Regional Gardens: River Farm

by Elaine Mills, Certified Master Gardener

american horticultural society logoA number of Master Gardeners recently had the opportunity to tour the gardens at River Farm, the headquarters of the American Horticultural Society. The 25-acre estate, located along the Potomac River in Alexandria,  Virginia,was originally part of the 1,800-acre property acquired by George Washington in 1760 and later occupied by several generations of the Washington family. After multiple changes of ownership from the mid-19th to the mid-20th century, when the property was up for sale in 1971,  it was acquired by AHS board member and philanthropist Enid Haupt , who donated it for the enjoyment of the American people. The AHS maintains the historic site as a showcase for gardening and horticultural practices. Continue reading

Posted in Public Education, Regional Gardens

August 2017 Public Education Events

The following are free public education events for August 2017.

Garden Talk at Arlington Central Library:
Food Preservation

Wednesday, August 2, 7:00 pm – 8:00 pm
Arlington Central Library, 1015 N Quincy St, Arlington VA 22201

Learn how to freeze, can, dehydrate, & ferment so you can savor fresh summer flavors this winter.

AFAC logoFree. No registration necessary. Presented with the Arlington Food Assistance Center (AFAC).


Garden Talk at Arlington Central Library:
Vegetables for Fall Planting

Wednesday, August 9, 7:00 pm – 8:00 pm
Arlington Central Library, 1015 N Quincy St, Arlington VA 22201

Vegetables can be grown nearly year-round in our area. If you didn’t have a chance to plant spring crops, there’s still time to grow and enjoy them now!

AFAC logoFree. No registration necessary. Presented with the Arlington Food Assistance Center (AFAC).


Simpson Gardens Stroll 

Tuesday, August 8, 11 am to noon
Simpson Park Demonstration Gardens, 420 E. Monroe St., Alexandria (by the YMCA).

Large tufa bed: Raising some beds above grade level using tufa rocks permitted more plant varieties.

Stop by and chat with the VCE Master Gardeners who maintain the Simpson Park Demonstration Gardens and see what is in bloom. Have all your gardening questions answered too! No registration necessary.

 

 

 


Garden Talk at Arlington Central Library
Managing your Herb Garden

Wednesday, August 16, 7:00 pm – 8:00 pm
Arlington Central Library, 1015 N Quincy St, Arlington VA 22201

A little maintenance can keep your herb garden healthy & productive.

AFAC logoFree. No registration necessary. Presented with the Arlington Food Assistance Center (AFAC).


Arlington County Fair

Arlington County Fair Logo 2017

Wednesday, August 16 thru Sunday, August 20.
Thomas Jefferson Community Center, 3501 Second Street South, Arlington, 22204

Did you know that the Arlington County Fair is one of the largest free events on the East Coast and has been providing fun and interesting experiences for all ages for over 40 years? Join your neighbors in competitive horticulture, home crafts, and other exhibits; midway rides and games; entertainment; vendors; racing piglets; and more. Come visit the VCE Master Gardener booth to get advice and get solutions for your plant and gardening questions, or just to say “Hi”.

Free.  Shuttle service is provided from locations throughout Arlington. For more information and specific schedule of events, see http://arlingtoncountyfair.us/ or https://www.tripsavvy.com/arlington-county-fair-1040023.


Fruit Trees

Saturday, August 19, 10:30-noon,
Fairlington Community Ctr, 3308 S. Stafford St., Arlington, 22206 

Apple TreeOur Northern Virginia soil and temperatures are actually very well-suited for growing fruit. You will learn the tips and techniques to help you successfully grow commonly grown fruit trees in your own yard, including apples, cherries, peaches, nectarines, figs, pears and more. We will include best practices for assessing your site; pruning, watering and fertilizing; integrated pest management; and other ideas to maximize your harvest.

Free. Advance registration at mgnv.org. Questions 703-228-6414 or mgarlalex@gmail.com.


Garden Talk at Arlington Central Library
Garden Therapy

Wednesday, August 23, 7:00 pm – 8:00 pm
Arlington Central Library, 1015 N Quincy St, Arlington VA 22201

Gardening is inherently therapeutic. A yoga instructor will teach how to adapt your environment, tools, & gardening methods and use yoga to enhance your time in the garden.

AFAC logoFree. No registration necessary. Presented with the Arlington Food Assistance Center (AFAC).


Fall Vegetable Gardening (Note that class is offered twice)

Monday, August 28, 7-8:30,
Beatley Library, 5005 Duke St., Alexandria 22304,

OR

Tuesday, August 29, 7-8:30,
Fairlington Community Ctr, 3308 S. Stafford St., Arlington, 22206 

Lots of Lettuce!

Lots of Lettuce!
Photo © Nancy Dowling

Now is the time to think about what to plant when the weather starts to cool. Join us for this popular session on fall gardening―what to plant when and simple tips for success. Think healthful greens like kale, collards, bok choy and a wealth of lettuces. Fall is a delightful time to garden, with cool autumn days and waning pest populations. Learn inexpensive techniques to extend your harvest and even how you can enjoy some of your crops in the dead of winter!

Free. Advance registration at mgnv.org. Questions 703-228-6414 or mgarlalex@gmail.com.


Printable Flyer – August 2017 Public Education Events
Printable Flyer – Garden Talks at Arlington Central Library 2017

 


Check out our Plant Clinics

  • The Arlington Central Library Plant Clinic is open from 6:45-8:45 pm. every Wednesday to October 25, 2017 and is located in the East Lobby of the library, 1015 N. Quincy Street.
  • The Arlington Farmers’ Market Plant Clinic is open every Saturday morning from 8-11 am. through September, and is at N. 14th St. and N. Courthouse Rd.
  • The Del Ray Farmers Market Plant Clinic, located at 203 E. Oxford Ave, Alexandria from 8:30-11am, runs through September.
  • The Alexandria Farmers Market Plant Clinic, at 301 King Street, Alexandria, 7-9:30am, runs through September 30.

Horticulture Help Desk:

Our Help Desk operates year-round and we welcome your garden-related questions, including those related to plant and insect identification. The Help Desk operates from 9 a.m. to noon weekdays at the VCE office, 3308 S. Stafford St., Arlington 22206. Contact us at 703-228-6414 or mgarlalex@gmail.com, or drop by to speak with our Help Desk volunteers. But it’s best to call before you come to make sure we’re available.


Virginia Cooperative Extension http://www.ext.vt.edu is a joint program of Virginia Tech, Virginia State University, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and state and local governments. VCE programs and employment are open to all, regardless of race, color, national origin, gender, gender identity, gender expression, religion, age, disability, political affiliation, sexual orientation, genetic information, veteran status, or any other basis protected by law. An equal opportunity/affirmative action employer. Issued in furtherance of Cooperative Extension work, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Virginia State University, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture cooperating. Edwin J. Jones, Director, Virginia Cooperative Extension, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg; Jewel E. Hairston, Administrator, 1890 Extension Program, Virginia State, Petersburg.

Posted in Public Education Events

June 2017 in the Organic Vegetable Garden

Potomac Overlook Regional Park, Arlington, VA

By Nancy Dowling, Certified Master Gardener

Polebeans

Pole beans
Photo © 2017 Nancy Dowling

Walking into the Organic Vegetable Garden (OVG) in early June after having been gone for nearly a month, I was amazed by the changes that had taken place in just a few short weeks. When I left in mid-May, most of the beds were still filled with cover crops – winter rye and peas, crimson clover, and hairy vetch. Of course, the strawberries were lush, the radishes were ready for harvesting and the wintered kale, chard, lettuces, and spinach were being harvested, but the balance of the garden was still in transition. Continue reading

Posted in MG in the Garden

TREE: Chionanthus virginicus (White Fringetree)

TREE: Chionanthus virginicus Image by Mary Free

TREE: Chionanthus virginicus
Photo © Mary Free

Tried and True Native Plant Selections for the Mid-Atlantic

An appealing addition to the landscape, this native is rare in Pennsylvania and historical in Delaware’s Piedmont, but frequent to common elsewhere in the Mid-Atlantic Region. The Virginia Native Plant Society named White Fringetree as Wildflower of the Year in 1997. Be aware though, it also appeals to deer! Learn more . . .

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

Lessons from the Garden

Blue milk can with basket of flowers and sign that says Gardeners don't grow old - they just Spade Away.

Gardeners don’t grow old – they just Spade Away!

by Judy Funderburk, Certified Master Gardener

Judy Funderburk, Emeritus Coordinator of the Glencarlyn Library Community Garden,  shared her wisdom at the MGNV Membership Meeting, on June 21, 2017. For those who could not attend and those who want to ponder her words again, here is the transcript of her talk:

Continue reading

Posted in Glencarlyn, MG in the Garden

Sunny Garden Leaves No Stones Unturned

by Joe Kelly, Certified Master Gardener

Edge stones turned to create path border along curved garden bedsAlthough we’ll never stop adding new plants and moving others, the Sunny Garden’s multi-year renovation is finally coming to a close. Right now, the late-spring bloom peak has brought a burst of colors, thanks to the many volunteer hours of planning and planting. The garden has attractive new labels and signage. A new wooden arbor stands over the entrance. We also have a colorful new brochure that highlights the purpose and design of the garden. But, another seemingly small tweak has greatly enhanced the garden’s overall appearance. Continue reading

Posted in MG in the Garden, Sunny Garden

PERENNIAL: Baptisia australis, Blue Wild Indigo

PERENNIAL: Baptisia australis Image by Elaine Mills

PERENNIAL: Baptisia australis
Photo © Elaine Mills

Tried and True Native Plant Selections for the Mid-Atlantic

Baptisia is a bold plant that in early spring produces multiple stems of beautiful gray-green foliage.  By mid-spring the foliage is topped by 1- to 2-foot flowering spikes that are a magnificent blue color.  Handsome blue-black seed pods follow the flowers and remain attractive until the first hard frost.

Learn more . . .

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

Five Annuals for a Pollinator Garden

by Mary Free, Certified Master Gardener

A common eastern bumble bee forages on Lantana camera

A common eastern bumble bee forages on Lantana camara growing in the Scented Garden in Alexandria’s Simpson Gardens.
Photo © Mary Free

Pollinators such as bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds gravitate to gardens that bloom throughout the growing season and that contain an abundance of the same plant species as well as a diversity of species of like colors arranged together. Annuals, with their extended bloom period, ensure a continual nectar source for pollinators when perennials have yet to flower or are in decline. Herbs are also an asset in a pollinator garden, but that is for a future posting. Continue reading

Posted in MG in the Garden, Pollinators, Public Education

Five Things You Didn’t Know About . . . Annuals

The yellow-flowered melampodium brightens the landscape at the Glencarlyn Library Community Garden

The yellow-flowered melampodium brightens the landscape at the Glencarlyn Library Community Garden. Photo © Mary Free

by Mary Free, Certified Master Gardener

Unlike perennials, which live for more than two years, annual plants sprout, bloom, produce seeds, and die in a single growing season. If the garden was a stage, perennials would be the leads and annuals would be supporting performers. Colorful, long-blooming, easy care, and relatively inexpensive, annuals can be attractive additions to your pollinator garden. Continue reading

Posted in Five Things You Didn't Know About..., MG in the Garden, Pollinators, Public Education | Tagged , , , , , , , , , ,

Become a Master Gardener! Sign Up Now!

The 2017 Virginia Cooperative Extension Master Gardener Training is open for registration!

2014-master-gardener-of-northern-virginia-annual-plant-sale-at-green-springOffered by Virginia Cooperative Extension (VCE), Arlington County Office, in partnership with the City of Alexandria, the VCE Master Gardener program trains participants in best management practices of gardening and landscaping techniques that preserve and sustain the environment. Limited scholarship assistance is available.

Application forms and more information . . .

Posted in MG in the Garden