Tag: gardening

annapolis green reads

I see many messages on social media these days to leave the leaves. While we’re at it, we can also leave flowers such as the spent purple coneflowers (Echinacea purpurea) because the Goldfinches love the seedheads. We could leave the winged sumac (Rhus copallinum) for the Eastern Bluebirds who eat the berries in the winter. Cleaning our yards has suddenly become considerably less arduous as word gets out that what we have regarded as a mess is part of nature’s cycle of life and death and we are the ones who don’t need to mess with it.

Societal norms don’t disappear overnight and HOAs still have outdated guidelines so there’s a middle ground while we adjust to healthier practices. If some of us have some front yard flower beds that we’d rather have a bit neater and a section of grass we’d like to see without leaves, we can focus on cutting back those spent flowers to about 12-18” for hibernating bees and put those errant leaves in the flower bed as mulch for the winter. The wildlife will appreciate it. Then, come April when the temperatures are consistently in the mid-fifties, we can resume that clean up we’ve become accustomed to doing in the fall.

a new garden ethicOur group read A New Garden Ethic: Cultivating Defiant Compassion for an Uncertain Future by Benjamin Vogt. This book is a beautifully written, strong directive to adjust how we garden. He presents a moral imperative to see that the plants we have around us need to benefit all of life, not just humans. For a plant to benefit the wildlife around us, it needs to be native to the area. While there is much discussion about what constitutes being native for a plant, Doug Tallamy describes a native as “a plant that has evolved in a given place over a period of time sufficient to develop complex and essential relationships with the physical environment and other organisms in a given ecological community.” (p. 31)

Native plant gardens give us access to the biophilia that we most recognize. When we watch with awe at the masses of bees feeding on the mountain mint or the monarch butterfly hatching from her cocoon at the stem of the milkweed, we know on some level that we are connected inter-beings. And then, to have the responsibility to plant something, we glimpse our potential as humans to contribute meaningfully to the natural world. Choosing natives like the Golden Alexander (Zizia aurea) that the black swallowtails use as a host plant to beautify our gardens is the important recognition that our gardens are not just there to look pretty in an anthropocentric way. We change our culturally-learned mindset of what it means for a garden to look pretty to be inclusive of all the life around us.

Cooperating with nature will benefit us all. We have the most control over what is in our yards. What a powerful statement of cooperation if each of us chose to dedicate the millions of acres of lawn to become a biodiverse ecosystem instead! I can only imagine that once we were to realize biodiversity in our immediate surroundings how that might reverberate and evolve into desires for other changes that would benefit the environment.

Our next book is Saving Us: A Climate Scientist’s Case for Hope and Healing in a Divided World by Katharine Hayhoe. We will be meeting in our usual hybrid fashion on Monday, December 6 to discuss it. Please contact me if you’d like to join us.

–Karen Grumbles

about the Annapolis Green Reads book club



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An online, collaborative initiative to raise funds for and increase awareness of 10 local, small environmental organizations…

We have always said that we a tad different, “a different shade of green,” making us a unique partner in the GreenGive group. Our mission is to bring the community together, for the Greener Good, and we’ve been doing that for the past 14 years. We focus on all aspects of Climate Change and on building a resilient and thriving community that protects the environment.

Of course, we want to you to learn about all 10 GreenGive organizations, since we are all doing good work — each in our own way. Yet, you may ask: Why support Annapolis Green in the GreenGive?

Here’s a bit about just some of what we’ve been up to in just the last few months and our view looking forward.

Plastic Free Annapolis
Annapolis Green continues to bring attention to the scourge of plastic of all kinds, particularly in our waterways where wildlife mistakes it for food. Soon we will launch “No Butts in the Bay!” with the City of Annapolis, a public education program about damage caused to our waterways by the cigarette butts (they are plastic, not biodegradable) that are thoughtlessly discarded on the street and then washed into streams. Read more.

Kick Gas! In Annapolis.Kick Gas Annapolis – Driving Electric!
Getting around without producing greenhouse gas emissions IS our future and Annapolis Green is the only local nonprofit consistently providing education and access to exciting developments that are moving us toward this goal. In April we initiated a six-month campaign on EV action. Each month will feature programming culminating in a large in-person show at City Dock on Sunday, September 26, during National Drive Electric Week. Read more.

here we grow logoHere We Grow
We’ve been championing modern-day Victory Gardens to encourage people to value the land and Nature by installing, developing or updating their gardens to provide beauty, food, and pollinator habitat. Our demonstration garden at 92 Maryland continues to thrive and turn heads as we showcase our use our compost, natural gardening techniques, and encourage people to plant veggies right in with native flowers, even coining the term Beautiful & Delicious. Read more.

Green REFResponsible Events & Festivals (REF)
More than ever as we are all so anxious to come back out and participate in the many special events Annapolis has to offer, we need to recognize our responsibility to our environment. Last year we gave Mother Nature a break as we stayed home but sadly, single-use has soared. We are working to create a better normal that underscores the importance of sustainability applicable to event sites, organizers and attendees with an online toolkit, coming soon. Contact us to learn more.

naptown tap logoNAPTOWN TAPs
Our popular portable water refill stations are in demand and coming back out! Straddling both the Plastic Free and REF programs, we are working to meet the demand with sponsorships available to help us deploy! If you’re interested in demonstrating your commitment to clean water with a sponsorship, please let us know. Read more.

green drinks annapolisIn the fall we plan to relaunch Green Drinks in the beautiful setting of Homestead Gardens in Davidsonville. It will be great to reconnect in person! Save the date: September 22.

Also in the fall we will have our first Harvest Dinner at the beautiful Honey’s Harvest Farm. Stay tuned for details.

All of our programming is designed to connect you with our community and with Nature and is possible only with your support. Every dollar raised will be turned into these projects and programs that really do make a difference right here in Anne Arundel County. We all love our Chesapeake Bay and consider it a national treasure.

Please click here to donate to Annapolis Green During the GreenGive.

GreenGive organizations intend to make sure that the waterways that feed into the Bay are clean and ready for fishing, crabbing, swimming and boating. There is no better legacy we can leave the next generation.

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Plant Combinations

homestead gardensHomestead Gardens presents Gardening with Kathy: Plant Combinations

Kathy Jentz, Editor, Publisher and Founder of Washington Gardener Magazine, will explore playing with color, form, and texture in the perennial/shrub border. This image-heavy talk includes the tried-and-true proven combinations as well as some daring new mixes to experiment with in your own home garden.


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Planting for Pollinators

homestead gardensHomestead Gardens presents Gardening with Kathy: Planting for Pollinators

Learn the Top 20+ native plants for pollinators to add to your garden to support native bees, butterflies, hummingbirds, etc. Kathy Jentz, Editor, Publisher and Founder of Washington Gardener Magazine, will share how to have something for every season in the garden to benefit native pollinators, as well as support the declining honeybee populations.


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Composting 101

anne arundel public library This online class is part of the library’s Earth Day event series. Learn about a great way to cut down on food waste and enhance the nutrients of your garden. Featuring Kristen Lagana from county Waste Management, and Master Gardener Nancy Allred.

Registration for this event will be open from April 10, 2021 at 9am to April 24, 2021 at 2:30pm.

Register to receive Zoom link.

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GreenScape in Parole

parole greenscape eventsCivic-minded volunteers are needed to freshen up and plant in several areas in the Parole community:

  • Aris T. Allen Park
  • Chambers Park
  • Forest Villa
  • Parole Health Care

Bring your gardening tools and a mask. The event will be held rain or shine.

For information contact Terence Wright, 443-852-0078, greaterparolecommunityassoc@gmail.com

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here we grow logo

Annapolis Green is partnering with Founding 100 supporter Homestead Gardens in an exciting three-part spring gardening seminar series. The first, Here We Grow: Planting Resilient Species, on March 24, will kick off Annapolis Green’s Here We Grow program. It will focus on understanding the soil and planting for our region.

Speakers include:

  • Heather Wheatley of Homestead Gardens is a Certified Chesapeake Bay landscape professional and certified professional horticulturist. Heather’s immense knowledge of our landscape will help anyone–novice or pro–get the most out of the soil and provide guidance on what plants will thrive.
  • Josh Clark, Landscape Architect, Restoration Coordinator with Anne Arundel County’s Watershed Stewards Academy (WSA), and Chesapeake Bay Landscape Professional, will discuss WSA’s Replant Anne Arundel program, the mission behind the initiative, and how to get involved. Josh will also share his favorite native resilient species.

Information and registration

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Hostas and Gardening for Monarchs

anne arundel public libraryPresented by Anne Arundel Public Library, this adult class, by Jane Chouinard, will show the many and varied colors and patterns of Hosta plants and how to keep them looking good. Speaker Ginny Klocko shares photos of Monarch butterflies in their quest for survival.

Hosted by the staff at Eastport-Annapolis Neck Library in collaboration with the University of Maryland Extension Master Gardener Program Library Workshops Project.


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Pruning Roses for Better Blooms

homestead gardensHomestead Gardens Presents
Gardening with Kathy: Pruning Roses for Better Blooms
on Facebook Live!
A rose is a rose….and those roses need pruning. The time to prune is now, before temperatures warm. Join Kathy Jentz, Editor, Publisher and Founder of Washington Gardener Magazine, for an interactive class on how to prune roses to help mitigate disease and promote healthy growth, as well (of course) as healthy blooms.


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Houseplant Monday

homestead gardensThis episode of Homestead Garden’s Grow with Katie: Houseplant Monday features host Katie Dubow and Maria Failla of Bloom and Grow Radio. The discussion will be about Maria’s favorite houseplants, how to bring them in your home, and the benefits they provide.

Grow with Katie is broadcast on the Homestead Gardens FaceBook page LIVE Mondays at noon. This educational video series explores seasonal gardening topics with experts, and all around inspiring people.

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Seasoned gardeners break into a smile
when they talk about planting edibles in the fall

By Rita Calvert

For your second harvest: Start late summer and fall months and you can double your yield this year and enjoy homegrown flavor into fall and winter.

When I tracked down Homestead Gardens’ expert Gene Sumi to ask him about THE SECOND VEGGIE PLANTING, he broke out in a huge smile and said, “This is the best time to plant!”

Why? The sun and soil have worked diligently through the summer to prepare for you. The soil is warm enough to burst those seeds to germination. Seeds can be sown into the warm soil or you can simply plop in bedding plants. If you had a spring/summer edible garden, you most probably have already done the major soil amendments and of course, plotted out the garden. Now it’s just the gravy! You can see from Gene’s long list of veggies, below, this can be enough food to see you through most of the winter (given a bit of preserving the harvest).

lettuceTime to Start some Cool-Season Vegetable Seeds for Fall Planting

Fall is the best time to grow cool cool-season vegetables – even better than spring because in spring, the seeds need to be started indoors under artificial lights. In August the temperatures are warm enough to start the seeds outdoors, many sown directly in the soil. Follow the instructions on the packages. Gene encouraged us to at least grow some lettuce (everybody loves lettuce) but you really will appreciate all of those other greens such as kale, Swiss Chard and the Asian Greens! You can easily grow them in containers.

  • Arugula
  • Asian Greens
  • Beets
  • Broccoli
  • Brussels Sprouts
  • Bunching Onions
  • Cabbage
  • Carrots
  • Cauliflower
  • Collards
  • Kale
  • Lettuce
  • Mache
  • Mesclun
  • Mustard
  • Peas
  • Radish
  • Scallions
  • Spinach
  • Swiss Chard
  • Turnips

With over three decades in the food, media production, marketing & public relations fields, Rita Calvert has created myriad programs, events, cooking sessions on national television, the stage & The Annapolis School of Cooking. She has partnered in writing cookbooks and product lines to showcase the inspiration & nourishment of food. In her cookbook with Michael Heller, The Grassfed Gourmet Fires It Up, Rita supports the effort for Regenerative Agriculture.

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Matching Plants and Pollinators

Explore what pollinators are, above and below us, and then give them what they want. Attracting and feeding pollinators can very rewarding. Realizing our symbiotic relationship with our environment can be heightened in our own backyard. The content in this class will be relevant to beginners, intermediate and experienced gardeners. Speaker: Heather Wheatley, CPH, Education Coordinator for the Homestead Gardens’ Garden Academy. Her personal and professional mission is to proliferate the art and science of real and sustainable horticulture.


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Matching Plants and Pollinators

beeExplore what pollinators are, above and below us, and then give them what they want. Attracting and feeding pollinators can very rewarding. Realizing our symbiotic relationship with our environment can be heightened in our own backyard. The content in this class will be relevant to beginners, intermediate and experienced gardeners. Speaker: Heather Wheatley, CPH, Education Coordinator for the Homestead Gardens’ Garden Academy. Her personal and professional mission is to proliferate the art and science of real and sustainable horticulture.


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Phone: 410-656-9420
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