Thursday, May 24, 2012

Green Gardener Photo Contest Kicks Off May 25th

“Every garden has a story to tell, and every time you enter that garden with your camera you have an opportunity to tell a beautiful, compelling story.” ~ Matthew Benson, author of The Photographic Garden
There are so many great reasons to take our cameras into our gardens with us.

First, photography often encourages us to look at things a little deeper…to truly examine the colors and textures of a flower, leaf or bug. To open our eyes to a part of the world we may never have seen before.

Cameras allow us to capture those perfect yet fleeting moments, when blooms and bees and butterflies all converge.

By sharing photos of flowers, weeds or bugs, we can take them to the local Extension Service or our favorite nursery for help with identification. We can share photos of our entire gardens for landscape design help or just to show off our handiwork or our success at growing difficult plants.

But we, of the Metro DC Lawn and Garden blog, want to give you one more reason to take your camera into the garden – an opportunity to win great prizes by sharing photos of your “Green” garden.

On May 25th, 2012, the Metro DC Lawn and Garden blog is launching the Green Gardeners Make a Difference Photo Contest for residents of the Metro DC area.

To enter the contest, you can take a photo of the “green”, eco-friendly aspects of your landscape, and enter it online. Judges will advance all qualified entrants into a final round, where website visitors get to vote for their favorites.

Winners of the contest will win one of two great prize packages. The grand prize package has a cash value of $700 and the second place package has a cash value of $400! That’s a lot of “green”.

Stop by either the Metro DC Lawn and Garden Blog, or our Facebook fanpage starting May 25th, for complete contest rules.

Plants for Rain Gardens

iris1 I mentioned yesterday that I’m in the process of planning a rain garden. I’ve been doing a little bit of research, trying to find plants that might work for the areas we have, which are all fairly shady. As a personal preference, I also don’t want plants that are going to grow too tall and block my view of the rest of the yard.

Here’s a list I found in the Rain Garden Design and Construction Handbook which I mentioned in my previous post. The complete list (in the booklet) provides a lot more information about each specific plant. There are quite a few that look like they will work in our shady locations and not get too tall, including swamp milkweed, blue mistflower, and blue flag iris.

Here is a list of suitable Native Plants from the Rain Garden Design and Construction Handbook which I found on the Northern Virginia Regional Commission website.

Common Name Scientific Name Light Size
Flowering Perennials      
Swamp milkweed Asclepias incarnata Sun-pt. shade 2-4’
New England Aster Symphotrichum novae-angliae Sun 2-4’
Turtlehead Chelone glabra Sun-shade 3-6’
Blue mistflower Conoclinium coelestinum Sun-shade 1-3’
Joe-Pye weed Eupatorium fistulosum Sun-pt. shade 3-8’
Ox-eye sunflower Heliopsis helianthoides Sun-pt. shade 3-5’
Marsh mallow Hibiscus moscheutos Sun 3-5’
Blue flag Iris versicolor Sun-pt. shade 2-3’
Blazingstar Liatris spicata Sun-pt. shade 3-4’
Cardinal flower Lobelia cardinalis Sun-shade 3-6’
Beardtongue Penstemon digitalis Sun-pt. shade 2-5’
Obedient plant Physostegia virginiana Sun-shade 3-5’
Wild bergamot Monarda fistulosa Sun-pt. shade 2-4’
Beebalm Monarda didyma Sun-pt. shade 3-4’
Black-eyed susan Rudbeckia hirta Sun-pt. shade 1-3’
Rough-stemmed goldenrod Solidago rugosa Sun-pt. shade 3-5’
Blue vervain Verbena hastata Sun-pt. shade 2-5’
Ironweed Vernonia noveboracensis Sun-pt. shade 5-8’
Grasses, Grass-like Plants & Ferns      
Broomsedge Andropogon virginicus Sun-pt. shade 1-3’
Sea oats Chasmanthium latifolium Sun-pt. shade 2-4’
Soft rush Juncus effusus Sun-pt. shade 1-3’
Cinnamon fern Osmunda cinnamonea Sun-shade 3-5’
Royal fern Osmunda regalis Sun-shade 2-6’
Switchgrass Panicum virgatum Sun-pt. shade 3-6’
Indian grass Sorghastrum nutans Sun-pt. shade 3-6’
Shrubs & Trees      
Serviceberry Amelanchier canadensis Sun-shade 15-25’
Red chokeberry Aronia arbutifolia Sun-pt. shade 6-12’
Black chokeberry Aronia melanocarpa Sun-pt. shade 3-6’
Buttonbush Cephalanthus occidentalis Sun-shade 6-12’
Silky dogwood Cornus amomum Sun-shade 6-12’
Winterberry Ilex verticillata Sun-shade 6-12’
Virginia sweetspire Itea virginica Sun-shade 4-8’
Spicebush Lindera benzoin Pt. shade-shade 6-12’
Ninebark Physocarpus opulifolius Sun-pt. shade 6-12’
Elderberry Sambucus canadensis Sun-shade 6-12’
Highbush blueberry Vaccinium corymbosum Sun-shade 6-12’
Arrowwood viburnum Viburnum dentatum Sun-shade 6-8’

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