GRASS: Panicum virgatum (Switch Grass)

Panicum virgatum, Switch Grass in September

Panicum virgatum, Switch Grass in September
Photo © 2017 Elaine Mills

Tried and True Native Plant Selections for the Mid-Atlantic

Once the dominant species of the North American tallgrass prairie, this warm-season grass is noted for the open, airy appearance of its seed heads and the multi-season interest of its foliage.  In addition to its use as an ornamental, Switch Grass is also utilized for soil conservation and as a biomass crop.

Learn more . . .

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February 2018 Public Education Events

MGNV LogoThe following events are scheduled by VCE Master Gardeners in Arlington and Alexandria in February 2018.

February 2018 Publicity Flyer

microgreensFebruary 2018 Publicity FlyerMicrogreens: What Are They, Why They Are So Fabulous, and How to Grow Them

Monday, February 5, 7:00 – 8:00 p.m. (Rescheduled from Jan 8, 2018)
Barrett Branch Library
717 Queen St., Alexandria 22314

Microgreens – You’ve likely seen them, but what makes them so good for you?  Join us to learn their many benefits, and some simple ways to grow these delicious, nutritious and inexpensive baby plants & sprouts in your own home.  Plus, we provide supplies for you to plant your own container, so come prepared to get a bit dirty while you make your own microgreens garden in class!

Free. Advance registration requested at mgnv.org.
Questions,telephone 703-228-6414 or email mgarlalex@gmail.com  Continue reading

Posted in MG in the Garden, Public Education Events

Rosemary and Lavender: Hardy Herbs That Often Survive Our Winters – and Spice up or Calm Down the Gardener or Cook

By Judy Funderburk, Certified Master Gardener

Note: This is the second in an occasional series of short articles featuring herbs grown in the Master Gardener Demonstration Garden at the Glencarlyn Branch Library in Arlington County, Virginia.

Lavender in bloom

Lavender in bloom
Image by Huntley Photography

Here in the midst of winter we invite you to learn more about rosemary and lavender – their backgrounds, growth habits, and needs; their culinary, fragrance, and medicinal uses. Both herbs are ingredients for food or drink served as “tastes” at our annual AutumnFest celebration in mid-September. Rosemary Herbed Pecans and Lavender Poundcake taste-tested recipes are included below.

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Posted in MG in the Garden, Recipes

SHRUB: Ilex verticillata (Winterberry Holly)

Ilex verticillata Winterberry

Photographed at the Glencarlyn Library Community Garden; copyright Judy Funderburk.

Tried and True Native Plant Selections for the Mid-Atlantic

This native deciduous holly produces prodigious quantities of plump, red, berry-like fruit (called drupes), which decorate the plant from mid-fall into early spring. ‘Red Sprite,’ a female dwarf cultivar, needs the services of the male ‘Jim Dandy’ to make fruit. Purchase at least two females and one male for a “berry” good show. More information . . .

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TREE: Thuja occidentalis (Arborvitae, Northern White Cedar)

Thuja occidentalis - foliage detail

Thuja occidentalis – foliage detail
Photo ©2014 Elaine Mills

Tried and True Native Plant Selections for the Mid-Atlantic

This native tree of northeastern and north central North America can be very long-lived; along the cliffs of the Niagara Escarpment in Canada, specimens could be over 1,000 years old. The common name, which means “tree of life,” refers to the medicinal properties of the bark and foliage, which cured scurvy.

More information  . . .

 

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Regional Gardens: Chanticleer Garden

By Susan Wilhelm, Certified Master Gardener

Chanticleer Gardens

Chanticleer Gardens
Photo by JR P via Flickr

Chanticleer Garden, located in Wayne, Pennsylvania, about a three-hour drive from northern Virginia, is a wonderful destination for gardeners and non-gardeners alike. With its stately buildings, broad lawns, and wide vistas, Chanticleer Garden (Chanticleer) retains the feel of the private estate it once was, while serving as a demonstration garden with more than 5,000 plants.
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