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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There is More to a Garden than Flowers and Foliage – Wildlife in the Shade Garden

Written by Mary Free, Certified Master Gardener

In early spring, the Quarry/Shade Garden is hardly shady. Before the trees have leafed out, sun streams through bare branches beckoning the ephemerals to emerge and effloresce. As the canopy thickens, light dapples flowers of varying form and color dominated by shades of green in the shapes and textures of ferns and foliage. The Garden offers visitors a welcome and serene respite from the summer heat. However, if you look closely – just beneath the calm – wildlife simmers. Have your camera, cell phone or iPad ready! Continue reading

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Happy Pollinator Week! Happy 25th Anniversary!

Celebrate National Pollinator Week and the first day of summer at Bon Air Park. On June 21, 2014, the Master Gardeners of Northern Virginia (MGNV) in cooperation with the Virginia Cooperative Extension (VCE) and Arlington County will celebrate the 25th anniversary of the Quarry/Shade Garden. This Garden offers an inviting habitat in a variably shady area for pollinators and other wildlife (and people too!) with over 80 different native perennials, ferns, shrubs and trees in addition to a lesser number of non-native plants.  Continue reading

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Tick Season Arrives in Arlington and Alexandria



Fairlington Community Center, 3308 S. Stafford St., Arlington VA 22206

Telephone 703-228-6400


Contact:  Kirsten Buhls, Agriculture and Natural Resources Extension Agent, (

Tick season arrived a little later this year, but not by much. Last week volunteers at the Virginia Cooperative Extension Horticulture Help Desk at Fairlington Community Center identified several ticks found by residents of Arlington and Alexandria, both in the adult and larval stage. All were dog ticks. Continue reading

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