October 2017 Public Education Events

The following are free public education events for October 2017.

Tour Our Gardens in Bon Air Park!

Sunday, October 1, 2-4 p.m.
Sunny and Shade Garden, 850 N. Lexington St, Arlington, 22205 
(in Bon Air Park off Wilson Blvd, next to the rose garden)

Tour our Gardens logoCome get free seeds and try your luck in a plant raffle as you tour our magnificent gardens and learn first-hand how to grow beautiful plants in the sun or the shade. You can get advice from our Master Gardeners and pick up helpful information resources and ideas for that special place in your own yard.

Free. No registration necessary.

 Printable Flyer for the Sunny and Shady Gardens Tour

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Tour the Sunny Garden & the Shade Garden at Bon Air Park

The Master Gardeners of Northern Virginia invite you to Tour The Sunny Garden  and The Shade Garden in Bon Air Park Sunday,October 1,2017 2–4pm  Get ideas for the right plant for that special place in your yard: ■  Tour the gardens ■  Get advice from Master Gardeners ■  Pick up helpful information and resources ■  Get free seeds ■  Try your luck in a plant raffle  Location and Directions The Sunny and Shade Gardens are located in Bon Air Park off Wilson Blvd. at 850 N. Lexington Street. The Sunny Garden is located adjacent to the parking lot near the rose garden. To find the Shade Garden, walk along the paved path by the left side of the Sunny Garden around the corner.

Printable Flyer for the Sunny and Shady Gardens Tour

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PERENNIAL: Lobelia siphilitica (Great Blue Lobelia)

Tried and True Native Plant Selections for the Mid-Atlantic

Lobelia siphilitica, Great Blue Lobelia

Lobelia siphilitica, Great Blue Lobelia
Photo © Mary Free

Lobelias can be impressive, especially when dozens are growing together.  Great Blue Lobelia typically grows in moist to wet locations along streams, sloughs, swamps, and meadows.  Showy blue flowers are held on long flower stems and loved by hummingbirds and butterflies.

Learn more . . .

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Join Us at the Simpson Park Demonstration Gardens Fall Open House!

Sunday, September 24, 2017  1 – 3 p.m.

Lobelia cardinalis (Cardinal Flower)400 Block of East Monroe Ave., Alexandria
Located between Route 1 and Mount Vernon Ave.
Park in the YMCA lot

Free and open to the public.

Simpson Gardens in September is always a delight to behold, and abuzz with pollinators of many sorts, as well as birds visiting for water and seeds, worms and insects. Master Gardener and Audubon at Home Ambassador Pink flower budJoanne Hutton will stop by as a resource for gardeners interested in having their home gardens certified as Audubon Wildlife habitats and to give general advice on how to make your garden more hospitable to birds, bees, butterflies, and other pollinators, as well as other desirable wildlife. Refreshments and garden tours offered.


Printable Flyer for the Simpson Gardens Fall Open House

Posted in MG in the Garden

Balcony Gardening Intern Project

By Susan Wilhelm, Certified Master Gardener

For their intern project, Sandy Burkholder and Marilyn Thomson (Master Gardeners of Northern Virginia, Class of 2016) prepared an extensive exhibit for the 2017 Arlington Homeshow and Garden Expo (AHGE) that included a portable mock balcony demonstrating different container gardening strategies.

Sandy and Marilyn supplemented their personal knowledge of balcony gardening with resources from several mid-Atlantic university extension services. They identified existing balcony gardening resources, reformatted them as needed, and combined them to create public information packets to hand out at the AHGE. Marilyn also created a tabletop display and staffed the exhibit. Sandy built the portable mock balcony.

Balcony Garden Exhibit AHGE 2017

Balcony Garden Exhibit AHGE 2017
Photo © 2017 Marilyn Thomson

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Summer in the Shade Garden – Shade Garden Phlox

By Dina Lehmann-Kim, Certified Master Gardener
All Photos © 2017 Dina Lehmann-Kim

Lycoris squamigera - Resurrection lily - in bloom.

Lycoris squamigera, Resurrection lily in bloom.

In late July through early August, the Shade Garden at Bon Air Park features a floral display that is short-lived but spectacular nonetheless.

The plant, Lycoris squamigera, also known as surprise lily,  resurrection lily or naked ladies, makes two very different appearances during the growing season. Its first entrance in the spring consists of long, strap-like leaves, which last for several weeks. After the leaves die back, there is no further trace of the plant until leafless 1.5-2 ft. stalks rise from the soil a few months later, ready to offer trumpet-like flowers in light shades of pink. Continue reading

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August 2017 Notes from the Organic Vegetable Garden

at Potomac Overlook Regional Park

by Nancy Dowling, Certified Master Gardener
Photos © 2017 Nancy Dowling unless otherwise noted

Summer Bounty from the Organic Vegetable Garden

Summer Bounty from the Organic Vegetable Garden
Photo © 2017 Judy Salveson

Abundance! That’s the word that describes a vegetable garden in August.  It’s a time for smiling ear to ear while you grab a 15-inch Tromboncino squash that curves like a saxophone off the vine, where you look under big leaves and find a Kabocha squash, a Japanese squash sweet as sugar when baked in the oven. I’ve been co-teaching an Edible Landscaping class* for Virginia Cooperative Extension/Master Gardeners, with Alyssa Ford Morel at Arlington Central Library for a few years, trying to relay the joy of growing edibles, and how the rules of design, planning, spacing, and symmetry that apply to edibles also apply to annual ornamental plantings. I have to say that the real difference for me is the picking, cooking, and eating of edibles that really provides the most enjoyment for me. Of course I love tulips, irises, peonies, sages, etc., and all of these have space in my own garden, but they all fade away without nourishing me beyond my eyes and spirit. Edibles do more–they nourish. And August is the treasure at the end of the gardening rainbow. Continue reading

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Autumnfest is Almost Here! Join Us Sunday 9/17!

Sunday, September 17  10 am – 3 pm
Glencarlyn Library Community Garden, 300 S. Kensington St, Arlington. 22204

Pumpkins at Autumnfest

Photo © 2016 Patrick Gregerson

Bring the family and celebrate with free tastes of herbal treats and drinks, a Naturalist with critters, a balloon artist and face painters! Attend mini-workshops on native plants, caring for your tools and dealing with invasive plants. 100’s of locally grown sun- and shade-loving perennials, ferns, shrubs, and trees for sale, just in time for fall planting.  As always, plenty of Master Gardeners to help you with selections and answer your plant questions.

Mini-Workshops – Each session will last around 50 minutes. Please meet at the Gazebo.

  • 11:00 a.m. – Friend and fellow MG Henry Staples will do a presentation of his talk on pollinators and lead a guided tour of the garden highlighting pollinator-friendly plants and noteworthy plant specimens with his inimitable good humor.
  • 12:00 p.m. –  Joe Youcha, master boat builder, STEM educator and author, will lead a hands-on session on tool care, including demonstrations of how to sharpen various tools. Bring a pruner and get some hands-on experience.
  • 1:00 p.m. – Sarah Archer, head of the Invasive Plant Program with the Arlington County Department of Parks and Recreation, will talk about the problem of invasives and what Arlington is doing to get the problem under control.

Photos from the 2016 AutumnFest Celebration – come out to join the fun this year!

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Printable AutumnFest Flyer 2017

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Join us today at the Organic Vegetable Garden’s Annual Taste & Tour

Summer Bounty from the Organic Vegetable GardenSunday, September 10  1 pm – 4 pm

Potomac Overlook Regional Park, 2845 N. Marcey Road, Arlington, VA 22207

Enjoy samples from the garden and talk with Master Gardeners about growing vegetables in Northern Virginia, with a special emphasis on planting fall crops and overwintering vegetables.

Printable Flyer of the Annual Taste and Tour

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SHRUB: Vaccinium corymbosum (Northern) Highbush Blueberry

Tried and True Native Plant Selections for the Mid-Atlantic

Vaccinium Corymbosum

Vaccinium Corymbosum
Photo © Elaine Mills

White to pink-blushed bell-shaped flowers nod in clusters on bare stems in spring before the deep green foliage unfurls.  In full sun this shrub will yield the best blueberries and autumn color.

Learn more . . .

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