Tag: plants

New Plant and Gift Shop, B. Willow, Opens in Remington


The number of new businesses popping up in Remington this year is growing day by day. Now, add artisanal plant shop B. Willow to the list.

How Does Your Garden Show: Camp Mont Shenandoah



Realtors like to talk about curb appeal, how a property “shows” from the curb. On arrival, this garden writer pays not as much attention to the appearance of a house as to its plantings.

Maple Tree and Rare Plant Sale This Fri – Sun at Grist Mill Landscaping


Ready for fall planting?  Perfect timing!  This weekend, Grist Mill Landscaping will be open to the public, offering one of the best maple tree and rare plant sale of the year.  Stop by between 8am – 5pm to take in the area’s largest selection of Red Maples, Japanese Maples, Sugar Maples as well as other gorgeous unusual plants and trees to make your outdoor living space spectacularly unique.  Don’t pass up this opportunity to walk 3+ acres of gorgeous landscape while you’re there.  Bob Farmer had created a viewing garden oasis, and offers many ways for you to showcase your new trees. And don’t worry, delivery is available!



Cylburn Arboretum’s Market Day Plant Sale


Plants at the arboretum

catch of the day fish (2)Spring is simply the best time of year for those of us who love plants. With leaves unfurling and flowers in bloom, one just can’t get enough time in the garden—or enough space for all of those plants we love to take care of. Feed your inner botanist with a shopping spree at the Cylburn Arboretum’s 46th annual Market Day plant sale. You can get your hands on a huge variety of annuals, perennials, native plants, and even vegetables. Whether you’ve got a certified green thumb, or have yet to successfully keep a house plant alive, this plant sale has something for everyone—particularly because the arboretum’s own garden professionals will be on hand to offer expert advice on how to incorporate plants into your space, and then how to keep them healthy and beautiful.

The Elements of Period Gardens

p172.2_Old-fashionedGardenSundial_Tracy Di Sabato-Aust, DiSabato-Aust Design
From “American Home Landscapes”. Photo by Tracy DiSabato-Aust.

This is a big week at Cylburn Arboretum. Located off of Northern Parkway, this green oasis is increasingly enjoyed by both city and county residents. In recent years, the Cylburn Arboretum Association  has connected nature with art through exhibitions in the Vollmer Center, programs for adults and children and an artist-in-residence program.

Cylburn’s first artist-in-residence, Patricia Bennett opens her exhibit of paintings done during her past year there. Well-known as an event painter, Bennett has also produced an impressive series of Impressionistic paintings of the gardens.  An opening reception takes place Friday, November 1 at 5:30 p.m. The show continues through the weekend, then November 5-7.

A new effort begins Sunday, November 3 at 2 p.m. with the Arboretum’s first book talk and signing. In cooperation with the Ivy Bookshop  and Timber Press, author Laura Burchfield will speak and show excerpts from her newly released book American Home Landscapes, A Design Guide to Creating Period Garden Styles


I’ve been working to replant the gardens around the 1922 Roland Park house where I grew up and live. Not until I saw the Timber Press book did I realize what a period garden we still have.  Essential elements of American, Colonial Revival gardens from 1900-1930 include:  symmetry, balance and a central axis, geometric beds, a picket fence, old-fashioned flowers.


In Roland Park, fences were originally permitted only in limited form, never in the front yard, because of the Olmsted design principal of low hedges instead of fences. At our house, however, the second owner was granted an exception to the architectural restrictions, because he thought Cold Spring Lane was too busy. If only he could see it now. Boxwoods were used for the front border, but along the sides and back, he installed brick pillars with sections of square, white spindles in between.

American Landscape pic 2

No flower garden was in front or along the sides, just more boxwoods and a long lilac border on the east side and privet hedge on the west.

At Marders in The Hamptons



I am an unlikely Hamptons-goer. I am behind the times, not a trendsetter. I eschew crowds and expensive cars. I do not travel in the fast lane, yet every summer, I find myself in the Hamptons.

More than a decade ago my college roommate, a scientist, rehabbed a house in East Hampton to be near good kayaking on Three Mile Harbor. Another close college friend has a house in Bridgehampton, where she rides in The Hampton Classic.  This year a third college friend from England was going out, so how could I resist?

While I prefer off-season visits, the peak of summer brings a profusion of plants. The light (reflected off surrounding bodies of water), sandy soil, the absence of humidity and the regular rainfall create ideal growing conditions.

Nurseries do a booming business. A must for me each summer is Bridgehampton at Marders,  a spectacular nursery and garden center, where even mature beech trees are in burlap balls ready to plant.

This year’s discoveries were annual purple laurentia  and a big-leafed plant that looked like lambs’ ears on steroids.


Of the same family, perennial silver sage made a showy appearance in containers and beneath a tree, next to purple petunias.


Kalanchoe ‘Flap Jack’ was a star in troughs and pots.


I’d like to find a few in Baltimore for my unused trough. I also want a spot in my garden for fluffy, native Joe Pye weed.

Baltimore’s Patriotic Agave Blooms on July 4th!

Photo courtesy the Rawlings Conservatory
Photo courtesy the Rawlings Conservatory

We hope you had a wonderful 4th of July, complete with lots of delicious cookout food and exciting fireworks. But fireworks weren’t the only thing bursting with color yesterday — the Rawlings Conservatory‘s giant blue agave finally bloomed! (You may remember it from our earlier Agave Watch 2013 post.) The flower spike is about 25 feet tall (hence the removal of part of the greenhouse’s roof, in order to let it grow). The Conservatory recommends stopping by this weekend to see the plant at its most extravagant.

This Is How My Garden Grows


From Mary Valle’s blog, Killing the Buddha

People have been asking me for years about my garden. Being a bit contrary, I refuse to answer. Frankly, I’ve been of the opinion that gardening is for jokers—but I was so wrong. Go ahead, ask me how my garden grows.

It grows like this:

1. Here’s a hell strip, bane of the urban gardener’s existence. Also known as the “parking strip” or “incredibly bad urban planning idea,” this shabby little plot of rocky soil is usually left to weed.


Nice one, planning masterminds.

2. This “bed” is also subject to dog presents, salt in the winter, and the occasional red Solo cup. Weeds truly are the broken windows on the sidewalks of life. A few months ago, I decided to do something about my hell strip.  I put in a bunch of plants, not knowing which were going to take. Turns out: they all did.


Welcome to the jungle, babies. We’ve got fun and games.

3. The microgarden needed a pinch of pizzazz in the form of a few miniscule tchotchkes. I like the idea of a St. Francis or Buddha, but neither of them in particular. Here’s what I did:

A. Acquired small plastic Joan of Arc.
B. Broke a takeout chopstick in half, and,
C. Hot-glued it to the bottom of the Maid.

This patch isn’t a mere curbside getaway. It’s the Joan of Arc Victory Garden. Greet my patroness:


La pucelle.

Agave Watch 2013! Rare Double Century Plant Blooms at the Rawlings Conservatory

The Agave Americana on May 8. Photo via the Rawlings Conservatory.
The blue agave on May 8 — ready to flower any day now! Photo via the Rawlings Conservatory.

Agave plants bloom only once in their long lifetimes — hence their “Century Plant” nickname — but when they do, it’s spectacular. So spectacular, in fact, that the staff of the Rawlings Conservatory in Druid Hill Park have to be careful that their agaves’ towering spikes don’t bust through the Desert House’s glass ceiling. And this year, something amazing is happening — two of the conservatory’s giant agaves are preparing to bloom around the same time.

Ladew Gardens Spring Lecture Series (and our Ticket Giveaway!!)


Ladew Lecture Series

catch of the day fish (2)Alright. If you haven’t made it out to Ladew Gardens yet this year, we can’t completely hold it against you. After all, this year’s “spring” weather doesn’t exactly entice one to spend gobs of time outside. Yet. But it should be noted that for those who do take an interest in gardens (theirs and others), Ladew offers so much more than simply the chance to take in the incredible topiary (named one of the Top Five Gardens in America—look out, Edward Scissorhands). Ladew offers a number of events every year, and they’re currently in the middle of one of their best, the Spring Lecture Series.

The remaining lectures for this season include on April 10 “The D. Landreth Seed Company and The Story of America’s Great Seedhouses” with Barbara Melera and on April 17 “Rosemary Verey: The Life and Lessons of a Legendary Gardener” with Barbara Paul Robinson. The story of the D. Landreth Seed company should be of particular interest to gardeners who care about the history of vegetables, the idea of “heirloom” varieties, and our culture’s relationship to growing our own food. The Rosemary Verey lecture will address the style and legacy of “the apostle of the ‘English style’…the ‘must have’ adviser to the rich and famous, including Prince Charles and Elton John.” For an extra charge, lectures can also be accompanied by lunch, with a reservation.  Both lectures begin at 10:30 a.m.

If you can’t make it to the remaining lectures, you may want to mark your calendars now for Ladew’s Garden Festival in May. Tickets are available through Ladew Gardens directly—or you can keep your eyes peeled here at the Baltimore Fishbowl for our ticket giveaway! Each week, a pair of tickets will be awarded to a reader who can answer this question correctly: “How many hounds are running through Ladew’s iconic hunt scene?” Winners will be contacted through Facebook or e-mail.

For more information about the Ladew Gardens Spring Lecture Series, or to purchase tickets, visit www.ladewgardens.com.