GROUND COVER: Sedum ternatum (Wild Stonecrop)

Sedum ternatum, Wild Stonecrop

Sedum ternatum, Wild Stonecrop
Photo © 2016 Elaine Mills

Tried and True Native Plant Selections for the Mid-Atlantic)

This lovely ground cover, the most widespread native member of the Sedum family in eastern North America, favors rocky banks, cliffs, and woods. Its tiny white star-like flowers with five pointed petals rise in showy clusters above succulent foliage in the spring.

Learn more . . .

Posted in MG in the Garden, Tried and True Native Plant Selections for the Mid-Atlantic | Tagged , , ,

Spring Beauty or Beast?

By Dina Lehmann-Kim, Certified Master Gardener
Quarry Shade Garden C0-Coordinator

Ranunculus ficaria (lesser celandine)

Ranunculus ficaria (lesser celandine)
Photo © 2015 Elaine L. Mills, Bon Air Park.

When spring finally arrived in the DC metro area, a rather showy groundcover had already made its presence known – lesser celandine or Ranunculus ficaria.

Despite its visual appeal, this groundcover is highly invasive. An invasive species has been defined by presidential Executive Order 13112 as  “non-native to the ecosystem under consideration and whose introduction causes or is likely to cause economic or environmental harm or harm to human health.” Home gardeners should learn to identify and remove it from their gardens, lawns, or other neighborhood spaces they may help to maintain, such as traffic circles. Continue reading

Posted in MG in the Garden, Problem Plants, Shade Garden | Tagged , , ,

Five Things You Didn’t Know About . . . Arlington National Cemetery Memorial Arboretum

by Master Gardener Marsha Mercer

Anyone who visits Arlington National Cemetery (more than 4 million people do so every year) knows that America’s most hallowed ground, the final resting place of more than 400,000 service members, veterans and their spouses on 624 acres, is also a sanctuary for lovers of flowers and trees.

The cemetery is a living memorial to veterans. ArbNet Arboretum Accreditation Program and Morton Arboretum in Lisle, Illinois last year awarded Arlington National Cemetery Memorial Arboretum Level II accreditation on a scale with IV the highest.

But did you know: Continue reading

Posted in Five Things You Didn't Know About..., Public Education, Regional Gardens | Tagged , , ,

SHRUB: Kalmia latifolia (Mountain Laurel)

Close up of blooms - Kalmia latifolia, Mountain Laurel

Kalmia latifolia, Mountain Laurel
Image from Wikipedia

Tried and True Native Plant Selections for the Mid-Atlantic

Mountain Laurel is a tall, exceptionally handsome, evergreen shrub with shiny, leathery leaves that make beautiful winter-season roping.  This native of eastern North America is one of the most beautiful native flowering shrubs and is often displayed in parks. The Virginia Native Plant Society named Mountain Laurel as Wildflower of the Year in 1994.

Learn more . . .

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“I Can Shine Garden” at Tancil Court

Master Gardeners Help at Alexandria Children’s Garden

By Marsha Mercer, Certified Master Gardener
Photos courtesy of Alice Rogalski.

Carrot love.

Carrot love.

In 2010, the City of Alexandria worked with Master Gardeners to create the children’s garden at Tancil Court adjacent to the Ruby Tucker Center, which provides after-school programming and other family services to the residents in the surrounding area. The idea was for kids to be more active outside and learn about healthy food choices while having fun. There were even T-shirts.

The federal assistance and the T-shirts are long gone, but preschoolers through fourth graders at the public housing project still learn through gardening that vegetables start life from seeds — not in cans, boxes or encased in plastic.

Coached by Master Gardeners, the children still learn how to plant, cultivate, harvest and use vegetables, fruits and herbs in healthy snacks.

Learn more  . . .

Posted in Arlington County Fair, I Can Shine Garden at Tancil Court, Youth Programming | Tagged , , ,

Extension Master Gardener National Report

Ever wonder about the impact of the Master Gardeners? This recently completed infographic was just released by the National Extension Master Gardener Committee, and it shows the impact of the EMG program nationwide!

"EXTENSION MASTER GARDENER NATIONAL REPORT - 2016 The information provided was compiled by the Extension Master Gardener (EMG) National Committee in 2017. The numbers reflect 2016 data. 43 of 49 states that currently have Extension Master Gardener programs reported information about program outcomes. VALUE OF VOLUNTEER HOURS: $140,712,882 The national estimated average of volunteer time is $24.14/hour. TRAINING HOURS: 704,509 On average, EMGs have over 40 hours of training for ceritification CONTINUING EDUCATION HOURS: 1,018,092 EMGs often continue their education. YEARLY MEDIA REACH: 8,118,512 Includes state and county websites, radio, tv, newspaper, Extension publications, and social media. VOLUNTEER HOURS: 5,829,034 Active certified EMG volunteers average 60 hours per year. EXTENSION MASTER GARDENERS: 90,871 One of the largest volunteer organizations in the country NEWLY TRAINED EMGs: 15,002 On average, each state trains nearly 400 EMGs every year. DIRECT CONTACTS: 5,552,253 Clientele served through helplines, presentations,farmers markets, plant clinics, county fairs, and more. 43 STATES REPORTING: Alabama Arizona Arkansas California Colorado Florida Georgia Hawaii Idaho Illinois Indiana Iowa Kansas Kentucky Louisiana Maine Maryland Michigan Minnesota Mississippi Montana Nebraska New Hampshire New Jersey New Mexico New York North Carolina North Dakota Ohio Oklahoma Oregon Pennsylvania Rhode Island South Carolina South Dakota Tennessee Texas Vermont Virginia Washington West Virginia Wisconsin Wyoming "

The information provided was compiled by the Extension Master Gardener (EMG) National Committee in 2017. The numbers reflect 2016 data. 43 of 49 states that currently have Extension Master Gardener programs reported information about program outcomes.

Learn more about National Extension Master Gardener programs!

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