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.

Send fresh air and sunshine to the ones you love

TSG Greeting CardsYour friends and family will love receiving your personal message inside these beautiful, one-of-a-kind, blank greeting cards. Cards are sold in a series of 4 packs. Choose your theme here.

 

“Bring the Outside In”

Relaxing RiverConnecting with nature improves the mind-body connection. Bring the beauty & benefits of nature into your home & office all year round. These images encourage feelings of balance, creativity, clarity and happiness. Bring yours home today.Purple Passion

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!

Dishing the Dirt!

Garden Tea & Hat Party 6-9-13 042This Easter season, I was honored to be interviewed by Sharon Allen Gilder for a featured piece in our local paper, The Town Courier. I am thrilled to dish the dirt about my passion for gardening and nature. Nothing is more rewarding to me than to hear people say that they have been inspired to follow their own garden dreams by my work online or in person.

“I hope to encourage everyone to get outside, get dirty & grow,
inside and out.”

My hope is that this article will serve to bring more people together with plants & nature for health and well-being. To read the article, please go to: http://towncourier.com/heather-zindash-the-soulful-gardener/

If you are also inspired, please help me spread the word dirt!

Happy Gardening!

It’s time to hang your Hummingbird Feeders!

Hummingbird at Fountain 5-15-13 002Ruby-throated Hummingbirds
are almost here!

It’s been a long cold winter here in the Washington D.C. metro area. But, believe it or not, the Ruby-throated Hummingbirds are being spotted in nearby Virginia. To track their migration or better yet, to participate in a little citizen science, log your first sightings at:
http://www.hummingbirds.net/map.html.

Putting up feeders now is very important since it has not been warm enough in our hummingbird feeders up 4-2 011area for established nectar-giving perennials to bloom. The hummingbirds will need a readily available food source as they migrate north from South America.

I usually supplement my hummingbird feeders by hanging baskets of annual tubular flowers in the red family such as fuchsia or snapdragons, but it is too early to assume that our overnight freezing temperatures are completely a thing of the past. The best rule of thumb is to wait until Mother’s Day to plant annuals in our area in order to avoid spring frosts. If you are like me, waiting requires serious discipline, but you will be rewarded with healthy plants that do not require a daily study of weather maps so you can protect them on very cold nights or worse, replace them when you forget.

So, get out those feeders, make your nectar and hang them up! You may get your first visitor as early as this week.

Here is a sneak peek of what you will soon be enjoying at your feeders:

Learn more here: How to attract Hummingbirds to your Garden.

Happy Gardening!