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FEBRUARY 2010 Welcome to the Washington Gardener Enewsletter! This enewsletter is the free sister publication of Washington Gardener Magazine. Both the magazine and enewsletter share the same mission and focus — helping DC-MD-VA region gardens grow — but our content is different. In this monthly enewsletter, we will: address timely seasonal topics and projects; post local garden events; and, include a monthly reminder 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 10 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 10 of this enewsletter to subscribe to our print magazine. You can also connect with Washington Gardener online at: • Washington Gardener Blog: www.washingtongardener.blogspot.com • Washington GardenerDiscussion Group: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/WashingtonGardener/ • Washington Gardener Twitter Feed: www.twitter.com/WDCGardener • Washington Gardener Web Site: www.washingtongardener.com Sincerely, Kathy Jentz Editor/Publisher Washington Gardener Magazine

Reader Contest

For our February 2010 Washington Gardener Reader Contest, Washington Gardener is giving away several pairs of tickets to the Capital Home & Garden Show at the Dulles Expo Center in Chantilly, VA. The show runs from Thursday, February 25 to Sunday, February 28. Tickets are $12 each at the door or $9 if ordered in advance. The Capital Home & Garden Show is better than ever with more diverse exhibits, more categories, and more presentations on our fabulous stage! The show offers a unique and broad selection of home improvement-related businesses. You’ll enjoy various entertaining features and special guest speakers including WTOP’s Garden Editor Mike McGrath. Get ideas, investigate new products, gather information and meet the professionals to help you make your next remodeling, renovation, or decorating project a breeze! To find out more, visit their web site: www.CapitalHomeShow.com. To enter to win one of pairs of show tickets, send an email with “CH&GShow” in the subject line to WashingtonGardener@rcn.com by 5:00pm on Monday, February 22. In the body of the email please include your full name, email, and mailing address. The ticket winners will be announced and notified by February 23.

Current Issue

Our Winter issue cover story is on Garden Thugs. I had a great time researching and writing this one. I’m hearing from a bunch of folks who are enjoying the features including a profile of Melanie Choukas-Bradley, author of The City of Trees. What City, you might ask? Why Washington, DC, of course! Also in this issue are Unusual Edibles by Cindy Brown. From Cardoon to Chinese Okra, she shares her tips on how to grow these exotics here in the MidAtlantic and even throws in a tasty Bok Choy recipe to tempt you into stretching your garden palate. Then we take a day trip out to Riversdale House in Riverdale Park, MD. No, that extra “s” is not a typo, there were multiple nearby rivers when this Federal-era estate was built near the PG County-Washington, DC border. Tucked into that daytrip article is a side-bar on Winter Cover Crops for our area. Sarah Urdaneta, Riversdale gardener, trialed and tested several and gives her top choices. You’ll also find in this issue: • a plant profile feature on Red Twig Dogwoods • a how-to article on Seed Starting Basics • a short warning piece about newly developing Round-Up Resistant Weeds • 5 New Plant Picks for 2010 • our Insect column focuses on Stopping Mealybugs • a club meeting with the Washington Daffodil Society To subscribe, see the page 10 of this newsletter for a form to mail in or go to our web page and use our PayPal link.


February Garden To-Do List

Spotlight Special

Imagine fruit-salad for the eyes: Alstroemeria Tangerine Tango, a new, winterhardy Inca lily with vivid orange petals, intense lemon yellow highlights, little flecks of nut brown and a hint of lime tint. The plants begin to flower in June, enjoy kissing the summer sun and shoot new stems for months until the first freeze of fall. When cut, these flowers will last two weeks in a vase. Developed by Mark Bridgen, Cornell professor of horticulture and director of the Cornell’s Long Island Horticultural Research and Extension Center in Riverhead, N.Y., the hybrid is the second ornamental plant patented by the Cornell Center for Technology Enterprise and Commercialization. The first was Mauve Majesty – another Inca Lily – two years ago. Tangerine Tango is hardy in many parts of the United States, and it can survive cold temperatures as those in Zone 5. In fact, this flower will do very well almost anywhere in the United States, says Bridgen. Alstroemeria flowers, native to South America, are the fifth most popular cut flower in the United States, according to Bridgen. “The flowers are perfect for hotel lobbies and fancy restaurants because they don’t wilt for up to two weeks,” he says. This flower took eight years to develop and is now available commercially through nurseries and mail order companies, such as: •White Flower Farm, Richfield, CT, www.whiteflowerfarm.com • Brent and Becky’s Bulbs, Gloucester, VA, www.brentandbeckysbulbs.com • McClure and Zimmerman Bulbs, Friesland, WI, http://www.mzbulb.com/ • Roots and Rhizomes, Randolph, WI, http://www.rootsrhizomes.com 2

Here is our comprehensive garden task list for gardens in the greater DC metro region for February 16-March 15. Your additions to this list are most welcome: • Cut some branches (forsythia, quince, bittersweet, redbud, willow, etc.) for forcing indoors. • Put suet out for birds. • Keep bird feeders filled and provide a source of water. • Check outside plants and trees for animal (deer) damage. • Mist indoor plants and set up pebble trays to increase humidity. • Rejuvenate holly bushes and boxwood with a hard pruning. • Plan landscape design projects. • Check evergreens for sign of desiccation. • Start seeds of cool season vegetables and flowers. • Keep ice melting chemicals away from garden beds. Use coarse sand instead. • Prune any dead or diseased wood off trees and shrubs. • Fertilize trees, shrubs, and evergreens. • Prune roses. • Begin tilling beds (when the earth is dry enough to work - mot muddy) and work in compost. • Plant or transplant trees or shrubs including berries, roses, and evergreens. • Feed the lawn with a spring lawn fertilizer. • Protect tender plants by covering them with some type of cloth material, if an unusually cold day or night is forecast. Be sure to uncover them if it warms up. • Weed. • Trim ornamental grasses such as liriope, mondo, and pampas. • Divide overgrown or crowded perennials such as daylily and shasta daisy. • Scan houseplants for insect activity. • Dust your house plants with a slightly damp cloth. • Clear out perennial beds of any dead plant parts and debris. • Clean and organize the garden shed. • Clean, sharpen, and oil the tools. If not done last Fall. • Walk your yard and check plants and bulbs for heaving and place them back into the ground. Cover with more mulch to prevent further heaving. • Apply dormant oil spray to ornamentals and fruit trees before dormancy breaks. • Check and tune-up power equipment (mowers and trimmers). • Build garden furniture. • Spread new gravel on paths. • Mulch bare areas. • Design new beds and gardens. • Pick up new gardening books and magazines for inspiration. • Start seedling indoors under grow lights. Some good choices to start early are peppers, artichokes, onions, beets, turnips, cabbage, kale, and leeks. • Put up trellises and tee pees for peas and beans to climb on. • Direct sow early, cool season crops as soon as ground soil can be worked. Good choices are peas, lettuces, mustards, onion sets, kale, and cabbages. • Start or turn your compost pile. • Do an annual soil test and amend soils as recommended. • Check for snow damage. Gently brush off snow weight, if you must. But better to let snow melt off on its own. • Have a wonderful 2010 growing season!

Quick Links to Recent Washington Gardener Blog Posts • How did you survive the blizzard? • Wall Street Journal Visits Our Seed Exchange • How Bad is the Blizzard? • Think Spring! 8 reasons to join us for Philly Flower Show Trip • Drumroll please... And the Photo Contest Winners are... See more Washington Gardener Blog posts at WashingtonGardener.Blogspot.com.

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


Paradise Found at the Orchid Show: Escape Winter Blues with Exotic Blooms By Kathy Jentz

With the winter days are gray and chilly, take a quick trip down to the National Mall and enter a paradise of plants. You can shed your winter coat and immerse yourself in the tropical air of the newly opened orchid show in the United States Botanic Garden (USBG). Between 600 to 1,000 orchids are on display in every size, form, and color imaginable during the exhibit. From February 6 - April11 is Orchids: A Cultural Odyssey. This orchid show is a joint project of the USBG and the Smithsonian. It switches location hosts between the two organizations on the Mall every other year. This year’s exhibit takes you on a journey. You explore the ways orchids have permeated the lives of people around the world. Discover orchids in arts, literature, exploration, jewelry, trade, and business. Travel the world within the Conservatory and discover how influential and magnificent orchids have been in our lives! . While being captivated by the beauty of these blooms, don’t overlook their wonderful smells. Use your nose to lead you around through the natural perfumes. A personal favorite of mine is the “Sharry Baby” Oncidium orchid which has a dreamy mix of chocolate and vanilla scents. Some orchid enthusiasts grow only orchids that produce a strong fragrance and others are attracted to specific flower shapes or colors. Yasmeen Peer, an enthusiastic beginner in orchid collecting, has a passion for the Lady’s Slipper (Paphiopedilum) variety. “There is something really erotic about these,” says Yasmeen. “They are just the coolest looking flowers and they have this velvety texture that makes you want to touch it.” Yasmeen eagerly joined the National Capitol Orchid Society. The society has about 400 members and assists every year with the installation of this orchid show. They also host monthly meetings and several other events annually. Since 1847, the group of orchid lovers in the greater Washington region shares their knowledge, organizes plant auctions, and holds ribbon-judging contests. For more information on joining the NCOS, visit http://www.ncos.us. The society has members at a wide range of levels from novice to expert. If you have never grown an orchid, you should not let their fussy reputation deter you. Tom Mirenda, the Smithsonian’s Orchid Collection Specialist, says, “Many Orchids are quite suitable for growing as houseplants. Some of the easiest ones, Phalaenopsis or Paphiopedilums, provide extravagant blooms during the winter months.” Come out to the orchid show to get a few tips and tricks on how best to grow an orchid of your own. Admission to all public areas of the U.S. Botanic Garden (USBG) is free. The Conservatory is open 10am - 5pm daily. The Conservatory main entrance is located at 100 Maryland Avenue, SW, Washington, DC. Visitors can stroll in the adjacent Bartholdi Park from dawn until dusk and can access it from any of the three bordering streets — Independence Avenue, Washington Avenue, or First Street. Take the Metrorail Blue or Orange line to the Federal Center SW or Capital South stations. By Metrobus, take #30, 32, 34, 35, or 36 to Independence Avenue and First Street, SW. For more details and maps to plan your visit, go to www.usbg.gov or call 202.225-8333. You may bring food and picnic on the grounds of Bartholdi Park. Nearby are the Smithsonian museums including the National Museum of the American Indian, which has the enticing Mitsitam Native Foods Café, and the National Air and Space Museum, which has the Wright Place Food Court for fast food. This orchid show event is quite popular with photographers and there is always a certain amount of jockeying for space and the perfect angle. Keep in mind the USBG’s policy that while handheld film, digital, or video cameras may be used at any time, the use of easels, tripods, or art material containing solvents require special permission and a permit. Images of the USBG may not be used in commercial or promotional advertisements. Sketching is allowed, though you might want to do so during less busy times such as during weekday mornings.

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 wgardenermag@aol.com for available dates, rates, and topics.

In Our Next Issue of Our Print Magazine... SPRING 2010 Community Gardens Our 5th Anniversary!

A Stunning Before & After Comprehensive Article Index

If your business would like to reach area gardeners, be sure to contact us by February 20 so you can be part of the next issue of our growing publication! oooooooooooooooooooooooo

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DC-Area Gardening Calendar ~ Upcoming Events February 16-March 15, 2010 Beltsville Garden Club James E. Duckworth School 11201 Evans Trail Beltsville, MD 301 890 4733 www.beltsvillegardenclub.org

• Wednesday, February 24, 7:30pm GROWING ORCHIDS IN THE HOME Besides giving hints on buying good quality healthy plants. guest speaker Beth Bishop invites BGC members and guests to bring orchids in need of TLC for problem analysis and repotting. She has graciously agreed to repot up to twenty (20) plants. Members will be given priority and are asked to limit themselves to one plant. If too few plants are available, then the oneonly limit may be relaxed. She will bring potting medium, and members are asked to bring their own pots. Ms. Bishop will also be bringing several types of orchids for sale. Beth Bishop is a professional grower who has been with Arbec Orchids since 1997 and exhibited at the National Capital Orchid Society shows. As always, we have plants for the door prize table and refreshments after the meeting. The public is welcomed and admission is free.

Brookside Gardens 1800 Glenallan Avenue Wheaton, MD 20902 301.962.1400 www.brooksidegardens.org

• Saturday, February 20, 10:00-11:30am COMMON PESTS AND CONTROLS FOR THE VEGETABLE GARDENER Mike Raupp from the University of Maryland will focus on identification and organic controls of those pests. The event is FREE so invite your friends and family! • Friday, February 26, 9:00am-4:00pm GREEN MATTERS SYMPOSIUM This year’s theme, Food for Thought, will focus attention on the importance of a local food economy and the impact locallyand sustainably-produced food can have on the environment, human health and well-being, and the surrounding community. Learn about the ecological and social benefits of sustainable food, resources for growing and cooking with high quality produce at home, incorporating edible plants into your ornamental garden, and organizations that are fostering community development through growing food. Registration Fee: $89.

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• Sunday, February 28, 1-2:30pm HOW DOES YOUR GARDEN GROW? Cindy Brown from Green Spring is an amazing speaker in the DC region specializing on vegetable gardens. She will talk about planting schedules, varieties, and how to grow from seeds in the mid-Atlantic area. This talk is a sell out every time. The event is FREE so invite your friends and family! [NOTE: This talk has been rescheduled from its original February 6 date due to the snow storm.]

• Sunday, March 14, 1:30-3pm IT’S A JUNGLE OUT THERE: CREATING AND GROWING YOUR OWN TROPICAL PARADISE IN A NON TROPICAL CLIMATE Learn how to create, grow and overwinter your piece of paradise. Joe Seamone, aka Boca Joe, describes the best and most dramatic plants for your garden. Tour amazing “tropical” gardens located in the Washington, D.C. area and across the country. Don’t miss this chance to learn about planting outside the zone. $10.

Casey Trees

Longwood Gardens

1123 11th Street NW, Ste. 3 Washington, DC 202.833.4010 www.caseytrees.org • Saturday, February 27, 9:45am12:00noon FRANCISCAN MONASTERY TREE TOUR Tour the woodland and grotto area of the Franciscan Monastery, 1400 Quincy Street NE with Carol Herwig, Volunteer Coordinator and Arborist. View historic conifers and a unique landscape that takes advantage of a natural valley in the Brookland area. Pre-registration required. FREE For questions, call 202.349.1907 or email cherwig@caseytrees.org.

Green Spring Gardens 4603 Green Spring Road Alexandria, Virginia 22312 703.642.5173 www.fairfaxcounty.gov/parks/gsgp/

• Sunday, February 21, 1:30-3pm BULBS AS COMPANION PLANTS Whether starting a new garden or adding to an existing one, Brent Heath of Brent and Becky’s Bulbs teaches you how to combine bulbs, perennials, annuals, ground covers and flowering shrubs to create just the feeling you want for four seasons in your garden. $10. • Sunday, February 28, 1:30-3pm MOVING TOWARDS NATIVE By integrating native plants into the designed landscape you help reduce negative impact on our environment. Sandra Clinton, of Clinton and Associates, discusses the how’s and why’s of integrating native plants into the designed landscape using examples from landscape architects on the forefront of this movement. $10. • Sunday, March 7, 1:30-3pm LUSCIOUS LANDSCAPING WITH FRUITING TREES, SHRUBS AND VINES What could be more pleasant than picking fruit from a plant you also admire for its beauty? Lee Reich, author, of Landscaping with Fruit, introduces you to the best trees, shrubs and vines for flowers, color and form. Book signing. $10.

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

Kennett Square, PA (610) 388-1000 www.longwoodgardens.org

• Saturday, March 6, 9:00am-12:00noon VEGETABLE GARDENS FOR BEGINNERS Nothing tastes better than vegetables fresh picked from a garden. Learn how to prepare a vegetable garden for spring planting and eventually summer dining. Plant choice, compatibility, and planting nuances will be shared and discussed. Extend the growing season and diversify the menu by choosing plants to rotate seasonally to get the most from your space. After this course, leave time in your day to prepare the bed, shop for seed, and of course, plan new dishes for the table! $36 Garden member; $40 non-member • Wednesday, March 10, 6:30-9:30pm GARDEN CHEMICALS: USE AND MANAGEMENT Confused by the countless pest control products at your local hardware store or garden center? This class will de-mystify the products available and discuss the least-toxic, yet effective, method of controlling insects, diseases, and weeds in your landscape and garden. You will also learn basic sprayer operation and maintenance and examine integrated pest management techniques. This class is geared toward the homeowner and recreational gardener and does not offer pesticide certification credits for professionals. $36 Garden pass member; $40 non-member • Thursday, Mar 11, 1:00-4:00pm ART DECO IN FLORAL DESIGN Art Deco or International Style was popularized at the 1925 Paris World’s Fair exhibition. Geometric motifs and strong shapes create the designs of the Art Deco period and continue to influence the modern design styles of today. Some tropical flowers and the design techniques of shadowing and framing will be incorporated in these arrangements.$90 Garden pass member; $100 non-member


DC-Area Gardening Calendar ~ Upcoming Events February 16-March 15, 2010 Potomac Valley Rock Garden Society (PVC NARGS)

Meetings held at Washington DC-area public gardens. www.pvcnargs.org •Saturday, February 27, 9:30am SCREE GARDENING Speaker: Vic Piatt of Mt Cuba Conservation Center Location: Brookside Gardens, Wheaton, MD. FREE • Saturday, March 6, 9:30am DESIGNING MOSS GARDENS Speaker: Dr. Alice Waegel. Location: US Botanic Garden, Washington, DC. FREE

United States Botanic Garden Conservatory (USBG) 100 Maryland Avenue, SW, Washington, DC 202.225.8333 www.usbg.gov

• Saturday, February 20, 1:00-3:00pm (Snow/Rain Date: February 27) WINTER TREE TOUR OF CAPITOL GROUNDS Led by Melanie Choukas–Bradley, Author of City of Trees. Winter is the best time to appreciate the architecture of the historic trees that grace the U.S. Capitol Grounds. We’ll meet in front of the Conservatory and stroll around the Capitol, admiring and learning about its magnificent trees from around the country and the world, including many official state trees and memorial plantings. We’ll learn how to identify Kentucky coffee trees, Japanese pagoda trees, beeches, magnolias, and dogwoods during winter, and focus on the bark, buds, and overall growth habit of grand old specimens. Giant sequoias and a massive willow oak are among the trees we’ll see. Ms. Choukas-Bradley will share history of the Capitol Grounds and the city of Washington. Binoculars optional but recommended. Please note: This tour will take place outside. Please dress warm. Snow/rain date is February 27. Meet at: Conservatory Terrace USBG Friends: Free, Nonmembers: $8 Pre-registration required • Saturday, March 6, starting 10:30am, every half-hour until 1:30pm U.S. BOTANIC GARDEN PRODUCTION FACILITY OPEN HOUSE Only once each year do we invite the public to see our growing facility, the largest greenhouse complex supporting a public garden in the United States. The site, completed in 1994, includes 85,000 square feet under glass divided into 34 greenhouse bays and 16 environmental zones. In addition to foliage and nursery crops, you’ll see all of the USBG collection

not currently on display, including orchids, medicinal plants, insectivorous plants, and rare and endangered species. Register for one of the tour times to meet the growers, ask questions, and wander through this working wonderland of plants. Location: USBG Production Facility USBG Friends: FREE; Nonmembers: $5 Pre–registration required • Mondays, March 1, 8, 15, 12:00-1:00pm LUNCHTIME TOUR OF THE USBG CONSERVATORY What do manila folders, Chanel No. 5, vanilla, and fossil fuels have in common? The answer is that they all come from plants on permanent display in the USBG Conservatory. Take a tour with a knowledgeable guide who will connect the exotic plant world to everyday life. You might see bananas and coffee ripening on the tree or learn about the next big breakthrough in medicinal plant research. Location: Conservatory Garden Court FREE: No Pre-registration required

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

• Saturday, March 6, 10:00am–3:00pm ANNUAL ORCHID AUCTION Administration Building This live auction offers many rare and unusual orchid varieties from well-known growers and private collections. The sale is entertaining and beneficial for beginners as well as serious collectors. Sponsored by The National Capital Orchid Society. Preview at 10:00, sale at 11:00 am. Free admission. • Sunday, March 7, 1:00pm-3:00pm CONIFERS: WHERE IN THE WORLD DID THAT COME FROM? TALK AND TOUR Auditorium and Grounds Some gardeners see the more outlandish conifers and wonder where they could possibly have come from. They might be surprised to learn that some of them are from their own backyard. Take a tour of the Gotelli Collection of Dwarf and Slow-Growing Conifers with the arboretum’s conifer expert who will focus on the origins of these plants and emphasize those that are native to North America. She will also visit some wild-collected plants and discuss their origins, pointing out those that are particularly well adapted to our area. Fee: $12 ($10 FONA) Registration required. • Saturday-Sunday, March 13-14, 2010 GOING GREEN WITH GESNERIADS: the Gesneriad Society’s 2010 Plant Show and Sale! The Gesneriad family includes African violets, streptocarpus, gloxinias, sinningias, chiritas, and many more. The plant show and sale have hundreds of rare

and unusual plants on display and for sale, and also include lectures on the gesneriad family. The show and sales are free and open from 1-5 pm on Saturday March 13, and from 9am-4pm Sunday March 14. For more information, please visit www. nationalcapitalgesneriads.org.

Washington Home & Garden Show

Walter E. Washington Convention Center 801 Mount Vernon Place, NW Washington, DC www.washingtonhomeandgardenshow. com • Friday, March 13-Sunday March 14 WASHINGTON HOME AND GARDEN SHOW: ‘GOING TO A GARDEN PARTY’ Landscaped gardens that encourage you to plan your outdoors for what we all do best. Fees: Adults $12; Kids Ages 6-12 - $5 when accompanied by paying parent 5 and under - Free. FRIDAY ONLY $3.00 Discount Coupon - coming soon to www. washingtonhomeandgardenshow.com. • Saturday, March 13, 1:00–4:00pm WORKSHOP: BONSAI REPOTTING National Bonsai & Penjing Museum Lecture and Demonstration Center Is it time to repot your bonsai? Learn how to do this important procedure correctly and get expert guidance. A bonsai museum curator will teach repotting concepts and skills, giving individual attention to each tree the student brings in. Limit of one large or two small bonsai per student. Soil and tools provided. (Note: Often bonsai will be repotted into the same container. For repotting questions, call 202-245-5307.) Fee: $29 (FONA/NBF $23) Registration required.

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, just send an email to: WashingtonGardener-subscribe@yahoogroups.com. To submit an event for this listing, please contact: Wgardenermag@aol.com and put “Event” in the email subject head. Our next deadline is March 12 for the March 15 edition of this enewsletter featuring events from March 16-April 15.

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

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Magazine Excerpt: Red Twig Dogwood by Kate Tyndall

If you’d like to brighten your winter landscape, there is no better way to do it than by adding a red twig dogwood to your planting mix. This handsome, easygoing shrub is an asset to your garden throughout the seasons, but it is only when the leaves fall that its spectacular beauty reveals itself. The multiple stems of Cornus sericea (formerly known, and sometimes still sold, as C. stolonifera) are bright red. Growing rapidly in a fountaining shape to six to nine feet tall and almost as wide, the red twig dogwood provides a great pop of color in the garden at the time when it is most appreciated. Cornus sericea is native to the eastern part of the United States and most of Canada. As you might guess from its wide northern distribution, it is completely cold-hardy, but surprisingly, it is also perfectly at home in our area’s hot, humid summers. A most accommodating shrub, the red twig dogwood even tolerates boggy conditions and is unfazed by our clay soil. The only caution I would give gardeners is not to let it dry out. It is best sited in full sun, but will grow well beneath the high shade of deciduous trees. In filtered light, you might see a decrease in flowering and subsequent berrying. The red twig dogwood has mid-green oval leaves that are from two-and-a-half to five inches long, depending on the particular variety. The fall leaf color is variable. Mine had a golden leaf color, if memory serves, but C. sericeas can color up in shades of purple and red, much like the foliage of an oakleaf hydrangea. If yours does, be very glad. With its graceful, spreading, vase shape, the red twig dogwood is attractive as a specimen plant or as part of a mixed border and can even be grown as a hedge. Backed by conifers or evergreen shrubs, its blazing stems are particularly effective. Less effective are the shrub’s tiny, dirty-white flowers borne — sparsely, in my own experience — in flat-topped clusters, which later give rise to bluish-white berries in August. I never saw berries on my own dogwood. Fortunately, Cornus sericea’s flowers and berries are only the opening act to its stunning main attraction, those vibrantly colored stems, which persist from autumn leaf fall until the shrub begins to leaf out again, usually in April... Want to learn more about unusual vegetables, the best varieties for our area, and their growing needs? Read the rest of this PlantProfile column in the Winter 2009 issue of Washington Gardener Magazine.

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

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4th Annual Washington Gardener Philadelphia Flower Show Tour Organized by Garden Tours Wednesday, March 3, 2010, 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 2010 is “Passport to the World.” Join us for an exotic journey to dozens of destinations around the globe. Stroll through Showcase Gardens transporting visitors to an elaborate Indian wedding, a blooming Dutch street scene, the natural and tribal wonders of South Africa, the Amazon jungle of Brazil, the botanical gardens of Singapore, and the rugged beauty of New Zealand. Participate in the Lectures and Demonstrations series, Gardener’s Studio, AllStar Culinary Presentations and daily entertainment performances. First-time and returning riders will enjoy the extra details of our coach ride. We are looking forward to seeing you! Schedule for the day: • 10:00AM coach leaves Silver Spring Metro 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 Silver Spring Metro 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 Silver Spring and Dunn Loring Metros* 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 _______________________________________________________

$90.00 each or $85.00 each for Washington Gardener 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, 2010

Full refund if canceled by February 5. $40 refunded until February 26. No refunds after February 28.

Questions? Cheval Opp at 703.395.1501 Gardentours@gmail.com www.WashingtonGardener.com

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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. 8

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

Washington Gardener Enews February 2010  

February 2010 issue of Washington Gardener Enews - DC, MD, VA local gardening news

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