Gardening Notes

Gardening Notes

To have gardening information, classes and demonstrations happening in Fairfax and Loudoun listed free, mail to 7913 Westpark Drive, McLean, VA 22102 or fax to 703-917-0991 or e-mail

Fall Wildflower Walk, Saturday, Sept. 14, 9-11 a.m. Check out the rich bottom lands beside the river for a grand display of fall wildflowers including asters and goldenrod. A few uncommon species might be seen. Free. Held at the Riverbend Visitor Center in Great Falls. Reservations required. Canceled in case of rain. Call 703-759-9018.

Clara's Fall Flower walk, 10-11:30 a.m., Sept. 14. Enjoy a leisurely walk with naturalist Clara Ailes through the meadow and stream valley in search of colorful flowers. Clara does not merely identify the flowers, she shares their history of uses and how they got their names. Free. Held at the Hidden Pond Nature Center in Springfield. Reservations required. Canceled in case of rain. Call 703-451-9588.

Colonial Herbs: Plants for Every Purpose, Sunday, Sept. 15, 1-3 p.m. Find out how plants helped colonists cure illnesses, dye clothing, spice up their lives and even discourage fleas! A full English tea follows this program and requires a $22 per person, nonrefundable prepayment. Held at the Green Spring Gardens Manor House in Alexandria. Reservations required. Call 703-941-7987.

Propagating and growing salvias will be the subject of a lecture and tour of the Meadowlark Botanical Gardens salvia collection by Meadowlark horticulturist Tammy Burke on Wednesday, Sept. 18, at 11 a.m. The collection of more than 50 salvias blooms from midsummer through the cool days of fall in an array of colors. Burke will be addressing the McLean-based Holly Hill Garden Club meeting at Meadowlark Gardens, 9750 Meadowlark Gardens Drive, Vienna. Guests are welcome, reservations required. Call 703-293-9887.

Garden Day: Full Plant Sale, Saturday, Sept. 21, 10 a.m.-3 p.m. The Friends of Green Spring (FROGS) offer rare and unusual plants suitable for Northern Virginia gardens. Vendors of native plants, perennials and shrubs provide choices for both the beginning and advanced gardener. Shop at Manor house and Horticulture Center for practical gardening tools, autographed books and beautiful gifts. Held at Green Spring Gardens Park in Alexandria. Free. Call 703-642-5173.

Autumn Lawn Care, Monday, Sept. 23, 7:30 p.m. Guest speaker David Yost, plant specialist at Merrifield Garden Center, will speak about the importance of autumn lawn care. In Northern Virginia, where we grow mostly cool-season grasses such as tall fescue, bluegrass, fine fescue and perennial rye grass, fall is actually the best time to perform certain tasks that will result in a lush, green lawn the following spring and summer. A lawn that enters the spring and summer seasons strong and healthy will have a better chance of resisting damage by the pests and diseases prevalent during those warmer months of the year.

Learn about growing and showing roses from the experts. The Arlington Rose Foundation will hold an informal rose show at its meeting on Monday evening, Oct. 14, at 7:30 p.m., in the meeting room at the Merrifield Garden Center, Fair Oaks, 12101 Lee Highway, Fairfax. Members and guests may take in their long-stemmed, cut roses for a "bench" show and get tips from prize-winning rosarians on how to be winners at the next rose show. For further information, contact Randy Scott at 703-590-8251.

The History of the Rose, Monday, Oct. 28, 7:30 p.m. By congressional proclamation, the year 2002 has been designated “The Year of the Rose.” Dr. Robert Knerr, a member and past president of the Arlington Rose Foundation and judge of roses, will provide a slide presentation highlighting the history of what may be the best-loved flower in the world. Centuries of hybridizing roses have brought an incredible diversity in color, form and scent. From the “old roses” such as albas, damasks, centifolias, gallicas, Noisettes, Bourbons and teas, to the “modern roses,” such as hybrid teas, floribundas and grandifloras, the history of the rose is indeed complex and intriguing.

The annual seed exchange will also take place at the October meeting.

Holiday Decorations with a Southern Flair, Monday, Nov. 25, 7:30 p.m. Janet Carter, owner of Mille Fleur Florist in Chantilly, will lead a workshop to create a stunning candle centerpiece with fresh greenery, fruits, and other natural materials found in our winter gardens. Learn tips and techniques from a professional designer and teacher. Members to bring materials.

<lst>Get your questions about gardening problems answered by master gardeners at Neighborhood Plant Clinics held throughout the area. Take plant and insect samples to a neighborhood clinic, and if the master gardeners do not have an immediate answer, they will send your samples to their diagnostic labs. You will receive a report within two or three weeks. Call 703-324-8556 for more information. Master gardeners are on hand at the following locations:

* Burke Farmers Market, Saturdays, 9 a.m.-noon;

* Chantilly Library, Wednesdays, 6:30-9 p.m.; Saturdays, 10:30 a.m.-1 p.m.

* Fairfax Farmers Market, Tuesdays, 9 a.m.-noon;

* Falls Church City Farmers Market, Wednesdays, 9 a.m.-noon;

* George Mason Library, Wednesdays, 6:30-9 p.m.;

* Herndon Farmers Market, Thursdays, 9 a.m.-noon;

* Meadowlark Gardens, Saturdays, 10 a.m.-1 p.m.;

* Mount Vernon Farmers Market, Tuesdays, 9:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.;

* Pohick Library, Mondays, 6:30- 9 p.m.; Tuesdays, 10 a.m.-1 p.m.; Thursdays, 6:30-9 p.m.;

* Reston Library, Tuesdays, 10 a.m.-1 p.m.; Thursdays, 6:30; Saturdays, 10 a.m.-1 p.m.;

* Tysons-Pimmit Library, Saturdays, 10 a.m.-1 p.m.;

* Vienna Farmers Market, Wednesdays, 9 a.m.-noon;

* Virginia Cooperative Extension, Fairfax Office, Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, 9:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.

Green Spring Gardens Park serves Fairfax County residents and visitors by advancing the awareness and practice of gardening. The gardens and educational programs at Green Spring focus on practical landscaping techniques that are appropriate for the Washington metropolitan area. The park includes a horticulture center, demonstration gardens, an 18th-century manor house, and a wooded stream valley with ponds. Park grounds are open from dawn to dusk. The Horticulture Center is open Monday through Saturday. The Horticulture Center Shop is open Monday through Saturday from 9 a.m.-4:30 p.m. For more information, call 703-642-5173.