Sunday, February 28, 2010

Maymont Flower & Garden Show

The Maymont Flower & Garden Show Glorious Gardens Great and Small, at the Richmond Convention Center is always a sight for sore eyes, especially with a long white winter like we've had this year. 

There were a dozen or more garden landscape displays. This is not the Philadelphia International (Feb.28-Mar.7) or Chelsea Flower show but it is very nice.

I will do my best to give credit where it is due to the designs below from memory.  
Some of my photos. 
Ashland Berry Farm "Just Add Water"

what's a garden without whimsy anyway...

"Bathed in Beauty" mermaid bathtub container garden by Judy Durant, Hanover VCE Master Gardener
Sam Harris Designs opened up the show.
I love the color and bloom on this azalea so much, I bought one of the two on the display after the show was over, for $2! It's a florist azalea so I'll need to pot it up.

Here's the bathing beauty again!
Chadwick & Sons Orchids, Inc of Powhatan had "Orchid Garden Party"

Wlisonara Aloha Sparks
ORC Grounds management "2010 Glorious Lane"
soft pink colored tulip with white yellow center

Cross Creek Nursery & Landscaping "Monet's Water Garden"
Virginia Water Gardens "Your Backyard Paradise"
Greenfield Landscaping, LLC. of Ashland "Forest of Dreams"
Other landscapes were by: 
Rock Creek Innovations, Inc.  "Picture This..."
Xteriors "Sanctuary"
Richmond Bonsai Society "Glorious Trees from Small to Tall"

Browsing through the Great Garden Marketplace vendor booths also makes it worth the trip.  I look forward to seeing what my favorite vendor, Greg's Antiques & Gardens from Cincinnati, Ohio has.  I picked up a little angel this trip. I need to take a picture of her.
He sells all sorts of iron and wire topiaries, trellises, planters, baskets,gazebos, arbors, urns. All at reasonable prices. Each year I pick up something else from them.   

Looking through the pamphlets I picked up, I see
Colesville Nursery in Ashland has an open house April 17 8-3
Ashland Berry Farm in Beaverdam Spring Annual Opening April 10 but greenhouse opens Apr 3 and Garden pond shop Mar 20!

Maymont's Spring programs include 
Spring Break Apr 5-9 Hysterically Correct Pirate Show Apr 8 6-8
Plus, they have their summer camp schedule available for 2010.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Glass Display Cases at Goochland Library for Spring Fest Promotion

I was asked to fill 2 display cases at the local library in Goochland to help promote the Spring Garden Fest to be held Saturday, April 24, 2010 at J. Sargeant Reynolds Western Campus.  As a Goochland Powhatan master gardener in training, I have a set number of education hours and service hours to fulfill and volunteering for the Spring Festival is a big part of it. 

These are what I came up with. Not bad for a days notice if I don't say so myself!

This one is even showcasing one of the smaller hypertufa pots my husband has made for me over the years now which I felt was appropriate since the festival is offering a hands on class in hypertufa.


Saturday, February 20, 2010

Spring Garden Fest - April 24, 2010 Goochland Powhatan Master Gardener Association

The Goochland-Powhatan Master Gardeners in cooperation with
A Gardening Festival 
ask the experts
plant vendors
garden vendors
food for sale

Saturday, April 24, 2010
8:30 am –4:00 pm 
Held at 
Register in advance for classes or 
just stop by to shop, browse, and learn.
Call 804-556-5841 or visit  

Annual Spring Garden Fest   April 24, 2010     Class Descriptions
Session 1 9:30 am – 10:50 am

1A Flowering Shrubs through the Seasons
Michael Wallace – Earthscapes Owner, Certified Horticulturist, Grower of Rare Succulents &  Unusual Plants
There are flowering shrubs that enhance landscapes in every season of the year. Participants will learn about both common and unusual flowering shrubs, their characteristics, growing needs, and care.

1B Using Hardscape in the Landscape
Eric Evans – VCE Horticulture Program Associate, Custom Landscape Solutions Owner
Participants will learn how the use of hardscape can enhance the landscape as well as help solve problems. The types of commonly available hardscape materials and their appropriate applications will be discussed along with their relative merits with regard to cost and ease of use.

1D Trees for Eden – Small Ornamental Trees for the Home Landscape
John Wise – Horticultural Adjunct Professor and Propagator
This class will offer examples of small trees appropriate for the private landscape. You will see what they look like and learn about their growing needs to enable you to choose just the right tree and location for beautiful results.

1E Perennials for Central Virginia: Selection and Propagation
Lisa Sanderson – Extension Agent, Virginia Cooperative Extension Agent, Henrico County
Participants will be exposed to a variety of perennials that are suitable for central Virginia, their features and characteristics, environmental requirements and sustainability, as well as information on best methods of propagation.

1F Planning Ahead for Successful Berry Growing
Michael Lachance – Extension Agent, Virginia Cooperative Extension, Nelson County
Want succulent berries as part of your landscape? Learn all about land preparation, plant selection, and planting considerations for small fruit growing. Special emphasis in this class will be on blueberries, strawberries, and cane berries.

1G Workshop: Container Gardening with Flowers – Design and Care Basics
Melinda CrouchMelinda.s Garden and Designs, LLC
Specializing in Container Gardens, Landscape Design and Consultation
Learn how to design and care for beautiful flower container gardens with the use of plant color, textures,shapes, and sizes. In this workshop you will create a flowering container garden to take home. Container, plants, and soil will be provided for a materials fee of $10.

1H Workshop: Making Hypertufa Containers
Charles Cassell – Retired Civil Engineer, Active Gardener
Hypertufa (pronounced hie-per-Too-fuh) is a type of lightweight, artificial stone with the look of real stone. Participants will be given recipes for making hypertufa containers, tips on how to handle the mixture, and safety considerations. One pot will be created in this workshop to take home along with the knowledge and skill to make more. All supplies will be provided for a materials fee of $5.

Sixth Annual Spring Garden Fest        April 24, 2010     Class Descriptions

Session 2 11:00 am – 12 noon

2A Hydrangeas: An Introduction to Their Diversity and Cultural Requirements
 Richard Waiton – Master Gardener, Tour Guide at Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden
Get the scoop so that you can choose hydrangeas best suited to your garden situation and grow them successfully. The four distinctly different species of shrub hydrangeas which are adapted to Virginia will be described and compared. You will be given examples of varieties of each type and review their differences in bloom, growth habit, soil type, sun exposure, pruning, and other cultural requirements.

2B Garden Renovations  David Seward – JSRCC Horticulture Program Head
Have some tired, overgrown, or not so good looking landscaping that could use a boost? Learn the thought processes that go into a garden renovation. Plant removal, renovation pruning, and new plant selections will be discussed.

2C Basic Organic Vegetable Gardening  Laura Mallinak & Gail Murphy – Gardeners Trained at JSRCC and Using Sustainable Agricultural Practices in Their Own Home Gardens of 144 sq. ft. in Richmond and 250 sq. ft. in Varina Learn the basics of growing vegetables organically. Topics presented will be: soil testing, soil prep (tilling, digging, double digging, raised beds), cover crops, crop rotation, transplanting, season extension, companion planting and attracting beneficial insects, and composting.

2D Native Plants in the Virginia Landscape  Stu Doetzer – Horticulturist  
Are you always on the lookout for beautiful plants that will do well in our area? This class will provide in depth information on many native woody plants that can easily be incorporated into Central Virginia landscapes.

2E Composting Your Organic Kitchen Waste with Worms 
Susan Davis – Master Gardener, VNLA Certified Horticulturist
Learn how to recycle your organic kitchen scraps into a dark, rich compost that your plants will love. Learn about Red Wigglers, their life cycle, what to feed them, how they turn kitchen scraps into compost, how to use this compost, and how a worm bin is built and cared for in the home. Note: There is no workshop fee if participants just want information. To actually make a worm bin to take home, please select Class 2EW below and include the materials fee with registration.

2EW Make a Worm Bin Workshop: Composting Your Organic Kitchen Waste with Worms
 Susan Davis – Master Gardener
For a materials fee of $35, participants will learn everything as listed in class 2E above, and will build their very own Worm Bin filled with happy worms ready to start feasting. All needed materials and a pound of worms will be supplied. So, if you want to actually assemble a worm bin to take home, please enter 2EW on the registration form and include the $35 materials fee with your registration.

2F New Landscaping Products on the Market – Seeds, Fertilizers, Pesticides & Weed Control
 Eddie Wirt – Landscaping Consultant & Sales
Learn about new items available and how to use them: new seed varieties, pesticides, and weed control products. Also find out why there are different varieties of fertilizer and when it is appropriate to use each.

2G Workshop: Container Gardening with Herbs – Design and Care Basics
 Melinda CrouchMelinda.s Garden and Designs, LLC
 Specializing in Container Gardens, Landscape Design and Consultation Learn how to design and care for beautiful herb container gardens for form and function. In this workshop you will create an herb container garden to take home. Container, plants, and soil will be provided for a materials fee of $10.

Sixth Annual Spring Garden Fest        April 24, 2010     Class Descriptions

Session 3 1:00 pm – 2:20 pm

 3A Selection and Care of Trees to Promote Health and Beauty - Getting Started Right!
 Joel Koci – BS & MS Horticulture, Certified Arborist, Commercial Arborist - What do you look for at the garden center when selecting a tree to buy? How do you plant and care for a new tree to promote its health and beauty? This class will focus on selecting, planting, and caring for young trees. Learn about mulching, watering, fertilizing, pruning, and proper training.

3B Simply Beautiful – Easier Ways to a Beautiful Landscape
Karen Shipp Kelly – Landscape Designer, Shipp & Wilson - This class will introduce ways to create a landscape tailored to your time, money and energy level! You will get “do-it-right-the-first-time” hints from an instructor with 25 years of design/build landscape contracting experience.

3C Landscaping with Edible Plants  Lisa Dearden - Executive Director – Center for Rural Culture, Horticulturist, Master Gardener - Landscaping with edible plants is called „Foodscaping.. Learn how to grow a variety of edible plants in
your own backyard without chemicals. Save money, conserve water and energy, improve the soil, and have FUN growing food!

3D Hands-On Pruning Techniques  Stu Doetzer – Horticulturist Participants will learn when to prune, and the pruning techniques which will keep plants healthy and shapely. There will be hands-on practice on the grounds of the college. To learn by doing, please bring hand pruners if available and dress with the weather in mind to enjoy the outdoors.

 3E Feed the Soil – Not the Plant: A Guide for Backyard Composting  Janet Queisser – Master Gardener; B. S. in Biology from Virginia Tech - Learn the what, when, where, why and how of making and using compost right in your own backyard. You will learn exactly what compost is, its benefits especially as a soil amendment, how to assemble a
compost pile and accelerate the composting process, and many different techniques you can use to decompose organic material. Also included will be an overview of compost bins, frames, and other containers.

3F Practical Plant Propagation for Home Gardeners  Kelly Stuart – Grower of Flowers and Herbs, Medical Doctor, Seminary Student -The class is divided into sections of lecture and hands-on propagation. Participants will learn basic information via a propagation overview and methods of home propagation which will include seed gathering. In the hands-on portion, there will be an emphasis on taking cuttings of plants that yield “more bang for the buck.” Students will have the opportunity to use propagation techniques and take their work home. Plant medium, cuttings, and containers will be provided. There is no materials fee for this class. Participants are asked to bring hand pruners or clippers if available.

3J Rain Barrel & Beyond – Ways to Harvest and Use Rainwater  Eric Evans – VCE Horticulture Program Associate, Custom Landscape Solutions Owner Explore a variety of ways that rainwater can be captured so that it can be used in the landscape and not wasted as run-ff or pollution to nearby streams. Note: There is no workshop fee if participants just want information. To actually make a rain barrel to take home, please select Class 3JW below and include the materials fee with registration.

 3JW Build a Rain Barrel Workshop: Rain Barrel & Beyond – Ways to Harvest and  Use Rainwater
 Eric Evans – VCE Horticulture Program Associate, Custom Landscape Solutions Owner For a materials fee of $45, participants will learn everything as listed in class 3J above, and will build their very own Rain Barrel to take home. All needed materials will be supplied. So, if you want to actually assemble a rain barrel to take home, please enter 3JW on the registration form and include the $45 materials fee with your registration. Participants will need a vehicle large enough to transport the 50 gallon rain barrels home on Fest day.

As some of you know, I am doing my Master Gardener Training this year which is really exciting for me. This event is one of many where I will be volunteering to get my required service hours.

I hope that anyone reading this who is somewhat local plans to attend. I do know that many of the classes fill up right away so get your registrations in quickly if you want to take a class!  This is also a place to get some very reasonably priced plants!

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Keeping warm on a cold day in between snow storms

The firepit is going as the kids continue to toboggan as they have been able to a good part of this season.
As the snow melts in some areas, I see the bulbs peeking out. Here are some crocus.
The winter interest of the miscanthus is delightful.   
And yes, there is still plenty of snow around. I hope there is still a pool under that snow!

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Dodged the bullet this time...

Glad we're just south of the 20-30"+ of snow the rest of the North East is getting. We have plenty already. Whew!

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Plant Propagation

Thinking of tomorrow's scheduled Master Gardener class topic, Plant Propagation, I decided to post these pictures.
Thanks to my mother in law who saw me admiring these pastel glass rooters in Bits & Pieces catalog last Fall, I received them as a Christmas gift. They are really lovely.
Originally I thought I'd put them all together as they show in the catalog photos but I decided that each having it's own window in different rooms was more of a treat. 
I should add that these are probably the first official root glasses I've ever owned. I typically collect and root in everything from lime juice bottles to old perfume bottles. I have tons of old recycled glass bottles and jars that are absolutely lovely.  However, these are certainly special to me. Besides, since almost every window sill is full right now between plants overwintering and plants being rooted, these go ON the windows!

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

2010 Grammys

The Grammys

I went on-line and filled up my Amazon shopping cart. Luddite perhaps but I'm not one to download music to an MP3 player. I play cd's in my car and sometimes in the house.  Old school perhaps but I want to make sure the artist gets their due if that's possible. I do stream live radio as well but typically from radio stations I am already familiar with, like 98.9 Liberty WWLB.  

Yes, I was thrilled to see Stevie Nicks singing on stage with Taylor Swift. Stevie Nicks is a rock goddess. End of story. I wasn't terribly impressed with HER, unlike every review I read. Even though, personally, I'd buy any Fleetwood Mac or solo album like Bella Donna before buying a Taylor Swift album. But that's me.  All of the reviews I read killed all or most of Taylor Swift's Grammy performances although she did win 4 Grammy's and certainly has a very bright future before her.  

I did some quick research to verify some things and she did more than write all of the songs on her record, she at 17, became the youngest person to single-handedly write and sing a #1 country hit entirely on her own. That alone is super impressive to me but the list goes on and on of all the records she's broken.

Come on. She's a country artist. Could not be cuter. She only just turned 20. And she has some powerful voice. She will be around as long as she wants to be. So know it off with all those negative comments on her.

Okay. Off my soapbox now.

Let's move on to PINK. WOW! What a voice! What a performance! What an artist!  Class act. Yes, she has raised the bar for them all. A must see. I am so glad I did not miss it in HD live on TV Sunday night. There are many versions on the Internet. Here's one of many. Maybe you find a better one, let me know.

- OR another - 

Since I did add her latest album (cd actually) to my shopping cart, it's a perfect time to bring this up. I am thrilled that artists put out clean edit versions of their cd's.

Pink's Funhouse is an example.  It is $2 more but I can listen to it in the car with my kids and not have to hear any profanities repeated. Personally, I'm not offended. I know "it is what it is" and I guess I just don't even hear it anymore. However, I cannot in good conscience expose them to it if I can help it. 

Another example, when my daughter was just a baby, I had the regular 50 cent cd "Get Rich or Die Trying" that had explicit lyrics. It didn't really faze me and there were some of his songs being played on NY/NJ pop radio that I really liked. Then as she got a little older, I went ahead and bought the clean edit and sold the other. Probably on eBay or Amazon. Again, it's more, $4 more. But worth it.

Back to the Grammys.
Michael Jackson. Lionel Richie introduced this film that was shown to the audience and tv viewers.  They asked that you put your 3-D glasses. Thanks to the 1st 2010 Lego magazine's issue, they included 3D glasses for the Lego Atlantis. They worked just fine.

Although some of the greatest, most gifted artists of today sang the song: Celine Dion, Usher, Carrie Underwood, Jennifer Hudson & Smokey Robinson, when they integrated his voice into the mix, there was no compare. It sounded like the others were amateurs a la American Idol.
Michael Jackson's Earth Song:

Again... WOW! Then when Price Michael and Paris spoke on stage. Tears tears tears. Had to stop the DVR until another day.

Then there was DMB (or the Dave Matthews band for the uninitiated.) This was there first appearance on the Grammy's. Even though I believe I only own Stand Up from 2005, they are phenomenal. Plus I feel the loyalty now to stick by a locally formed band. They are out of Charlottesville and I hear they mostly all live and record in and around Albemarle county.
I need to add another of their cd's to my collection now for sure.

And yes, I did not mention Lady Gaga until now. Why? I'm just not a fan. Surprising to some but it's true.

I was thrilled to see Sir Elton John, albeit with her. He's amazing to me.

And Beyonce, she's a true superstar and outstanding performer as always.  
So even though I've seen bits and pieces as it's been on in the background, I'll need to hold off on my Amazon order and continuing this blog post until I get to watch the rest. 

Monday, February 1, 2010

2nd snowstorm of the season. Unheard of!

And I hear we may get as much as 6+ again this coming weekend and long range forecasts show potential of a mid feb storm. 
I thought I moved from the N.E.?
So, yes. We got slammed again. 2 snowstorms in 1 season. Unheard of!

We are filling this feeder once a day since the storm.
All the budgies wait in a nearby tree for their turn.
Our Sarah Belle LOVES the entertainment.
I knew I liked the red coral barked Japanese maple for a reason. Acer palmatum 'Sangokaku'
It provides such a nice contrast in the Winter landscape. I had wanted the red twigged dogwood but felt this was a better buy.
I do need to add quite a bit more to this view for Winter interest.  I know the swing set will not be there forever. With all of those thuja's, I need some evergreen variation. Conifer research, here I come.  I should also order some red twig dogwood or Cornus alba 'Elegantissima' before I forget. We also need to divide some of the ornamental grasses and spread them around. That'll be a chore!