Master Gardeners of Washington, D.C.


Your Garden Photos can be Winners, Too

Man, I wish I could show you the winners of the First Washington Garden Photography Contest - not yet! While I'm working on getting the permissions, here's information about the SHOW OF WINNERS coming soon in downtown Silver Spring:

Finally, you will be able to view the winning images IN PERSON at an art show! The opening reception is Friday, March 23 from 7-9 pm at the Adams Bank Lobby in the World Building on Georgia Avenue in downtown Silver Spring, MD. You are all invited. If you miss that evening, come by and view the photos anytime during the normal bank hours. They will be up through May 25.

That information is direct from Kathy Jentz - she's editor and publisher of Washington Gardener Magazine and sponsor ofJoshuataylor the contest. She promises another contest next winter, so start snapping those shots now. I believe the only requirements are that photographers be amateur and that the photos be taken within 100 miles of downtown D.C. There were two divisions -- one for close-ups and one for all others.

Joshua Taylor of Archiphoto Workshops was the judge and it was a real treat to hear him explain why each was chosen, or why others could have been a little better. The importance of separation between the elements in the photo was news to me, but I could see his point. Also, it's often best to lose the sky, especially if it's gray. Josh wowed the crowd with winning photos and tips at the recent 2nd Annual Washington Seed Exchange.

If Josh is new to you and you're remotely interested in garden photography, check him out! He teaches all over town and is always a hit. Here's a schedule of his upcoming show-and-tell events.

Another popular local photography teacher, Eliot Cohen, specializes in PhotoShop. In addition to local workshops, he leads photo safaris to places like the Galapagos, Africa, and Martha's Vineyard. Check out his website, especially the photos under "Personal" and the really cool "panos." Treat yourself to an intensive photography workshop someday - you won't be sorry.

Posted by Susan on February 02, 2007 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Free Talk by Author of Hot Book on the Flower Biz - Feb 7, 7 p.m.

The Four Seasons Gardening Club is sponsoring a terrific gardening event that's free to the public. It's a talk by award-winning author Amy Stewart about her new book "Flower Confidential: The Good, The Bad, and the Beautiful in the Business of Flowers." The event was arranged for the club by local editor and publisher Kathy Jentz of Washington Gardener Magazine, who knows Amy Stewart through their gardening blogs.

The talk will begin at 7:00 on Wednesday, February 7 (doors opening at 6:30) and will end by 8:45 (that's when the doors are closed.) The location is the West End Library at 24th and L Streets, NW, DC, very near the Foggy Bottom Metro.
Note: The Four Seasons Club is known for their excellent refreshments!

If you can't attend on the 7th there are two other opportunities to hear Amy while she's in D.C. OnAmyportraitcropwhite_1 February 8 from 1:30 to 2:30 p.m. she's giving a talk at the U.S. Botanic Gardens and at 7:00 that evening she'll be speaking at Olsson's Books in Arlington. These are your opportunities to actually buy her book and have her autograph it - the West End Library doesn't allow anything to be sold.

The following is a press release about the book. And Readers, I've read an advance copy and promise you it's a great read.

Posted by Susan on January 10, 2007 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Urban Sprouts of San Francisco

Here's a wealth of cool info about school gardens and hobby farm loans - a blog and a site from our friends in San Francisco. Great links, too.

It's all about Urban Sprouts, a "nonprofit using school gardens to teach youth to grow, harvest, prepare and eat vegetables from the school garden, in order to help youth actively engage in school, eat better and exercise more, and connect with the environment and each other." It was started by Abby Jaramillo with a corps of dedicated teachers. Abby is trained in organic horticulture and nonprofit administration, and is a veteran of rural development projects in South America.

How about this gorgeous cauliflower - grown at a school garden, ya know!

Posted by Susan on January 07, 2007 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Seed Exchange This Saturday, 12 - 4, and Notice the New Location!!

Hey, everyone, we have another chance to catch this event that started in 2006 to GREAT reviews (word of mouth.) For starters, check out the great line-up of speakers. Then the swapping begins and everyone comes home with something, even if you came empty-handed. Details below, and don't forget to scroll down for details about the location - the Takoma Park Campus of Montgomery College.
Over $1,500 worth of door prizes will be given away!!!
Every attendee gets a Goody Bag with over $30 worth of garden products!
Expert Speakers! Terrific Networking! Solid Garden Advice!

Washington Gardener magazine, the publication for DC-area gardening enthusiasts, presents the second annual Washington Seed Exchange. This seed swap will be in-person and face-to-face. You bring your extra seeds and swap them with other gardeners. Everyone will leave with a bag full of seeds, new garden friends, and expert planting advice.
On Saturday, January 27, 2007 from 12:00 – 4:00PM

Posted by Susan on January 01, 2007 | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

Gardening Activists in Action

Amazing things happen when can-do people with a passion for gardening get together. AndClass2 somewhere in Washington, D.C., six of them have been getting together every Monday at 10. The meeting place is a big, cozy kitchen in a big, ramshackle house in the big city. Refreshments are fresh-baked scones and plenty of good coffee.

Since August these D.C. Master Gardeners have been brainstorming about creating a program right here in D.C. to fulfill their national mission - teaching sustainable, earth-friendly gardening techniques to the public - and forming an organization to make it all happen. They're excited about projects like schEdkids_3ool gardens and healing gardens and public events to teach composting and pruning.

Their first eSwapteresa_1vent, a successful plant swap in the historic garage on the grounds of Tudor Place, was an occasion for meeting and networking with other graduates. Next, their Speakers Bureau was launched with a PowerPoint talk/demo on composting held at a rec center. Two passionate composters, including one whose email address is, carried the word. And a new school garden has almost emerged from the grueling paperwork-and-fundraising stage to groundbreaking.

As its primary project the team has adopted the Washington Home and Hospice, much in need of help with its six garden areas in varying states of development. There's talk of using plants to elicit memories in the Alzheimers Garden, of growing vegetables in raised beds with the involvement of residentHerbgardenweb2_2s and families, always with the goal of demonstrating environmentally responsible gardening in this very prominent site (the recent home of Art Buchwald).

In February they'll meet the trainees in the Class of 2007, the pool of 35 or so potential activists. They'll cheerlead for the cause and do whatever it takes to turn these volunteers into leaders for years to come.

So who IS the scheming sextet? Three retired governmentLeilamichael professionals (all medal-deserving jumpers of bureaucratic hurdles). And still aspiring to retirement are a teacher/professional gardener, a writer/caterer, and me. You know how sometimes when you put out a call for people interested in making something happen, nothing happens? Well, the call I put out last summer yielded these five. So after convening the first meeting, my job was to stand back and then discard any delusion I might have had that I was in charge. They're one of the coolest groups of people I've ever known. Stay tuned.

[First published on GardenRant.]

Photos from top: D.C. Master Gardener Class of 2006; MGs at Peabody School; MG and student at Studio Charter School; plant swap; Volunteers at the National Arboretum; student gardeners at Studio School.

Posted by Susan on December 26, 2006 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Give Locally

We received a fund-raising appeal from our friends at D.C. Greenworks and it's SO impressive, we're passing it on to Master Gardeners for their consideration. What's so amazing about this group is that to accomplish their good environmental works they hire "unseasoned workers" from disadvantaged communities and give them training and job skills that can lift them out of homelessness and poverty. WOW.

The letter from D.C. Greenworks follows:

Posted by Susan on December 19, 2006 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Terrific Eco-Savvy Gardening Symposium

We received the following notice from our friends across the river. Carloads of Takoma Horticulture Club members have attended this event in the past and highly recommend it. Very reasonaby priced, too!

The Fairfax-Green Spring Master Gardeners are hosting the third annual EcoSavvy Gardening Symposium, sponsored by The Audubon Society of Northern Virginia. You’ll learn about rain gardens, how to attract wildlife into your garden (Craig Tufts of the National Wildlife Federation), how to use environmentally sound landscape design practices, why native plants are so important to our ecosystems, and more. Register now….last year was a sellout!

Saturday, February 24th, 2007, 8:30am-4pm, $45 plus an additional $10 for a boxed lunch. COMPLETE program details can be found here - scroll to the bottom. of "Events”. To register, call 703-642-5173.

Posted by Susan on December 11, 2006 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Local Garden Photo Contest

Washington Gardener Magazine is sponsoring the first-ever local GARDEN PHOTO CONTEST and awarding $500 in prize money! Contest entries will be judged on technical quality, composition, originality, and artistic merit. Winning images will be displayed in the magazine and at the National Arboretum during their Spring Seed Exchange. Here's all the details. Entries must be received by January 21.

Posted by Susan on December 07, 2006 | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

The Class of 2007 is Full

And we look forward to meeting the 39 trainees who'll start class in early February!

Posted by Susan on December 05, 2006 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)
The Washington Home and Hospice - New Training Site

John Darden, executive director of the Washington Home and Hospice, was looking for a few good volunteers. So he gave Extension Agent Sandy Farber a call, and the upshot is: The 2007 training will be held in their very comfortable board room and Master Gardeners will begin to adopt their gardens and give them the TLC they deserve.

But first - D.C.'s new Master Gardener training site. The board room holds up to 40 people comfortably (comfort being the operative word here) and has all the necessary AV, plus temperature control. Gee, does this mean trainees won't have to wear their best beachwear again next February? Nice! The photo shows, from left, Master Gardeners John Wheeler and Ed Bruske with John Darden in the board room.

The Washington Home is located at 3720 Upton Street, N.W. (roughly between UDC and Tenley Circle) and has plenty of parking available on their grounds in the evenings.

Posted by Susan on November 07, 2006 | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

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