PERENNIAL: Phlox paniculata (Summer Phlox)

Tried and True Native Plant Selections for the Mid-Atlantic

Phlox paniculata, Summer Phlox

Phlox paniculata, Summer Phlox
Image: Ladybird Johnson Wildflower Center

Phlox paniculata has large trusses of fragrant, showy flowers that come in a range of purples, pinks, reds, and white atop two-to-five-foot stems in summer.

Learn more . . . 

Posted in MG in the Garden, Tried and True Native Plant Selections for the Mid-Atlantic | Tagged , , , ,

For Your Pollinator Garden

Written (and Photographed) by Mary Free, Certified Master Gardener

Monarda fistulosa

Photo © Mary Free

Do you want to create or add to a pollinator garden? Do you look at lists of plants that claim to be superior at attracting pollinators, then wonder which ones really perform best?

If you wish to target bees, then consider native Monarda fistulosa (wild bergamot). If you need convincing, click on the image below to watch this video recorded in late June 2016 at the Glencarlyn Library Community Garden in Arlington, Virginia. Continue reading

Posted in Demonstration Gardens, Glencarlyn, MG in the Garden, Pollinators, Tried and True Native Plant Selections for the Mid-Atlantic | Tagged , , , , , , , , , ,

The Shade Garden Showcases Ferns

by Dina Lehmann-Kim, Master Gardener

Japanese Painted Fern

Japanese Painted Fern

Photo © 2016 Dina Lehmann-Kim

While the Shade Garden at Bon Air Park is host to a wide variety of plants, the stars this month are the ferns. Ferns thrive in shade and come in a range of sizes, hues, and leaf (frond) structures. This standout plant has prehistoric roots and continues to enchant gardeners despite the fact that it does not flower.

Fast-spreading ferns can be used as a ground cover while slow-spreading or “clumping” ferns such as the garden’s Japanese painted fern (Athyrium niponiscum ‘Pictum’) are best used as an accent plant in a well-defined space. Continue reading

Posted in MG in the Garden, Shade Garden, Tried and True Native Plant Selections for the Mid-Atlantic | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , ,

SHRUB: Clethra alnifolia (Summersweet)

Tried and True Native Plant Selections for the Mid-Atlantic

Clethra alnifolia, Sweet Pepper Bush, Summersweet

Clethra alnifolia, Sweet Pepper Bush, Summersweet
Photo © Mary Free

Summer sweet and spicy is the pleasant fragrance of this pollinator magnate. This tall shrub, common in the Coastal Plain of the Mid-Atlantic Region, naturalizes readily in shady, damp places as well as coastal landscapes. Though not native to NoVA, it grows well in cultivation here.

Learn more . . . 

Posted in MG in the Garden

PERENNIAL: Monarda fistulosa (Wild Bergamot)

Tried and True Native Plant Selections for the Mid-Atlantic

Monarda fistulosa

Photo © Mary Free

Similar in appearance to the BeebalmsMonarda fistulosa provides color and contrast for the herb garden, wild garden, native plant garden, meadow, or perennial border.  Its aromatic leaves can be used to make mint tea. The Virginia Native Plant Society named  Wild Bergamot Wildflower of the Year in 1993.  Learn more . . . 

Posted in Tried and True Native Plant Selections for the Mid-Atlantic | Tagged , , , ,

From the Organic Vegetable Demonstration Garden, July 2016

By Master Gardener Nancy Dowling

Lots of Lettuce!

Lots of Lettuce!

Photo © Nancy Dowling

If you enjoy growing vegetables, it’s probably due to the months of July and August – months when your garden starts to give back way more than you give it. At the Master Gardeners’ Organic Vegetable Garden (OVG), in beautiful Potomac Overlook Regional Park, we just harvested all of our garlic – plenty for both our volunteers and Arlington Food Assistance Center, which provides food for needy families. Continue reading

Posted in MG in the Garden

Zika and Mosquito Control

mosquitoVCE/Master Gardeners and our local jurisdictions and  are very serious about helping our community learn the best management practices for mosquito control in light of the current Zika health crisis. Attend one of these public education sessions and keep up on the latest information through the following links. Learn More . . . 

Posted in Event, MG in the Garden, Public Education | Tagged , , , , , , ,

Calendar of Events

Continue reading

Posted in Event

August Public Education Events

Download the August Public Education flyer.


Wednesdays in the Garden – August 3, 10, 17, and 24 (No program on August 31), 7 to 9 p.m. Arlington Central Library, 1015 N. Quincy St., Arlington 22201.

This series, taught by Arlington Food Assistance Center volunteers and VCE Master Gardeners, is designed to teach gardening skills to a wide audience.

Topics by date: Continue reading

Posted in MG in the Garden

SHRUB: Itea virginica (Virginia Sweetspire)

Tried and True Native Plant Selections for the Mid-Atlantic

Itea virginica (Virginia Sweetspire)

Itea virginica (Virginia Sweetspire)
Photo © Mary Free

Fragrant, showy four-inch spires of white blossoms fall from arching stems in late spring. In autumn, the leaves of Virginia Sweetspire turn a vibrant red to orange. This native* favorite has graceful open growth habit and performs best in partial shade with moist soil. Learn more . . . 

Posted in MG in the Garden, Tried and True Native Plant Selections for the Mid-Atlantic | Tagged , , ,

New Brochure for Glencarlyn Library Community Garden Is Big Hit

By Judy Funderburk
Everyone who sees our new brochure says something nice:

GC Library Garden Brochure Garden Guide“It’s beautiful.”

“It leads you into the Garden.”

“It helps you learn more about the plantings in each of the 10 garden sections.”

Continue reading

Posted in Demonstration Gardens, Glencarlyn, Public Education | Tagged

Protected: Special Garden Bulletin

This content is password protected. To view it please enter your password below:

Posted in From the President, MG in the Garden | Tagged , , , , ,