Friday, August 31, 2012

To everything, there is a season

Everyone knows that when it comes to gardens, there is a time to reap and a time to sow. But many people don’t realize that there are also times when it is good to just let your garden rest.

Many plants can be harmed much more quickly by too much attention than by too little. Certainly too much water or too much of any chemical is going to harm the plant, the beneficial critters and the surrounding environment. And even the strongest plants can only tolerate a limited amount of pruning and “rearranging” in the garden.

Even soil that is continually worked can suffer, eventually becoming worn out and depleted of the nutrients that help your plants grow.

Gardeners, too, can benefit from a rest. Taking time away from the chores and duties of maintaining a garden and spending a little more time just appreciating and enjoying it is a great way to restore a tired gardener’s enthusiasm.

The Metro DC Lawn and Garden Blog was started in June 2010, and in the past two years, we have shared over 710 posts about the joys and environmental benefits of green gardening.

We have planted many of the things we have learned about gardening into this blog, added the knowledge and insights we have gained from our readers and local garden enthusiasts, and have created a garden blog that is brimming with information for you to come and wander through and pick and enjoy.

And now, it is time for us to rest.

All of our great posts will still be out here for you to enjoy. You can use the Topic Index page (located from the horizontal menu bar), the Search this Blog input box to search for a specific topic or click on one of the Labels in the right sidebar.

For information that you don’t find on the Metro DC Lawn and Garden Blog, the Eco-Friendly Resources page (also available in the horizontal menu bar) will lead you to many other great websites in the area that are brimming with information to help you continue with your gardening efforts.

It has been a wonderful pleasure and honor creating and sharing this garden blog with you. I hope that you will come visit it often.

I can’t wait to see what the next seasons bring us all!

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Chesapeake Ecology Center, 10th Anniversary Celebration & Native Plant Sale – Sept. 15

When: Saturday, September 15 , 9 a.m. - 1 p.m. (Rain date: Sunday, September 16)

Where: 245 Clay Street, Annapolis, MD 21401

All are invited to this free event and celebration of the 10th Anniversary of the Chesapeake Ecology Center (CEC)! Join Master Gardener tour guides for tours of the Native Plant Demonstration Gardens at the CEC. Learn about native plants, rain gardens, and other conservation landscaping practices. This is also their annual fundraiser, and native plants at discount prices will be made available.

The CEC is located at Adams Academy at Adams Park Middle School, in Annapolis, MD, just two blocks from the Navy Stadium. Visit - - for more information and directions to the CEC.

Visit this link for a list of the plants available:

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Upcoming Classes, Green Spring Gardens

Green Spring Gardens is one of our favorite places for gardening classes of all kinds. Here are a few that are coming up in the next few weeks, but I encourage you to bookmark their education page to keep an eye on what’s coming up!

9/8/2012, Flourishing, Flowering Salvias
  Green Spring Gardens Park
Start Time/Day:  9:30am Sat

Make room in your garden for those eye-popping, traffic stopping fall blooming salvias. This genus includes plants with fragrant leaves, culinary uses and flowers that attract hummingbirds. Nancy Olney, staff horticulturist, shows you her favorites in the garden and shares propagation and growing tips. Take home a sample of a hardy salvia for your own garden.

9/14/2012, Basic Gardening: Grow Great Grub
  Green Spring Gardens Park
Start Time/Day:  1:30pm Fri

Planting a fall vegetable garden will extend the gardening season so you can continue to harvest fresh produce. Many cool-season vegetables, such as carrots, broccoli, cauliflower, and Brussels sprouts, produce their best flavor and quality when they mature during cool weather. Master Gardeners show you how.

9/29/2012, Invasive Plant ID and Native Alternative
  Green Spring Gardens Park
Start Time/Day:  9am Sat

Its time to remove those invasive plants and plant native plants we can all enjoy, but first you need to know how to ID them. In this workshop Kristen Sinclair and Brenda Skarphol, curatorial horticulturist, focus on invasive plant identification both in the classroom and the field and provide native alternatives to plant instead. Identifications materials included.

10/5/2012, Basic Gardening:Put the Garden to Bed
  Green Spring Gardens Park
Start Time/Day:  1:30pm Fri

Its fall again! Time to enjoy the break from the summer heat and head back into the garden for some end-of-season maintenance. There is plenty to do before Old Man Winter arrives. Master Gardeners share suggestions for ensuring that your plants are well prepared for the cold weather ahead.

For more information, visit Green Spring Gardens website.

Monday, August 27, 2012

New Pesticide Website for Virginia

The Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services has launched a new website to help educate the public about pesticides.

The website helps teach users about  common pests of the home, lawn and garden, along with the information about which options and practices best manage those pests.

There is a whole section on Integrated Pest Management which helps users to choose more environmentally friendly methods of dealing with garden pests.

Check it out!

Backyard Birds Presentation – September 8th

What: Backyard Birds Presentation

When: Saturday, September 8, 10AM-12:30PM

Where: 3400 Bryan Point Rd., Accokeek, MD

Birds can bring feathered fun — and free insect control — to a backyard garden. Join Accokeek Foundation for an introduction to the backyard birds of Maryland. From red-breasted robins to cheerful bluebirds, they will identify several common birds of Maryland and discuss how to attract them with shelter, water, and food—from seed and suet cakes to bird-friendly native plants.

Discussion will also cover  basic birding skills. Weather permitting, participants will take a guided trail walk. Participants will receive a copy of Bill Fenimore’s Backyard Birds of Maryland and other take-home materials.

Pre-registration is required by Thursday, August 30, 2012.

Register Here: The Accokeek Foundation, 3400

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

How to create a rain garden – August 25th

What: How to create a rain garden

When: Saturday, August 25th, 2012, 10:30 – 12:30

Where: Common Good City Farm, V Street NW between 2nd and 4th Streets, DC

What is a rain garden? A rain garden is a special type of garden  which includes a well-draining soil and preferably native drought  tolerant plants that can attract local pollinators. This workshop will  help give you an outline of how to design your own garden as an  attractive way to prevent water run-off from polluting our watersheds.

Teacher: Lili A. Herrera is a landscape architect and horticulturalist with a passion for plants. She worked in NYC at a small landscape  design firm and now works in DC for a landscape architecture firm  working on all scales of garden design. She is also a garden volunteer at Dumbarton Oaks and Common Good City Farm. For information contact

Workshops fill up quickly, so register TODAY at

Information for this post provided by Common Good City Farm.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Backyard habitat workshop, Saturday, August 25

What: Backyard habitat workshop
When: Saturday, August 25th, 1-4 pm
Where: Takoma Library

This weekend DDOE and DCPL with Audubon MD/DC are hosting a backyard wildlife habitat workshop at Takoma Library (416 Cedar Street NW, Washington, DC 20012). 

The workshop will be on Saturday, August 25 from 1-4pm.  Karen Mullin from Audubon MD/DC will be there to give a presentation on conservation gardening and creating space for wildlife and to give gardening advice.  After the presentation, they will be planting a native plant garden behind the library.   There will be freebies available to those who attend: birdhouse kits, books, native and invasive plant guides and plants. 

If you are interested in attending this event please send an email to

Information for this post provided by: Damien P. Ossi,

Monday, August 20, 2012

Franklinia Trees in Full Bloom at Triadelphia Recreation Area


Now’s the time to see the beautiful white, camellia-like flowers of the blooming Franklinia tree. The state champion, Franklinia, is on the picnic grounds at Triadelphia Recreation Area, 2800 Triadelphia Lake Road, Brookeville.  Three other of these uncommon trees also have been identified near the picnic grounds.

Sometimes called a Franklin tree, this champion tree is recognized as the largest specimen of its kind within Maryland. 

This Franklinia is 26 inches in circumference, 32 feet in height and 32 feet in crown spread. By comparison, the current national champion, located in Pennsylvania, is one inch taller, but 10 inches longer in crown spread and 16 inches wider in circumference.  

These rare trees, now distinct in the wild, were discovered along Georgia's Altamaha River in 1765 by botanists John and William Bartram and named for their family’s friend, Benjamin Franklin. This beautiful landscape tree is now considered extinct in the wild.  Only trees that were planted still exist throughout the country. Franklinias need a rich, moist and well-drained soil and the warmth of the full sun.

In August, you can see the white, camellia-like flowers of the Franklinia and smell its lovely fragrance. In the fall, the leaves turn a yellow to a scarlet color to signal the season’s shorter days. 

In addition to the beauty of this tree, they are noted as a  favored perch for the birds that call Triadelphia home, including cardinals, Carolina wrens, robins and mockingbirds.

Information for this post provided by:

John C. White, 

To learn more about the Franklinia tree, here’s a great article entitled: America’s ‘First’ Rare Plant: The Franklin Tree by Lucy M. Rowland

Friday, August 17, 2012

District of Columbia Invasives Day, Sept. 8th

Saturday, September 8th, 2012

The DC Cooperative Weed Management Area

Cordially invites you to

Participate in DC INVASIVES DAY, which is aimed at increasing awareness and community efforts toward managing invasive plants and promoting native wildlife habitat in Washington, DC.

The DC-CWMA members, partners and others will host various sites around the District where residents can engage in invasive plant removal as well as learn about invasive identification and restoration. It’s a great opportunity to connect with the managers some of these parks to learn more about wildlife management efforts and take part in restoring areas to promote wildlife conservation. There are several sites throughout the city and we are still looking for more sites, leaders, community groups and residents to engage.

Sites (Include):

Rock Creek Park,  Dumbarton Oaks Park , Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens, Fort Dupont Park, C&O Canal Park,  Kingman Island,  National Arboretum

For more information and to RSVP contact:

For more information on the DC Cooperative Weed Management Area - please click this link DC-CWMA. They are still looking for additional sites, community partners and residents to engage, please contact Laura if you would like to lead a group, suggest a site or learn more about the event.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Living in a place that cares

One of the really great things about the Metro DC area is the abundance of information available to anyone who wants to learn how to take care of the environment. If you have lived here for very long, that may be something that you just accept as “the norm”, but there are many parts of the country….many states….and many counties that don’t provide any information to their residents on how to conserve water, create compost or install a rain barrel. To me, providing this knowledge to people shows a great commitment to the area and to the people who live here.

In case you haven’t gone out searching for any of this info lately, I wanted to remind you about the great Eco-Friendly Resources page that we have here on the Metro DC Lawn and Garden Blog. I had to fix some of the links from when I created it, but there is still a WEALTH of information for any budding green gardener.

Click on the tab for : Eco-Friendly Resources


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