September 2016 Public Education Events

There are many fabulous opportunities for learning in September – come join us!

Wednesdays in the Garden, Sept. 7, 14, 21, and 28, 7 to 9 p.m., Arlington Central Library, 1015 N. Quincy St., Arlington 22201.

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

Topics by date:

  • Sept. 21, topic to be announced;
  • Sept. 28, Inside Arlington Kitchens: Multicultural Cooking Techniques.

All September programs will be held in the second floor Conference Room. No registration required. To confirm topic and room number, check the Arlington Library Events Calendar or call the library at 703-228-5990.

Monday, September 19, Tree Selection for Urban Street and Small Yard Plantings, 7 to 8:30 p.m., Mt. Vernon Recreation Center, 2701 Commonwealth Ave., Alexandria 22305.

Sponsored by the Alexandria Beautification Commission, this program will provide participants with criteria and resources for making decisions about “Right Tree, Right Place.”  Register to attend by contacting the VCE Horticulture Help Desk at 703 228 6414 or

Verbena bonariensis, a self-seeding tender perennial located in Alexandria’s Simpson Gardens, provides nectar to this grass skipper. Photograph © Mary Free

Verbena bonariensis, a self-seeding tender perennial located in Alexandria’s Simpson Gardens, provides nectar to this grass skipper. Photograph © Mary Free

Sunday, Sept. 25, Simpson Park Gardens Fall Open House, 1 to 3 p.m. 420 E. Monroe St., Alexandria 22301 (by the YMCA).

VCE Master Gardeners who maintain this demonstration garden welcome visitors to the garden for a display of what’s in bloom, with emphasis on native plants and plants for pollinators. Discover host plants for butterflies and their larva. Enjoy light snacks and drinks and get a closer look at your neighborhood garden. 

Sunday, Sept. 25, Screening of the film, Hometown Habitat, 6:30 to 8:30 p.m., Arlington Central Library Auditorium, 1015 N. Quincy St., Arlington 22201.

VCE Master Gardeners of Arlington/Alexandria join with Arlingtonians for a Clean Environment to present this 90-minute environmental education documentary focused on showing how and why native plants are critical to the survival and vitality of local ecosystems. Entomologist Doug Tallamy, an authority on the misuse of non-native plants in landscaping, provides the narrative thread throughout the film. Seating is limited, so advance registration is requested. Sign up at

compost turners

Students turn compost in bins before adding it to improve the soil of the organic vegetable beds at the T.C. Williams Discovery Garden.

Thursday, Sept. 29, Soil Evaluation & Composting, 7 to 8:30 p.m, Beatley Central Library, 5005 Duke St., Alexandria 22304.

Learn the basics of evaluating your soil and how to turn yard clippings and kitchen waste into black gold that will nourish your plants. As leaves are about to fall, instead of bagging them, learn to use them to create a natural and earth friendly soil amendment for your home and garden. Advance registration requested at Questions, telephone 703-228-6414 or email

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