AutumnFest at Glencarlyn Library Community Garden

by Judy Funderburk

AutumnFest at Glencarlyn Library Community Garden was a huge success thanks to all the Master Gardener support. Over 150 friends and neighbors showed up to enjoy the day — purchasing plants, tasting a great variety of herbal treats and teas, tasting, smelling and gathering samples of culinary, fragrant or medicinal herbs to take home. Taking a mini-workshop to learn more about Monarch Watch!, Good Dirt!, or Eight Great Natives!, making a sachet with colorful cloth and fragrant dried herbs and/or having Andrea Kaplovitz paint a flower or bug on your face allowed many participants to bring pieces of AutumnFest home. Continue reading

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The Long View – Meditations on Gardening – Why We Garden

Saffron CrocusDSCN2303By Christa Watters

We Master Gardeners have a mission to educate and inform our fellow gardeners about the best and most up-to-date principles for creating and tending good gardens. Heeding the call to garden in an environmentally sound manner is a worthy objective. We strive to plant native species, use less water, and avoid the need for chemical fertilizers by composting and choosing the right plant for the right place. But beyond that, most of us are driven by something else entirely, I suspect. As a friend said recently, ultimately, we love gardens because they are beautiful.  Continue reading

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The Useful Life of Our Hardest Working Tree

By Christa Watters

The white oak is said to be the most useful tree in North America. This eastern species is known for the strong wood and silvery-gray (“white”) bark of its straight trunks. But its usefulness goes much further. A park ranger giving a tour of Huntley Meadows Park once pointed out that the “damaged” leaves of fall are in fact just a demonstration of the full cycle of life. Those leaves have served their purpose, and served it well, he said, providing food and shelter to insects and other small species that attach their pupae, lay their eggs in galls, or otherwise use their material. Continue reading

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Culinary, Fragrant & Medicinal HERBS !

10603214_927804697244643_1896589094557027697_nIf herbs are in your garden or your future garden, you won’t want to miss AutumnFest, September 21, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Glencarlyn Library Community Garden. Herbs will be a focus of the fun family festival with herbalicious food and drink and herbal sachet making. The festival will also have pumpkins and plants for sale, face-painting, and a naturalist with critters.   Continue reading

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Rick Darke, Noted Landscape Consultant, To Speak in Arlington in November

Rick Darke, a nationally known landscape design consultant and award-winning author, will discuss how to design home gardens that are both beautiful and able to support a broad array of wildlife on Wednesday, November 12, at the Arlington Central Library Auditorium. The event is free and open to the public. Continue reading

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Autumn Fest – Sept. 21

AutumnFest 2014-6-page-001


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Sunny Garden Renovations 2014

Written by Elaine Mills, Certified Master Gardener

Photos by Elaine Mills and Liz Pittleman

With the support of their team of Master Gardener volunteers and interns, coordinators Kate Donohue and Joe Kelly have undertaken a second year of renovations in the Sunny Garden. The Sunny Garden is located at Bon Air Park, Wilson Blvd. at North Lexington Street between Ballston and Seven Corners. The garden is at the far end of the parking lot. Continue reading

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2014 Master Gardener of Northern Virginia Annual Plant Sale at Green Spring

By Grace Dailey (photo credits) and Alison Kindler

The 2014 Master Gardener of Northern Virginia annual Plant Sale at Green Spring Gardens, was notable for a Friday set-up morning with a downpour of rain that started the previous night and was so heavy the counties sent out text alerts to warn of flooding, and one county alert even directed us to seek shelter. But everyone who signed up as an MG for the early set-up showed up before the 7 a.m. start time and pitched in setting up the tents and tables. You could hear the three cordless drills making their own music as the tables were put together by these “craft-persons.” The rest of the day was marked by equally motivated and dedicated volunteers who quickly pushed the tents into place, surrounded them with tables and filled them with plants to be sold. Continue reading

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The Language of Flowers

Originally posted on TMI LIVING:

It’s June and here is a bunch of flowers that I picked from the garden to celebrate the weekend and my son’s high school graduation.

While a Dutch or Flemish artist painting a still life in the seventeenth century might collage an arrangement from flowers, fruit and insects at different seasons, my photo simply shows the bounty of flowers out in the garden today.  Last week, peonies were in flower: this week, their seedpods are revealed and the petals are scattered on the ground. Last week, daylilies were in bud and now they are out. The June Flowers vase is a mixture of native cultivars and ornamentals imported from around the world selected for their interest, beauty, or perhaps sheer persistence in the landscape.

What are the stories of these flowers? Why are they growing in my garden in Northern Virginia?

June Flowers Diagram

Click links for details of each flower

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAPenstemon or ‘Beardtongue’:

View original 1,054 more words

Posted in MG in the Garden

New Monarch Waystation at Bluemont Park

Written by Maraea Harris, Master Gardener Intern

The Bluemont Bird and Butterfly Garden began around 2004. The space, which had been just another parking lot island, was filled with various flowering perennials and shrubs and was used and maintained by park rangers. When the county changed its policies regarding ranger assignments, no rangers were permanently assigned to the park and it fell into disrepair.

In 2013, a team of four interns and a Master Gardener were tasked with revitalizing the garden. Work began in December of 2013 to assess and plan for the project. When the project began, the park looked like an overgrown dirt patch. The walkways were indiscernible and overgrown plants were crowding each other out of the garden. Since then the team, with the help of dedicated community members and support from Parks and Recreation staff, has transformed the park into a once again flourishing garden.

Click here to see the transformation!

Bluemont Bird and Butterfly Garden

Continue reading

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