Sunday, April 25, 2010

Sunday morning dew on green.

Hostas leaves.
The Lady's Mantle or Alchemilla with its dew drops like strings of diamonds searching for the philosopher's stone.

Lamiastrum 'Herman's pride' silver archangel - Bluestone perennial LINK.
Green glass flower. Thank you Inez.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Reminder!! Saturday, April 24 is the Spring Garden Fest at J. Sarge

Reminder!! This coming Saturday, April 24 is the Spring Garden Fest at J. Sarge 8:30-4. It is free to come and see the vendors, plant sales and ask questions of on-site master gardeners.  There are 3 sessions of classes. $10.00 Pre-Registration Fee covers all classes except those with additional charges listed below ($12.00 at the door).  Some classes are full and others are very close to capacity so get your registration in today!! It's not too late if there's available space. You can drop off with Shannon Grayson or call her at the Goochland extension office: 804-556-5841. The registration brochure can be found here in .pdf or .doc format:

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.

Classes count as continuing education credits for Master Gardeners.

Spring Garden Fest Activities Open to the Public without Registration:

Plant/Vendor Sales: Many kinds of plants will be
available for purchase from local vendors, JSRCC
students, and GPMGA. Other garden-related
products and helpful information will also be available.

Educational Displays and Demonstrations will be
on site covering a variety of gardening topics. Master
Gardeners will be happy to answer your questions.

Wrap-up Panel Discussion
will take place in the
Student Lounge from 2:30 – 3:00 pm with experts
such as Stu Doetzer, Joel Koci, John Wise, and
Karen Kelly to answer your questions.

will be for sale on site at the event.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Spring Break trip to DC

The spring blooms in Washington DC this weekend were beautiful. This is landscaping outside of the National Air and Space Museum on the National Mall side.

In this temple
as in the hearts of the people
for whom he saved the union
the memory of Abraham Lincoln
is enshrined forever
The view from the Lincoln Memorial of the Reflecting Pool, Washington Monument, Capitol, Smithsonian Natural History Museum and the Castle.
This peacock is on display in the far room of the west wing of the Smithsonian's Castle. This reminds us of The Peacock Room by Whistler which can be found in the Smithsonian's Freer Gallery.
Seed catalog display in the castle.
I'm considering using this little guy in the Kenneth E. Behring Family Hall of Mammals in the  Natural History Museum as my facebook profile picture.
Took this photo to show to the 2 cats living here when they think they are fierce.
We searched out all the information we could on Amelia Earhart for a Famous American Social Studies project.  The A&S museum has her Lockheed 5B Vega that she flew across the Atlantic and across the US, both as the first woman to do so.  
One of the exhibits I found most interesting and new to me was Written in Bone - Forensic Files of the 17th Century. Of course we raced through it but I now know there are a number of books and a dvd available. Written in Bone: Buried Lives of Jamestown and Colonial Maryland by Sally Walker is the companion volume to the exhibit. Written in Bone: Bone Biographer's Casebook was also available at the gift shop.  The History channel has a dvd as well: Written In Bone.        
We traveled up 95 on Friday, stayed at the Holiday Inn - Capitol, 1 block from the Air and Space Museum. Awesome location. The room was ok.  Got to visit the Air & Space Museum, the Natural History Museum and the Castle 2 different days. Saturday we watched the Cherry Blossom Festival Parade, kids rode the carousel in front of the Castle, walked to the Lincoln Memorial, passed the Capitol, Washington Monument and White House more than once on our journey, passed the Vietnam Memorial, rode the Circulator back around the Mall from 16th to 6th Street for $2 total saving our tired feet.  Ate at the Capital City Brewery Company downtown Friday night. We ate at the Arlington location last time. Probably won't go again.  Breakfast and 1 dinner at the hotel were good. We took advantage of our parking pass until 5 at the hotel on Sunday before heading home. Overall, a very enjoyable trip.

On the drive home, we knew we were going south as we saw this: 
Ye Haw!

Friday, April 9, 2010

Purples, pinks, butter yellows

Wow! This is the first year one of our Wisteria has decided to bloom. Amazing.

The lilac is blooming.

The new columbine from Lowe's.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Lewis Ginter today

I cannot wait to get my photos and post together from our Lewis Ginter Botanical Gardens trip today. It was spectacular.  Here is a small glimpse.

Powder Puff Tree 
South America 

 One of many of the orchids in the conservatory. 

Their current exhibit which runs through January 2011 is: GLORIOUS GLASS IN THE GARDEN: THE ART OF HANS GODO FRABEL. That will have to be its own post altogether.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Holy Thursday. What's in bloom today?

Spring is bringing some beautiful colors to the gardens and the yard.