metropolitan area, there are several coach bus trips that make it easy to access the show. Coach bus companies offer trips, and many nurseries, garden clubs, Master Gardener groups, public gardens, and park systems offer day trips to the Convention Center. Green Spring Gardens, Brookside Gardens, and Greenstreet Gardens offer bus trips, contact them directly for more information. The Washington Gardener magazine offers two trips on different days: one from Behnkes Nursery in Maryland and one from Silver Spring. Check out the various venues for date/time of departure, meeting locations, and prices which could include admission ticket, food, or entertainment. This is a walk-till-you-drop event: wear tennis shoes and bring your camera!

Philadelphia Flower Show http://www.theflowershow.com

Green Spring Gardens http://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/parks/greenspring

Brookside Gardens http://www.montgomeryparks.org/brookside

Greenstreet Gardens http://www.greenstreetgardens.com

Washington Gardener magazine


Peg’s Picks of August Gardening Events Washington DC Metro Area

Peg’s Picks of August 2014 gardening events for the Washington DC Metropolitan area with an emphasis on edible gardening

The Master Gardeners of Northern Virginia host many events. The following are free, open to the public (that is, you do not have to be a Master Gardener), and registration is required. Call (703) 228-6414; e-mail mgarlalex@gmail.com; http://mgnv.org

  •  August 23, Saturday, 10:00 – 12:00 p.m., Fall Vegetable Gardening, Burke Branch Library 4701 Seminary Road, Alexandria, VA
  •  August 26, Tuesday, 7:30 to 8:30 p.m., Composting for Home Gardeners, Fairlington Community Center, 3801 S. Stafford Street, Arlington VA

The Master Gardeners of Prince William County has “Saturdays in the Garden.” Every month, from April through October, the Master Gardeners host an event from 9:00 am to 12:00 pm at the teaching garden at St. Benedict Monastery, 9535 Linton Hall Road, Bristow, VA., Free; must register in advance, (703) 792-7747. http://www.mgpw.org

Arlington Central Library hosts the “Garden Talks” series of free presentations every Wednesday evening from 7:00 to 9:00 pm starting mid-March through end of October. The website lists the topics and provides gardening resources for gardeners in the area. 1015 N. Quincy Street, Arlington VA; (703) 228-5990; http://www.library.arlingtonva.us/events/garden-talks/

Green Spring Gardens has several classes and workshops. Gardeners may be interested in “Backyard Composting Basics” on Saturday, August 2, 10:00 to 11:00 am. Registration and fee required via Fairfax County Park Authority’s ParkTakes; (703) 222-4664. 4603 Green Spring Road, Alexandria, VA (703) 642-5173; http://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/parks/greenspring

Washington DC

Casey Trees is sponsoring a free Fruit Tree workshop, but must register in advance, Saturday, August 9, 9:00 am to 4:00 pm, Stuart Center, 821 Varnum Street, NE, Washington DC 20002; (202) 833-4010; http://www.caseytrees.org

The U.S. Botanic Garden is hosting “Fruits and Berries from City Lots Workshop,” in their conservatory classroom on Saturday, August 9, 10:30 am to 12:30 pm & a repeat performance on Sunday, August 10, 2:00 to 4:00 pm. The USBG has many other exhibits and events, check out their calendar on their web site.100 Maryland Avenue, SW, Washington DC (202) 225-8333; http://www.usbg.gov


The Washington Gardener magazine is hosting its 7th annual tomato tasting at FreshFarm Market in Silver Spring, Ellsworth Drive between Fenton Street and Georgia Avenue, Saturday, August 23, 10:00 am to 12:00 pm, free; http://washingtongardener.blogspot.com

The Behnke Nurseries Company has a variety of workshops including “Planting for Fall Crops” on Saturday, August 2, 10:00 am and 1:00 pm & Sunday, August 3, 10:00 am and 1:00 pm (same topic delivered four times). Free but registration required, (301) 937-1100l 11300 Baltimore Avenue, Beltsville, MD; http://behnkes.com

Showing off Benefits of Gardening at Health Fair

This past Wednesday, we had a health fair at work where local, health related organizations came for the day to drum up business and distribute information to staff. Like an open house, staff came down to the conference rooms and visited the vendors at their tables anytime between 11:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. As facilitator of our office Garden Club, I was asked if we wanted to participate for the first time. Our Garden Club meets every other week during lunch and in the past we have hosted speakers and “field trips” to colleagues’ gardens.healthfairgreenspringsjurydutyJune2014 071

We had a lot of fun; about 200 staff attended including the people from the 32 outside vendors. My colleagues and I had prepared in advance by planting seeds and starting cuttings. We distributed about 80 seedlings of tomatoes, zinnias, and basil plus about 30 cuttings of spider plants, Christmas cactus, and a lady of the night epiphyllum. I had gone through my seed packets and divided them into smaller bags so we had about 50 bags of seeds with copies of the seed packages stapled to the bags. PlantersPlace sent me a box of 30 trial packages of Osmocote fertilizer which everyone loved. I received brochures of the Behnke Nurseries’ Garden Club and special coupons for staff to use at their stores (thank you, Stephanie). The University of Maryland extension specialist sent me business cards with the Grow It Eat It & the Home and Garden Information Center (HGCI) contact information and Master Gardeners brochures (thank you, Jon). I downloaded information from the HGCI site, including the latest HGIC newsletter. I also had a copy of the Washington Gardener and a copy of the Brookside Gardens Xperience catalog of spring and summer classes. Because most of the employees live in Montgomery County, I focused on very local resources but I did create a handout on nurseries and one on public gardens in the Washington DC metropolitan area, which I also posted here on my blog (see tabs).healthfairgreenspringsjurydutyJune2014 072

Because this was a health fair, I wanted to communicate the mental and physical benefits of gardening. I copied the American Horticultural Therapy Association’s bibliography on benefits of gardening and I created a read-only copy of The Benefits of Gardening and Food Growing for Health and Wellbeing. This 45-page booklet was just published in April by Sustain, a London-based alliance of national public interest organizations that among other things advocates food and agriculture policies and practices that enhance the health and welfare of people and animals. The findings are applicable to this country and would be a great resource for anyone trying to demonstrate the importance of gardening in a social setting, like a school or community.healthfairgreenspringsjurydutyJune2014 075

At our table, we had a sign-up sheet so staff could add their names to my Garden Club e-mail distribution list (about 17 staff signed the sheet). Afterwards, my friends told me our table was the most popular but then who wouldn’t want free tomatoes? Other vendors were giving away pens, candy, and granola bars. I did observe that for the most part, there was a fundamental interest in gardening or having plants across the ages. People my age and older (presumably with houses) wanted the tomatoes and basil. Younger folks who did not have the land still wanted to have a spider plant for their desks. It was just a matter of matching up the plant to the person’s stage in life. Next year, we will offer a wider variety of plants such as houseplants and herbs and I may even reach out to more local resources to encourage gardening for all ages.