The Capital Gardener
Quarterly Publication of the NCAGC
Our Mission Statement
National Capital Area Garden Clubs, Inc., provides members and our communities with education, resources, and networking opportunities to promote gardening, horticulture, and design for civic engagement and environmental responsibility.
In & Around National Capital Area
- District II Youth GardeningSpringfield Acres Garden Club members under the leadership of Jo Sellers taught a 6 weeks after school gardening class at Kings Glen Elementary School for 32 Fourth Grade, Fifth Grade & Sixth Grade students. Cotton plants were planted in the school courtyard and will be harvested in September when the students return to begin the next school year. Fennel, the host plant for the Swallow Tail Butterfly, was also planted. One popular class was flower arranging in a tin tuna can container. It was amazing to see such budding talent in such young children.
District I's Woodmoor Garden Club uses QR CodesThe last Sunday in April is a busy one for the Silver Spring, MD neighborhood of Woodmoor. That is the weekend of the annual Garden Walk (event is totally free) and sale organized by the Woodmoor Garden Club. Walking maps and descriptions of the 8-10 gardens open to the public are provided. Over the years we have improved signage to assist with plant education. Each plant has a label noting properties like height, bloom time, light requirements, color and whether the plant is deer resistant or native to our area. This year we added QR codes (scannable square codes that link to a website if you have a smart phone and an app – there are free QR code-generating sites available) and received permission from the Missouri Botanical Gardens to link to their plant information pages. This was an immensely popular resource and was available as a scannable sign above a picture of the plant in bloom or on the horticultural table. A word to the wise: use a STATIC QR code as those do not require any fees and do not expire. DYNAMIC QR codes collect data for marketing and require a subscription.
District I's Woodmoor Garden Club Encourages Bee Friendly YardsWoodmoor Garden Club members are helping to raise awareness in their neighborhood about the harms of pesticide yard application to bees and other pollinators. Several members of the WGC are posting “Bee Safe” and “Pesticide Free- Yard” signs they obtained through the Maryland Sierra Club. These garden club members have taken the pledge to eliminate outdoor pesticide use and bring attention to helping bees and other pollinators by curbing their use of insecticides. Members also hope the presence of a sign will start a positive discussion with interested neighbors. For more information on pledging to have a pesticide-free yard and start a conversation in your neighborhood, see http://www.sierraclub.org/maryland/pesticidefreeyards You can make your yard bee friendly this summer with the following tips:
- Avoid/limit the use of pesticides in your yard and opt to use organic alternatives.
- Add bee-friendly plants such as butterfly weed, bee balm, sunflowers, sweet alyssum, alstroemeria, Joe Pye weed, coneflowers and more.
- Provide shelter in your garden from the elements such as wind, rain and cold.
- Create a habitat for the nest of the pollinators – many native bees make nests in old pieces of wood, or even in the ground.
- Ask vendors if their plants are neonic free before you buy them. Some vendors, for example, Behnke’s, have plants that are already neonic free, while others are working on it, but are not there yet (Lowe's, Home Depot, Costco), and others are not joining the effort (Ace Hardware).