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Plant clinics sponsored by Virginia Cooperative Extension are gearing up for the 2014 gardening season in Arlington and Alexandria. All are staffed by VCE Master Gardeners, who answer general gardening questions as well as questions about pests and diseases and plant identification. They also provide free soil test kits on request. Continue reading
VCE Master Gardeners have a full schedule of events planned in April. Please share this information about these events with your neighbors and friends as well as members of your own organizations. Wednesdays in the Garden, April 6, 13, 20, … Continue reading
FIVE THINGS YOU DON’T KNOW ABOUT… The History of Master Gardeners 1) In 1971, before Master Gardeners were even a gleam in anyone’s eye, Washington State University assigned two extension agents to the Seattle and Tacoma metro areas. Their job: to … Continue reading
Check out this chart for 2016 Planting Dates for Arlington and Alexandria! Continue reading
Undefined, blurred, softened – that’s how the gardens look under snow. We call it harsh winter, but, in fact, it’s a soft season in many ways. We cannot garden outdoors during snow, nor trample the beds afterward while the soil is all soft and damp and sheltering the turmoil of life under the surface. So we ourselves get a little soft, physically, in terms of outdoor labor. Continue reading
Mosquitoes require as little as a tablespoon of water to lay eggs in. They can successfully breed in any area or container that has still, shallow standing water for more than three days. The number-one source of mosquito bites in our area is the Asian Tiger mosquito, which is a container breeder. Continue reading
American Botanical Paintings: Native Plants of the Mid Atlantic, a recently published book intended for both artists and gardeners, was created by a local nonprofit group, Botanical Artists for Education & the Environment. This group is composed of botanical artists who participated in painting classes offered by Anne-Marie Evans in Falls Church, VA. The BAEE undertook the publication project with the intention of stimulating an appreciation of native plants and encouraging their use in home landscaping. The introductory text includes a contribution from the renowned entomologist Dr. Douglas Tallamy on the vital role of native plants in local ecosystems. Continue reading
Gardening strikes me as the perfect metaphor for life. Everything goes swimmingly well for a while, then adversity strikes and we need to plod through it until we’ve solved the problem or survived the crisis or found a new pathway. Continue reading
Members of the 2015 Master Gardener training class and proctors supporting the class recently had the opportunity to hear a presentation by Smithsonian horticulturist James Gagliardi on herbaceous plant selection and usage. Those who were not able to attend the lecture can still benefit from his knowledge in a book to which he was a major contributor. Smithsonian Encyclopedia of Garden Plants for Every Location, a 2014 Dorling Kindersley publication, features information on over 3,000 plants. Continue reading