Alonso Abugattas

Alonso Abugattas’ Native Plant Picks for Wildlife

Expert naturalist and environmental educator Alonso Abugattas recently spoke at the sold-out 13th Annual EcoSavvy Symposium at Green Spring Gardens in Alexandria, Virginia. I asked Alonso to share some of his favorite native plants for attracting and supporting wildlife. Here’s his reply. Goldenrods (Solidago spp.) There are many different species of Goldenrods – 36 species…

pruning shrubs, wiki commons

11 Tips for Pruning Shrubs and Trees in Late Winter

The final weeks of winter are an ideal time for pruning shrubs and trees. Why is pruning important? “Pruning shrubs and trees is part of an overall plant health regimen,” says Kirsten Ann Conrad, Extension Agent for Arlington County and the City of Alexandria, Va. “Pruning is a tool for managing the size of your…

Claudia West, gardening and climate change

Gardening and Climate Change: 7 Tips from Claudia West

Claudia West will be speaking at the upcoming Green Matters Symposium “Plant Solutions in The Age of Climate Change,” February 24, 2017 in Silver Spring, Md. Claudia is a frequent speaker, co-author of Planting in a Post-Wild World: Designing Plant Communities for Resilient Landscapes, and the Ecological Sales Representative at North Creek Nurseries. I recently…

6 Ways to Create a Backyard Wildlife Habitat

Are you looking for ways to boost the value of your yard as a habitat for birds, butterflies, beneficial insects, and other wildlife? Fred Ball, an organizer for the upcoming Creating a Backyard Wildlife Habitat Workshop on March 4, 2017 with the Virginia Beach Master Gardeners, shares these useful tips and reminders. Look at your…

Caring for birds in winter, wiki

Caring for Birds in Winter

As temperatures turn colder, food availability for non-migratory birds becomes limited and our feathered friends can benefit from a helping hand. Use these 13 tips on caring for birds in winter to create a healthier habitat in your own yard. Keep bird feeders up and full all winter. Choose feeders that will keep the seed…

soil tests, wiki

Soil Tests for Home Gardeners

When was the last time you conducted soil tests in your yard? As you probably know, soil tests identify areas in your yard with nutrient deficiencies, as well as areas that are fine and don’t require fertilizers or amendments. So soil tests help us use fertilizers more effectively, save money, and improve the health of…

Seed starting, wiki

Seed Starting Resources for Mid-Atlantic Gardeners

The growing number of seed starting workshops and classes that we’re entering into the Mid-Atlantic Gardener calendar of gardening events this winter tells me that more of us are choosing to enjoy home-grown food from our own gardens. Are you ready to learn about growing your own vegetables (and flowers) from seed? Or do you…

winter pruning resources, wiki

Winter Pruning Resources in Mid-Atlantic

Winter pruning of trees and shrubs is on the minds of many gardeners as we approach February. So now is a great time for a refresher on best practices for winter pruning. We’re currently updating the Mid-Atlantic Gardener calendar of gardening events for 2017, and you’ll see several pruning classes, workshops and demonstrations coming to…

Microgreens, Wiki

Microgreens: 6 Reasons to Plant Them

Microgreens are baby plants, and on January 10 and 17, 2017, the Master Gardeners of Northern Virginia will be teaching folks how to plant them. I caught up with Rebecca Halbe, who will be leading the workshops, and she shared these excellent reasons for growing your own. Greater variety. Yes, you’ll find commercially grown microgreens…

Monarda research report, wiki

New Monarda Research Report Now Available

A new Monarda research report is now available from Mt. Cuba Center in Hockessin, Del. Also known as bee balm or wild bergamot, Monarda is a native perennial that’s cherished by many gardeners for its summer blooms in shades of pink, magenta, purple, and red that attract a variety pollinators. The free report from Mt….