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GRASS: Panicum virgatum (Switch Grass)

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. Continue reading

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February 2018 Public Education Events

Public Education Events scheduled by VCE Master Gardeners in Arlington and Alexandria in February 2018.
Classes include Microgreens: What Are They, Why They Are So Fabulous, and How to Grow Them; Plot Against Hunger Spring Garden Kick-Off: Growing Food for Our Neighbors in Need; Water Conservation (DIY Sustainable Yard Series);  Learn How to Build Your Own Cold Frame; and Vegetable Gardening Part 2: Planning and Preparation. 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

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. Continue reading

Posted in MG in the Garden, Recipes

SHRUB: Ilex verticillata (Winterberry Holly)

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. Continue reading

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TREE: Thuja occidentalis (Arborvitae, Northern White Cedar)

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. Continue reading

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Regional Gardens: Chanticleer Garden

Regional Gardens: Chanticleer Garden

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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