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DECEMBER 2010 Welcome to the Washington Gardener Enewsletter! This enewsletter is the free sister publication of Washington Gardener Magazine. Both the print magazine and online enewsletter share the same mission and focus — helping DC-MD-VA region gardens grow — but our content is different. In this monthly enewsletter, we address timely seasonal topics and projects; post local garden events; and, a monthly list of what you can be doing now in your garden. We encourage you to subscribe to Washington Gardener Magazine as well for indepth articles, inspirational photos, and great garden resources for the Washington DC area gardener. Without your support, we cannot continue publishing this enewsletter! Our magazine subscription information is on page 9 of this enewsletter. If you know of any other gardeners in the greater Washington, DC-area, please forward this issue to them so that they can subscribe to this free enewsletter as well using the form on page 9 of this enewsletter to subscribe to our print magazine. You can also connect with Washington Gardener online at: • Washington Gardener Blog: • Washington Gardener Discussion Group: • Washington Gardener Twitter Feed: • Washington Gardener Facebook Page: • Washington Gardener Web Site: Sincerely, Kathy Jentz Editor/Publisher Washington Gardener Magazine

Reader Contest

For our December 2010 Washington Gardener Reader Contest, Washington Gardener is giving away a necklace from Foster Hall Design []. This crafted necklace has a hand-made basil leaf pendant, strung on Japanese seed beads interspersed with freshwater pearls with a sterling silver hook-and-eye clasp. Valued at $37. Foster Hall Design sells at local craft fairs and makes custom jewelry for people — favorite plants, wedding gifts (bracelets for bridesmaids), personalized ornaments for gifts, etc. Foster Hall Design is also working on a line of “edibles” (basil, green bean leaves, etc) and “natives” (sassafrass and sycamore) leaf-imprint jewelry designs. To enter to win the necklace, send an email to by 5:00pm on December 30 with “Necklace” in the subject line and tell us your New Year’s Gardening Resolution. In the body of the email, please also include your full name and mailing address. The necklace winner will be announced and notified by January 2.

Current Issue

Our Fall magazine issue is on Vines and Climbers. There is a listing of over 20 vining plants that do well in our MidAtlantic gardens. Also in this issue is the Edibles column, “Easy-to-Grow Garlic” by Cindy Brown. She shares her tips on how to grow garlic here in the Mid-Atlantic and the best varieties for our area. Our Daytrip is to the Monticello, Jefferson’s famous residence outside of Charlottesville, VA. You’ll also find in this issue: • Russian Sage: A Perennial Pleasure • Best Bulbs for Soggy Spots • Confessions of a Plant Hoarder • Native Woodland Aster • Seed Bombs for Guerilla Gardening • Poisonous Weeds • Battling Stink Bugs • Nick Weber’s Heritage Rosarium & Dahlia Patch •New Tree Benefit Calculator • answers to readers’ questions such why their Cucumbers are Bitter and much, much more... To subscribe, see the page 9 of this newsletter for a form to mail in or go to files/subscribe.htm and use our PayPal credit card link.

Next Issue Coming Out

Our Winter 2010-11 issue is in production now to be mailed after December 25. It features Garden Walks and Pathways, a trip to Baltimore’s Cylburn Arboretum, and much more!

Quick Links to Recent Washington Gardener Blog Posts • Favorite Holiday Season Plants • Video Wednesday: Shutting off Water Sources • Save the Azaleas at the US National Arboretum • Video Wednesday: Who Am I? • Springtime in Paris with Washington Gardener Magazine See more Washington Gardener Blog posts at

December Garden To-Do List

Spotlight Special

Erysimum Fragrant Star (‘Walfrastar’) ‘Fragrant Star’ (Erysimum hybrida) is a lovely, variegated sport of the popular variety Fragrant Sunshine. ‘Fragrant Star’ appears to be more compact than ‘Fragrant Sunshine.’ Bright yellow blooms from April to July that compliment the green with creamy margined foliage. Being sterile, flowering may continue to October. Flowers are sweetly scented and buds arise chocolatepurple in color. Recommended uses of ‘Fragrant Star’ include landscape or container specimen, rock gardens, and perennial borders. May also be used as a colorful, showy annual in climates where it is not hardy. • Origin: United Kingdom • USDA Zone 7. (-0°F or -17°C) • Sterile blooms giving an exceptionally long flowering period • Bright sunshine yellow bloom. • Elegant cream and silver green variegated foliage. • Compact mounding habit 18” x 24”. Propagation: Softwood cuttings. License required for propagation. • Full sun to part shade, in fertile welldrained soil. • Drought tolerant once established. Trim hard back in spring to encourage strong basal branching. A stable sport from the popular variety Fragrant Sunshine (‘Walfrasun’). • Uses: Containers, Beds, Borders, Landscape Planting. • New market introduction from PlantHaven ( 2

Here is our comprehensive garden task list for gardens in the greater DC metro region for December 16-January 15. Your additions to this list are most welcome: • Keep watering your poinsettias and give them plenty of light. Ensure they are away from drafts and that the pots drain freely. • Last chance to plant bulbs or if you have waited until the ground is frozen, pot them up for forcing indoors. • Gather holiday greens. Some, like holly and boxwood, benefit from being pruned by growing thicker. • Feed birds and provide them with a fresh water source. • Check houseplants and any plants you brought indoors for the winter, for insects. • Provide some special protection to tender or early flowering plants like Camellias. • Stake newly planted large trees or shrubs to protect them from winter winds. • Check any bulbs, corms, tubers and bare root plants in storage for rot or desiccation. • Apply scale and dormant oil treatment to evergreens. • Spread ashes from wood fires on your vegetable beds. • Keep succulents and cacti on the dry side. • Water your cut Christmas tree daily. • Gently remove layers of snow from evergreens with a broom. • Start organizing your pile of incoming garden catalogs. • Keep an eye out for bark damage from rabbits and deer. • Spray broadleaf evergreens with anti-desiccant to prevent dehydration. • Use the branches from your Christmas tree as bedding mulch or as a wind-break. • Keep watering newly planted trees and shrubs as needed. • Cover strawberry beds with straw or pine needles. • Prune stone fruit trees like cherries, plums, and peaches. • Clean, sharpen, and store your garden tools. • Reduce fertilizing of indoor plants (except Cyclamen). • Set up a humidifier for indoor plants or at least place them in pebble trays. • Continue to rotate houseplants to promote even growth. • Attend a local garden club meeting. • Start new indoor plants from cuttings -- try an easy one such as violets. • Check the plants under tall evergreens and under the eaves of the house to see that they have sufficient moisture. • Weed. Weed. Weed. • Pick a budding gardener on your gift list to give some inspirational garden books and magazines then watch them blossom. • Store your fertilizer and seeds in rodent-proof containers. • Do any filling and grading around your yard. The soil will settle during the winter months. • Vent cold frames on sunny days. • Avoid walking in frozen planting beds. • Remove and destroy gypsy moth egg masses. • Clean your gutters. • Prune maples, dogwoods, birch, elm, and walnut -- if needed. • Bonus Tip: Some alternatives to de-icing salts include sand, beet juice sugars, light gravel (grit), or non-clumping kitty litter. Using de-icing salts around driveways and sidewalks can harm your garden plants and turf. Have a wonderful holiday season!

WASHINGTON GARDENER ENEWS © 2010 Washington Gardener Magazine All rights reserved.

You’ve seen those gorgeous garden photos published in magazines and newspapers. Enter this year’s competition and have a chance of getting your winning images published, too! Whether you take the photos in your own backyard, a nearby public garden, or while visiting friends and family in their local gardens, there are so many photographic opportunities to be found. Let’s show off the best in DC-area gardening! This contest offers an opportunity for all photographers to present their best shots of gardens in the greater Washington, DC area. Contest entries will be judged on technical quality, composition, originality, and artistic merit. More than $500 in prizes will be awarded! Winning images will be published in Washington Gardener magazine, will be displayed during the Washington Gardener Seed Exchange, and will appear in a local photo exhibit. By popular demand a NEW category has been added for this years contest! “Garden Vignettes” is for those garden scenes that are in-between tight closeups and sweeping landscape vistas.


Each entrant is limited to a total of 10 images. Each electronic file must be identified with your name and phone number. All photographs should accurately reflect the subject matter and the scene as it appeared in the viewfinder. Nothing should be added to an image and, aside from dust spots, nothing should be removed. Cropping and minor adjustments to electronic images to convert RAW files are acceptable. If an image is selected as a finalist, a high-resolution digital file might be required prior to finalizing our contest results. Digitally captured images should be taken at the camera’s highest resolution (3 megapixels or larger). For preliminary judging, digital files must be submitted in JPEG format sized to 1000 pixels on the longest side at 300 dpi. If photos are taken with a film camera, they must be scanned in and submitted in JPEG format sized to 1000 pixels on the longest side at 300 dpi. Before sending us your CD-ROMs, verify their integrity by making sure they

5TH ANNUAL PHOTO CONTEST are readable and not damaged. We reserve the right to disqualify any disk that is unreadable or defective. Please check your CDs with the latest virus detection software. We will disqualify any disk that may contain a virus or a suspicious file. Label each CD and case with your full name. We strongly suggest mailing CDs in a protective case. We are not responsible for disks damaged during shipping. No CDs will be returned but they can be picked up after judging. Send your entries and entry fee to: Washington Gardener Photo Contest, 826 Philadelphia Ave., Silver Spring, MD 20910. Mailed entries must be received by January 22, 2010. Contest entries can also be submitted via email to DCGardenPhotos@aol. com. Use the subject line “WG Photo Contest” and include an entry form for each image in your email’s text field. You can print out blank entry forms from We will verify all entry receipts so please ensure your email address is included on all items. Entrants must not infringe on the rights of any other photographer, landowner, or other person. Photos involving willful harassment of wildlife or destruction of any property are unacceptable. The entrant must have personally taken the photo. By entering, you state this is your work and is free of copyright elsewhere. Failure to comply with any contest guidelines will lead to disqualification.


Your entry to this contest constitutes your agreement to allow your photographs and your name, city, state, and photo description texts to be published in upcoming issues of Washington Gardener and used for other related purposes including, but not limited to, Washington Gardener Photo Contest promotions, online, live presentations, and gallery exhibits. Entrants retain ownership and all other rights to future use of their photographs.


Each entrant is limited to a total of 10

images. You may submit a few in each category or submit all 10 in one category. Photo must have been taken during the 2010 calendar year in a garden located within a 150-mile radius of the Capitol Building in Washington, DC. • Garden Views: Beautiful, dramatic, or unusual perspectives of a garden landscape, including wide shots showing the setting. Subject can be a private or public garden. • Garden Vignettes: Groupings of plants in beds or containers, unusual color or texture combinations, garden focal points, and still scenes. Subject can be photographed in a private or public garden. • Small Wonders: Tight close-up images or macro shots of single flowers, plant parts, fruits, vegetables, etc. Subject can be photographed in a private or public garden. • Garden Creatures: Images of insects, birds, frogs, domestic pets, etc. in a private or public garden setting.


Prizes include gift certificates to area camera stores, gardening tools, new plant introductions, and much more! If you would like to be a prize donor or sponsor, please contact us today.


Photo contest winners will need to provide a high-resolution version of their image for publication and an 11x14 print suitable for framing. Winners may be asked to provide additional information for press and media coverage.


The entry fee is $15.00 or $10.00 for current Washington Gardener Magazine subscribers. The fee includes up to 10 total image submissions per entrant. Please send a check or money order made out to “Washington Gardener” or send a payment via to


Entries due by January 22, 2010.


Please call 301.588.6894 or email o

WASHINGTON GARDENER ENEWS © 2010 Washington Gardener Magazine All rights reserved.


DC-Area Gardening Calendar~Upcoming Events~December 16, 2010-Jan 15,2011 Brookside Gardens 1800 Glenallan Avenue Wheaton, MD 20902 301.962.1400

• Thursday, January 13, 6:30- 9:00pm A NIGHT AT THE MOVIES: THE FUTURE OF FOOD This film, by Deborah Koons Garcia, has been a key tool in the American and international anti-GMO (genetically modified organism) grassroots activist movements. Genetic engineering of food crops is as controversial today as ever, as many of the large agro corporations that use this technology position themselves as the answer to the world food crisis and further consolidate the seed supply. Program number 120621; Visitors Center Auditorium. Join Brookside Gardens for a series of films that reveal some of the mystery behind how our food is produced, where it comes from, and the impact our agricultural industry has on our environment. Thursday evenings in January and February. Light reception preceding film. Fee: $15, FOBG: $12; registration required at; Brookside Gardens, 1800 Glenallan Avenue, Wheaton, MD 20902. For more information, please call 301-962-1400 or visit us online at www. • Wednesday, January 12, 10:00am12:00noon MOSS AND ROCK FOUNTAIN Speaker: Jane Pettit, Mother Nature Throws a Party. Bring the relaxing gurgle of a mountain stream into your home with a beautiful fountain in a bowl. Create a mini landscape scene using rocks and natural elements to delight the eyes as well as the ears. All supplies including pump and operating instructions will be provided. Suitable for indoor or outdoor use. Course number 127149; Fee: $55, FOBG: $50; registration required at www.; Brookside Gardens, 1800 Glenallan Avenue, Wheaton, MD 20902. For more information, please call 301-9621400 or visit us online at • December 5, 2010 – February 6, 2011 THE ART OF SEEING, 2010-2011 Paintings and drawings by Botanical Art Society of the National Capital Region Art Xhibits at the Visitors Center The Brookside Gardens Visitors Center exhibitions showcase affordable original works or giclée prints of original works on horticultural themes by area artists. All art exhibitions are free-of-charge and most of the works are available for purchase.


Green Spring Gardens 4603 Green Spring Road Alexandria, Virginia 22312 703.642.5173

• Saturday, December 18, 4-5:30pm WINTER CANDLELIGHT TEA Join us for tea by candlelight and stories of Christmas past. Traditional music, decorations and teatime treats will take you back to the early days of the Historic House. $27. Children 12 yrs. and under welcome, fee $18. Call 703-941-7987 to register. • Monday, January 3, 11:00am-12:00noon GARDEN SPROUTS- SNIP, SNIP, SNOW! Preschool children (ages 3-5) with accompanying adult(s). Find out how snow crystals grow into snowflakes and how to make your own. Then cut paper into pretty snowflakes for your winter windows. $5. Register online at parks/gsgp/education.htm; program code: 290 188 2901 or call 703-642-5173 for more information. • Friday, January 7, 1:30-2:30pm BASIC GARDENING: LUSH FEATHERY FERNS Do you think ferns are limited to shady spots in your landscape? Master Gardeners show you how the diversity of ferns allows their use throughout the landscape, whether sunny or shady. $10. Register online at education.htm; program code: 290 188 4701 or call 703-642-5173 for more information. • Saturday, January 8, 2:00-3:00pm FAMILY FUN: LET IT SNOW - SNOW CRYSTAL WORKSHOP Family Fun Workshops for kids (5 and up) with paying adult(s). Listen to the story of “Snowflake Bentley” and learn how snow is made. Then craft your own snowflakes of crystal, paper and pipe cleaners to take home. $6. Register online at fairfaxcounty. gov/parks/gsgp/education.htm; program code: 290 188 3201 or call 703-642-5173 for more information. • Sunday, January 16, 1:30-3:00pm THEN AND NOW AT GREEN SPRING GARDENS Learn the story of Green Spring Gardens through fascinating photo archives that span 120 years. Green Spring historian Debbie Waugh shows how the landscape evolved and how the gardens were laid out to create a unique and inspiring - and stillchanging - public garden. Afterwards meet the speakers and enjoy refreshments. Find more details on our website. $10. Register online at education.htm; program code: 290 188 3501 or call 703-642-5173 for more information.

WASHINGTON GARDENER ENEWS © 2010 Washington Gardener Magazine All rights reserved.

Maryland Native Plant Society White Oak Library New Hampshire Avenue Silver Spring, MD

• Sunday, December 19, 10:00AM3:00PM WINTER SOLSTICE CELEBRATION Sponsoring Organizations: Maryland Native Plant Society, Virginia Native Plant Society’s Potowmack Chapter, and the Arlington Regional Master Naturalists. The Travilah Serpentine Barrens is the Mid-Atlantic region’s stellar example of a globally-rare forested serpentinite community. This vegetation type once comprised many thousands of acres in the area of Montgomery County west of Potomac and Rockville, with about 1,000 acres of this rare local landscape preserved today. Serpentinite is an ultramafic rock derived from magnesium-rich silicate materials that typically weathers to a soil that is high in magnesium and iron. The Travilah serpentinite is dark grayish green and closely underlies the surface, frequently outcropping throughout. Soils of this type are fairly nutrient deficient and produce a somewhat stunted vegetation characterized mainly by oaks, hickories, pines, and heaths, though plants of the Rosaceae, Cyperaceae, Poaceae, and Lamiaceae, among others, are also prominent. Much of the forest at the Travilah site is old-growth, despite the relatively short height of the canopy trees. The canopy is predominately white, northern red, and post oak; sweet pignut, mockernut, and pignut hickory; and shortleaf and Virginia pine. Prominent understory plants are eastern red cedar, blackjack oak, sweet crabapple (Malus coronaria), a variety of hawthornes (Crataegus spp.), black haw, dogwood, fringe tree, and others. Some sections of the forest floor are densely vegetated with colonies of ericaceous plants of the Heath Family, such as deerberry, lowbush blueberry, and black huckleberry. Other are extensive glades of graminoids (grasses and grasslike plants) and wildflowers, many of which are regionally rare. We’ll also see many grasses and plants typical of meadows and prairies and a rare Upland Depression Swamp. Wear sturdy shoes and bring lunch or snacks and water. Most of the walk traverses fairly open woodland, open glades, and grassy areas over gently rolling uplands, though some trails may be gravelly to moderately rocky. We’ll probably walk maybe 2 to 3 miles maximum throughout round trip - and the way back to the cars will be pretty clear for those who want to duck out early.

DC-Area Gardening Calendar~Upcoming Events~December 16, 2010-Jan 15,2011 servatory is open to the public, free of Mt. Cuba Center Looking Ahead: charge, every day of the year from 10 a.m. 3120 Barley Mill Rd. Hockessin, DE 19707 302.239.4244

• Wednesday, January 12, 5:30-7:30pm BACKYARD COMPOSTING It’s time you started making black gold from your garbage. Come learn from composting expert Mark Highland how to compost yard debris, leaves, grass clippings, kitchen waste, and more right in your backyard. Class includes handout, Q & A session, and a visual demonstration on how to make compost. Instructor: Mark Highland, Mark is the owner and president of The Organic Mechanics Soil Company. Previously, he worked as the compost and soil specialist at Longwood Gardens. Cost: $20

United States Botanic Garden Conservatory 100 Maryland Avenue, SW, Washington, DC 202.225.8333

• Saturday, January 15, 10:00am Potomac Valley Rock Garden Society (PVC) hosts a talk by Martha Oliver, owner of Primrose Path Nursery, “FLORA OF THE SHALE BARRENS OF THE MID-ATLANTIC” Join the Potomac Chapter of the National Rock Garden Society. You’re invited to attend this lecture for $10.00 at the door, or join your local rock garden chapter for just $15.00 per person. Enjoy a lecture series, workshops, plant exchanges, and field trips. For more information visit www. and visit the national organization • Through January 2, 2011 SEASON’S GREENINGS Holiday Exhibit This year, the U.S. Botanic Garden’s annual holiday exhibit, Seasons Greenings, celebrates the plant world and how humans use plants in holiday traditions. Join us as we brighten the long dark nights of winter by commemorating the season. Don’t miss this popular exhibit which includes Washington landmark buildings all created with plant materials set amidst pathways and pools of blooming poinsettias and other holiday plants. Our famous garden railway will feature world landmarks from the continents of Africa, Asia Europe and South America. Extended Hours: On most Tuesday and Thursday evenings in December, the U. S. Botanic Garden will have extended hours until 8 p.m., featuring live musical performances from 6 to 8 p.m. The United States Botanic Garden Con-

to 5 p.m. The Conservatory is located at 100 Maryland Avenue, SW, adjacent to the west side of the U.S. Capitol. Visitors are encouraged to take Metrobus and Metrorail.

US National Arboretum 3501 New York Avenue, NE Washington, D. C. 20002-1958 202.245.2726

• January 2 – 17, 10:00 am – 4:00 pm EXHIBIT: WINTER SILHOUETTES National Bonsai & Penjing Museum Special Exhibits Wing Winter is the best time to enjoy the true mastery of the art of bonsai by observing the “bare bones” of the trees. With no leaves, the structure of a deciduous bonsai reveals how well the artist has created his miniaturized version of nature. The bonsai curator has selected trees from the museum’s permanent collection for a formal display of these living artworks. Other trees from the permanent collection will be on view throughout the winter in the Chinese Pavilion and the Tropical Greenhouse. Free.

Event Listing Notes

For even more area garden event notices than we can’t possibly squeeze in here, become a member of our free online discussion group. To join the email list serv, send an email to: To submit an event for this listing, please contact: and put “Event” in the email subject head. Our next deadline is January 12 for the January 15 edition of this enewsletter featuring events from Jan 16-Feb 15.

Advanced Landscape Plant IPM PHC Short Course

January 18-21, 2011

For registration information contact: Avis Koeiman Department of Entomology 4112 Plant Sciences Building University of Maryland College Park, MD 20742 Tel: 301-405-3913 email:

Montgomery County Master Gardeners’ one-day conference; Random Acts of Gardening

Master Gardeners of Montgomery County are offering a one day course that will teach other home gardeners practical and green gardening techniques. The 11th Annual Mini-Conference, “Random Acts of Gardening,” offers numerous workshops on Saturday, Feb. 26, 2011, 8:30 am-3:00 pm. Participants can chose to attend three workshops out of nine options taught by Master Gardeners. Topics include growing fruits, vegetables, and herbs, new trends in horticulture, pruning demonstrations, attracting bees and butterflies, and garden documentation. The event will be held at Montgomery County Office of the University of Maryland Extension, 18410 Muncaster Rd, Derwood, MD. Master Gardeners—a non-profit organization of volunteers trained through the University of Maryland—provides education and advice to encourage environmentally friendly gardening. Advance registration is $50 and includes a box lunch; bring a friend and the cost is $90 for two. For details and application form, visit or email The registration deadline is February 16, 2011. Class size is filled on a first-come, first-served basis. There are approximately 300 active members of the Master Gardeners organization in Montgomery County and each person volunteers about 50 hours annually. The non-profit program falls under the auspices of Montgomery County government and the University of Maryland College of Agriculture and Natural Resources. University of Maryland Extension programs are open to all regardless of race, color, religion, age, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, marital or parental status, or disability.

Your Ad Here

Are you trying to reach gardeners in the greater DC region/Mid-Atlantic area? Washington Gardener Enews goes out on the 15th of every month and is a free sister publication to Washington Gardener magazine. The ad rate is $250 per issue or $1,000 for five (5) issues within one calendar year. The ad deadline is the 10th of each month. Please submit your ad directly to:

WASHINGTON GARDENER ENEWS © 2010 Washington Gardener Magazine All rights reserved.


Gardening by the Rul by Kathy Jentz

We are almost starting the second decade of the 21st Century and many of the old gardening rules we have lived by are being turned on their heads. New gardeners often hear conflicting and misleading advice. Experienced gardeners may need a fresh perspective and to evaluate their old habits. With a look towards the coming new year, here are five old rules we no longer need obey and five new to add to our collective garden rulebooks.

5 Old Garden Rules to Break:

1. Turf is King – The green suburban lawn is no longer the ideal or the goal. Turfgrass is one of the most wasteful of our natural resources, not to mention high time-consuming to maintain by the owner. Today’s gardeners are looking at other groundcover choices including expanding shrub borders, installing edible beds, and hardscaping pathways. 2. Spray Away – Chemicals used to be the answer to all your garden’s ill, but along with killing grubs they were also taking a toll on your own health and that of the local environment. The key words today are diagnosis first, then exploration of chemical alternatives second. Living with some imperfection is very 21st Century. 3. Dig and Double-Dig – Just a few years ago, we were all urged to dig in that compost and fertilizer to really work it in. Researchers have shown that we are doing far more damage to the soil’s structure than any benefit. In addition, we are turning up new weed seeds that would otherwise be dormant. Stop digging and start layering on organic materials to decompose and work their own way in. 4. Fertilize Everything – Fertilizer spreaders are joining the VCR and transistor radio in scrap heaps. Most fertilizer applied on and around plants washes away and into our local streams. Today the word is to feed the soil, not the plants. Healthy soil promotes strong growth. Add your own home-made compost and organic mulch to your beds to provide nutrients. 5. Water Copiously – The oscillating sprinkler is another dinosaur headed for the junkyard. Good gardeners know to group their plants by their watering needs and to use drip irrigation not overhead sprinklers or hoses.

5 New Garden Rules to Make:

1. Use Local Natives – Research plants that are local natives and naturally grow in your home’s ecosystem. If you have a shady, forested yard, choose plants native to that environment. If you have a wet area of your lawn, redesign it as a rain garden with moisture-lovers. (Note: just because it is labeled a “native” does not mean it is from our area nor that it is suitable for your yard’s micro-climate. Do you research before buying and planting.) 2. Attract Wildlife – Birds, bees, and other creatures can naturally pollinate and spread the fruits of your garden labor. Encourage bugs that prey on other insects and can act as pest managers for you. 3. Plant en Masss – Gardening is one area in your life you can go crazy with mass quantities and the more you use, the better it looks. A bed of 300 daffodils and a grouping of 100 daisies is feast for the eyes. Go ahead and indulge. 4. Beware of Mature-Sizes – Trees and shrubs can quickly eat up your gardening real estate. Think twice before buying those large-growth plants and exactly where you will plant them to avoid having to constantly prune them or worse still, kill them, when they overgrown they space you assign them. 5. Grow What You Love – So what if your neighbors find your plant choices old-fashioned, boring, or garish. Look at your garden through your own eyes and don’t worry about what others think. It is yours and you make the rules – and don’t ever let anyone ever tell you otherwise.


WASHINGTON GARDENER ENEWS © 2010 Washington Gardener Magazine All rights reserved.

5th Annual Washington Gardener Philadelphia Flower Show Tour Organized by Garden Tours Wednesday, March 9, 2011, 10:00AM-10:00PM Leaving and returning from downtown Silver Spring, MD

The Philadelphia Flower Show is the oldest and largest indoor flower show in the world. The theme for 2011 is “Springtime in Paris.” Join us for a visit to the beautiful City of Light – the capital of art, fashion, food and love. A blooming “Springtime in Paris” will greet guests with idyllic park scene along the Seine. Flowering trees, lilacs, roses, and borders of lavender will lead visitors through gardens inspired by the Tuileries. In the distance, a daring Moulin Rouge atmosphere will pulse with cabaret performances, spectacular flower sculptures, and carousel topiaries. Participate in the Lectures and Demonstrations series, Gardener’s Studio, and All-Star Culinary Presentations. First-time and returning riders will enjoy the personalized and welcoming details of our coach service. Kathy and Cheval are looking forward to seeing you on our fun ride. Schedule for the day: • 10:00AM coach leaves downtown Silver Spring with lunch, games, and DVD viewing en route • 12:45-7:15PM Explore Philadelphia Flower Show ~ dinner on your own • 7:30PM Coach departs Philadelphia Convention Center with snacks, games, and DVD showing onboard • 10:00PM Coach arrives at downtown Silver Spring This tour package includes: 1. Charter Passenger Coach - reserved seating and storage under the bus 2. Choice of Gourmet Box Lunch on the way up to the show 3. Snacks for the return trip 4. Listing of nearby restaurants for dinner on your own at the show 5. Information package on the show which will assist in prioritizing your day 6. Two Garden DVD showings 7. Admission to the show 8. Convenient drop-off and pick-up at downtown Silver Spring, MD 9. Lively show and garden discussions led by Washington Gardener’s Kathy Jentz 10. Surprises and prizes. To register, please use the form below. (One form per person.)

Name _______________________________________________________________ Address______________________________________________________________ Phone number________________________________________________________ Email________________________________________________________________ Name of seatmate_____________________________________________________ We will try to seat groups together, but cannot guarantee group seating. Name of group _______________________________________________________

Fee: $95.00 each $90.00 each for Washington Gardener Magazine subscribers

Check/money order #_______ ~ Please make payable to “Cheval’s 2nd Act” Send this registration form along with your payment to: Garden Tours, 8000 N Park St, Dunn Loring, VA 22027

Registration deadline: March 1, 2011

Full refund if canceled by February 5. $40 refunded until February 28. No refunds after March 5.

Questions? Cheval Opp at 703.395.1501

arden Gtours

Brought to you by:


If you’ve never been to the Philadelphia Flower Show, this is your opportunity to escape from the last of winter’s cold winds and experience a garden paradise. Walk through floral wonderlands, take notes at one of the many workshops, enjoy new plants on display, and shop the vendors’ tempting array of goodies. WASHINGTON GARDENER ENEWS © 2010 Washington Gardener Magazine All rights reserved.


Walk-Through Holiday Light Display 1800 Glenallan Ave., Wheaton, MD 20902 Show Info Line: 301.962.1453 Please support our toy and food drives.

Garden of Lights Nov. 26, 2010 – Jan. 9, 2011

(open every night except Dec. 24 & 25, and Jan. 3-6)

(Mon.–Thur.) 5:30pm – 9:00pm • $20 car/van (Fri.–Sun.) 5:30pm – 10:00pm • $25 car/van Last car admitted 30 min. before closing time. Cash only Advance sale tickets: $20 (good any night) on sale Nov. 1

Wreath & Centerpiece Sale December 4th 9am – 4pm

Conservatory Train Exhibit Open every night

New Year’s Eve Celebration Crafts and give-a-ways for the kids • Open until 10pm

Visit our Gift Shop and receive

10% OFF on merchandise only. Expires Jan. 9, 2011 Not valid with any other discounts. 8


WASHINGTON GARDENER ENEWS © 2010 Washington Gardener Magazine All rights reserved.

Magazine Excerpt: Russian Sage - Perennial Pleasure by Kate Tyndall

A real workhorse in the perennial garden is the Russian sage, Perovskia. Neither Russian nor a true sage, this is a tall, handsome woody sub shrub with a wide spreading habit and masses of violet-blue flower spikes from mid summer into fall. Attractive as it is, Perovskia is often overlooked by gardeners, even by those who should know better — and I include myself in this latter group — in favor of showier shrubs or newer perennials. The Russian sage will simply go about its business year after year, requiring only a place in the sun and decently drained soil. It will not demand excess watering in torrid summers, when other plants wilt and collapse, nor will it fall prey to insect pests or fungal diseases. In the garden as in life, the squeaky wheel gets the grease, and Russian sage simply rolls along without complaint, causing no problems but receiving far too little attention for its solid performance and good looks. Bees, however, love the sage’s tiny, tubular flowers and you will often find the plant the buzzing center of great bee activity in your garden. Many gardeners report Perovskia is a real draw for hummingbirds, but alas, I cannot confirm this, since hummers seem to boycott my garden, regardless of my attempts to woo them. Russian sage is a member of the mint (Lamiaceae) family and its slender, serrated grayish-green leaves and stems give off a pungent odor (smelling of a mix of menthol and lavender) when bruised. This shrubby perennial is found from Afghanistan to Tibet, where it usually grows in open, rocky soil. Its botanic name honors the 19th-century Russian general and statesman V.A. Perovski, who perhaps saw it growing on the campaign trail when he led his army into Afghanistan. Russian sage requires at least six hours of sun a day and the more sun it can get, the happier it will be. Although it prefers a lean soil, regular garden soil is fine. If yours is heavy, unamended clay, you should give this perennial a pass unless you can grow it in a raised bed. Don’t fertilize it — doing so will encourage leggy growth and.... Want to learn more about growing Russian Sage in our area? Read the rest of this PlantProfile column in the Fall 2010 issue of Washington Gardener Magazine.

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Join Us For: Seed Swapping Door Prizes Planting Tips Expert Speakers Goody Bags Washington Gardener Magazine presents the

6th Annual Washington Gardener

Seed Exchange on Saturday, January 29, 2011 National Seed Swap Day! from 12:30 – 4:00PM

at Brookside Gardens in Wheaton, MD AND

on Saturday, February 5, 2011 from 12:30 – 4:00PM

at Green Spring Gardens in Alexandria, VA

Registration is now open at

Space is limited, so act today!


Washington Gardener Magazine subscribers get $5 off the $15 attendee fee!

WASHINGTON GARDENER ENEWS © 2010 Washington Gardener Magazine All rights reserved.


Washington Gardener magazine, the publication for DC-area gardening enthusiasts, is hosting the fifth annual Washington Seed Exchange at Brookside Gardens and Green Spring Gardens. These seed swaps are in-person and face-to-face. You bring your extra seeds and swap them with other gardeners. Everyone will leave with a bag full of seeds, new garden friends, and expert planting advice.


On Saturday, January 29, 2011 in MD and on Saturday, February 5, 2011 in VA from 12:30 – 4:00PM (Foul weather that day? Call 240.603.1461, for updates about possible snow/ice delay.)


This year, we are holding dual Seed Exchanges one week apart on opposite sides of the Beltway. We urge you to attend the one closest to you. One exchange will be held in the Visitor’s Center Auditorium of the Brookside Gardens, 1800 Glenallan Ave., Wheaton, MD. The other will be at Green Spring Gardens 4603 Green Spring Road Alexandria, VA.

How To Register

Fill out the form on the opposite page. Send the form in along with payment to Washington Gardener, 826 Philadelphia Ave., Silver Spring, MD 20910, Attn: SE Registration. Please make checks out to “Washington Gardener.” Registration fee is $15 per person in advance. Friends Of Brookside (FOB) members, Friends of Green Springs. and current Washington Gardener subscribers receive a discount rate of $10 per person. We strongly urge you to register in advance. There is a limited enrollment of 100 participants at each location and we expect both to sell-out, so be sure to register early!

We are GREEN!!! Garden Book and Seed Catalog Exchange

Seed Exchange attendees are encouraged to bring their used or new garden books and seed catalogs to swap and share at this year’s event. We also ask you to bring your own water bottle or reusable mug.

Washington Gardener Magazine’s 6th Annual

Seed Exchange Details

If You Have Seeds to Bring and Swap

Please package them in resealable plastic zipper or wax sandwich baggies. Put an average of 20 seeds per baggy — more for small seeds like cleome, fewer for large seeds like acorns. Then label each baggy with a white sticker (such as Avery standard 5160 address label sheets) giving all the information you have on the seeds. If known, include the plant's common and scientific names; its soil, sun, and watering needs; and, its origins — where and when you collected the seeds. If you don't know all the information, that's okay, just try to provide as much as you can. Yes, you can bring unused or opened commercial seed packs also.

What If I Don't Have Any Seeds to Swap?

Come anyway! Even if you don’t have any seeds to trade, you are welcome to attend! We'll have plenty of extra seed contributions on hand and many attendees will be there just to learn, network, and prepare for next year's seed collecting.

Education Program

from each of the category tables (if desired). After the initial seed swap is complete, attendees are free to take any of the left over seeds and to trade seeds with each other. Dividing of packets is encouraged and extra baggies with labels will be on hand for that purpose.


What Types of Seeds?

Expert speakers from the local gardening community will give short talks on seed collection and propagation tips. There will be ample time for individual Q&A throughout the program with the featured speakers, and invited experts as well. (Note: This schedule is subject to change.) 12:00-12:30 Registration check-in 12:30-12:40 Introductions 12:40-1:20 Heirloom Seed talk 1:20-1:40 Gardening talk 1:40-2:00 Gardening talk 2:00-2:15 Snack break and room reset 2:15-2:30 Seed swap preview time 2:30-3:00 Seed swap 3:00-3:30 Photo Contest winners 3:30-4:00 Door prizes and closing talk

How Do We Swap?

As you check-in, staff will collect your seeds and place them at the appropriate seed category tables. You will be assigned a random seed swap number. There will be a short period for attendees to preview all the seeds brought in and available for swapping. Then, you will be called in by your number to pick a seed pack

Seed swap categories will include natives, edibles, herbs, exotics, annuals, perennials, and woodies (trees/shrubs). If you can presort your seeds in advance into whichever of these seven major categories fits best, that would help us speed up the process on the swap day.

Door Prizes! Goodie Bags!

All attendees will receive a goodie bag at the seed swap. The bags include seeds, publications, and garden items donated by our sponsors. In addition, we have some incredible door prizes to give away especially for area gardeners. If your organization would like to contribute seeds or garden-related products for the goodie bags and door prizes, please contact Kathy Jentz at 301.588.6894 by January 25.

6th Annual Washington Gardener Seed Exchange Registration Form

Please fill out this form and mail with your check/money order by January 22, 2011 to: Washington Gardener Magazine, 826 Philadelphia Ave., Silver Spring MD 20910

Name:____________________________________________________________________________________ Street Address:____________________________________________________________________________ Email:____________________________________________________________________________________ Seed Exchange Location ~ MUST CHOOSE ONE:  Jan 29 ~ Brookside Gardens  Feb 5 ~ Green Spring Gardens (We will only use your email address for Seed Exchange notices and will never share them with anyone else.) Seed Exchange Attendee Fee: $15.00 __________ Discount (if eligible*): -$5.00 __________ Optional: Washington Gardener Magazine Annual Subscription: $20.00 __________ TOTAL_____________ *The following group members are eligible to pay the discount attendee rate of $10.00, please CIRCLE if one applies to you: • Washington Gardener Magazine subscribers • Friends of Brookside Gardens • Friends of Green Spring Gardens WASHINGTON GARDENER ENEWS © 2010 Washington Gardener Magazine All rights reserved.




MARCH/APRIL 2005 • Landscape DIY vs. Pro • Design an Herb Garden • Prevent Gardener’s Back • Ladew Topiary Gardens • Dandelions • Cherry Trees MAY/JUNE 2005 • Stunning Plant Combinations • Turning Clay into Rich Soil • Wild Garlic • Wisteria • Strawberries JULY/AUGUST 2005 • Water Gardens • Poison Ivy • Disguising a Sloping Yard • Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens • Edible Water Plants • Water Lilies SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2005 • Container Gardens • Clematis Vines • Make Herbs & Vinegars • Sponge Gardening/Rain Gardens • 5 Insect Enemies of Gardeners NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2005 • Backyard Bird Habitats • Hellebores • Building a Coldframe • Gardening as Exercise • Bulb Planting Basics JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2006 • Garden Decor Principles • Primroses • Tasty Heirloom Veggies • U.S. Botanic Garden • Start Annuals from Seed MARCH/APRIL 2006 • Top 10 Small Trees and Large Shrubs • Azaleas • Figs, Berries, & Persimmons • Oak Diseases • Basic Pruning Principles MAY/JUNE 2006 • Using Native Plants in Your Landscape • Crabgrass • Peppers • Secret Sources for Free Plants • Alternatives to Invasives JULY/AUGUST 2006 • Hydrangeas • Theme Gardens • Agave • Find Garden Space by Growing Up SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2006 • Shade Gardening • Hosta Care Guide • Fig-growing Tips and Recipes • Oatlands Plantation • Native Woodland Plants NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2006 • Horticultural Careers • Juniper Care Guide • Winter Squash Growing Tips and Recipes • Weed-free Beds with Layer/Lasagna Gardening JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2007 • Indoor Gardening • Daphne Care Guide • Asparagus Growing Tips and Recipes • Houseplant Propagation MARCH/APRIL 2007 • Stormwater Management • Dogwood Selection & Care Guide • Early Spring Vegetable Growing Tips • Franciscan Monastery Bulb Gardens MAY/JUNE 2007 • Roses: Easy Care Tips • Native Roses & Heirloom Roses • Edible Flowers • How to Plant a Bare-Root Rose JULY/AUGUST 2007 • Groundcovers: Alternatives to Turfgrass • How to Pinch, Prune, & Dead-head • A Trip to the William Paca House & Gardens • Hardy Geraniums SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2007 • Succulents: Hardy to our Region • Drought-Tolerant Natives • Southern Vegetables • Seed Saving Savvy Tips


• The National Garden on its First Anniversary • Building a Bay-Friendly Garden NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2007 • Gardening with Children • Holiday Crafts with Native Plants • Kid-Friendly Vegetables • Indoor Bulb Forcing Basics • National Museum of the American Indian • Versatile Viburnums JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2008 • Dealing with Deer • Our Favorite Garden Tools • Indoor Bulb Forcing Basics • Delightful Daffodils MARCH/APRIL 2008 • Patio, Balcony, and Rooftop Container Gardens • Our Favorite Garden Tools • Coral Bells (Heucheras) • Brookside’s Phil Normandy • Japanese-style Garden MAY/JUNE 2008 — ALMOST SOLD OUT! • Growing Great Tomatoes • Glamorous Gladiolus • Seed Starting Basics • Flavorful Fruiting Natives • Build a Better Tomato Cage • Restored Gardener’s House at Mount Vernon JULY/AUGUST 2008 • Landscaping with Ornamental Grasses • Edible Grasses to Graze On • Slug and Snail Control • Sage Advice: Sun-Loving Salvias • How to Weed • Richmond’s Treasure — Maymont’s Gardens SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2008 • Autumn Edibles — What to Plant Now • Ladybug Lore • Beguiling Barrenworts (Epimediums) • The Best Time to Plant Spring-Blooming Bulbs • A Daytrip to Meadowlark Botanical Gardens • 14 Dry Shade Plants Too Good to Overlook NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2008 • Outdoor Lighting Essentials • How to Prune Fruiting Trees, Shrubs, and Vines • 5 Top Tips for Overwintering Tender Bulbs • Harry Lauder’s Walking Stick • A Daytrip to Tudor Place JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2009 • Compost Happens: Nature’s Free Fertilizer • Managing Stormwater with a Rain Garden • Visiting Virginia’s State Arboretum • Grow Winter Hazel for Gorgeous Winter Color MARCH/APRIL 2009 • 40+ Free and Low-Cost Local Garden Tips • Spring Edibles Planting Guide for the Mid-Atlantic • Cutworm Control • Testing Your Soil for a Fresh Start • Redbud Tree Selection and Care • Best Local Viewing Spots for Virginia Bluebells MAY/JUNE 2009 • Top 12+ Easy Summer Annuals for DC Heat • Salad Table Project • Grow and Enjoy Eggplant • How to Chuck a Woodchuck from Your Garden • Aphid Alert SUMMER 2009 • Grow Grapes in the Mid-Atlantic • Passionflowers • Mulching Basics • What’s Bugging Your Tomatoes • Growing Hops FALL 2009 • Apples • How To Save Tomato Seeds • Persimmons WINTER 2009 • Battling Garden Thugs • How To Start Seeds Indoors • Red Twig Dogwoods • Unusual Edibles to Grow in Our Region • Visit to Riversdale House SPRING 2010 • Community Gardens • Building a Raised Bed • Dwarf Iris • Broccoli SUMMER 2010 • Fragrance Gardens • Watering Without Waste • Lavender • Potatoes

WASHINGTON GARDENER ENEWS © 2010 Washington Gardener Magazine All rights reserved.

Washington Gardener Magazine’s 6th Annual Seed Exchanges are: January 29, 2011 at Brookside Gardens in Wheaton, MD and February 5, 2011 at Green Spring Gardens in Alexandria, VA






Coming Soon!

Washington Gardener Magazine’s DayTrip columns compiled into one handy publication — available soon in both paper and e-book versions. Great gift idea!

Washington Gardener Magazine’s staff and writers are available to speak to groups and garden clubs in the greater DC region. Call 301.588.6894 or email for available dates, rates, and topics.

Washington Gardener Enews December 2010  

Washington Gardener Magazine's monthly Enewsletter December 2010 issue - local gardening news and information for the great Washington, DC/M...

Washington Gardener Enews December 2010  

Washington Gardener Magazine's monthly Enewsletter December 2010 issue - local gardening news and information for the great Washington, DC/M...