This link from Horticulture Magazine discusses watering in the summer months that can be time-consuming and expensive. They have a few tips to help you manage this crucial garden chore. See more at link below:
Tom and Ron's Patio - Ideas for Yours!!!
Birds Visiting Tom's Garden/Patio - Spring 2015
Cardinal (F and M)
House Sparrow One
House Sparrow Two
Some Helpful Links
I have been saving some links to great gardening sources and plants worth considering, so what follows is a brief description of each link's content and the link itself. Hopefully you will find some of these useful.
Guide SummaryPublished in March 2015, this 48-page guide lists plants native to Northern Virginia (residents of the greater Washington DC area can benefit from this guide). The guide was not meant to be comprehensive but rather a showcase of natives that are attractive, easy for home gardeners to acquire and grow, and beneficial to wildlife and the environment.
The guide is organized by the type of plant: perennials (forbs); grasses, sedges, and rushes; ferns; vines; shrubs; and trees. For each plant there is a photo, cultural requirements, size and shape, and the insects, birds, or wildlife that benefit from the plant. The guide also lists native plants that would do well in particular situations such as wet or dry places, additional resources on native plants, native demonstration gardens, and invasive plants.
This link from Horticulture Magazine describes 'Bounce' impatiens which is recommended for the shady garden. A few seasons ago, impatiens were unavailable because of a disease which caused sudden die off. It appears that it has now been eradicated.
Here is a link to a new gardening blog I recently discovered - Pegplant! Her content is vegetables and other edibles, but since many gardeners with small spaces are growing herbs and salad greens in pots and window boxes, many will find the tips useful. The author provides a wonderful list of Metro area sources and events - check it out on the archives menu on the right side of the page.
Most gardeners are thrilled to discover that their gardens are a source of food for hummingbirds. These exotic creatures, immortalized in Emily Dickenson's poem ("XV. The Humming - Bird"), bring delight and awe! P. Allen Smith - you may have seen his TV show on PBS or his plants at the nursery - has written a good article on attracting hummingbirds by providing plants that they love. In addition to his easy to read content, he has added some amazing photographs. Enjoy!
And thanks to P. Allen Smith for this wonderful look at some new plants for this season. Scrolling through the list will make you wish you had forty acres rather than that 15 X 20 foot patio in the back!
Plant catalogues and nursery web sites are a constant source of education and inspiration - and dreams! Using these sources is sort of like buying books - we browse the aisles at Barnes and Noble and then go home and order them from Amazon! So we study the plant catalogue and then go to our favorite nursery to find the plant because it is quicker and the plant is going to be larger than the one from mail order.
Here is a link to Wayside Gardens in South Carolina that gives a look at some new plants for this season. Putting in a new plant or a new variety makes gardening interesting.
And finally, here is a link to a blog produced by Tony Avent of Plants Delights Nursery in North Carolina. I usually don't mail order plants, but I have ordered from this company and have been pleased with their plants. They have one of the best catalogues around and some of the most interesting plants that you will want to plant in your garden. (Their catalogues' covers are always a satirical delight.) One of the great things about this blog is that Tony photographs the blooming plants in their gardens as they come into flower. This link which features an unusual, bright red form of 'flycatcher' (so named because its sticky leaves attracts insects) is a good example of his content. It's easy to subscribe to his blog.
Hopefully you will find something inspirational or educational in these links. HAPPY GARDENING! (And let's hope that the weather settles down and becomes more seasonal!)
I'm sure most gardeners are engaged in the transition of spring to summer and are putting in summer material now that the soil has warmed up, and the night temperatures have stabilized and are staying well above 50 degrees.
Remember to feed, water, and mulch those new plants to keep them growing. Also remember to try something new this year - something you haven't tried before that will thrive in your growing conditions.
Match the plant's needs with your growing conditions - shade lovers need shade and sun lovers need sun! Plant naturally as they grow in nature (redundant, I know) - you don't see plants growing in straight lines, do you? No, of course not. Then don't plant your specimens all in a row; mix them up, clump them! Also plant in odd numbers - 3, 5, 7, 9 of a variety. This way they make a better show!
Think of making a flower border as somewhat like painting. You need a mass of color here; some shading there; and a little texture there! Voila! You have a masterpiece with the earth as your canvas.
Tulips - Toms Garden
Conversations with Neighbors
OR - Do You Speak to Neighbors You Pass when Walking?
From the Outlaw Garden Web Site
Tom's Garden Featured in
Washington Gardener Magazine
In its July/August 2006 Issue, Washington Gardener Magazine features the garden of Fairlington's own "Gardening Advisor" Tom Corbin. Tom's garden is on 34th Street, facing the street, between Wakefield and 36th.
"Gardening in Fairlington is a rather "public" activity, especially when one's garden is adjacent to a busy street, complete with Metro buses and rush hour traffic, and a busy sidewalk of pedestrians, dog walkers, and strollers!"Click Here for Article(July, 2006)
Even though Fairlington gardeners are limited by our spatial constraints, it is always a treat to keep up with gardening trends by exploring noteworthy garden publications. I highly recommend the following:
(American Horticulture Society, and)
Practical Web Sites
Gardening Resources - Cornell University Gardening Site - Offers great links on lawn, garden, landscape gardening and much more.
Online resource for gardening enthusiasts - Garden Guides.com - offers some simple, practical videos on garden maintenance and general gardening advice.
Note to Readers
As some of you probably remember, I used to do this column for the All Fairlington Bulletin as an effort to offer to local gardeners some practical advice based on personal experience. I am always interested in who (if anyone) actually reads or uses this advice and will respond to your questions or comments. Drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org and reference "Web Site Garden Column" in the subject heading.
The American Horticultural Society (AHS) is one of the oldest national gardening organizations in the country. Since 1922, we have provided America's gardeners with the highest quality gardening and horticultural education possible.
We accomplish this with the help of an impressive network of experts -- from the members of our Board of Directors, specialized Advisory Committees, National Great American Gardener Award Winners and corporate sponsors.
At AHS you’ll get connected -- to great gardens around the world, gardening education for all levels of skill, sources of information on any garden subject imaginable, a community of gardeners eager to share their experiences, other great gardening events and activities, and much, much more.
In the interest of protecting our environment, there are many thing the small-time gardener can do to limit our impact on the planet.
|Plant native species. The American Horticulture Society (located near Mt. Vernon), Blandy Farm (the VA arboretum near Winchester, VA), Green Springs Farm (located off Little River Turnpike), and local farmers' markets offer native species which will grow in our area. |
Use natural products. Limit the use of chemical sprays and fertilizers in the garden.
Consider drought tolerant plants. Once established many plants, including native species, are drought tolerant. Discover them through a little garden research.
Promote Natural Growth Patterns. Encourage the natural growth form of plants and shrubs. Sheared plants are stressed out and use more water than those left to grow in their natural pattern.