Not long now…

Successful Design with Nature in Mind

2017 MCMG Spring Gardening Conference
Presented by the Montgomery County Master Gardeners

I am please to announce our 17th Annual MCMG Spring Conference. Please join me and my fellow MCMG volunteers on Saturday, February 25, 2017*
at The University of Maryland Extension Montgomery County Office, 18410 Muncaster Rd., Derwood, MD. *Snow date – March 4, 2017 (In case of inclement weather, we follow Montgomery County Public Schools’ Weekend Activity Policy.)

The event is $55 per person or $50 each for groups of two or more and includes lunch, light breakfast and coffee/tea.

You will get to choose 3 of the follow 9 inspiring presentations. One for each of three sessions. Don’t be left in the cold, join us for some heart-warming garden tips, tricks and timely topics.

Schedule of Events
Registration & Refreshments (8:30 – 9:00)
Welcome & Opening Remarks (9:00 – 9:15)

Session I (9:25 – 10:30)

  1. Beekeeping 101 – Marie Rojas.  We’ll explore the first full year of beekeeping; including honey bee races, types of hives and where to locate them, protective clothing, tools, as well as bee-friendly plants and resources.  Taste test a variety of honey samples, including Marie’s blue-ribbon local honey!
  2. Vegetable Gardening When Mother Nature Doesn’t Cooperate – Erica Smith.  Cold, heat, rain, drought, roller-coaster temperature changes and global weirding.  Find out how to keep your vegetable plants healthy and producing well despite weather challenges.

  3. A Design On Time – Timely Tips for a Timeless Garden:  What to do, When to do it, and Why – Eric Wenger.  Come along for an informative monthly planning tour from January to December.  We’ll explore the creative planning process, the sourcing of the best plant material and amendments and when you should be planting, pruning or just enjoying your garden!

Session II (10:40 – 11:45)

  1. Eat, Prey, Love – Herbs for Pollinators – Pat Kenny and Heather Whirley.  We know pollinators are essential members of our network of living things. Come see what pollinators can be found in our own backyards and how we can attract them by growing more of the herbs they love.
  2. Successful Plant Selection: Sustainability for Small Gardens – Steve Dubik.  Smart plant selection is the single most effective way to create a successful, low-maintenance, high-enjoyment garden for small areas.  We’ll be highlighting those plants that are not only compact in size, but also desirable for their sustainability and support to our native wildlife.
  3. Easy, Tasty, Small Fruits – Terri Valenti.   Interested in growing small fruits?  Come learn how to successfully cultivate blueberries, hardy kiwi, and hardy passion-fruit.

Lunch (12:00 – 1:00)  Informal Lunch & Learn session, open to all.

Session III  (1:00 – 2:05)

  1. A Shade of Difference – Joy Adler.  Find out what and how to plant in shady spaces. We’ll cover a variety of different situations, including dry shade, and how to maximize light for the better plant growth.
  2. Garden Anywhere: Growing Edibles and Ornamentals in Containers – Dara Barrow-Giffen. You can pretty much garden anywhere with container gardens!  Add visual interest to an existing garden or bring a garden to your driveway or patio.

  3. Designing a Certified Wildlife Habitat – Susan Bell.  Take your garden to the next level by turning your property into an inviting haven for local wildlife.  Adding food, water, shelter and nesting sites will attract ‘the birds and the bees’ along with other critters necessary to create a diverse and healthy environment.  Link provided to the National Wildlife Federation for certification of your habitat.

Wrap-up (2:15 – 2:30)
Open question & answer forum with presenters. Last of the fabulous door prizes will be awarded.

Click here to register:  http://mcmgconference.eventbrite.com
Any additional questions, pease email: mcmgconference@gmail.com

Please share this information with your friends, family neighbors, clubs, groups and organizations. Anyone who loves learning and growing in the garden.

Space is limited.

Our Growing Family

Mother's Day 2016 (14)How we created an Edible Garden together

Every Mother’s Day, I ask for the same thing; to spend the day together in the garden. This year, we created an Edible Garden,
complete with herbs, vegetables and edible flowers.          Here is our story…

Spring is here!

NWF Nestlings CoverRoll out the Welcome Mat
The Nesting Season is upon us. Here’s how you can help our native birds and their broods.

  • Provide nesting boxes, trees, thickets and/or dense brush.
  • Nesting birds need extra protein, for themselves and their young. Offer a variety of nuts and seeds in your feeders. 96% of birds rely on insects to feed their young. Maintain a healthy garden with a variety of insects. Avoid herbicides and pesticides.
  • Fresh water is essential for birds. This can be provided by a bird bath, fountain or pond. Remember, birds need a shallow place to sit in the water so that they can drink, wash and preen their feathers safely. Hummingbirds will not enter water that is greater than 1/4″ deep.

Tells us in the comments, What elements do you or will you provide for our native birds this nesting season?

Happy Spring!

 

Quitting time

fish, pond, hummingbird, dragonfly 2014 019Remember to stop feeding your pond fish once the water temperature falls below 50 degrees.

Cold temperatures slow their metabolism as they prepare for winter, which in turn slows their digestion.

 

Make & Take

In preparation for the winter months, I am working on coming up with fun demonstration ideas for classes I will be teaching.

Do you have a favorite make & take project that you’ve done with your garden club or organization? Is there a project you’d like to see offered?

I would love to hear from you. Please leave your comments below.

Happy Gardening!


Celebrate with The Soulful Gardener

Carderock-C-O-Potomac-landscape-frame-059.JPGAt the NEW Homewood Suites, Gaithersburg Grand Opening on Thursday, June 11th from 4 p.m. –
7 p.m. Please R.S.V.P. & get more information here.

The Gaithersburg-Germantown Chamber of Commerce will be hosting a Ribbon Cutting Ceremony at 5:45 p.m.

“Celebrate our hotel opening with Homewood’s Lewis the Duck and support the Gaithersburg environment as the Muddy Branch Alliance showcases local artists in support of our tributary streams and watershed. Displayed art will be available for purchase. ”  ~ Homewood Suites, Washington D.C. North, Gaithersburg

False-Blue-Indigo-Frame-May-Potomac.JPGAs one of the guest artists, I will have a collection of signature photographs on display and available for purchase. I will also have information about custom presentations you can schedule for your garden club, eco-action group, HOA and/or green organization.

Come celebrate the opening of Homewood Suites while looking at beautiful local art and enjoying some nibbles and noshes. Remember to R.S.V.P. so we can plan accordingly.

Hope to see all my local Soulful friends there!

“Life in the Landscape” Series

New Photo Series

TSG Potomac Library show Life in the LandscapeThis collection of photographs highlights beautiful & sometimes seldom seen moments of “Life in the Landscape” captured in our own Certified Wildlife Habitat and from local gardens and parks.

You can find framed pieces from this collection at Wild Bird Center, Gaithersburg located on Darnestown Road.

On Thursday, June 11th, this series will be on display at the Grand Opening of the Homewood Suites, Gaithersburg. Find details & R.S.V.P. here. I will be there to talk about my passion to use photographs to “bring people, plants and nature together.” Photos will also be available for purchase. Hope to see you there!

Many of these and similar images can be seen in my custom presentations that I deliver to garden clubs, home owner’s associations and various other organizations. To schedule a presentation for your group, please check out my new Speaking page where you will find a list of topics and references. As The Soulful Gardener, I know that every time we enter into nature, she greets us with wonderful and sometimes unexpected surprises. “Mother Nature never lets us down.”

Please share this post and The Soulful Gardener, website with your friends and family. What is better than a garden full of friends?

Worried about your spring bulbs in the snow?

Spring Garden 2014 cover

Don’t! Snow actually acts as an insulating blanket, protecting plants from fluctuating temperatures. Once it melts, your buds will be just fine and ready for warmer days that will coax open their tender buds, displaying their bright, cheery faces.Buried Treasure - IB (1024x911)Spring Garden 009

Happy First Day of Spring!

cropped-Spring-Garden-0221.jpg

 

 

Fresh, unfrozen water, vital to birds & animals

Common Flicker, birds in winter pond 023The number one way to attract birds and wildlife to your yard is to provide a steady source of fresh, unfrozen water. Water is an essential, life-giving element in any/every ecosystem. It is the first step in creating your own backyard habitat.

Common Flicker, birds in winter pond 014Today this male Common (“Yellow Shafted”) Flicker stopped by our pond for a drink. Note the black mustache and yellow markings on its hind wings. The Common Flicker is part of the woodpecker family and is about 12-14″ tall. You can sometimes spot them in the summer hopping awkwardly on the ground eating ants.

We were so pleasantly surprised by his visit this morning.

Common Flicker, birds in winter pond 016Please feel free to like, share, tweet and forward to your friends and family.

Happy Gardening!