As winter winds down, we are so eager to get out and start cleaning-up and getting the growing season going. Many folks start pruning; remember that annual/regular pruning is not required or necessary. Spring flowering plants, like forsythia, can be pruned after flowering. Summer bloomers, like lavender, can be pruned earlier in spring as they flower on new growth. (For more info see pruning lists at www.dwfinegardening.com) … Continue Reading
Bitter, windy, nasty weather has given me an opportunity to look at some of the books I’ve collected recently and think about plants I want to try this summer season.
From the book, The Resilient Gardener, I read about parching corn. With certain species of corn, you can drop a few kernels in a dry cast iron pan and cook them to deliciousness. The author also parches kernels in a custard cup in the microwave. The toasted kernels enlarge, split, and get soft and sweet. It doesn’t work with all kinds of corn; after doing extensive research it seems the red/purple varieties are the tastiest. Seeds of Change carries “Red Supai” (seedsofchange.com) while Seed Dreams (SeedDreams.blogspot.com) offers “Parching Lavender Mandan”. Siskiyou Seeds (siskiyouseeds.com) has “Magenta Parching Corn”. The author, Carol Deppe breakfasts on a cup of tea and a handful of parched corn. … Continue Reading
December 10, 2014Virginia GardeningComments Off on December A Time To Look Back – A Time To Plan
By Donna Williamson
December is a great time to look back on the gardening year and remember what went well or failed miserably.
Last winter’s winter-sowing of seeds went very well in spite of the polar vortex and I was able to test the seed of a couple of woody plants including the Carolina rose, all of which germinated well. Though winter is not my best season, being able to start seeds of perennials and shrubs outside with hopes for the spring makes it much more tolerable.
After reading an article about delaying a second planting of tomatoes this spring, I held back some of my little ones in containers and planted them in the ground a month after my first tomato planting. Since I grow many heirloom tomatoes, diseases always hit them in late summer and they start to dwindle. The later planted tomatoes were robust and productive until killed by the frosty temperatures in November. So that is a tip to pass along – make two plantings of tomatoes a month apart and see for yourself. … Continue Reading
This spring I noticed that my Magnolia sieboldii was looking wonky. This is usually a spectacular magnolia with downward facing blooms and red stamens in the center of the flower.
I thought maybe the terrible winter had damaged it. The leaves had come out but the closer I looked, I saw that it had sooty mold. It’s called sooty mold because it looks like soot staining the bark or the leaves. It is a fungus that grows on the sugary poo of tiny leaf-sucking critters, often aphids or whiteflies. And, in my experience, sooty mold is a harmless symptom of insect activity. It doesn’t really hurt the tree. … Continue Reading
It’s time to plant bulbs again – seems like this year flew by.
It’s easy to fall in love with bulbs. They are not costly, they bring joy in the spring, and many of them will build colonies over time.
Even the woodland tulip will come back for you. It’s a charming short yellow tulip that seems to like our climate. Most big tulips are good for one year and then they are not able to cure in our hot spring weather, preferring the cool, moist landscape of Holland or Seattle. It’s called Tulipa sylvestris.
Oatlands has had a large colony of this tulip at the back of the mansion for many years. I’ve found them at older properties and include them in newer plantings. … Continue Reading
It’s easy to think that goldenrod causes autumn sniffles. It’s a native with species that tolerate all kinds of conditions, from full sun to shade, from moist soils to hot and dry. And it blooms everywhere around the same time that the real culprit – ragweed – is blooming and full of pollen.
Ragweed is a tall, coarse plant with tiny greenish flowers and huge quantities of yellow pollen. It’s a plant so non-descript and inelegant that many have never looked at it carefully. Ragweed just seems to be a green thing in the background of many paths and along the road. (And it’s not that very tall plant with yellow daisy-like flowers that bloom along the road – that’s called frost weed. If you look carefully at the stems you will see wings or thin, papery tissue along the stem. Frost weed got its name for erupting with ice at the base of the plant during the first frosts of the season. Harmless.) … Continue Reading
Ah, it’s tomato time. As usual, I planted and grew many heirloom and newer varieties of tomato plants and am loving every minute of the harvest. Those little cherry tomatoes are so delicious and refreshing while working in the garden or roasted with a touch of olive oil for 20 minutes in a hot oven.
And the big, juicy tomatoes ready for a burger or a salad are the best. Warm from the garden and never refrigerated, tomato sliced with fresh basil and mozzarella is a memorable summer dish.
My tomato bounty is ready for processing and canning for winter use. Keeping up with the harvest and processing in small batches works for me. … Continue Reading
It’s possible to be regularly fascinated if gardening is a pastime you love. Just last year I learned about winter-sowing and started growing baptisia, hydrangea, and many native perennials from seed easily and inexpensively.
Last month I read an article about planting tomatoes in succession. It’s good timing to think about that idea. I grow several varieties of heirloom tomatoes because I can/jar them in the late summer for winter use and good tomato taste is important. But the heirlooms have not been “improved” and are often susceptible to diseases as the summer goes on. They also can slow down in production of new tomatoes in late summer. … Continue Reading
Spring is here and while it’s possible there might be a few more chilly moments, the worst is over. What is more likely is that we will heat up and be in full summer before too long.
In an average year, the rains are plentiful in the spring and seem to disappear around the end of May. So get some planting done soon so the gentle rains can do the watering for you.
New plants need to be established – lots of plant professionals talk about that. It means that you cannot count on Mother Nature to care for your perennials, shrubs, trees, or even that basil plant until the roots have had time to dig into your soil and drink up ground water. So you need to shepherd your new plants, sometimes for months, to make sure they get enough water. … Continue Reading
March is an in-between month – some cold and the return of glorious warmth now and then.
One way to bring some delight inside is forcing spring-blooming branches.
You can cut branches of forsythia, cherry, crabapple, kerria, or gelsemium. Pound the cut end of the branch with a hammer, opening several cracks in the bottom of the stem. Then plunge the ends into warm-very warm water.
After several days, the buds will swell and open, flowering to assure you that spring is really coming. … Continue Reading
This winter has given us a good opportunity to assess our landscapes. When snow is on the ground, we can visualize the “bones” of the place – the fence, the tree trunks and canopies, the statues of gnomes, the walkways where we shovel a path, the sunny slopes that clear snow early and more.
This winter, you might think about adding a shrub border or two. Shrubs provide a background, a windbreak, a snow fence where drifts collect, and an opportunity for salamanders and over-wintering butterflies to snuggle into leaf litter.
The showy stuff – perennials, annuals, low groundcovers – are invisible in the snow. The stalwart shrubs enclose our gardens and, if chosen well, provide nesting space for the birds and food for the baby birds coming in the spring. … Continue Reading
The holidays are over and we can relax into visions of spring. It’s the perfect time to start your winter seed sowing activities. If you bring up my article about this last February, all the directions are there. And if you need more detailed information, check out www.agardenforthehouse.com – great blog – and click on winter-sowing. It’s lots of fun and the plants did very well for me last season.
The tomatoes I started outside were robust and strong, not the wimpy, indoor grown plants I was used to. Of course I planted too much lettuce seed so I had to cut up the plant mass like a pan of brownies and plant each clump…will do better this year.
Several surprises delighted me. I had collected five Florentine iris seeds and all five germinated in one of my containers. They were transplanted in the spring and grew very well. Butterfly weed and white baptisia grew nicely too. I have struggled with perennial seeds in the past and this method made it easy and successful. … Continue Reading
Expand your gardening toolbox by covering gardening, pruning, and landscape basics with four weeks of solid, no nonsense garden information and activities, then go on to design a real garden. Classes will be held from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. on Wednesdays, from February 5 to March 26 in the Tasting Room at the Village Winery & Vineyard on Brown’s Lane in Waterford. The first class on basics runs from February 5 to Feb. 26. Fee is $96. Registration is required. The fee for all 8 classes is $180. Class size is limited. The class is taught by Donna Williamson. For more information, go to the dwfinegardening.com and click on classes, call (540) 877-2002, or e-mail email@example.com.
These classes will help you sort through mountains of bewildering and conflicting gardening and plant information to understand the approaches and tasks that really work in Virginia. You can make a big difference in your landscape and environment, saving bees, butterflies and birds in the process. Gardening with deer and the latest in vegetable gardening will be included. Ornamental and native plants can coexist beautifully in your landscape for more interest.
(Presented to the Board of Supervisors February, 2017) “The last three years have demonstrated abundantly clearly that there is no change in the long-term trends since 1998. A prediction from 1997 merely continuing the linear trends would significantly under-predict the …
By Samuel Moore-Sobel “If you’ve seen one, you’ve seen them all” – a simple phrase uttered in an acclaimed musical that helped birth a star. The movie’s Kathy Selden (Debbie Reynolds) catches his attention so completely that Don Lockwood (Gene …
By Michael Oberschneider, Psy.D. Dr. Mike, Our 15-year-old son is out of control and we don’t know what to do anymore. He smokes pot and drinks, disobeys us left and right, is truant from school often, comes home whenever he …
Beginners and billionaires alike should refresh their knowledge of these basic estate planning terms and concepts. The word “estate” tends to conjure up images of billionaires and aristocrats, but estate planning is not just for the wealthy. It’s widely believed …
I used to wonder why – after an assignment to visit the interior of this place, I’d return feeling exhausted – both mentally and physically worn out – as if I’d been carrying an extra couple hundred pounds or so …
By Nicholas Reid Ever since the presidential election last November, there has been a lot of talk about the “two Americas”: coastal and continental America. The many differences between these two sections of the United States are numerous and oftentimes …
“Corals are marine magicians. As colonies of the tiny ocean organisms grow, they transform the calcium that circulates in seawater into enormous limestone reefs. These reefs—which can extend for more than 1,000 miles and provide homes for crabs, eels, sea …
Woodgrove High School’s Class Of 2016 Graduation – By Amanda Clark On June 16, Woodgrove’s Class of 2016 was the 5th graduating class to walk the stage and accept their diploma. The ceremony was filled with anticipation as the chorus, …
Molly Buckland, D.O., graduated from the West Virginia School of Osteopathic Medicine with a degree of Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine on May 28. While at WVSOM, Dr. Buckland received the Dr. Roland P. Sharp President’s Award and the James R. …
Lt. James Adams, from Sterling and a Potomac Falls Halls Graduate, earned the promotion to the rank of Lieutenant. Adams is a Navy Week and Executive Outreach Planner for the Navy Office of Community Outreach in Millington, Tennessee. U.S. Navy …
Utilizing a chair for modifications to make yoga accessible to people who lack the mobility to move easily from standing to seated to supine positions. (Pre-Registration Required) www.LoudounValleyYoga.com
(All ages) Celebrate the Year of the Rooster, wear the lucky colors gold, brown and yellow, enjoy arts and crafts, solve Lantern Tiger Riddles and enjoy refreshments and entertainment. This program is also a reception to celebrate the opening of our yearly Youth Art Show. 263717-01 $10.00 per person 263717-02 $35.00 – family of four or more
(Ages 16 & up) Performance group BITWC ” Imagine That!” presents “Moonlight and Magnolias”- 1939 Hollywood is abuzz. Legendary producer David O. Selznick has shut down production of his new epic, Gone with the Wind. It’s just not working. So he sends for screenwriter Ben Hecht and pulls director Victor Fleming. He locks the doors, closes the shades, and on a diet of bananas and peanuts, the three men labor over five days to fashion a screenplay that will become the blueprint for one of the most successful and beloved films of all time.
Utilizing a chair for modifications to make yoga accessible to people who lack the mobility to move easily from standing to seated to supine positions. (Pre-Registration Required) www.LoudounValleyYoga.com
Impress your loved one with an evening to be remembered at Breaux Vineyards Annual Valentine’s Day Dinner. Sip on a delicious sparking and enjoy hors d’oeuvres before indulging in a 3 course delectable meal paired with our favorite Breaux wines selections. Menu expertly composed by Chef Author Clark. In addition to wine & food live music will entertain you during dinner, as well as get you and your loved one dancing the rest of the evening in our beautifully decorated Grand Acadia Room. Joining us again (3rd year in a row) by popular demand is a local performer, Frank Lombardi, who sings songs from the American Standards Songbook in the styling of Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Tony Bennett, Harry Connick Jr. amongst others.
Sip, dine, and dance your night away with your sweetheart at Breaux Vineyards.
On Sunday, February 12, 2017 The Community Music School of the Piedmont will welcome famed cellist, Amit Peled, to the Ballroom at Barton Oaks for our 10th annual Candlelight Concert Fundraiser. Mr. Peled is an internationally-known Israeli musician and on faculty at Peabody Conservatory. He will play the famous 18th century cello that Pablo Casals played in all of his performances.
The program will feature works by Bach and Schubert and others. For more information or to purchase tickets, please call 540-592-3040 or visit www.piedmontmusic.org. Tickets are $125.
(Ages 16 & up) Give your Muse a night on the town! We’ll respond to fun, innovative writing prompts and experiment with different forms of poetry, fiction, and memoir. Creating safe space for tender new works of art is a priority, and sharing is optional. All writers, both novice and experienced, are invited to join the party! Leaders: Lisa Colburn and Sue McCollum are certified Amherst Writers & Artists facilitators who lead writing workshops in Loudoun County. To learn more, visit www.marketstreetwriters.com and www.writingfordiabetes.com
(Ages 2 & up) Long ago and far away when folks wanted to proclaim something as silly, ridiculous or just complete nonsense, they would shout out the phrase “Dragon Feathers”! This production is filled with silly, ridiculous and nonsensical dragons doing all sorts of hilarious things!
(Ages 3 & up) The Rainbow Fish is used to being the most beautiful creature in the ocean. So when the other fish ask her for some silver scales, she refuses. How can she sacrifice the one thing that makes her so unique? ArtsPower has turned Marcus Pfister’s bestselling book into a delightful and touching musical about the value of sharing true friendship with others.
Our wine & soup weekends have been such a hit, we’re introducing another way to warm you up this winter: wine and chili!
On the third weekend of January, February and March, we’ll be serving up a hot bowl of chili with a glass of wine - bring your family out of hibernation this winter and savor the warm atmosphere of the winery!
Glass of any wine and a bowl of chili together are $16 ... available on the advertised weekends while supplies last, on a first come, first serve basis
BALLET THEATRE OF ASHBURN AND EDGE PERFORMANCE COMPANY: MALONE BENEFIT CONCERT Join us for an inspiring evening of contemporary dance with the performers of the Edge Company, the Ballet Theatre of Ashburn of dance’s resident contemporary dance company, committed to artistic excellence. The Edge Company is sponsoring a non-profit organization dedicated to recognizing the artistic talents of students through scholarships. For ticket reservations call 703-723-8089
February 18 is Comedy Night at Bogati Winery! Your ticket includes admission and a glass of Bogati wine.
Doors open at 7 PM - this is a great way to get out of the house, sample the best wine in Virginia, and laugh the night away with friends both new and old!
Comedian Tyrone Davis has entertained audiences all over the Country. His high energy and "Take No Prisoners" attitude has made him a Standout among Stand-ups. Whether he's talking about his family, or politics, you never know where he's going until he gets there. But, you will enjoy the ride! Some of his credits include TV and Radio; and shared performances with the likes of Todd Yohn, Spanky Brown, Killer Beaz, Bruce Bruce and many more. He has also traveled to entertain our troops in Kuwait and Iraq. A "Must See", the One and Only, Tyrone Davis.
Come enjoy one of our favorite monthly events, Fourth Fridays! On this Friday we will have live music with Jason Masi. We always have great wine specials, delicious food to enjoy, as well as live musical entertainment!
Kick-off Mardi Gras a few days early with your Cajun cousins at Breaux Vineyards! Our annual Samedi Gras Celebration takes place on Saturday February 25th in our NOLA style tasting room. Samedi Gras is a Saturday celebration of the traditional New Orleans Mardi Gras, and a festive and lovely event not to be missed. Space is limited and we encourage tickets in advance. Enjoy fun dancing, festive beads, masks, king cake, costume contest, and your favorite Breaux wines. Live music with the infamous Dixie Power Trio begins at noon! We’ll also be selling delicious Cajun cuisine- menu coming soon!
$15.00 per person
(If you are a Cellar Club Member click here to purchase your ticket)
Ticket includes: admission, live music, wine tasting, bead, king cake sample
All tickets will be held at the door– when you arrive you will check in with our host. Make sure you have your ID ready. Under 21 are permitted but not encouraged. We do not permit outside food in our indoor spaces, and please leave your pets at home.
(All ages) Don’t miss this hilarious show full of laughs for the entire family. A group of talented performers take suggestions from the audience to create wacky scenes and funny improv games. If you like Whose Line Is It Anyway? you’ll love Last Ham Standing…the other comedy meat! www.franklinparkartscenter.org
Mardi Gras celebration will be held in Hillsboro on Saturday, February 25 as a benefit for the Old Stone Schoolhouse. The event will begin at 7:30 p.m. Hurricanes and New Orleans drinks, as well as Old 690 beer and local wines will be served in the Garden District Bar. The Cajun Cafe will feature New Orleans cuisine, including King Cakes. …
The Mosby Heritage Area Association will hold a talk featuring a panel of four young historians who will discuss turning points in the Civil War. The talk will be held at Unison Methodist Church, 21148 Unison Road, Middleburg, from 2:00 to 4:00 p.m. on Sunday, February 12. Tickets will be sold at the door or online at www.mosbyheritagearea.org/events for $15 …
Americans exchange hundreds of millions of cards on Valentine’s Day, February 14. The National Retail Federation estimates that we will spend some $20 billion to mark the day and demonstrate to friends and family how much we love them – on what marketers call “Love’s Holiday.” Love. It’s a big deal.
Appointment Shocks Many On January 3 Supervisor Tony R. Buffington Jr. (R-Blue Ridge) nominated Tom Priscilla for the Loudoun County Planning Commission to represent the Blue Ridge District. Priscilla was …
Tia Walbridge announces her run for the District 33 seat in the Virginia House of Delegates. Walbridge is a wife and mother of two daughters and an active member of the Round Hill community. “Like many people in our district, my family has found its prosperity in a Virginia-based small …
Governor Terry McAuliffe announced that the newly renovated state building located at 202 N. 9th Street on Capitol Square in Richmond (currently known as the 9th Street Office Building) will bear the name of civil rights pioneer Barbara Johns. The building, which reopened last year, houses the Virginia Attorney General’s …
Signed into Law in Her First Term Rep. Barbara Comstock, who serves the 10th congressional district in Virginia, recently reviewed the achievements of her first term in office, identifying 17 legislative initiatives that she supported that were adopted. She said: “My staff and I have met with stakeholders, local elected …
Two Woodgrove High School gymnasts have qualified to advance to the Virginia State Championships Saturday, February 18, at Patriot High School in Nokesville. Sophomore River Stone placed fourth in the all-around competition at the 1A-5A North Regional Gymnastics Championships at Park View High School on Wednesday, February 8, which earns …
The Woodgrove High School Gymnastics team for placed first at their home meet. The team competed against squads from Loudoun Valley, Park View and Riverside high schools. Seniors Kaycee Delitta and Sarah Snare were honored at the event for their contributions to the team. The Wolverines excelled in individual competition …