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:
Any additional questions, pease email:

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.

How to Create a Raised Vegetable Garden

Growing and eating your own healthy food is easy and cost-effective

To start, you will need:©2013 by Heather. All rights reserved.

  • To choose a good Site
  • Build a healthy Soil
  • Choose your Seeds and/or Seedlings
  • Sustain your garden with TLC

Click here to read more…


Think Outside the Plots

Since we are all in a deep freeze, I thought you might enjoy some warm weather reading. I know you are daydreaming of the spring garden, so set down that seed catalogue with all those dog-eared pages and read about these clever gardening ideas. One may be right for you. Here is one of the articles that I wrote last fall highlighting some very creative ways to reuse and repurpose common items into raised vegetable gardens.

“Form Follows Function” and these ideas will inspire you to grow & eat your own food no matter where you live

I have really been enjoying writing this past year. I look forward to more opportunities to share my stories from the garden with you in 2014.

Please enjoy “Think Outside the Plots”

Giving Thanks

Happy Thanksgiving to all you fellow Soulful Gardeners

One of the things I am most grateful for this year is YOU and the ability to connect with you. I appreciate our time together and the opportunity to bring you inspiration from the natural world around us.

Thank you for your continued support. This year has provided lots of material to share with you all. I will keep you connected with plants and nature for the purpose of supporting our health and well-being, even as winter ushers in a natural season of dormancy in the garden.

Happy Thanksgiving to all my Soulful Friends!


I’ve been published!

The Last StrawI am proud to announce that the article I spoke to you about in July has been published. Thank you all for your ideas and your support. Your suggestions led to the development of a two-page spread focusing on creative ways to garden anywhere. I highlighted creative gardens made out of plastic kiddie pools, bales of straw and burlap bags.

I took this challenge on to exercise my writing skills. It wasn’t easy to fit all of the information I had into a certain word count with only a limited number of photos. This is also the first time that Let's Bag the Whole ThingI have gone through this kind of editing process. For example, my original title was “Think outside the Plots.” I am learning a lot.

The best part for me was working with my readers, other Master Gardeners and friends to collect stories and photos of your innovative gardening ideas. I think we are on to something!

Please look for the article titled “A Green Form of Creativity” in the following magazines. They are delivered by mail in their respective cities.

  • Inside Bethesda
  • Inside Potomac
  • Colesville Life

These magazines are not available online, therefore I am unable to provide you with a link. If you live outside of these areas, you may want to ask a friend for their copy.

I have two more articles scheduled to be printed in the next few months. Watch your mailboxes.

Thank you again for your support,

Heather Zindash