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Educational opportunities abound outside Fairfax County in February/March

Green Matters Symposium – Doug Tallamy speaking.
Friday, 22 February 2019, 8-4 pm
Silver Spring Civic Building, 1 Veterans Pl, Silver Spring, MD

Prince William County (PWC) Native Plant Symposium for Beginners (Beginners only)
Saturday, 23 February 2019, 9 am – 2 pm
McCoart Administration Building
1 County Complex Court
Woodbridge, Virginia 22192

Prince William – Balancing Natives and Ornamentals in Your Garden
Saturday, 23 February 2019, 1 – 3 pm
Old Historic Manassas Courthouse, Manassas
This lecture from the Master Gardeners of Prince William Education Committee discusses the benefits of native plants and features 25 specimen plants. The lecture is led by Keith Tomlinson of Meadowlark Botanical Gardens. This is a free program, but please register by calling 703-792-7747.

Plant Pollinators talk by Heather Holm
Sunday, 17 February 2019, 3:30 pm
Manassas Park Community Center, 99 Adams Street, Manassas  Park, VA

Loudoun County Extension Master Gardeners 10th Annual Gardening Symposium
Saturday, 23 March 2019, 9 am – 4 pm
Talks by Larry Weaner, Barbara Pleasant, Sara Via, and Nancy Lawson.

 

 

Great winter gardening lectures at Green Spring

Photo: (c) Barbara J. Saffir

WINTER LECTURE-IDEAS FROM EUROPE FOR U.S. GARDENS

(Adult) Winter is the perfect time to plan improvements to our gardens. Garden designer and international traveler Carolyn Mullet shares design images from her European garden travels that we can adapt and use for our own garden designs. Carolyn will show us how we can modify these “foreign” inspirations, both fun and functional, and how to find inspiration of our own.

Register

WINTER LECTURE-PUSHING LIMITS OF TROPICAL PLANTS

(Adult) Botanist and plant breeder John Boggan grows and writes about hardy palms, bananas, begonias, gesneriads, and just about anything else that’s tropical or exotic to the DC area. John shares his experience and trials of growing these beautiful tropicals and how you can have success pushing the growing zones.

Register

WINTER LECTURE-ROSE CARE 101

(Adults) Learn the fundamentals for selecting and growing fabulous roses. Lewis Ginter Botanic Garden horticulturalist Laurie McMinn will introduce you to old family heirloom roses as well as many new roses that may become your favorites! Laurie shares the essentials of rose care and beyond, including pruning for spring plant health, nurturing great blooms, and identifying pests and diseases. Your roses will thank you.

Register

WINTER LECTURE-SELECTING AND PLANTING TREES

(Adult) Trees are the keystone plants of a garden. With careful selection and proper planting, they can thrive with minimal care, rewarding us with beauty, shade, energy savings, and wildlife habitat. National Arboretum Head of Horticulture Scott Aker turns us into smarter consumers and gardeners as he illustrates how trees are marketed to homeowners. He offers, tips on proper planting techniques, and demonstrates a quick and easy way to determine a tree’s health. Learn about trees that are well-adapted to our area and that Scott recommends to homeowners.

Register

WINTER LECTURE-THE GARDENS OF PIET OUDOLF

(Adult) Join the Friends of Green Spring in viewing the documentary, Five Seasons: The Gardens of Piet Oudolf. This documentary immerses viewers in Oudolf’s work and takes us inside his creative process, from his beautifully abstract sketches, to theories on beauty, to the ecological implications of his ideas. Discussion to follow.

Register

WINTER LECTURE-UNCOMMON CUT FLOWER

(Adults) Make the most of your gardening efforts by growing plants that are beautiful outside and inside as cut flowers and fillers. Horticulturalist Karen Rexrode shares some favorite plants that are both beautiful ornamental garden plants and unusual cut flowers. These lovely arrangements exercise your creativity, give you confidence in plant combinations and allow you to appreciate individual plants details.

Register

WINTER LECTURE-VEGETABLES LOVE FLOWERS

(Adults) Learn how to grow an organic garden where good bugs eat bad bugs, pollinators are abundant and the beautiful bouquet on the table came from your garden! Flower Farmer Lisa Ziegler tells all as she shares why flowers are the missing piece in many vegetable gardens as they attract pollinators, beneficial insects and other good creatures to complete the circle of life. Learn how to garden without using any pesticides that can harm and kill the very beneficial creatures we want to live in the garden.

Register

WINTER LECTURE-WHAT’S BUGGING YOU?

(Adults) What was that insect I saw in the garden last summer? Why didn’t I see many butterflies last summer? How can I have more fireflies in my backyard? Bring your bug questions and stories to this mid-winter information exchange about insects. Join entomologist Nate Erwin for a colorful slide show of insects and their associated plants and then join a lively discussion about those spineless creatures that do so much for and in our gardens.

Register

Shenandoah Valley Plant Symposium, March 15th

Best Western Inn & Conference Center
109 Apple Tree Lane, Waynesboro VA 22980
Friday, 15 March 2019
8 am – 4:15 pm

Regular Registration- $90 per person

Early Registration (before 7 January) – $80 per person; Late Registration (after 24 February) – $100 per person

Space is limited this year so register early!

Join Waynesboro Parks and Recreation as they present A Gardener’s Palette. They’ll dip your brush in a variety of topics offering something for everyone from garden hobbyist to experienced landscape architect. In the end, you’ll have a canvas filled with colors and perspectives to consider and put in practice.  Topics include Ironclad and Essential Native Trees and Shrubs, The Foodscape Revolution (planting edibles), Hanging Out with Shady Characters, and Plants of the Bible.

Register or learn more by planting yourself here.

Native plants for beginners symposium: Save the date

Photo by Barbara J. Saffir (c)

  • Create a beautiful yard
  • Save time so you can enjoy other activities
  • Create habitat for birds & pollinators
  • Save money on fertilizer
  • Improve water quality
  • Reduce erosion
  • Stop mowing, Start growing!

Learn more at the Prince William Native Plant Symposium on Saturday, February 23, 2019 at the McCoart County Administrative Building

1 County Complex Ct., Woodbridge, VA 22192.

9 a.m. to 2 p.m.  

The $15 fee covers coffee and donuts, lunch, and materials.  

Registration begins December 1, 2018.

Let us help you to stop mowing and get going on your dream landscape!  

Call 703-792-7070 for more details and share the flyer.

Mark Your Ballot: Goldenrods or Asters?

0.jpgWhile humans are bustling about on election campaigns, the rest of the world’s citizens are frenetically preparing for winter. Bees, butterflies, and other pollinators seek out the last of the flowering plants. In the Mid-Atlantic area, goldenrods and asters provide that critical food source (just as red maples fill that need at the other end of the growing season, when bees start to emerge in the spring before anything else is blooming.)

If you pause for a minute in front of blooming goldenrods and asters, you will be astonished at the number of bees foraging for nectar and pollen, including many of the hundreds of species of native bees and the non-native honeybees. If the sun is shining and the temperature is high enough, you will also be treated to the sight of butterflies and skippers flitting from flower to flower. Look very closely at the goldenrod flowers and you will find a whole world of tiny beetles and other creatures hiding between the blossoms.

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There are many species of goldenrods and asters, all very easy to grow. They come in different sizes, and asters come in different colors. Some self-seed exuberantly, some are more contained. You can find out the details by consulting the Plant NOVA Natives online search app. Late autumn is not too late to plant, as the roots will continue to grow even as the tops die back.

Cast your ballot on our Bloom Time Table page by clicking here to choose your favorite. Or vote instead on the Plant NOVA Natives Facebook page. Polls close at 7 pm on November 6, of course! We know who the insects are voting for: there is nothing elective for them about native plants, upon which they are completely dependent. To help you choose, check out the “campaign ads” on this short video.

Marion Lobstein presents the Flora of Virginia App

Photo: Barbara J. Saffir (c)

Sunday, November 11, 2018
1 – 4 PM

Green Spring Gardens
4603 Green Spring Road
Alexandria, VA 22312

Everything wonderful from the print version of Flora of Virginia can now fit in your pocket and make you feel like a pro in the woods. The app, for Android and iOS devices, features an easy-to-use Graphic Key, in addition to the traditional dichotomous keys. Species descriptions include photographs, and many include a botanical illustration.

Marion Blois Lobstein is Professor Emeritus of NVCC, where she taught botany, general biology, microbiology, and other courses over her thirty-seven-year teaching career.  For many years she conducted tours and taught classes for the Smithsonian Resident Associates Program.  Her academic degrees Include a BSEd (Biology) from W. Carolina Univ., MAT from UNC-Chapel Hill, and MS in Biology from George Mason Univ.  She is co-author of Finding Wildflowers in the Washington-Baltimore Area.  Marion serves on the Board of Directors of the Foundation of the Flora of Virginia Project and is a former Board Member of the Foundation of the State Arboretum. Marion is a founding and active member of the Virginia Native Plant Society.

Virginia Native Plant Society  programs are free and open to the public. Prior to the talk, VPNS will conduct the business of their annual meeting, voting for chapter officers and approving the 2019 budget.

 

 

Write articles for FCPA ResOURces newsletter (yes, for credit)

If you enjoy writing about the natural world, and want to educate and inspire visitors to Fairfax County parks, consider becoming a volunteer journalist. In this capacity, you’ll choose a recreation center or park site and learn as much as you can about it. When you’re ready and the deadlines are within reach, you will write articles for the ResOURces newsletter. (And earn service hours–good deal in the wintertime, especially). Code EO12

Interested? Contact Tammy Schwab

Hidden Oaks thanks Fairfax Master Naturalist chapter

On 29 September 2018, Visitor Services Manager Suzanne Holland thanked Fairfax Master Naturalists for their many contributions to the Park Authority and Hidden Oaks.  The 10th anniversary celebration of FMN stewardship highlighted the chapter’s work on behalf of the limited impact development parking lot, the native gardens, and Nature Playce, the children’s playground. More than 125 visitors attended the festivities.

Volunteer with Arcadia Center for Sustainable Food & Agriculture

Ivy Mitchell, the farm education manager for Arcadia Center for Sustainable Food & Agriculture, is seeking master naturalists to to help with their field trips this fall. This project has been approved for volunteer hours as E252: Sustainable Growing Educator.

What it involves: Each field trip begins with a garden tour, in which you can point out parts of the plant and talk about the life cycle of a plant, as well as taste the vegetables. Then each volunteer is assigned to teach one hands-on station, while the groups of children rotate through the four stations. The two stations relating most to our mission is 1) “Pests and pollinators” (bees as pollinators) and 2) “Superb Soil” (about compost), and you can request to be assigned to one of these two stations in order to earn master naturalist volunteer hours. (The topics of the remaining 2 stations are chickens–they help eat some of the garden pests–and healthy vegetables.)

Time: Volunteers generally choose one day of the week to volunteer–Wednesday, Thursday, or Friday–through the season (fall/spring). This fall’s season runs from 27 September – 2 November, or 6 weeks, with training days during the 2 weeks before field trips begin (Thursdays or Fridays). However, scheduling can be flexible, and even if you can only commit to some of the days, Ivy can make it work.

Location: 9000 Richmond Hwy, Alexandria, VA. The farm is located on Woodlawn Estate, near Fort Belvoir.

If you’re interested, please contact Ivy Mitchell at fieldtrips@arcadiafood.org

Apply for Earth Sangha plant grant

The Earth Sangha Plant Grant supports small-scale, citizen-led restoration efforts across Northern Virginia. Twice a year, they accept applications for restoration projects on public lands in need of local-ecotype native plants. They then offer a matching grant on plants purchased (essentially a buy-one, get-one free offer) good for one season up to a certain dollar amount. No project is too small, whether it’s a community-led invasive pull, or a larger project with multiple partners, they want to support thoughtful restoration efforts on public lands.

More info and application