Page 1

JUNE 2017 VOL. 12 NO. 4




the magazine for gardening enthusiasts in the Mid-Atlantic region

A Visit to the Sarah P. Duke Gardens Your Garden Task List Create a Vintage Garden Look with Bulbs


Growing Sea Holly

Native Featherbells Handy Garden Claw Weeders Sourcing Local Flowers DMV Gardening Events Calendar

Scratching Poison Ivy Myths

���������������������� �

� �� ��� � � � �� � � � � � � � � � � � � � � ��� � � � �� � � ��� � � � �� � ���������� �������������� � � � � � � � � � � � ����� ������������������ ���


o oo ooo


Need a Garden Club Speaker?

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.


����������������� � � � � � �� � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � ���� � � � � � �� � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � ����� � � � � �� � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � ���

Barry Glick Sunshine Farm and Gardens 696 Glicks Road Renick, WV 24966, USA Email:

���� � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � �������� � �� � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � �� � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � ��������


Green Spring Gardens

Your Ad Here

Contact or call 301.588.6894 for ad rates. The ad deadline is the 10th of each month. Please submit your ad directly to:



A “must visit” for everyone in the metropolitan Washington, DC, area. It’s a year-round goldmine of information and inspiration for the home gardener. It’s an outdoor classroom for children and their families to learn about plants and wildlife. It’s also a museum, a national historic site that offers glimpses into a long, rich history with colonial origins. Located at 4603 Green Spring Rd., Alexandria, VA. Information: 703-642-5173.



Eryngium ‘Big Blue’ has thistle-like green foliage and stunningly big, blue flowers. It is a good choice for xeric gardens. Photo is courtesy of North Creek Nurseries, Inc.


Featherbells thrives best in sunny, wet meadows and pond edges. It is on the endangered list in three states (Florida, Illinois, and Indiana) and the threatened list in three states (Kentucky, Maryland, and Ohio). It is presumed to be extirpitated in the District of Columbia.



FEATURES and COLUMNS BOOKreviews 12-13 Potted; Humane Gardener; Monarchs; Growing Vegetables DAYtrip 17-19 Sarah P. Duke Gardens GOINGnative 6 Featherbells HORThappenings 22 Plant Swap; DC Green Fest; MD Master Gardeners NEWPLANTspotlight 11 Cosmos ‘Cupcakes’ NEIGHBORnetwork 20-21 Ellen Frost, Local Color Flowers PLANTprofile 14-15 Sea Holly (Eryngium spp.) PRODUCTreview 7 Handy Garden Weeder Claws SPECIALfeature 5 New USBG Children’s Garden TIPStricks 10 Poison Ivy; Vintage Garden Look with Bulbs; Green Walls


ADVERTISINGindex BLOGlinks EDITORletter GARDENcontest LOCALevents MONTHLYtasklist NEXTissue RESOURCESsources

23 11 4 5 8-9 11 3 2


Eryngium ‘Big Blue’ courtesy of Monrovia.

In our July 2017 issue:


At the Sarah P. Duke Gardens, Marzipan rests on one of the many shaded benches placed strategically to take in the gorgeous garden vistas.

Rachel Carson Home Growing Cucumbers Garden Tour Round-up and much more...

If your business would like to reach area gardeners, be sure to contact us by July 10 so you can be part of the next issue of our growing publication!

Be sure you are subscribed! Click on the “subscribe” link at http://washingtongardener.

JUNE 2017





Credits Kathy Jentz Editor/Publisher & Advertising Sales Washington Gardener 826 Philadelphia Ave. Silver Spring, MD 20910 Phone: 301-588-6894 Call today to place your ad with us! Ruth E. Thaler-Carter Proofreader

Your editor using plant props at a neighborhood garden talk. Photo by Alan Bowser.

Ana Hurler & Mika Park Interns Cover price: $4.99 Back issues: $6.00 Subscription: $20.00 Address corrections should be sent to the address above.

Time Traveling I recently attended the Smithsonian’s Gilded Age Garden Party. It celebrated the “golden age” of American gardens in the late 1800s. I am all-in when it comes to dressing in period costume (sans bustle and corset) and sipping wine amongst garden beds stuffed with exotic flowers. Yet, this period of the Robber Barons and corruption with their rampant greed and excess is one I am glad I did not live through personally. That’s even though it is an era that left us with many public gardens, like Jay Gould’s Lyndhurst in New Jersey, to visit and enjoy today. I have always felt some discomfort as well when visiting public gardens that were former Southern plantations. A slim few embrace their past and incorporate the stories of all who built, gardened, and dwelled there. Most, though, gloss over and ignore the past with deflection and a focus on the garden’s modern legacy. What period would I want to garden in? A Medieval cloister full of herbs grown for medicine and food? A Tudor-era estate with a neat knot garden? A Georgian manor with meandering park-like grounds? I cannot say that I would feel at home nor an affinity for any of these. Perhaps the Edwardian garden would best suit me—not so different from today’s relaxed styles: cottage gardens, rampant with mixed borders in soft colors, hemmed in with natural materials. Part wild and woolly, but also featuring formal features to ground it, such as water features and pergolas. How about you? What garden era would you like to time travel to?

Kathy Jentz, Editor/Publisher, Washington Gardener, 4


• Washington Gardener Blog: • Washington Gardener Archives: • Washington Gardener Discussion Group: WashingtonGardener/ • Washington Gardener Twitter Feed: • Washington Gardener Facebook Page: WashingtonGardenerMagazine • Washington Gardener is a womanowned business. We are proud to be members of: · Garden Writers Association · Think Local First DC · DC Web Women · Green America Magazine Leaders Network · Green America Business Network To order reprints, contact Wright’s Reprints at 877.652.5295, ext. 138. Volume 12, Number 4 ISSN 1555-8959 © 2017 Washington Gardener All rights reserved. Published quarterly. No material may be reproduced without prior written permission. This magazine is purchased by the buyer with the understanding that the information presented is from various sources from which there can be no warranty or responsibility by the publisher as to legality, completeness, or technical accuracy. All uncredited photos in this issue are © Kathy Jentz.


Updated Children’s Garden at U.S. Botanic Garden

The United States Botanic Garden has reopened the Children’s Garden in the conservatory. Families can enjoy the updated space, where children can explore and grow their imaginations. The garden features many updates, including: • a new platform discovery structure—a series of terraced platforms create a climbing structure, with overhead arching aluminum posts that mimic the architectural style of the conservatory; • leaf trellis and watering can seats—a series of fabric and metal leaf shapes, at varying heights, provide overhead interest and shade for a group of seats that resemble oversized watering cans; • kiwifruit tunnel—a metal arbor replaces the previous vine tunnel. Cables positioned to resemble spider webs will soon be covered by newly planted kiwifruit plants as the vines grow and enclose the tunnel; • digging area—an area defined by metal and wood walls provides children a space to dig with child-sized tools and learn about composting; • dandelion sculptures—metal sculptures appear as oversize dandelions, with steel “seeds” attached at the tips of wires. When the wind blows, these “seeds” and wires will sway with the breeze; • toadstool seats—concrete formed to look like mushrooms at various heights accommodate children of all sizes. Previously added favorites remain, such as the motion-activated misting poles, watering and planting stations with digging tools and watering cans, and small-sized fruiting plants such as banana, apple, and fig. When young children use their imaginations to relate to their surroundings, there is evidence that they are also developing a life-long affection for the natural world. Kids are invited to see what’s in bloom, dig, plant, water, and touch and smell the plants in the Children’s Garden. The U.S. Botanic Garden is open to the public, free of charge, every day of the year from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. The Children’s Garden is open seasonally, typically May to October. The Conservatory is at 100 Maryland Ave. SW, on the southwest side of the U.S. Capitol. More information is available at o

Y ou Can Make a Difference. . . by

Sharing Your Harvest

Plant an extra row in your garden and deliver the harvest to a local food bank or shelter. The need is great! With your help, PAR can continue to make a difference for America’s most vulnerable. Call our toll-free number (877.GWAA.PAR) or visit our website at for more information.

Reader Contest

For our June 2017 Washington Gardener Magazine Reader Contest, Washington Gardener is giving away the Seed Collection, Sunflower Garden from The Gardener’s Workshop (each seed collection is a $23 value). This collection represents all the colors and sizes of the sunflower family. If the flowers are left in the garden the birds will flock to feast on the delicious seeds. This collection requires full sun. Seeds may be planted directly in the garden after the last frost. What began as a small cut-flower farm producing for local markets has grown into so much more. The Gardener’s Workshop has become a leader in the cut-flower growing industry. They are based in Newport News, VA, and can be found online at https://www.thegardenersworkshop. com The seeds they offer are the same they plant and grow in their own garden for sale as cut flowers. They only select easy-to-start seeds that are strong growers. This collection has seeds for six different sunflowers and includes a diagram and tips for planting the garden. To enter to win the sunflower seed collection, send an email to by 5pm on Wednesday, June 30, with “Sunflowers” in the subject line and in the body of the email. Tell us which was your favorite article in this issue and why. Please also include your full name and mailing address. The seed collection winner will be announced and notified on July 1. o JUNE 2017




Featherbells by Barry Glick

If ever there was a plant that lived up to its common name, it’s Featherbells! Featherbells, also known by its official scientific name of Stenanthium gramineum, is an excellent plant choice for intriguing autumn interest, worthy of a prominent place in any shade garden. Here’s one of the very few native plants to bloom in the fall, and bloom it definitely does. But there’s much more to Featherbells than just “Featherbells.” The plant itself is quite attractive in spring, summer, and fall as the footlong, inch-wide, bright-green, grass-like foliage has an almost succulent appearance and provides an added layer of texture to the garden. Late summer toward early autumn though, is when this lady comes into her own, as seemingly overnight, multiple, sturdy flower stems emerge from the center of the plant and reach skyward up to 60". On these substantial stems are borne hundreds and hundreds, maybe even thousands, of purewhite, pendulous, star-like flowers. The sharply pointed tips of these flowers add to the feathery appearance, hence 6


the common name of Featherbells. These delightful flowers last for weeks and weeks, through the first light frosts of early autumn until the hard freezes of late autumn and early winter. Cultivating these exotic-looking wild plants in the home garden is much easier than one would think. In nature, they are typically found in open, bright woods and in sunny, wet areas. In my garden, they’ve done exceptionally well in deep woodland shade with average soil moisture, so it would seem that they are pretty adaptable to almost any type of garden setting except dry soil. I’m confident that once you’ve set eyes upon this plant, you will want to have it in your own garden and that once you have it in your own garden, you will want more. Having more is easy to accomplish. The size of the plant increases every year and it’s very simple to divide it.

If you really get hooked on this plant, and I know that some of you will, try growing it from the thousands of seeds that it sets. The only problem with that is that it flowers so late in the year—you will have some years when there will not be enough time for the seeds to mature. I’ll leave you contemplating autumn and a new plant to grow or to recognize and appreciate on your next hike in the woods. o Barry Glick, a transplanted Philadelphian, has been residing in Greenbrier County, WV, since 1972. His mountaintop garden and nursery is a mecca for gardeners from virtually every country in the world. Barry writes and lectures extensively about native plants and Hellebores, his two main specialties, and welcomes visitors with advance notice. He can be reached at,, or 304.497.2208.


Godzilla Garden Claw Gloves versus (Lord of ) the Ring Weeder If you’ve spent any time on Facebook recently, you’ve probably come across the claw gardening gloves in your news feed, or you might have seen them advertised on TV. Whether called Garden Genie Gloves or Claw Gardening Gloves, they remind me of Godzilla’s fingers. Another lesser-publicized weeding tool is the Ring Weeder, a clever device worn on the index finger that deftly extracts weeds. I recently tested these “handy” weeding aids in the garden to see how they compare. Meant to “replace hand tools with your actual hands,” the claw glove is purported to make digging, grading, raking, and even planting fast and easy. Ranging widely from $4 to over $20, clawed garden gloves are available in one-handed or two-handed versions. Being a skeptic, I bought a pair, available only in lurid sea-monster green, to see if the social media “likes” and positive comments were legitimate. The Ring Weeder, from about $9, is an ABS plastic device designed to slip over your gloved finger. In hard-tolose blaze orange, landscaper Vinnie Suozzi’s clever design is elegant, ergonomic, and compact. “The BEST way to weed with your hand,” the Ring Weeder is also promoted for replacing traditional garden tools, such as a hoe, spring rake, or iron rake. Godzilla’s fingers are latex-coated gloves made as one size fits most. Those types of items never truly fit

me, and these were no exception. The gloves seem durable and punctureresistant, but I was unable to achieve a snug fit. The backs of the gloves have a nylon mesh area that allows ventilation while keeping the rest of the hands clean and relatively dry. The ABS black plastic claws are glued onto the fingertips, thumb excluded. Being a lefty, I’d have liked to switch the claws, since I was too cheap to buy the two-handed style. In my garden beds, I was able to grub out small weeds with my armored fingertips. Tap-rooted weeds like dandelions were more of a challenge to remove. True, I could excavate to get the root, but it was not the neatest process. I dug like a badger. With one finger or several, I found I could easily make furrows in worked garden soil. That could be useful in vegetable plots. Yes, I could also plant, as claimed, but I found a plain (no-claws) glove better for that task. The forked tip of the Ring Weeder allows you to loosen soil around the weed. Wearable on either hand, the ring fits best over a glove, and it is split, which allows it to easily accommodate fingers from Frodo’s to Gollum’s. Wearing the weeder with the forked prong extending from the underside of the finger, you plunge it into the soil behind the weed and pull toward the thumb, pinching it and pulling to remove. This works better than the claws in tight areas, like perennial beds, where you

by Louise Clarke don’t want to disturb desirable plants. Like the claws, this works better on small weeds; those with taproots pose more of a challenge. I can see this being useful for thinning crowded seedlings in the vegetable garden, or evicting those pesky oxalis that pop up everywhere, like my windowboxes and containers. Both weeders easily clean up with water. Stuffing the Ring Weeder into a pocket for storage is safer than trying to stuff Godzilla’s fingers there. I can envision using the Ring Weeder early and during the growing season to keep up with weeds. The clawed gloves seemed better for larger areas where finesse isn’t required. I can also imagine the claw gloves being useful for Halloween, or clawing heavy, wet snow from a windshield. Am I likely to give up my soil knife for either of these? No, but I can definitely appreciate the power of the Ring Weeder. I’ve added it to my weeding tool arsenal. o Louise Clarke is a degreed horticulturist employed by the Morris Arboretum in Philadelphia, PA, where she tends more than 1,200 woody plants and two green roofs, as well as leading workshops, writing, and lecturing on horticultural topics. As a zonedenial gardener, she tends Halcyon, her lush home garden—a mixture of tender tropicals, bulbs, perennials, unusual annuals, and vines. She rarely has time to admire the garden while seated in her tiki hut, made from repurposed materials. JUNE 2017



TOP AREA GARDENING EVENTS DC-Area Gardening Calendar ~ Upcoming Events ~ June 16–July 15, 2017 • Through August 14 Lively Fruit and Vegetable Sculptures on Display Jan Kirsh Studio, a full-service landscape design and sculpture studio, has been selected for exhibition at the Gay Street Gallery, 337 Gay Street, Washington, VA. This will be Kirsh’s first exhibition in the state. Her works include larger than life peppers and eggplants. Details at • Saturday, June 17 from 10am–4pm School Garden Planting & Urbana Happy Hour Join Slow Food DC and Snail of Approval Winner Urbana at the School Without Walls (2425 N St. NW, Washington, DC) as they plant seedlings at the nearby School Without Walls at Francis Stevens, and later celebrate with good food and libations. Purchase tickets at: • Sunday, June 18, 12:30pm—2pm Father’s Day Kite Flight Celebrate Father’s Day at Tudor Place. Build and fly your own mini kite on the grand South Lawn. Tour the 5 ½-acre garden, craft your own mini kite using recycled materials, make family buttons, take part in a kite race, and bring home a prize. For families with children ages 6–12. This outdoor event will take place rain or shine. Please dress for the weather. Tudor Place Member Child: $7, Non-Member Child: $10, Adult Chaperone: $5. Register at http://www. • Monday, June 19, 8-9:30pm Daylily Daze: Past, Present, and Future of Daylily Breeding Talk Hosted by the Silver Spring Garden Club. Chris von Kohn, horticulturist and curator of the Perennial Collection at the US National Arboretum, will give a presentation on daylily breeding. The talk will focus on topics to consider when starting a breeding program, and will include a preview of plants that may become more readily available in the future. They’re not just your grandmoth8


er’s daylilies anymore! This meeting is free and open to the public. Held at Brookside Gardens Visitor Center. • Tuesday, June 20, 6:30–8:00pm Master Case Studies in Biophilic Design Bill Browning will give a second lecture on biophilic design at the District Architecture Center. This time, Bill will take a deeper look at successful projects that exemplify biophilic design practice. Don’t miss this opportunity to go beyond the basics and learn what makes successful biophilic projects work. Steve Cook of Potomac ASLA will offer comments from the landscape architecture perspective. Register at • Thursday, June 22, 1–3pm Garden Tour and Tea Tour the glorious springtime demonstration gardens with a Master Gardener docent who inspires you with stories of Green Spring past and present. Afterwards, enjoy a traditional English afternoon tea served in the 1784 Historic House. For ages 13 on up. Reservations required. $32/person. To make reservations, call Historic Green Spring at 703941-7987. Green Spring Gardens, 4603 Green Spring Road, Alexandria, VA 22312 ( greenspring). • Thursday, June 22, 5–7pm Outdoor Summer Concert Series The United States Botanic Garden is pleased to announce the return of its popular American Roots Music Concert Series for 2017. The summer concert series, which the USBG first offered in 2015, celebrates American roots music—Americana and folk, country, blues, jazz, and zydeco. Concerts June through August will be held outdoors in the National Garden Amphitheater surrounded by the beautiful Regional Garden of native plants (rain location inside the Conservatory in the Garden Court). The USBG continues to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the National Garden, which opened in 2006. All concerts are free of charge.

Amphitheater seating is available on a first-come, first-served basis. Check for information about the artists and visiting the USBG. • Saturday, June 24, 8:45am–12:00n Volunteer Day at Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens Join the Washington Architectural Foundation and ISTUDIO Architects for a volunteer opportunity at the Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens. You’ll get to spend the morning in the ponds removing invasive plants, picking up trash, planting native plants, working the ponds, and performing other park projects. Volunteers are essential to promoting healthy wildlife and beautiful lilies and lotus at the gardens. Sign up at http://www.aiadc. com/event/kenilworth-aquatic-gardensarchitects-city-volunteer-day. • Saturday and Sunday, June 24–25 Regency Ladies’ Weekend Escape the hustle of modern life and escape to the Regency era as you explore fashion, food, amusements, and more. Enjoy the rare opportunity to spend the night at Riversdale. Period attire admired but not required. To register: • Wednesday, June 28, 6:30–8pm Small-Space Gardening in Urban Settings Talk Kathy Jentz, Editor/Publisher, Washington Gardener Magazine, will speak on small-space gardens. Challenged with creating your own paradise for relaxing and entertaining in a small space? Using examples from area gardens ranging from small patio areas to apartment balconies, Kathy will illustrate basic design principles for maximizing garden space. Learn how to address common small-space challenges such as creating privacy and adding light to shady areas. Walk away with practical low-or-no-budget solutions for your unique space challenges. Register at https://apm.activecommunities. com/montgomerycounty/Activity_ Search/25730. This event will be held at Brookside Gardens. FOBG:$20.

TOP AREA GARDENING EVENTS DC-Area Gardening Calendar ~ Upcoming Events ~ June 16–July 15, 2017 • Thursday, June 29, 6:45pm All the Presidents’ Gardens, An Evening Program with Book Signing with author Marta McDowell Marta McDowell, author of All the Presidents’ Gardens (Timber Press), offers a survey of American garden history as seen through the changing grounds at the White House, featuring the presidents, first ladies, and their gardeners. Copies of her award-winning book are available for purchase and signing. A Smithsonian Associates Program presented in collaboration with Smithsonian Libraries and Smithsonian Gardens. To be held at the S. Dillon Ripley Center, 1100 Jefferson Dr SW, WDC. Tickets: $20 Member / $30 Non-Member. To purchase tickets, go to http:// • Thursday, July 6, 7:30–9:30pm Firefly Walk with Dr. Lall For the last five years, Dr. Abner Lall has been leading firefly walks at Cylburn. Learn how fireflies use their bioluminescence to communicate with each other and observe them at twilight in Cylburn’s gardens in Baltimore, MD. Meet at the Greenhouse Classroom. Free, with a suggested donation of $5. See • Thursday, July 6, 7–8:30pm Outdoor Concert with John Sax Williams (Jazz) at US National Arboretum Friends of the National Arboretum and the Washington Youth Garden present seven free evenings of music the 2017 Summer Evenings at the U.S. National Arboretum. Pack a picnic, bring a lawn chair or blanket, and relax in the Meadow below the Capital Columns. These concerts are free, BUT reservations are required; use the Eventbrite link here to reserve your tickets https:// Gates open at 6pm. Thursday evenings June-July. There are no rain dates. Please enter through the R Street NE Gate (GPS: 2400 R Street NE, Washington, DC 20002). Sorry, dogs and alcohol are not permitted.

• Sunday, July 9, 2–3:30pm Garden Photo Show Reception Come view the 17 winners of the DC Garden Photo Contest at Meadowlark Botanical Gardens in Vienna, VA. The opening reception is open to the public and is free to attend. To RSVP and for updates, visit our Facebook event page at: events/1970412239859992. • Saturday, July 15 Annual Water Lily & Lotus Festival The kickoff of Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens’ signature summer event, with music, cultural arts and crafts, live animal exhibit for kids, and more. The lotus and lilies will be in full bloom throughout the seven acres of the National Park Service’s only site dedicated to aquatic plants. Information:

Save These Future Dates • Thursday, July 20, 6:30–8pm Discuss Big Dreams, Small Garden with Washington Gardener Book Club For our next Washington Gardener Magazine Book Club selection, we will be discussing Big Dreams, Small Garden by Marianne Willburn at Soupergirl, located right next to the Takoma Metro stop. Plan to come a bit early to purchase and eat your dinner with the garden book club. RSVP to washingtongardener@rcn. com or at the club’s event page at by May 22. The Garden Book Club is free and open to all. We meet quarterly on a weekday evening near a Metroaccessible location in the DC-area. • July 22 Lotus Jazz Night Friends of Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens, National Capital Parks-East, and the DC Promise Neighborhood Initiative are hosting a Lotus Jazz Night featuring incredible live jazz at Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens to celebrate the end of this year’s week-long Water Lily and Lotus Festival. Bring family, friends, and a blanket and picnic to enjoy this amazing

show along with the jaw-dropping backdrop of the pink American lotus. Details at • August 12 Family Garden Day at Washington Youth Garden Family Garden Day is a time for all members of the community and their families to join Washington Youth Garden staff to experience the garden with fun games, crafting activities, garden tours, and everyone’s favorite garden veggie tastings.

Still More Event Listings

See even more event listings on the Washington Gardener Yahoo discussion list. Join the list at com/group/WashingtonGardener/.

How to Submit Local Garden Events

To submit an event for this listing, contact — put “Event” in the subject line. Our next deadline is July 10 for the July 2017 issue, for events taking place from July 16—August 15.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: Dumbarton Oaks Gardens to Close for Renovations The historic gardens tucked into the Georgetown neighborhood were designed by Beatrice Farrand. The highlights include the Pebble Garden, Beech Terrace, and herbaceous borders. Visit for a daily glimpse of what is in bloom at the garden. Note that the gardens will be closed to the public from July 10, 2017 until March 15, 2018. Plan your visit soon to 1703 32nd Street, NW, Washington, DC,; 202339-6401. o

Your Ad Here

Contact or call 301.588.6894 for ad rates. The ad deadline is the 10th of each month. Please submit your ad directly to:

JUNE 2017




Poison Ivy Myths

Create a Vintage Garden Look with Flowering Bulbs

Looking to add vibrant colors and a unique flair to your garden, but not sure where to begin? recommends planting flower bulbs, which can provide a splash of color to your garden or plant containers. For a more vintage look, suggests thinking outside the box—or rather, flower pot—for creative places to plant your bulbs. Recycle old items you already own into flower pots. Anything you have lying around that can hold soil (think colanders, pitchers, or even a large hat) can be repurposed as a flower pot. Not only is it fun to find new uses for things, but your new planters will give your garden an imaginative, vintage look, and save you some money. Transforming your items is simple, but the finished result is anything but basic. First, make sure the item has a hole in the bottom for excess water to drain. Then place a layer of pot shards, gravel, or hydroponic clay pebbles in the bottom. Next, fill the container halfway with soil and plant the bulbs. Top off with more soil so the container is three-quarters full, and tamp down the surface. Lastly, water the bulbs to encourage rooting. For best results, plant many bulbs close together and combine both early and late-flowering bulbs. This method ensures your new container will overflow with beautiful blooms for an extralong flowering season. o 10


Knowing what to look for and protecting yourself are the best ways to prevent contracting a poison ivy rash. If you do suspect you have poison ivy rash, has the information you are itching to know regarding several common poison ivy myths. First, it is important to know that poison ivy rash is an allergic reaction caused by coming into contact with urushiol, a toxin in poison ivy, oak, and sumac plants. There are several ways you can contract the rash: directly touching the plant, touching something else that has made contact with the plant (a pet or garden tool, for example), and through airborne exposure by burning plants. From between 5 minutes to 2 hours after exposure, the reaction cannot be spread simply by scratching or skinto-skin contact, or from blister fluid. You should be careful not to scratch excessively, because bacteria from dirty hands can still cause infection. Just because a poison ivy plant is dead does not mean it is no longer toxic. In wet climates, urushiol can remain active for up to five years, and as long as nine years in dry areas. Your sensitivity to urushiol changes over time, and can even vary from season to season. Sensitivity typically declines as you age and your immune system slows down. There are ways to prevent contracting a poison ivy rash, such as wearing clothing that covers your skin and frequently washing things that may have been exposed. Do not burn items that have been exposed, or the plants themselves. Burning them and inhaling the smoke can cause a deadly systemic reaction. If you do suspect you have been exposed to poison ivy, immediately wash the area with plain soap and water—doing so removes urushiol before it can bind with the skin, and should prevent a reaction. o

One of the Largest Greenwalls in the Country

Greenstreet GreenWalls has installed the second-largest living green wall in the country at The Towers, 1000 Wilson Blvd., Arlington, VA, last month. The group, a division of Greenstreet Growers, partnered with AgroSci, Inc., to design and install the project in The Towers, which are owned and operated by Monday Properties, a national real estate investment firm. Monday Properties commissioned FOX Architects, the project’s coordinator, to design a way to use space in the building’s expansive escalator area. The wall measures 66 feet wide, and takes up a total area of 780 square feet. Not only is the green wall an aesthetically pleasing design feature, but it also purifies the air. AgroSci’s patented Aerogation system, which draws air into the plants’ root zone, multiplies the plants’ natural ability to cleanse the air of toxins. By using this system, the wall’s 2,663 plants can purify 888 cubic feet of air per minute. “A living wall brings nature inside for a cleaner, healthier, and more welcoming space,” said Ray Greenstreet, owner of Greenstreet GreenWalls, in a press release. “Green walls are the green way to purify indoor air.” Greenstreet GreenWalls has installed several green walls throughout the area in Baltimore, Annapolis, Potomac, and Washington, DC. o Tips column compiled by Ana Hurler, a senior multi-platform journalism major at the University of Maryland, College Park. Ana is interning with us this summer.


Quick Links to Washington Gardener Blog Posts

New Plant Spotlight Cosmos ‘Cupcakes’

Cosmos bipinnatus Fused petals form deep cups on this amazing new Cosmos: a mix of semidouble and single blooms in white, light pink, and dark pink. The blooms are great for cutting and the bushy plants stand up well to heat, rain, and drought. Plants can reach 4 feet tall by 2 feet wide. Blooms summer to fall. This mixture came about by accident, as so many wonderful things do. Gardener Diane Engdahl of Santa Rosa, California, discovered a Cosmos in her garden that set unique cup-shaped blooms. She carefully saved seeds and sent them off to a grower in England, who cultivated and refined them for several years before introducing them to Europe. The reaction was nothing short of a sensation--you simply couldn’t find Cupcakes Mix seeds the first spring they were on the market overseas. Now, seeds are available in the U.S. from Park Seed Co. (http:// The blooms come in three vintage shades: pale lavender, soft pink, and creamy white. As the white blooms mature, they acquire pink tones; the lavender varies from lilac to mauve; and the pink can be of several shades. Simply direct-sow the seeds wherever you’d like lots of quick, long-lasting color. Pinch the tips of young stems for bushier, shorter plants, and 2½ months later, the plants are in full bloom! And the plants will thrive even in poor dry soils, making them ideal for blazing-hot trouble spots as well as beds, borders, and walkways. Key Features: • Hardy to USDA zones 11. • Full sun. • Dry to normal soil. • Pollinator friendly. • Good cut flower. o

• Red Cotton in the Garden Plot • Intern Intros: Mika and Ana • Peppers Planted • Book a Great Garden Speaker • Bloom Day Salvias See more Washington Gardener blog posts at: o

June–July Garden To-Do List

• Direct-sow annual flower and vegetable seeds. • Water newly planted trees and shrubs weekly or as needed. • Contact a Certified Arborist to have your trees’ health inspected. • Check on your container plants daily and keep them well-watered. • Watch for insect and disease problems throughout your garden. • Mow in the early evening and cut off no more than one-third of the grass height at one time. Leave clippings on the ground to provide nutrients. • Add barley straw (in a bale or ball) to your pond to improve water clarity. • Take cuttings from azaleas and roses to start new plants. • Harvest herbs to use in salads and summer dishes. • Try a few new tropical plants on your patio. • Shape your evergreens and hedges. • Look for slug trails in the early morning and put out slug bait as needed. • Tie-up climbing roses and other wandering vines. • Fill in bare spots in the garden with annuals. • Deadhead spent flowers to encourage reblooming. • Prune flowering shrubs as their flowers fade. Last chance to do so for fallblooming camellias. • Spray roses with Neem oil every two weeks. • Start a sunflower patch with help from a few kids. • Harvest strawberry beds daily. • Cut a few flowers to enjoy at your workplace. • This is the perfect time to apply grub control. • Change the water in your birdbath daily and throw a Mosquito Dunk (or bits) into any standing water. • Put in supports for tomatoes and tall-blooming plants such as dahlias. • Order spring-flowering bulbs to arrive for planting this fall. • Take photos and update your garden journal. • Inspect your garden hose for leaks and tighten all connections. • Weed. • Sow beets, beans, cucumbers, pumpkins, and squash for fall harvest. • Prune boxwoods. • Sharpen your lawnmower blade. • Avoid using pesticides or any chemicals near your water garden. • Make hummingbird food by boiling 2 cups sugar in 4 cups water. • Turn your compost pile. • Clean up fallen fruit and berries. • Cover berry bushes and fruit trees with bird netting. • Dig up garlic when the tops turn brown. Let dry in the sun, then store. • Fertilize your azaleas and rhododendrons, and monitor them closely for any lacebug damage. • Sow heat-tolerant greens like Swiss Chard and mustard greens in part- shade. • As the heat and humidity move in, take it easy by working in the morning or early evening to avoid intense sun and humidity. Leave the big projects for this fall. For now, concentrate on maintaining the beds you’ve already established and nurturing your new plantings. o JUNE 2017



BOOKreviews already own or that are easy to acquire. For the small bits of the projects that do require using machinery such as saws, the authors understandably note that seeking help from someone experienced or renting equipment are helpful alternatives. This how-to book provides detailed, simple instructions and plenty of photos. Anyone looking to add unique statement pieces for their garden is sure to find ample inspiration in Potted, regardless of skill level.

Potted: Make Your Own Stylish Garden Containers By Annette Goliti Gutierrez and Mary Gray Publisher: Timber Press List Price: $19.95 Reviewer: Ana Hurler Adding one-of-a-kind design features and planters to your garden easily elevates the look of the space and lets your own personal style shine through. However, buying these uniquely designed planters can easily break the bank. Annette Goliti Gutierrez and Mary Gray, the Los Angeles-based owners of Potted, a garden lifestyle boutique, questioned whether they could DIY planters to look just as chic as the store-bought counterparts. In Potted, they compiled their ideas into 23 simple projects anyone could make with common objects and tools. All of the projects use items found in hardware stores, building yards, or art supply stores, with affordability in mind. The items are each imaginatively transformed into statement pieces made to liven up any garden space. The book is divided into sections based on the material used to make the pot: concrete, plastics, metals, terra-cotta, and organic materials. Each project begins with an explanation of its design inspiration, as well as a list of materials needed. Photos accompany every step, making the construction of each piece easy to visualize. While a couple of the projects require using tools that might seem intimidating to the uninitiated, the majority of the projects require tools you likely 12


Ana Hurler is a senior multi-platform journalism major at the University of Maryland, College Park. Ana is interning with us this summer. She loves to travel, especially if it involves nature, the outdoors, and food.

The Monarch: Saving Our Most-Loved Butterfly By Kylee Baumle Publisher: St. Lynn’s Press List Price: $18.95 Reviewer: Erica H. Smith Those of us who love monarch butterflies are eager to share their story and to learn more about it ourselves. This book is a great way to do that. Only 160 pages long, an afternoon’s reading, it nevertheless covers monarchs in plenty of detail, including life cycle, migration, threats to survival, and ways to help these fascinating creatures escape extinction. The stages of the monarch’s life—egg, caterpillar, chrysalis, and adult butterfly—are explained and illustrated. This story is interrupted briefly to highlight some other butterflies that mimic the monarch’s appearance. (One of the only criticisms I have of this book is that the organization is erratic in places; some sections might have fit more

logically elsewhere. I’ll also note that the copyediting could have been better, and typos jumped out at me in a number of places. But that doesn’t diminish the enjoyment of reading.) The monarch’s amazing long-distance migration is covered next, followed by a chapter on the possible factors in the steep decline in monarch populations: climate change, pesticides, urbanization, and land management, etc. Baumle really makes us feel the plight of the monarch, and then offers suggestions about how to help: political activism, planting milkweed and other plants useful to butterflies, and becoming citizen scientists. Species of milkweed are described with recommendations for planting, and nectar plants are encouraged as well. Natural threats to monarchs (insects, birds, and disease) are explained, and there’s a section defining extinction and the various stages of endangerment. (Monarchs are being considered for Endangered Species Act protection.) What else can we do to help? Baumle devotes the latter part of the book to projects that can be taken on by adults alone or with children: citizen science monitoring, creating monarch waystations, raising monarchs indoors, tagging migrating monarchs, and some crafts and classroom activities. There are some instructive appendices, too: a list of milkweed species and where to buy seeds and plants (I’m planning to start some poke milkweed next spring, since it will grow in the shade), what other insects feed on milkweed, where to visit overwintering monarchs, and where to donate to help the cause, along with a glossary and bibliography. This is an attractive book, chock-full of information, that would be useful to anyone from a teenaged student to a veteran gardener. If you love monarch butterflies or want to learn more about them, check it out! Erica H. Smith is a Montgomery County Master Gardener, runs the Grow It Eat It blog for the University of Maryland Extension, and grows vegetables in her own community garden plot and in the MG Demonstration Garden in Derwood, MD. She is the author of several novels; visit her web site at


The Humane Gardener: Nurturing a Backyard Habitat for Wildlife By Nancy Lawson Publisher: Princeton Architectural Press List Price: $24.95 Reviewer: Jamie Moore The Humane Gardener embraces “compassionate landscaping,” a method of gardening that takes into consideration the needs of wildlife, whose habitat is being increasingly replaced by deserts of concrete and turf grass. The book is very readable, with instructive chapters interspersed with profiles of scientists, activists, naturalists, and gardeners who have turned their yards into beautiful havens for both themselves and wildlife. Photographs are sprinkled liberally throughout the text. The principles described in the book appear straightforward and easy to apply. First, the author encourages the use of native plants, which are ideally suited to meet the needs of local wildlife. They are a valuable food source for beneficial insects and small mammals. Layering trees with shrubs, wildflowers, and grasses creates a self-sustaining system that is low maintenance and provides wildlife habitat. Lawson advises us to stop working against nature and allow non-invasive native plants repopulate our yards. She then recommends practices that create safe havens for wildlife. Allowing dead trees (“snags”) to remain standing provides shelter for many animals.

Piles of sticks and leaves become homes for other creatures and enrich the soil as they decompose. Protect the welfare of wildlife in your yard by avoiding harmful chemicals and leaf blowers. Also be mindful of the nonhuman residents of your yard when using string trimmers and lawn mowers. Try to avoid types of fences, netting, and lawn ornaments that might cause injury to animals. Also, Lawson advocates adopting a permissive attitude toward wildlife in your yard. Many animals considered pests actually make valuable contributions to the environment. Rabbits eat dandelions, deer eat bindweed, opossums eat ticks, and skunks eat grubs. Instead of declaring war on these animals, find a strategy to coexist with them. By renewing balance in nature, we can stop fighting to impose our will and instead relax and enjoy observing the life that flourishes. I truly enjoyed this book and am looking forward to creating a more wildlife-friendly yard. I have become more aware of the corruption of nature in my suburban neighborhood. Instead of birdsong, the most frequent sounds I hear are lawn mowers and leaf blowers. For the past few years, I have been working to replace my lawn with plants that attract beneficial insects. The Humane Gardener has showed me many more ways I can repair the balance of nature in my yard, and I hope to inspire my neighbors to do the same. Jamie Moore gardens in Frederick County, MD. In addition to gardening, she loves to read; cook with local and seasonal produce; hike; and spend time with her husband, three children, and two cats.

Growing Vegetables & Herbs By Guy Barter Publisher: Mitchell Beazley List Price: $19.99 Reviewer: Mika Park Growing Vegetables & Herbs, published by the Royal Horticulture Society (RHS), is an easy-to-follow book that fits the needs of both beginner and experienced garden-

ers. This British book features information that is relevant to all gardeners, such as basics of crop protection and reasons to grow your own food. The information, sourced from several experts from the RHS, is seamlessly compiled by the author. The book gives simple instructions for growing a variety of vegetables and herbs, including types of brassicas, shoots, pods, and roots. It has illustrations that make the directions more clear for the visual learner, as well as photos to enhance the information. Growing Vegetables & Herbs makes gardening accessible to those without a clue where to start, since it gives tips for even watering, preparing the ground, and digging techniques. It packs in details for those who are interested without getting off-track and distracting from its main points. Visually, the layout is very appealing. The way the book features illustrations, photos, and graphic information boxes makes it easy to follow and pleasant to look at. The step-by-step illustrated instructions are an excellent feature for those unfamiliar with gardening. Additionally, the book includes information about the different vegetables and herbs such as best growing times and recommended varieties. The sowing guide, glossary, and index in the back of the book make it even more navigable for those seeking specific information who do not want to read the book in its entirety. This book would be most suitable for a beginner gardener, but also contains information that can enhance the skills and knowledge base of experienced gardeners. It would make an excellent gift for someone interested in starting gardening, or someone who wants to learn more about the specific art of growing vegetables. o Mika Park is a sophomore multi-platform journalism major at the University of Maryland. This summer, she is an editorial intern at Washington Gardener Magazine. She was born in Holland and raised in Brooklyn, NY.

JUNE 2017




Sea Holly

Eryngium spp. By Judith Mensh

Eryngium yuccifoliumat the High Glen, Frederick, MD.

The rarity of a plant with blue leaves as well as azure flowers gives it an aura of magic. Eryngium spp., commonly known as Sea Holly, Eryngo, and Blue Thistle, belong in the cutting garden, English cottage garden, rock or gravel garden, and xeriscape garden, too. They add a stunning foil for any contrasting color (try orange) in a blue-themed garden. From ancient folk wisdom to modern medicine, 18th-century candied root sweetmeat to seasonal herb and salsa ingredient, fresh and dried flower arrangements to wedding bouquets, to ornamental garden plant, Eryngium spp., a genus of the Apiaceae (formerly Umbelliferae) family, and casts a wide net. Cousin of the carrot? Who would think it? And yet, they are family members. Above ground, its appearance does not suggest this relationship. Eryngium flowers do not typically have flat white umbels or green frilly leaves with a pungent odor when crushed. Below ground, the family similarity becomes obvious: a tap root. In its natural habitat, along the Mediterranean coast, the root of the classic Sea Holly (E. maritimum) may drill down 20 feet deep, in search of stability and water. Its blue stems and flowers grow tall and stout. Science has explained today the mechanism by which some plants 14


appear blue instead of the expected green. In certain contexts, particularly in cold areas or high altitudes, the reflection of green light by these plants is replaced by short blue rays, an anomaly which most likely is the result of a cutin coating on the leaf surface. Although you won’t find it in a vegetable catalogue, you may find it mentioned in a resource of wild edible plants. Many of this family have leaves with aromatic oils and culinary qualities—anise, celery, cilantro, and parsley, for example. Eryngium foetidum is a tropical species, originating in Central America and Mexico, and now found in many Asian countries. It is commonly known as Culantro and is noted to be stronger than Cilantro, it’s relative. Like all ornamentals that we buy for our gardens, those described here are grown for looks, not food, so do not expect to harvest and eat them. Eryngium spp. are self-pollinating, having both male and female flowers on the same plant. They also are insectpollinated, by bees, flies, beetles, and butterflies. They provide both nectar and pollen. Eryngium flowers make excellent dried flowers, and vase flowers, and constitute an industry of their own in the floral trade, where it is known as Blue Thistle, since its prickly leaves and

domed flowerhead are reminiscent of, but unrelated to, true thistles. Meanwhile, the tropical and subtropical species of Eryngium also flourished wild in Mexico, Central America, and South America. Many of these species are part of local culture, and familiar in the community. They are not commercially propagated for the garden. Cool temperatures result in moreintense blues and the high altitudes of Ecuadorian flower farms produce the best of the blues. A recent introduction from this sector is the Eryngium spp. ‘Blue Dynamite,’ available in cut flower and dried flower form. The marketing touts “strong stems, deep blue color, big cones, year-round availability, super vase life, exclusively grown in Ecuador.” In our climate, it is a summer bloomer that loves full sun, quick drainage, and heat. It tolerates drought well, once established.

Cultivation History

Mentioned in Roman times and cultivated since, for beauty, for food and for medicine, the ornamental Eryngium is of European parentage. Eryngium maritimum, the original Sea Holly, and Eryngium campestre, the inland version commonly called Field Eryngo, are two edible versions of the genus. The young leaves provide tasty vegetables, steamed or stir-fried; the sprouts are said to be equal to new asparagus; and the roots can be steamed or candied. Its common name derives from the superficial resemblance to Holly (Ilex spp.) leaves. Both species have been reported to be naturalized in isolated pockets throughout North America. It is found growing naturally along the coastlines of Britain, continental Europe, and the Mediterranean, and inland on higher, drier elevations, thriving in the sunny, sandy, salty, and cooler-at-night conditions. Meanwhile, the tropical and subtropical branch of the family thrived in southern US, Mexico, Central America, and South America. Three tropical species of Eryngium used down through the ages are E. pandanifolium, a perennial found in Argentina, Paraguay, Uruguay, and Brazil (and naturalized in areas of S.W. Europe), from which a locally used fiber is obtained; E. carlinae, found in Central America and Mexico, harvested

PLANTprofile from the wild and used in local medicine; and E. foetidum, used for both food and medicine.

Optimum Conditions

If you have a sundrenched area, southfacing with some eastern or western orientation, give it a try. Try it as a container plant to begin with, and water conscientiously the first season. It will let you know if it is too much water and too little drainage by not surviving. If you do a perk test first at the chosen spot, you will know ahead of time if it drains freely; if not, move on to the next potential location. It must have sun, but cooler night-time temperatures will intensify the blues. Some are hardy to zone 2, others to zone 4. The long tap root it develops makes it resistant to being successfully relocated, so plan carefully before you plant. Seedlings, plantlets, and root cuttings are common propagation methods.

Available Cultivars

Many cultivars that have been developed and named in European nurseries have not yet become available to the American horticultural trade. Certain ones, however, are mainstays and are consistently available here. Cultivars readily available at garden centers in our region include Eryngium planum ‘Blue Hobbit.’ With its compact size, it would be the ideal townhouse garden Sea Holly. Our home-grown Eryngium yuccifolium, common name Rattlesnake Master, or more descriptively, Snake Button, is an American prairie and inland plains native. It can be seen locally among the Native Plant Garden plantings at Green Spring Gardens in Alexandria, VA, where it’s whitish-green blooms attract butterflies from June through August. Eryngium leavenworthii is a wildflower of the south-central United States. It is an annual and available in seed packs from Thompson & Morgan. Check out the Plant Delights introduction, E. yuccifolium ‘Kershaw Blue,’ a native plant offering with color, stature, pollinator fodder, and exotic appeal. Other cultivars to look out for locally are E. amethystinum, Flat Sea Holly (E. planum), E. ‘Blue Star,’ and ‘Big Blue.’

Companion Plants

Historically, these big blue beauties were commonly included in English cottage garden schemes, and in cutting gardens. They are often mentioned in late-19th and early-20th century lists of garden plans for sunny borders, along with phlox, asters, and ornamental grasses; recommendations that still stand (but replace ornamental with native for the grasses). Included in lists of old-fashioned flowers, its long history of human/plant interaction is well documented. Consider a combination planting of the concurrently blooming Chicory (Cicoram intybus), also a transplant from Europe, and in the past grown in the kitchen garden for its new leaves and its roots. The increased use of Prickly Pear Cactus as a landscape element on hot, sunny corners provides E. yuccifolium with the opportunity to fit into everyday outdoor decor. At 3 foot wide by more than 4 feet high, this is a selection that needs a garden with plenty of space. Try it as a container plant “thriller.” This plant is a focal point, but also a

garden challenge, and sometimes a few tries are inevitable before getting it right or giving up. Underplant with Scilla bulbs, which share their need to have well-draining and sunny living conditions. Hardy geranium sprawlers such as the readily available ‘Rozanne’ provide more color. Include other glaucous plants for a cool, other-worldly look. Eryngium spp. displays the unusual quality of being blue in a world in which green is the color of choice for photosynthesis. This exception to the rule, particularly beautiful, is a spiny, blue plant, stands out in the world of green, with no peer. Cut flower, critter-resistant, droughttolerant, pollinator attractor, visual eye-catcher—definitely ask for it at your local garden center. Perhaps interest and demand could drive a trend toward more common use of these irresistible perennials. o Judith Mensh is a local horticultural consultant. She is available to walk your yard with you and identify plants and possibilities. She can be reached via email at

Eryngium leavenworthii is more metallic purple than blue in color. Shot at the U. S. National Arboretum. JUNE 2017






Sara P. Duke Gardens:

A National Architectural Treasure by Cheval Force Opp

The Sara P. Duke Gardens began in the 1900s as a trashy ravine on the edge of Duke University. Luckily, Dr. Frederic Hanes, one of the original medical school faculty members and president of the American Iris Society, was a man with a vision. Over the following years, the precipitous terrain was transformed into one of the 50 most amazing university botanic gardens and arboretums in the US. Like all gardens, there were some false steps. The first planting featured 40,000 iris, 25,000 daffodils, 10,000 small bulbs, and various annuals—all favorites of Hanes. But the steep topography and North Carolina climate were unforgiving to these plants. Poor drainage wreaked havoc, rotting the bulbs, and in 1934, torrential rain covered three acres of the gardens in standing water. Undeterred, Hanes approached Mary Duke Biddle, asking her to participate in the gardens as a way to honor her mother, Sarah P. Duke, an original donor. He also recruited legendary landscape architect Ellen Shipman to

create a 12-acre formal garden that moderated the site’s abrupt declines, while paying homage to her love of Charles A. Platt’s Italian garden designs. Commenting in 1938 to the New York Times, Shipman said candidly, “before women took hold of the profession, landscape architects were doing what I call cemetery work.” Unsurprisingly, Shipman was considered a renegade by her male-dominated landscape architect community. Her signature style was lush landscapes “painted” with colorful plants and textures. Most of the approximately 650 other gardens she designed are gone, but the Sara P. Duke Garden Terrace Garden, one of Shipman’s few institutional commissions, is now considered a national architectural treasure.

Historic Gardens

A circular wisteria-covered pergola crowns the descending stone-walled terraces in the Shipman Garden. The terraces frame vistas down the stone stair’s central axis to a reflecting pool. Once again, not all the original plant-

ings were successful. Shipman’s perennials struggled, but her Japanese cherries, crab apples, and shrubs continue to contribute to seasonal combinations of bulbs, ornamental grasses, annuals, and perennials. In the summer, the reflecting Fish Pool at the bottom of the Terraces ripples with glinting orange koi and goldfish. Near the foot of the Terraces, a species once thought extinct—a venerable Dawn redwood (Metasequoia glyptostroboides), planted in 1949— now towers. Rising up on the opposite side of the Fish Pool is the Leubuscher Rock Garden and the Frances P. Rollins Overlook. The steep slope offers stunning views of Shipman’s garden design. The circular overlook is made of stone recycled from buildings on Duke’s campus with a floor of gravel and recycled flagstone from the original construction of the terraces. Adjacent to the Terrace Garden is a sweeping South Lawn, bridge, and small pool designed by the Duke Gardens master planner, landscape JUNE 2017



DAYtrip Japanese “strolling garden,” with meandering paths among graceful plantings. Adjacent is the garden in honor of Durham’s sister city Toyama. The intimate sheltered pavilion is a venue for chanoyu, the preparation, and service of traditional Japanese tea. Tea Gatherings and special events are listed on the garden’s calendar page.

H.L. Blomquist Garden of Native Plants

“The Big Easy,” Patrick Dougherty’s new sculpture of red maple and sweetgum branches cut from Duke Forest sits on the South Lawn. Marzipan, a corgi, explores the artwork.

architect William B.S. Leong. Currently, the South Lawn hosts “The Big Easy,” Patrick Dougherty’s new sculpture of red maple and sweetgum branches cut from the Duke Forest, a 7,060-acre teaching and research forest at Duke University preserved for research and recreation. Surrounding the Terraces are smaller gardens, including the Walker Dillard Kirby Perennial Allée, Memorial Garden, Azalea Court, Butterfly Garden, and Camellia Garden. The rescued Roney Fountain, over a century old, sparkles like a tiara in the Mary Duke Biddle Rose Garden. Anne Roney, the sister-in-law of Washington Duke, donated the fountain to Trinity College in Washington Duke’s honor in 1897. Washington Duke was one of Trinity College’s early benefactors, and Duke University is named in his honor. The fountain fell into disrepair over the decades, hidden by massive magnolia trees. Rediscovered, it was moved in 2011 and restored by Robinson Iron, using the fountain’s original molds. The fountain’s two tiers, flanked by birds and topped by a crane with its wings spread, glitters in the center of flower beds featuring no-spray and heirloom roses blooming among annuals and perennials.

Disjunctive Plant Displays The 18-acre Asiatic Arboretum plant collection representing the floral diversity 18


in Southeast Asia is named for former Duke Gardens director William Louis Culberson. Culberson’s vision for the Asiatic Arboretum included displays of disjunct species, also known as vicariad pairs. Two examples of such disjunct species planted in the Asiatic Arboretum are the versions of the fringe tree (Chionanthus), which has a Chinese species (Chionanthus retusus) and an eastern North American species (Chionanthus virgincus). These plants evolved differently when they were separated onto new continents during the Earth’s land masses split of 175 million years ago. North Carolina is one of the North American hotspots for North America/Asia disjuncts: 65 species native to North Carolina have cousins in Asia. Featuring more than 1,500 Asian plant species and cultivars, the arboretum is adorned with distinctly Japanese architectural elements, including stepping stone pathways, a zig-zag bridge, stone lanterns, water basins, arched bridges, large boulders, and water features. The Kathleen Smith Moss Garden is tucked away on a gentle, shaded slope. This garden displays mosses, lichens, and liverworts—giving the impression of having stumbled onto fairy lawns. A recent addition is the Pine Clouds Mountain Stream, an example of a

The Native Plants Garden’s 6.5 acres represent the southeastern region of the United States, with more than 900 different species of native plants, many rescued from land development. A BirdViewing Shelter draws adults and children alike with its Alice in Wonderlandlike people-sized birdhouse shape. In the spring, the extensive collections of native Trillium and Asarum (syn. Hexastylus) adorn the walkways, with more than 16 different endangered species. The Blomquist’s other plant environments include a pitcher plant bog, fern grotto, and sunny pond, as well as the Steve Church Endangered Species Garden and the Blomquist Wildlife Garden.

Doris Duke Center Adds New Favorites The newest additions to the Duke Gardens are behind the Doris Duke

The rescued Roney Fountain, over a century old, sparkles like a tiara in the Mary Duke Biddle Rose Garden.

DAYtrip Center. The Virtue Peace Pond and the Page-Rollins White Garden adjoin the Angle Amphitheater, all beautiful venues for performances, weddings, and other special events. The Page-Rollins White Garden is a favorite at twilight, when the white blooms and foliage glow. Inspired by the cottage gardens of England, like Sissinghurst, its paths beckon visitors into several “rooms” filled with annuals, perennials, and shrubs to include white Coneflower, Liatris, Lily of the Nile, and Daylilies. To accommodate the North Carolina climate, ornamental grasses give the formal structure a very southern accent. The gardens were once the official growing site for the International Water Garden Society (IWGS) New Waterlily Contest. Designed to promote interest in developing new colors, forms, and sizes of both hardy and tropical waterlilies, the contest draws entries from hybridizers around the world. These unique waterlilies were placed in the Virtue Peace Pond in the spring to be admired as they bloom during the summer months. The pond is still an impressive display of many recent waterlily introductions. The Charlotte Brody Discovery Garden hosts the Burpee Learning Center for classes and provides free drop-in programs for adults, children, and families. The rustic building is surrounded by organic vegetable gardens, an edible food forest, a restored tobacco barn, storm water filtration demonstrations, rainwater catchment, chickens, and honeybees, all with learning stations for visitors to see how green garden management practices are put into action. Food grown in the garden is donated to Durham’s Inter-Faith Food Shuttle.

A Top 10 Public Garden

Duke Gardens continues to collect accolades and awards, but equally important is the fondness expressed by the community. Visit Durham and more than one local will mention a “must visit” and speak of their favorite memory in the gardens. Located on the university grounds, it is favored for early morning runs, memorable school children’s hands-on activities, and adult classes covering an amazing

The Charlotte Brody Discovery Garden hosts the Burpee Learning Center for classes and provides free drop-in programs for adults, children, and families.

array of technical and artistic investigations. If you are in the region, this garden will delight in any season, and you too will be recommending it for return visits with friends and family.

information desk in the Doris Duke Center for a map that shows the most accessible routes among the gardens’ 5 miles of allées, walks, and pathways. Details about programs and gardens are found at If you’d like to be added to their email list for program announcements, or to receive a full program, email gardenseducation@duke. edu.

Upcoming Events

Page-Rollins White Garden is a favorite of many visitors at twilight when the white blooms and foliage practically glow.

How To Visit

Duke Garden grounds are open from 8am to dusk 365 days a year. Admission is free. The address is 420 Anderson St., Durham, NC. Duke Gardens has a café, gift shop, and a visitor center with an elegant rental hall for wedding receptions, meetings, and other occasions. There are regularly scheduled trolley and walking tours. Before 10am and after 5pm, visitors can walk dogs on leash. Before entering the gardens, be sure to stop by the

Duke Gardens hosts Duke Performances’ Music in the Gardens summer series. Concerts take place on the lawn behind the Doris Duke Center on Wednesday evenings in June and July. They’re an excellent opportunity to gather with friends and family members in a relaxed setting. Lawn chairs, picnics, and blankets are encouraged. Food and beverages, including beer and wine, are available for purchase. o Cheval Force Opp lives in Dunn Loring, VA, with her husband Dana and corgi Marzipan. Visiting gardens all over the world is her favorite activity. Her own gardens are in constant change to meet the challenges of too many deer and not enough time. JUNE 2017




Meet Local Color Flowers’ Ellen Frost By Mika Park

Ellen Frost is the owner of Local Color Flowers, a floral arrangement company based in Baltimore. MD. Her background is in affordable housing and community development, with an undergraduate degree from Canisius College in Buffalo, NY, in political science and Spanish, and an MBA from Loyola University of Maryland. Local Color Flowers designs arrangements for events and weddings using flowers from farms within 100 miles of Baltimore. We have long followed her as @LocalColorFlowers on Instagram. Washington Gardener staff recently ran into Ellen at the Maryland Master Gardener Training Day and asked her a few questions about local flowers. Q: How did you get into gardening? A: I first became interested in garden20


ing when I moved to Baltimore in 1999. My husband was gifted a bag of tulips for our wedding from his great aunt. This was the first time I grew anything myself. Soon after, I took the Master Gardener Training course at Cylburn and became a Master Gardener in 2002. As my interest grew, I started working part-time on a vegetable farm in Baltimore County called Briedenbaugh Farm. Q: How did you come up with the idea to start Local Color Flowers? A: Many things influenced the idea for Local Color Flowers. I read Flower Confidential by Amy Stewart when it first came out and began to understand the environmental and social problems that came with much of the global flower industry. Also, many of my friends were

getting married, and like me, they were interested in the environment and choosing products that had a smaller environmental footprint for their weddings. Local farmers markets were gaining popularity, as were farm-to-table restaurants, yet we were not seeing local flowers enjoy the same growth. However, we knew and worked with many local flower farmers that were looking for new outlets to sell their flowers. With all this, the idea of Local Color Flowers was born. We would be a floral design studio sourcing 100 percent of our flowers locally, primarily for weddings and events. Q: What is a typical day like for you? A: I usually start the day with emails, then head to the shop and meet farmers for the local flower deliveries. Then,

NEIGHBORnwork I make and deliver flower arrangements. If it is a Saturday, our shop is open 8am–12noon to the public and then we go on wedding deliveries. Q: What advice would you give to beginning gardeners in our region? A: Get out and plant something! So much of farming and gardening is learning by doing. Get involved in your local gardening or farming community. Flower farmers are some of the most generous people I have ever met when it comes to sharing information. Q: What are your favorite local flowers to work with? A: My favorite flowers change from week to week, depending on what’s seasonally available. In the spring, I love tulips, daffodils, ranunculus, lily of the valley, freesia, stock, flowering branches, and, of course, peonies. In the summer, I love all the different varieties of rudbeckia, dahlias, scabiosa, and ‘Madame Butterfly’ snapdragons. In the fall, I love heirloom mums, artichokes, and deep foliage like smoke bush and ninebark.

classsignup.php. We also offer “open studio,” which is an opportunity for people to engage in self-directed design. Once a month, we provide flowers, vases, clippers, chicken wire, and any other materials necessary, and invite people to come in and make an arrangement of their choice. We have designers on hand to help if necessary. This is a drop-in event and people pay for what they make. Q: Do you mainly do arrangements for weddings, or do you get other events as well? A: About 65 percent of our work is wedding work. We also do corporate events, special events such as birthday parties and showers, and single orders. We offer a subscription program called the “pick up,” which is designed similar to a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA; Q: Is there anything else you would like our readers to know? A: More than 80 percent of the flowers sold in the United States come from outside the United States, primarily from Colombia and Ecuador. Choosing locally grown cut flowers over commercially grown flowers that are shipped from thousands of miles away is better for the environment, local farmers, and local communities. You can find a list of Maryland flower farmers on the Maryland Grown Flowers website: http:// o Mike Park is a sophomore multi-platform journalism major at the University of Maryland. This summer, she is an editorial intern at Washington Gardener Magazine.

Q: Which flowers would you recommend to avoid? A: Wild flowers that are not cultivated are generally not great for floral design, since they often have a short vase life. Q: What are some of your favorite places to purchase plants from? A: When we buy potted plants, we buy from Locust Point Flowers, Maryland Flower and Foliage, and Babikow. Q: How would you describe the classes you hold? A: We offer a wide range of classes at our studio in Baltimore. They are great for designers of all levels, from beginners to the more experienced. They include floral design, flower drying, wreaths, and more. We also offer classes at Butterbee Farm, one of our partner farms, including a lavender class and a floral head-crown class. A current list of our classes can be found here: JUNE 2017



HORThaenings Beekeeping to Gardening 101. The events are held at different locations, and attendees will be able to pick and choose which workshops to attend. The classes are primarily held on Mondays and Wednesdays. Classes can be found on the Department of Recreation’s website, at

THC Centennial Garden

The Takoma Horticultural Club (THC) officially unveiled the new Centennial Garden to the public on June 3 with a ribbon-cutting and reception. Located at the corner of Piney Branch Road and Philadelphia Avenue, the garden includes native plants with educational plant labels, pathways, and a seating area. Members of THC transformed the formerly empty, weedy space with help from contributions from the City of Takoma Park and the Casey family. Last October, city officials and members of THC broke ground on the site. In November, club members encouraged members of the public to help plant the garden and to help at weeding sessions this spring. Tours of the garden are available upon request. Contact

Maryland Master Gardener Training Day

The Maryland Master Gardener 19th Annual Training Conference took place Thursday, May 25, and was a full day event. Buses brought attendees to the location at the University of Maryland, College Park’s Stamp Student Union from all over Maryland. The event featured multiple speakers and a range of workshops for attendees to choose from. The trade show also showcased different retailers and companies. Speakers and workshop leaders included professors from the university and other industry professionals.

DC DPR Garden Classes

The D.C. Department of Recreation is holding classes throughout the summer designed to familiarize residents with forms of gardening through its Urban Gardens program. The summer workshops include more than 50 free sessions on a range of topics, from 22


speakers shared their expertise with festival-goers, including Green Party presidential candidate Dr. Jill Stein. Green Festivals, Inc. organizes the expo, which takes place in cities across the country.

10th DC Plant Swap

Washington Gardener hosted the 10th annual DC Plant Swap on June 3 at the U.S. National Arboretum. The swap was free and open to anyone who wished to meet other local gardeners and trade plants. More than 20 attendees brought a variety of plants, from herbs and edibles to perennials and trees. Swapping was organized into three rounds, followed by a free-for-all. At the signal for each round, attendees scrambled across the lot to retrieve the plants of their choosing. After the rounds, attendees were free to pick up as many remaining plants as they wished. o

Green Springs Gardens Spring Plant Sale

Attendees were able to purchase a wide variety of plants at Virginia’s Green Springs Gardens Spring Plant Sale, held in Fairfax County on May 20. More than 40 local vendors set up stands for visitors to purchase local and unique plants. The sale was accommodating to shoppers by offering a plant check, similar to a coat check, so they would not have to carry their plants around throughout the day.

DC Green Festival 2017

More than 10,000 people attended the 13th annual Washington, DC Green Festival Expo at the Washington Convention Center, May 13 and 14, to learn more about sustainability and green living. The festival featured booths from local and national organizations, with products ranging from organic food, natural body care, and eco-fashion to sustainable home, garden, and energy. Attendees also engaged in a range of activities at the Embrace Yoga Pavilion and Prince George’s County Parks and Recreation Family Fun Pavilion. Several

This issue’s “HortHappenings” were compiled by Ana Hurler and Mika Park, summer editorial interns at Washington Gardener Magazine. See many more photos from events listed here, as well as many more photo albums of recent local garden events, at the Washington Gardener Facebook Page: facebook. com/WashingtonGardenerMagazine. Recent albums include: • Garden Conservancy Open Days, June 2017 in Frederick County, MD • Mid-Atlantic Symposium on DiseaseResistant Roses • Brookland Home and Garden Tour 2017 • Rachel Carson Home and Garden Tour in Silver Spring, MD • 13th Annual Shepherd Park Garden Tour Click on the PHOTOS tab, then select from the ALBUMS.


Your Ad Here



MARCH/APRIL 2005 • Landscape DIY vs. Pro • Prevent Gardener’s Back • Ladew Topiary Gardens • Cherry Trees

MAY/JUNE 2007 • Roses: Easy Care Tips • Native Roses & Heirloom Roses • Edible Flowers • How to Plant a Bare-root Rose

MAY/JUNE 2005 • Stunning Plant Combinations • Turning Clay into Rich Soil • Wild Garlic • Strawberries

JULY/AUGUST 2007 • Groundcovers: Alternatives to Turfgrass • How to Pinch, Prune, & Dead-head • William Paca House & Gardens • Hardy Geraniums

JULY/AUGUST 2005 • Water Gardens • Poison Ivy • Disguising a Sloping Yard • Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens

SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2007 • Succulents: Hardy to our Region • Drought-Tolerant Natives • Southern Vegetables • Seed Saving Savvy Tips

SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2005 • Container Gardens • Clematis Vines • Sponge Gardening/Rain Gardens • 5 Insect Enemies of Gardeners

NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2007 • Gardening with Children • Indoor Bulb-Forcing Basics • National Museum of the American Indian • Versatile Viburnums

NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2005 • Backyard Bird Habitats • Hellebores • Building a Coldframe • Bulb Planting Basics

JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2008 • Dealing with Deer • Our Favorite Garden Tools • Delightful Daffodils

JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2006 • Garden Decor Principles • Primroses • Tasty Heirloom Veggies • U.S. Botanic Garden MARCH/APRIL 2006 • Top 10 Small Trees and Large Shrubs • Azaleas • Figs, Berries, & Persimmons • Basic Pruning Principles MAY/JUNE 2006 • Using Native Plants in Your Landscape • Crabgrass • Peppers • Secret Sources for Free Plants 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 NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2006 • Horticultural Careers • Juniper Care Guide • Winter Squash Growing Tips and Recipes • Layer/Lasagna Gardening

MARCH/APRIL 2008 • Patio, Balcony, Rooftop Container Gardens • Our Favorite Garden Tools • Coral Bells (Heucheras) MAY/JUNE 2008 — ALMOST SOLD OUT! • Growing Great Tomatoes • Glamorous Gladiolus • Seed-Starting Basics • Flavorful Fruiting Natives JULY/AUGUST 2008 • Landscaping with Ornamental Grasses • Edible Grasses to Graze On • Slug and Snail Control • Sage Advice: Sun-Loving Salvias SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2008 • Autumn Edibles — What to Plant Now • Beguiling Barrenworts (Epimediums) • Best Time to Plant Spring-blooming Bulbs • 14 Dry Shade Plants Too Good to Overlook NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2008 • Outdoor Lighting Essentials • How to Prune Fruiting Trees, Shrubs, Vines • 5 Top Tips for Overwintering Tender Bulbs • Harry Lauder’s Walking Stick JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2009 • Compost Happens: Nature’s Free Fertilizer • Managing Stormwater with a Rain Garden • Visiting Virginia’s State Arboretum • Grow Winter Hazel for Winter Color

JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2007 • Indoor Gardening • Daphne Care Guide • Asparagus Growing Tips and Recipes • Houseplant Propagation

MARCH/APRIL 2009 ! OUT Tips D • 40+ Free and Low-cost Local Garden SOL ! T • Spring Edibles Planting Guide OU LDfor a Fresh Start • Testing YourSO Soil ! Selection and Care UTTree • Redbud O LD Viewing Spots for Virginia Bluebells • SOBest

MARCH/APRIL 2007 • Stormwater Management • Dogwood Selection & Care Guide • Early Spring Vegetable Growing Tips • Franciscan Monastery Bulb Gardens

MAY/JUNE 2009 • Top Easy Summer Annuals for DC Heat • Salad Table Project • Grow and Enjoy Eggplant • How to Chuck a Woodchuck

SUMMER 2009 • Grow Grapes in the Mid-Atlantic • Passionflowers • Mulching Basics • 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 SPRING 2010 • Community Gardens • Building a Raised Bed • Dwarf Iris • Broccoli SUMMER 2010 • Fragrance Gardens • Watering Without Waste • Lavender • Potatoes FALL 2010 • Vines and Climbers • Battling Stink Bugs • Russian Sage • Garlic WINTER 2010 • Paths and Walkways • Edgeworthia • Kohlrabi SPRING 2011 • Cutting-Edge Gardens • Final Frost Dates and When to Plant • Bleeding Hearts • Onions SUMMER 2011 • Ornamental Edibles • Urban Foraging • Amsonia/Arkansas Blue Star • Growing Corn in the Mid-Atlantic FALL 2011 • Herb Gardens • Toad Lilies • Sweet Potatoes • Cool Weather Cover Crops WINTER 2011/EARLY SPRING 2012 • Green Roofs and Walls • Heaths and Heathers • Radishes SPRING 2012 • Pollinator Gardens • Brunnera: Perennial of the Year • Growing Yacon SUMMER 2012 • Tropical Gardens • Captivating Canna • Icebox Watermelons SPRING 2013 • Great Garden Soil • All About Asters • Squash Vine Borer SUMMER/FALL 2013 • Miniature/Faerie Gardens • Beguiling Abelias • Growing Great Carrots WINTER/EARLY SPRING 2014 • Ferns for the Mid-Atlantic • Chanticleer Gardens • Beet Growing Basics

Are you trying to reach thousands of gardeners in the greater DC region/MidAtlantic area? Washington Gardener Magazine goes out on the 15th of every month. Contact or call 301.588-6894 for ad rates (starting from $200). The ad deadline is the 10th of each month. Please submit your ad directly to:

Want Your Club Profiled? Got a Washington, DC-area garden group, plant society, or neighborhood club that you think should be profiled here? Send the full details to or call 301.588.6894.

Got a Garden Question?

Got a gardening question you need answered? Send your questions to and use the subject line “Q&A.” Please also include your first name, last initial, and what city and state you are writing from. Then look for your answered questions in upcoming issues.

Advertising Index A big THANK YOU to all of our Washington Gardener advertisers. Please tell them you saw their ad in Washington Gardener magazine! Behnke Nurseries Brookside Wings of Fancy Earth Essence Designs Green Spring Gardens Jentz Antique Prints Labyrinth Journeys MD HGIC MG Handbook Plant a Row for the Hungry Sunshine Farm & Gardens Washington Gardener Back Issues Washington Gardener Speaker Bureau White’s Nursery

2 16 2 2 24 2 2 5 2 23 2 2

To advertise with us, please contact or call 301.588.6894 today.

Next deadline: July 10 JUNE 2017



Jentz Prints

Antique Botanical Prints for the decorator, collector, connoisseur, and art lover. Jentz Prints can be purchased on most Saturdays at the Eastern Market, and most Sundays at the Georgetown Flea Market.

Antique prints are affordable — most in the $10-$30 range — and they are the perfect gift idea for that plant lover in your life. And don’t forget to buy a few for yourself! For more information, to make a private appointment, or to get a detailed show schedule, please contact Jentz Prints by email at You can also find Jentz Prints on under the seller ID: printyman. 24


Washington Gardener June 2017  
Washington Gardener June 2017  

The June 2017 issue of Washington Gardener Magazine is now out. Inside this issue: · Eryngium: Growing Sea Holly · A Visit t...