FERN: Dryopteris marginalis (Marginal Wood Fern)

Tried and True Native Plant Selections for the Mid-Atlantic

New Fact Sheet!

Found in woodlands and on rocky slopes and ledges, evergreen Marginal Wood Fern provides year round interest. It is monomorphic so its fronds are virtually the same size and shape, whether or not their undersides bear sori, the spore-producing receptacles. Sori placement along the pinnule margins give rise to the species epithet and common name.

Learn more . . .

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Building Your Soil

Climate-Conscious Gardening

Join Master Gardeners in the Arlington/Alexandria unit of Virginia Cooperative Extension in a series of monthly articles in 2021 as we explore the topic of climate change and practical actions individuals can take in their home landscapes in response. 


By Elaine Mills, Extension Master Gardener

In February, we discussed garden practices that could directly help to mitigate the effects of climate change. This month, we consider a set of adaptive strategies that gardeners can take to improve their soil.

According to Dr. Sara Via, Climate Extension Specialist at the University of Maryland, maintaining the health of our soil is the primary strategy for climate resilience. As the second largest ecosystem after the world’s oceans, soil not only provides physical support of our plants, but also is crucial in the cycling of water and nutrients. In addition, it provides habitat for a multitude of living things, including beneficial microbes that develop special relationships with plants. Continue reading

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Between the Rows – March 2021 Edition

Welcome Veggie Gardeners!
Check out the March 2021 edition of BTR!

  • March To-Do List
  • Now is the time to plant your cool weather garden.
  • Friends of Urban Agriculture 2021 Spring Garden Kickoff
  • Beating the Bugs: Pests of Cool Season Plants: Lettuce, Radish, Leafy Greens
  • News from the  Organic Vegetable Garden 
Illustration © Melissa Joskow


Previous garden guides are available at Between the Rows.

VCE and MGNV support local gardeners with a host of resources, including free classes, plant clinics and this newsletter.

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Word of the Week: Ramentum

ramentum [ ra-men-tum, ruhmen-tuhm ] noun, plural ramenta: any one of the thin, chaffy, brownish, often fringed or laciniate scales borne upon the leaves or young shoots of certain ferns, and that consist of a single layer of cells

Ramenta on the fiddleheads of Dryopteris marginalis (marginal wood fern) in April. Photo © Elaine Mills

This word, related largely to ferns, usually appears in the plural, ramenta, and often with the modifier “chaffy,” as above. Chaff is the covering that is winnowed away from wheat after harvesting the grain, leading to the proverbial “separating the wheat from the chaff” – distinguishing between what is valuable and what is worthless.

Continue reading

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New Public Education Videos and Classes!

View Newly Published Archived Videos in the Public Education Virtual  Classroom

Sustainable Landscaping Urban Agriculture

RSVP for Upcoming Public Education Current Classes 

All classes are 10:00 – 11:30 a.m.

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TREE: Acer rubrum (Red Maple)

Tried and True Native Plant Selections for the Mid-Atlantic

The Red Maple tolerates the widest variety of soil conditions of any North American forest species.  Its leaves turn brilliant scarlet, orange, and yellow in the fall, making it a popular ornamental tree. Learn more  . . .

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