This Odd Season Called Spring

By Christa Watters

Crocuses!We’ve edged into May, smack in the middle of spring. The delight we gardeners take in the arrival of the season has been tested this year. After the long cold winter, spring finally arrived about mid-April. And then it had second thoughts and retreated, only to turn the heat up to almost 80 for a day or two and then retreat again. Rain has fallen pretty regularly. So while we can’t quite trust the season (what’s new about that? “April is the cruelest month,” said the poet in 1922) and we struggle with its fickleness, still we rejoice. And then we take stock of what winter meant to our particular plots: What died, what lived, how is the seasonal progression going this year? Read more…


The Art of the Flower exhibition at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts in Richmond
by certified MGNV Marsha Mercer

We’re pleased to announce a new series, “five things you don’t know about…”  This occasional series will cover all things gardening and DC area related. Thank you to MGNV Marsha Mercer, who suggested the idea and has contributed our first “five things” articles.

The Art of the Flower Home Page

1) Through June 21, 2015, The Art of the Flower exhibition offers a bouquet of reasons for a spring road trip. The museum, a regional jewel, is located at 200 N. Boulevard, Richmond VA 23220-4007. Check out its site: vmfa.museum.

Podophyllum peltatum, Mayapple

Screen Shot 2015-05-08 at 6.25.02 AMTried and True Native Plant Selections for the Mid-Atlantic 

This native ground cover spreads to carpet the floor of mixed deciduous forests from Canada to Florida. Its showy white flowers emerge from two- leaved plants in early spring, but can be hidden by the umbrella-like leaves. Its edible fruit, the mayapple, can be used for preserves and jellies.

Click here to learn more.


VCE Plant Clinics

Plant Clinics staffed by VCE Master Gardeners are now open for the season! Volunteers staffing the clinics answer general gardening questions as well as questions about plant pests and diseases. They can also identify plants and provide soil test kits on request.

The plant clinic at the Arlington Central Library, 1015 N. Quincy St., opene on Thursday, April 16, and will operate from 6:45 to 8:45 p.m. every Thursday through November.

The plant clinic at Arlington Farmers Market, 14th St. and N. Courthouse Rd., opened on Saturday, April 18, and will operate from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. every Saturday through September.

Two other VCE plant clinics in Alexandria opened on Saturday, May 2. The Del Ray Farmers Market Plant Clinic at East Oxford and Mt. Vernon Avenues will be open from 8:30 to 11:00 a.m. every Saturday through September. The Old Town Alexandria Farmers Market Plant Clinic at 301 King Street will be open from 7 to 9:30 a.m. every Saturday through September.

VCE Master Gardeners also staff the Horticulture Help Desk, which operates from 9 a.m. to noon weekdays year round at the VCE office in Fairlington Community Center, 3308 S. Stafford Street, Arlington. The Help Desk can be reached by phone at 703-228-6414 or by email at mgarlalex@gmail.com.


Upcoming Master Gardener of Northern Virginia (MGNV) Events

Our upcoming events are listed in this calendar. For more information on any event, use the Event Calendar menu to see full write ups. If you have any questions about an event, contact the Help Desk at mgarlalex@gmail.com or 703-228-6414. Click here to view events of interest to gardeners in the greater D.C. area.