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Spring Garden Market Blooms at River Farm

Nancy Burns
By Nancy Burns
Posted on Apr 15,2009
Filed Under News , Community,
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photo by John Arundel/Local Kicks
The Virginia Florist at the Belle View Shopping Center near River Farm has some
delightful roses for sale if you can't find what you're looking for at this weekend's
Spring Garden Market being held at River Farm, 7931 East Boulevard Drive near
Mount Vernon. The Spring Garden Market is one of the premiere plant sales in
the DC area, with more than 2,000 shoppers last year.

It's Bloom Time at River Farm.

The American Horticultural Society’s annual spring plant sale will be expanded this weekend as the Spring Garden Market to include a variety of vendors of plants, garden supplies, garden art, and other related products along with special events.

The Spring Garden Market at River Farm at 7931 East Boulevard Drive is one of the premiere plant sales in the DC area, with more than 2,000 shoppers last year.

Members of AHS are invited to a members-only preview on Thursday, April 16, from 4 pm to 8 pm, with a public sale slated for Friday and Saturday April 17-18, from 9 am to 6 pm Saturday, and from 9 am to 3 pm on Sunday.

photo by John Arundel/Local Kicks
The American Horticultural Society’s annual spring plant sale
will be expanded this weekend as the Spring Garden Market to
include a variety of vendors of plants, garden supplies, garden
art, and other related products, along with special events.

Admission is free to everyone. Parking is free to AHS members and $3 for non-members. Members must show AHS membership card or mailing label from the current issue of The American Gardener as proof of membership. Only members will be allowed in the sale during Members’ night. River Farm, the world headquarters of the American Horticultural Society, is located down the George Washington Parkway near the Mount Vernon Estate, at 7931 East Boulevard Drive, Alexandria.

During the members-only night, Thursday, April 16 from 4-8 p.m., AHS members are invited to a talk by David Ellis, director of communications and editor of The American Gardener, and a silent auction of garden items in the estate house. There will be a cash bar and snack food available. Members have the opportunity to shop during these hours, getting first pick of the wonderful plants and products offered.

On Friday, April 17 from 10 a.m. through 4 p.m. and on Saturday, April 18 from 10 a.m. through 3 p.m., the Fairfax County Master Gardeners will be available to answer gardening questions.

On Saturday, April 18th, Jeff Kirwan, author of Remarkable Trees of Virginia, will give a talk presented by the Fairfax County Tree Commission, which will be followed by a book signing. The lecture will begin at 10:00 a.m. in the estate house.

A raffle of items donated by vendors at the Spring Garden Market will take place at the entrance of the event over the three days of the sale. Tickets will be sold for $1, 6 for $5, and 15 for $10.

While at the Market be sure to stroll through the Estate House to view the latest art exhibit presented by Salon Eight artist Pat Belser, Connie Boland, Joan Kirk, Yoshimi Matsukata, Emilie McBride, JoAnne Ramsey, Donna Sturm, and Rosa Vera running now through June 30.

photo by John Arundel/Local Kicks
Our gardening columnist Nancy Burns says the
latest word on handling your Fall garden: Leave the
old stems, seed heads and stalks until Spring
(unless they are diseased—then cut and pitch).
Standing (or partially cut back) stalks result in a
25 percent stronger plant next year with less
dieback because the stalks at the base of the
plant hold the snow cover and provide protection
from harsh winds and ice.

This year's featured plant is the Flower Carpet Amber Ground Cover Rose.

This new introduction for 2009 and semi-exclusive plant from Monrovia has a compact growth habit, a floriferous nature, and improved disease resistance. Amber’s red tinged, semi-double, fragrant blooms are peachy-orange with a yellow center, gradually fading to a soft seashell-pink. It will grow 2 feet tall by 3 feet wide – a perfect low maintenance groundcover.

Two gallon pots of the Flower Carpet Amber Ground Cover Rose will be sold at the AHS Garden Shop along with memberships, books, and garden accessories. Proceeds from the Spring Garden Market support the AHS, a 501(c)(3) organization and our educational programs.

With our mild winter so far this year, let me remind readers that it’s still not too late to do the following:

  • The latest word on handling your Fall garden:  leave the old stems, seed heads and stalks until next Spring (unless they are diseased—then cut and pitch).  Standing (or partially cut back) stalks result in a 25 percent stronger plant next year with less dieback because the stalks at the base of the plant hold the snow cover and provide protection from harsh winds and ice.  Also, stalks let you know where not to dig up areas in the Spring to plant new plants!
  • Scratch LeafGro compost into the ground (2 inches), then cover lightly with shredded hardwood mulch.  LeafGro will rejuvenate your soil, enrich it and help your plants better become the beauties you want them to be!
  • Put bone meal on your herbaceous and tree peonies now; it will help them bloom better early next Spring.
  • Water your newly planted trees and shrubs deeply once a week until the ground freezes (around the end of January).  And do the same all next year—the first two years are critical with new plantings.
  • It is not too late to plant bulbs—just make sure you loosen the ground up well and do it before the ground freezes (I still have 600 to go!).  Mix a little bulb food to the soil in the holes and water.
  • Clean out your bird houses now; parasites from old nests are the leading cause of death of hatchlings.
  • Be sure to float heaters in both your pond (to keep an open area in the ice so gases can escape), and in your bird bath (to keep it from freezing).  Lily Pons in Maryland (1.800.999.5459) carries heaters.
  • During a Winter thaw, check the newly-planted perennials or bushes in your garden beds to see if they have been heaved out of the ground, and replace (or add) soil or mulch around any exposed roots.  Best to keep a sack of soil in reserve for this use.
  • Weed any time you are out in your garden, especially the white flowering bittercress which is blooming now; it has exploding seed pods if you let it develop that far!

Nancy Burns of Alexandria is owner of Garden Ideas, is a Certified Master Gardener; Horticulture Information Director of District 2—Nat’l. Capital Area Garden Clubs; Belle Haven Garden Club President, and Secretary, National Capital Orchid Society. Contact n.burns@cox.net or 703-329-1899.
         
VENDORS THIS WEEKEND AT RIVER FARM:         
         

  • Beech Tree Farm, LLC, Amissville, VA
  • Blooming Plates, Arlington, VA
  • Blue Ridge Botanicals, Castleton, VA
  • Blue Ridge Gardens, Berryville, VA
  • Cedar Creek Gardens, Montpelier, VA
  • Chesapeake L/D, Seabrook, MD
  • Custom Marble and Design, Knoxville, TN
  • Hill Designs, Riderwood, MD
  • Hill House Farm & Nursery, Castleton, VA
  • Mostly Edibles, Alexandria, VA
  • Mustard Seed Farm, Louisa, VA
  • Organic Mechanic Soil Company, West Chester, PA
  • Potomac Hosta Club, Inc., Fairfax Station, VA
  • Virginia Vistas, Berryville, VA
  • Windswept Creations, Kill Devil Hills, NC


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