Welcome HERB Gardeners! 

Spring in the Herb Garden

This quarterly supplement to the monthly newsletter, Between the Rows: A Guide to Vegetable Gardening, provides additional information on growing and using garden herbs. VCE supports local gardeners with a host of resources, including free classes, plant clinics and this newsletter.

2019 garden guides are available at Between the Rows.

VCE and MGNV support local gardeners with a host of resources, including free classes, plant clinics and this newsletter.

Posted in Between the Rows, Herbs, VCE | Tagged , , ,

GROUND COVER: Chrysogonum virginianum (Green-and-Gold)

Tried and True Native Plant Selections for the Mid-Atlantic

MGNV - Native Plants Logo

This low, spreading ground cover forms a star-studded mat of velvety foliage that is as attractive at the front of a formal border as it is in a naturalistic setting. In the Mid-Atlantic Region,* it is mostly found in Virginia, where it is common in the Piedmont and lower mountains.

*It is native to DC. It is absent in DE. It is native in all NoVA counties but Arlington. It is endangered in PA. It is present in Morgan, Berkeley, and Jefferson counties in WV.

More information . . .

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Nature is a Respite during Disconcerting Times

Part 1. Exercising Your Body and Your Mind

Written by Mary Free, Extension Master Gardener

Simpson Gardens, Alexandria, Virginia. Photo © 2020 Mary Free

Spring is a season of hope and renewal and yet we find ourselves battling together, in isolation, an unseen enemy–novel coronavirus (COVID-19). In the United States, the details of mitigation strategies from “shelter-in-place” to “stay at home”1 to “hunker down” vary by jurisdiction. However, history indicates, and scientists and medical professionals agree, that physical (aka “social”) distancing–keeping a distance of six feet from people who are not part of your household–can help reduce the severity and spread of this new virus. Staying home, though, does not necessarily mean staying indoors and physically distancing ourselves from one another does not mean distancing ourselves from nature.

Continue reading

Posted in Beneficial Insects, Pollinators

Updated Website Resources on Best Bets for Particular Uses

By Mary Free, Extension Master Gardener

The Waterwise Garden in Simpson Gardens, Alexandria, Virginia. Photo © 2011 Mary Free

Have you ever encountered a troublesome area in your landscape and wondered if plants could solve the problem, and, if so, which ones? Which plants would help improve the texture or fertility of your soil? Which plants would perform best in an area that dries out quickly or remains wet too long? Which natives would attract the most pollinators to your garden when you have little room to plant at all?

As a supplement to the Tried and True Native Plant Selections for the Mid- Atlantic fact sheets, the Master Gardeners of Northern Virginia updated the Best Bets: Plants for Particular Uses in the Mid-Atlantic (found under Resources on the menu bar). The Best Bets recommend groups of plants that can help you address specific issues or a distinct set of growing conditions on your property. Although the plant lists are not exhaustive, they do reflect the local experience of Master Gardeners. Continue reading

Posted in Best Bets, Pollinators