Five things you don’t know about . . . Leslie Fillmore, Master Gardener Coordinator

Leslie Fillmore, Master Gardener Coordinator, Virginia Cooperative Extension-Arlington-Alexandria

By Marsha Mercer, Certified Master Gardener

Leslie Fillmore

Leslie Fillmore
Photo © 2017 Elaine Mills

Leslie Fillmore is proof you don’t have to be born with a trowel in your hand to become a Master Gardener. Her parents don’t garden and the closest she came to gardening growing up was spreading pine needles, a “prickly and hot” task she hated.

But when she visited her grandparents in California as a child, she found the lemon, lime, and orange trees in their backyard nothing short of “miraculous. They had food in their backyard!”

Leslie started vegetable gardening when she became a certified Master Gardener in the Class of 2015. A decade earlier, she had become a Tree Steward.

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GRASS: Schizachyrium scoparium (Little Bluestem)

Schizachyrium scoparium

Lovely blue-green Schizachyrium scoparium
Photo © 2017 Elaine Mills

Tried and True Native Plant Selections for the Mid-Atlantic

Common through most of the Mid-Atlantic Region, Little Bluestem gives a brilliant landscape performance. Tight, erect, spiky bluish-green stems and leaves transition to a sizzling fall display of oranges, reds, yellows and purplish-browns topped by fluffy seed heads that persist into winter.

Learn more . . .

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TREE: Taxodium distichum (Bald Cypress)

Taxodium distichum, Bald Cypress

Photo © Elaine Mills

Tried and True Native Plant Selections for the Mid-Atlantic

Found along wet stream banks, swamps, and river bottoms, Bald Cypress has a root system, which often produces irregular structures called “knees” that rise above the ground or water’s surface. The tree is referred to as “bald” since it is deciduous, losing its foliage in the winter. More information . . .

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SHRUB: Hamamelis virginiana (Witch Hazel)

Hamamelis virginiana, Witch Hazel

Hamamelis virginiana, Witch Hazel
Photo © Elaine Mills

Tried and True Native Plant Selections for the Mid-Atlantic

It is in autumn that the twisted, spider-like, fragrant flowers of the species of Hamamelis illuminate the landscape in pale yellow. The Virginia Native Plant Society named Witch Hazel as Wildflower of the Year in 2002.

More information . . .

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Regional Gardens: Christmas At Longwood

By Elaine Mills, Certified Master Gardener
Photos by Elaine Mills and Bob Kline

Evergreens and blue-themed flowers interspersed with permanent collection in the East Conservatory.

Evergreens and blue-themed flowers interspersed with permanent collection in the East Conservatory.
Photo © 2015 Elaine Mills

December is an ideal time to visit Longwood Gardens, the expansive botanical gardens located in Kennett Square, Pennsylvania, about 120 miles from Arlington. The principal attraction is the holiday horticultural display inside the Conservatory. This greenhouse structure, comprising 4.5 acres and 20 indoor gardens, annually features stunning arrangements of over 6,000 seasonal plants. Continue reading

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January 2018 Public Education Events

MGNV LogoThe following events are scheduled by VCE Master Gardeners in Arlington and Alexandria in January 2018.

microgreensMicrogreens: What Are They, Why They Are So Fabulous, and How to Grow Them

Saturday, January 13, 10:30 a.m. – noon
Westover Branch Library
1644 N. McKinley Road, Arlington 22205

OR   

Monday February 5, 7:00 – 8:00 p.m. (Rescheduled from Jan 8, 2018)
Barrett Branch Library
717 Queen St., Alexandria 22314

Microgreens – You’ve likely seen them, but what makes them so good for you?  Join us to learn their many benefits, and some simple ways to grow these delicious, nutritious and inexpensive baby plants and sprouts in your own home.  Plus, we provide supplies for you to plant your own container, so come prepared to get a bit dirty while you make your own microgreen garden in class!

Free. Advance registration requested at mgnv.org.
Questions, telephone 703-228-6414 or email mgarlalex@gmail.com  Continue reading

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