Maryland Grows

Want to start a vegetable garden? Here’s how.


Leafy greens growing last spring at the Derwood Demo Garden (currently closed). Greens like these can be planted now.

[UPDATE: The situation with Covid-19 is changing rapidly in Maryland. Since this article was published, Maryland Governor Hogan issued a stay-at-home order for Maryland residents, effective March 30, 2020 at 8:00 p.m. This prohibits trips outside the home for non-essential items. We encourage you to follow current state guidance and use home delivery options for supplies.]

In this time of uncertainty, many of us are reaching for a trowel. But if you’re a beginning gardener, or have never grown your own food before, you probably have a lot of questions. Please make your first stop the Home and Garden Information Center – read the vegetable gardening information, and feel free to ask an expert.

You may be thinking about starting a garden because of worries that the food chain will be interrupted. Or because you have children at home, and planting seeds and watching them grow is a great lesson. Or because you need a distraction and some exercise. Whatever the reason, we encourage you to jump right in. But if you’re starting from scratch, here are a few caveats:

  • At this point, there’s no reason to worry that you’ll need to sustain yourself with a Victory Garden, and that’s a good thing, because it is difficult to produce a family’s needs from the garden you can start this year. Consider your home-raised produce a supplement.
  • You will most likely need to spend some money beyond simply buying seeds, unless you’ve already prepared your soil or filled some raised beds and containers.
  • You will probably need to make some trips outside your home, although delivery of materials may also be a possibility.
  • Remember that gardening does require regular maintenance; you need to keep up with weeding, watering, and harvesting.

That said, let’s get started. First, as of the date of this blog post, garden centers, nurseries, and big box stores have been declared essential businesses and therefore can still be open in Maryland. However, a few have closed to the public and others may follow, so always call before you visit. This way you also find out about availability of items, changed hours, health protocols, and delivery options. If you live in a different state, please check current regulations.

Many online retailers are doing a booming business in gardening supplies right now. As long as stock doesn’t run out, most of what you need for gardening can be ordered online and delivered to your door, but prices may be higher, particularly for bulky items like soil and compost. Local is better for those materials.

Where to put your garden

Your garden should be sited in the sunniest space available (at least 6 hours a day of full sun) and close to a water source. Container gardens can be grown on a deck, balcony, patio, or any other space. Raised beds can be tucked in close to your house; in-ground gardens can be of any size. (More on garden planning here.)

In this region we have lots of animal friends who like to munch on your garden plants. If you don’t have a fence around your property already, you will likely need to fence your garden area. There are lots of fencing options, but if you’re in a hurry a quick fix of stakes and plastic or wire fencing is better than nothing.

Types of gardens

  • Container gardens. Plant pots can be purchased in stores or ordered online. If you decide to reuse buckets or other containers not intended for growing plants, make sure they are very clean and didn’t originally contain toxic materials. Containers need to be large enough for plants to thrive; for example, tomatoes need at least a 5-gallon or 14-inch wide pot, and bigger is better. Use a potting mix to fill the containers, not real soil.
  • Raised beds. You can buy pre-made raised beds online for a price. You can also make your own with purchased lumber (pressure-treated is safe) or even with non-toxic materials you may find around your yard, like cinderblocks, stones, or logs. If you have lumber but no construction skills or hardware, place the boards as you want them and drive pieces of rebar into the ground on the outside to hold them in place. Raised beds can be filled with a mix of soil and compost, or (in these challenging times) with just about any bagged mix labeled “garden soil” or “raised bed mix.” (Normally I might be fussy and pedantic about the contents of these mixes, but this is not the moment.)
  • In-ground gardens. Most of us don’t have good soil for growing vegetables without putting in some work. Whether your base is hard clay or loose sand, you will need to add some compost to get started. When starting a garden, put down a few inches of compost and dig or till it in; as you grow, continue to add compost on top and let the earthworms and your own planting help it penetrate to where it’s needed. Using mulches such as shredded leaves or straw (not hay, because of the seeds) will help add more organic material to your soil. That said, the first year’s harvest may be limited if your starting soil was very poor. It may be a good idea to begin with raised beds or containers, and prepare an in-ground garden for next year. Grow your soil first! Here is some more information about getting a garden bed ready, especially if you have turf to remove.

Some things you will need to get a garden started besides the above:

  • Seeds. It’s a good idea to plan the year’s garden now and purchase your seeds before they run out, but please pay attention to the calendar and don’t waste seeds by trying to grow heat-loving plants outside when the soil and air are too cold. If you’re interested, you can learn about indoor seed-starting and get your tomatoes and peppers going now. Otherwise you can buy those plants. Some seeds can be started in a garden now, such as lettuce, radishes, kale, and other cool-season plants (but don’t try to grow those when the weather warms up). Seeds can be bought at local stores or online; also consider asking on neighborhood email lists if anyone has seeds to trade. Maybe you can start a local gardening group with contact-free front porch exchanges.
  • Plants. Again, you can buy these locally or online (with shipping charges). You may be better off buying plants that would otherwise need to be started from seed indoors, like the above-mentioned tomatoes and peppers, or broccoli, cauliflower, and other cool-season plants that can go into the garden now. Many vegetables can be started directly from seed in the garden and are cheaper that way. Consult our crop profiles to find out about growing any particular plant.
  • Tools. Depending on the type of gardening you’re doing, you may need a shovel, a trowel, some pruners, a watering can, and maybe a hoe. Also, get a couple of pairs of gardening gloves that are washable. Don’t go crazy buying tools until you have settled on your own gardening style. A wheelbarrow or garden cart is great to have for larger gardens, but it’s a big investment. Start small.
  • Mulch. Mulch protects your soil, keeps weeds down, and helps you water less. Leaves, straw, compost, or other organic materials work well. You can also use bagged shredded mulch; just make sure it is not forming a solid mass that water can’t penetrate. Looser wood chips work better for wider areas, and you can sometimes get these free (if only in large quantities) from tree services. If you are preparing a garden for next year, consider signing up for ChipDrop and requesting enough chips to cover a large area thickly; they will decay in place and form great soil. (In that case, you will definitely need a wheelbarrow.)
  • Fertilizer. It’s good to have a basic all-purpose fertilizer on hand to deal with nutrient deficiencies in your crops. Use according to directions, please – more is not better!

Some other notes:

  • Soil testing. We normally recommend testing your soil before you start, but this may be challenging this spring as many labs have shut down. If there is any chance that your soil contains toxic chemicals, please use containers and raised beds for your food gardening until your soil can be tested.
  • Compost quality. Please do not use manures that haven’t been fully composted (and never use dog, cat, or human waste on gardens). If you have your own compost pile, make sure composting is finished before spreading. The compost should be crumbly and fresh-smelling, and have no recognizable bits of its original components. You may be able to get deliveries of compost or soil mixed with compost from garden centers, or purchase in bags.
  • Pest control. Prepare for this; you can read about various pests on the HGIC website and learn about floating row cover. First-time gardeners often have “beginner’s luck” when it comes to insect pests – they just haven’t found you yet! – but it’s good to be ready.
  • Flowers. It’s great to plant some flowers in your vegetable garden! Flowers help bring in pollinators and other beneficial insects. Plus they cheer us up with their bright colors. Also plant some herbs to make your meals more interesting, and let them go to flower – bees love those too.

We’ll have more posts in coming weeks to help you on your gardening journey! Stay well and safe, friends.


By Erica Smith, Montgomery County Master Gardener


Delightful Daffodils

Dutch Master Daffodil

‘Dutch Master’ Daffodils in Bloom. Photo: Rachel J. Rhodes

The signs of spring are everywhere from the sounds of spring peepers in the woods to the red hues of maple buds to the yellow blooms of daffodils. The tidbits of spring trickle in like the mist of early morning fog slowly then all at once. As if waking up from a long winter’s nap, you see buds on trees swell or the tiny green stems of bulbs that gently peak through the mulch. The next day, you hear the sounds of spring peepers. Then, all at once, the baby pink blooms of cherry trees are floating like confetti in a ticker-tape parade while crocus shine like amethyst and daffodils glitter like drops of gold in flowerbeds and all of a sudden, spring is here.

daffodils near the woods

Photo: Rachel J. Rhodes

As the daffodils I planted last fall leisurely woke from their long winter’s nap, I began to think about how beautiful they would be in a few weeks with their golden yellow cups and their egg yolk petals, my mind wandered to their name “Daffodil.” When I became a mother, names and the meanings behind them captivated me. As a parent, when you name your child you research everything: the meaning behind a name, where it originated from, the many spellings, and so forth. When the time came to hold my sons for the first time, I was completely and utterly prepared with names that would suit them. The names that would help define them and would help guide them as they traversed through our uncertain world. Did I put too much
weight on a name? Maybe.

As Juliet said to Romeo, “What’s in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet.” There is a great name debate between Daffodils, Narcissus, and Jonquil. Daffodil refers to the common name for the spring-flowering bulbs in the genus Narcissus. Jonquil is the common name for Narcissus jonquilla within the Narcissus genus. To avoid any ambiguity, you can never go wrong by calling these flowers by their genus name Narcissus.

According to the American Daffodil Society, there are between “40 to 200 different daffodil species, subspecies or varieties of species and over 32,000 registered cultivars (named hybrids) divided among the thirteen divisions of the official classification system.” Daffodils range from the tried and true yellow trumpet to ones with double flowers and clustered flowers, to small cups, and ones with open cups. Flower colors come in an array of white to yellow to orange. There are even some with splashes of pink.

daffodil in bloom

Photo: Rachel J. Rhodes

Daffodils are hardy spring-flowering perennial bulbs that should return year after year. During blooming, they require generous amounts of water. After blooming, always deadhead the spent flowers. Even though daffodil foliage can get unruly, allow the leaves to remain for at least six weeks. You will see people braid or tie the leaves together with rubber bands. This timely endeavor results in the leaves manufacturing smaller amounts of food for the bulb, which in turn results in smaller blooms the following year. After the allotted six weeks have passed, you may remove the leaves.

For Maryland’s hardiness zones, plant daffodils in the fall (from late September to late November). The soil needs to be cool but the ground should still be workable and not frozen. Picking out bulbs is just like picking out the perfect apple. You want a bulb that is firm without blemishes. Bulbs should never be soft, damaged or moldy.

Daffodils are an easy dependable flower that is ideal for the beginning gardener. Don’t forget to pick some up in the fall for your garden!

By Rachel J. Rhodes, Master Gardener Coordinator, Queen Anne’s County, Maryland, University of Maryland Extension. Follow the Queen Anne’s County Master Gardeners on Facebook. Visit the UME Master Gardener webpage to find Master Gardener events and services in your county/city.

Ground Beetles are Beneficial in Your Garden

child reading a book about bugs

Ashley’s daughter with her bug book. Photo: A. Bodkins

A few months ago, my daughter was gifted The Bug Book, by Sue Fliess. It highlights many insects and has wonderful, very detailed pictures, with few words, which makes my bug-loving 4-year-old quite happy. It quickly became one of our favorite bedtime books. There are several different beetles pictured and mentioned in the book, which made me think about the amazing and complex group of thousands of species of beetles that are classified as “ground beetles”, so named because they are found living and occupying the surface of the ground.

Did you know that ground beetles are beneficial in your garden? These critters might be hard to see as they are good at hiding and staying out of site. A very beautiful and common ground beetle you might be able to spot this spring is the bright green, Six-Spotted Tiger Beetle. For additional information about this and other common beetle species found in Maryland, visit the Home and Garden Information Center’s page about predatory beetles.

green tiger beetle

The Six-Spotted Tiger Beetle is on of the common types of ground beetles found in Maryland. Photo: David Cappaert,

All beetles are in the insect order of Coleoptera, which is the largest order in the animal kingdom! Coleoptera refers to the hardened front wings which protect the membranous hind wings held underneath. Within this large order are thousands of different families, which include everything from lightning bugs, wood boring beetles, ladybird beetles, cucumber beetles, and also the family of Carabidae, which is where the beneficial ground and tiger beetles fall in the classification.

Ground beetles range in size from 1/8 of an inch to over 1 inch and can be brown, black, or metallic green or blue in color. Often these are the critters that you see scurrying away when you pick up a rock or item that has been sitting on the ground.

They are most active at night and are responsible for eating anything from snails to slugs, root-feeding insects, as well as weed seeds. They are generally referred to as being opportunistic feeders, which means they will consume a variety of items as they come across them. It is estimated that ground beetles can consume up to their body weight daily in food.

Some interesting research that is outlined in a Penn State fact sheet, Ground and Tiger Beetles (Coleoptera: Carabidae), says that ground beetles consume weed seeds from agriculturally important weeds, such as common ragweed, common lambsquarter, and giant foxtail (Lungren 2005). Their preference for different types of weed seeds could be linked to oil content and size of seeds, which limits which varieties they can move easily. The research points to the fact that these beetles would not be able to eliminate a weed species, but rather help to change the number of seeds in a certain area and give other plants more of a chance to receive the needed light, nutrients, or water. 


Caterpillar Hunter Ground Beetle (Calosoma wilcoxi). Photo: Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources – Forestry ,

These amazing critters can live in many different ecosystems, and some species are specific to certain habitats. They go through a complete metamorphosis with four life stages including egg, larva, pupa, and adult. They typically have one generation per year. One female can produce anywhere between 30 to 600 eggs! 

You can do your part to help promote this group of beneficial beetles in your garden by not tilling the entire garden at one time or providing areas of protection during a tillage event, with a protected area or walkway that is covered in mulch, or perhaps by planting a strip of pollinator plants or perennial herbs that would benefit all beneficial insects. These protected areas provide much needed moisture, food sources, and habitat. Of course, in order to protect all our ground dwelling beneficial insects, you should avoid applying soil insecticides.

If you want to learn more about how to conserve ground beetles in your garden, check out this publication on “Natural Enemies in Your Garden” from Michigan State University. Also, University of Maryland Entomologist Dr. Mike Raupp has a good piece about ground beetles on his Bug of the Week website. 

By Ashley Bodkins, Senior Agent Associate and Master Gardener Coordinator, Garrett County, Maryland, and Christa K. Carignan, Coordinator, Home and Garden Information Center, University of Maryland Extension. See more posts by Ashley and Christa.

Potatoes Grow in Bags at Project Spudnik

Container gardening is wildly popular these days. Type “grow potatoes in containers” and your search engine will return over 7 million web pages. Six years ago, Sherrill Munn, a UME Master Gardener in Calvert Co., developed a fun and challenging youth gardening program he named Project Spudnik. It was designed to encourage a love of gardening, teach environmental stewardship, and raise fresh produce for people in need. The project is a partnership between the All Saints Episcopal and Broadview Baptist Church Youth Groups and Calvert County Master Gardeners and is open to all youth in the county.

Project Spudnik is a mash-up of the movie “The Martian” and Sputnik, the first satellite in space. The movie depicts an astronaut stranded on Mars who must survive until a rescue can be attempted.  To do so, he had to raise potatoes that had been taken to Mars as an experiment.  Participants watch the movie and are then challenged to raise potatoes in grow bags.  With Master Gardener guidance they make their own soil, as did the astronaut in the movie.  If the teens are successful, they survive on Mars, if not they perished on Mars.

Fabric pot garden

The Spudnik Project features a colorful fabric pot garden with a blueberry bed in the foreground.

In addition to potatoes, they plant and harvest tomatoes, potatoes, beans, peppers, eggplant, carrots, blueberries, cabbages, various greens, and flowers in approximately 100 fabric grow bags, ranging in size from 10-20 gallons. Youth learn how to use organic fertilizers and how to prevent nutrient runoff and ground and water pollution. They also learn about integrated pest management- how to prevent and manage pest and plant problems with the least environmental impact possible. Finally, they learn how to responsibly use water in gardening.

Kid with swiss chard

The Spudnik crew grows lots of different vegetables in fabric bags, including Swiss chard.

A pollinator garden was added last year as well as a drip irrigation system that helped double the yield of produce. Over 460 pounds of produce was donated to area food banks in 2019! The drip system uses water more efficiently, reducing waste and preventing runoff. There are 2020 plans to create a children’s garden, buy a shed and composter, and replace a decorative garden arch that was toppled in a 2019 storm.

Gravel and buckets

The pollinator garden before planting…

Pollinator garden

… and after planting (see the recently emerged monarch butterfly).

Sherrill summed up the project’s value:

“At a time when too much learning is done via boring worksheets and interactions happen on social media, it is important to encourage kids to get their hands dirty with a project with tangible results. Further, gardening can teach important lessons in nutrition, biology, mathematics, social studies and geography.

The garden also teaches youth responsibility and leadership skills as they learn to take charge of the garden and their own grow bags. They will make the decisions on their bag’s soil composition, when to water, when and how much fertilizer to use and what to do if their plants are attacked by pests. If the garden produces food, it will be because of the youths’ hard work.

In addition to the benefits enjoyed by the youth participants, the hungry of Calvert County will benefit from receiving fresh, locally grown fruits and vegetables.”

Project Spudnik was recognized by the Governor’s Office of Service and Volunteerism as a 2019 “Honor Row” recipient. Youth and parent chaperones received tickets to a Raven’s game, received an award from the Governor’s office, and were featured on the jumbo-tron.

Service award group photo

Receiving a service award from the Governor’s Office of Service and Volunteerism (September 2019); #OurCommonCalvert

Potato growing tips from the Project Spudnik folks:

  1. Pick a sunny location (8 hours or more of sun).
  2. Use 12-gallon fabric grow bags, 16” deep by 16” diameter. Purchase them in garden centers or on-line.  The come in many colors, shapes and sizes.
  3.  Use a good lightweight commercial growing media (“potting mix”) or make your own (see recipe below). You will need about 1.5 cubic feet or around 12 dry gal per grow bag.  Most high quality growing media contains peat moss or coconut coir. These materials repel water so thoroughly moisten the grow mix by working water in with your hands, prior to filling your bags.
  4. Purchase certified seed potatoes locally or online. You can plant them whole or cut into pieces that each have at least two buds (“eyes”).  Place about 4” of container mix evenly across the bottom of the bag.  Evenly space 3 to 5 seed potatoes and/or pieces (“eyes up”) and cover with 3 inches of growing media. Fertilize lightly with a complete organic fertilizer, following product directions.
  5. When the potatoes have grown halfway up the bag, about 8 inches, add about 4 inches of growing media and fertilize lightly again. It’s okay if some of the green stem and leaves are covered.  When the plants are again about 8 inches above the new soil level, add another 4” of container mix and repeat this process until bag is full, leaving about an inch or inch and a half at top of bag as a water reservoir. (This process is very much like “hilling” potatoes that are planted in the ground.)
  6. The growing media should be kept moist throughout the fabric bag.  Grow bags can dry out quickly, especially in wind and hot, dry weather- so check the moisture level often!
  7. Flea beetles, three lined potato beetles, and Colorado potato beetles are common insect pests. The latter two can be picked off.
  8. Potatoes let you know when they are ready to harvest; the plants will begin to turn yellow and the stems wilt and fall over.  After another week or two, simply dump the contents of the grow bag into a wheelbarrow and pick out the potatoes.  Discard the old container mix elsewhere in your yard or garden where needed.  If you want new potatoes, gently dig down into your grow bag after the potatoes have flowered and harvest a few; then replace the mix.

Regarding potato yields, Sherrill notes that “The bags vary in the amount of potatoes depending on how vigilant the youngster responsible for it is. They average around 3 lbs.  We plant 4 seed potatoes or seed pieces per bag.  Recommendations for the size of bag we use is to plant 3 to 5 seed potatoes.  Larger bags would, of course, produce more potatoes.  I use larger bags at home and produce 5 to 6 lbs. on average per bag.”

Potato bags

Potato bags in the foreground. Other bags are filled with healthy spring greens.

Sherrill’s Recipe for Container Mix (fills 8 ten-gallon fabric bags)

  • 1 Part Sphagnum Peat Moss or Coconut Coir (4 Cu Ft)
  • 1 Part Compost (leaf or yard waste) (4 Cu Ft)
  • 1 Part Vermiculite or mix of Perlite & Vermiculite or Rice Hulls (4 Cu Ft)
  • 0.5 Cu Ft Bag of Course Sand (for added weight)
  • 12 lb. Bag of Worm Castings
  • 6 cups of Dolomitic Lime- not for potato (grow best at 5.3-6.0 soil pH) or blueberry (grow best at 4.3-5.3 soil pH)
  • Fertilizer added as needed.
Group mixing ingredients

Mixing together ingredients.

By Jon Traunfeld, Director, Home & Garden Information Center.

Many thanks to Sherrill Munn for sharing the story and photos.

How to Identify Insect Pests in Your Vegetable Garden – Featured Video

Mike Raupp, “The Bug Guy” for the University of Maryland Extension, explains how, like a crime scene investigator, you can use clues to find out what types of insects are causing damage in your garden. Look for telltale signs like chewed leaves, discoloration, distortion, dieback, and insect products.

Great Grasses for Maryland Landscapes

What are some beautiful plants that are relatively easy to maintain and unappealing to deer? Take a look at the ornamental and native grasses!

Little bluestem grass

Little bluestem (Schizachyrium scoparium) ‘Standing Ovation.’ Photo: Mikaela Boley

Ornamental grasses are plants that provide year-round beauty, texture, persistent ground cover, erosion control, and a variety of additional benefits. They are:

  • Available in many heights and forms suitable for different landscape situations
  • Helpful in trouble spots like slopes or places where a living screen is desired
  • Relatively easy to maintain by pruning back once each year
  • Generally distasteful to deer.

If you are planning to add native plants to your landscape, add a few grasses to the mix. Grasses provide winter shelter for beneficial insects and seeds for birds. Some even have interesting associations with small butterflies called skippers. For example, the Leonard’s Skipper uses little bluestem, switchgrass, poverty oatgrass, and bentgrass as host plants. That means that when these insects are in their juvenile stage (caterpillars), they can only feed on these types of grasses to survive. As adult skippers, they fly off to feed on the nectar of other flowering plants. They are delightful to watch “skipping” around a butterfly garden!

ornamental grasses in winter

Ornamental grasses provide textural interest in a garden in the winter. Here they are beautiful in combination with remnant seedpods and the red berries of winterberry holly in the background. Photo: C. Carignan

There are about 350 species of grasses in Maryland. They are the primary plants found in native meadows and there are even grasses, such as Eastern bottlebrush grass (Elymus hystrix), that thrive in our state’s shaded woodland areas.

Eastern bottlebrush grass

Eastern bottlebrush grass (Elymus hystrix) Photo: Chris Evans, University of Illinois,

The Maryland Native Plant Society has named 2020 “The Year of the Grasses”. All year long, through their monthly events and plant walks, you can learn about Maryland’s grasses and their native habitats.

Ornamental and native grasses are readily available at garden centers and native plant sales. Be sure to avoid invasive ones like Chinese silvergrass (Miscanthus sinensis).


Switchgrass (Panicum virgatum) ‘Shenandoah’. Photo: Mikaela Boley

For some great choices, check out my colleague Mikaela Boley’s excellent guide to Ornamental and Native Grasses for the Landscape on the Home & Garden Information Center website.

If you already have ornamental grasses in your landscape, now is a good time to prune them. Grasses that turn brown in the winter should be cut down to about 2″ above the ground in early spring before new growth begins.

By Christa K. Carignan, Coordinator, Digital Horticulture Education, University of Maryland Extension Home & Garden Information Center. Read additional posts by Christa.

On the Go: Orchids at Longwood Gardens – The Garden Hoes Podcast

Garden Hoes Podcast

We have a special bonus episode for you this month. The Gardens Hoes went “On the Road” to Longwood Gardens in Kennett Square, Pennsylvania, to learn more about their yearly orchid exhibit. We sat down with Greg Griffis, senior horticulturist and orchid grower, to ask him about the exhibit, orchids, and tips for growing them. The Orchid Extravaganza is an annual event at Longwood Garden that runs through March 22. Longwood Gardens consists of 1,077 acres, with gardens ranging from formal to naturalistic in design. Formidably, the Conservatory encompasses 4.5 acres of greenhouses. This lush winter oasis is transformed from January to March, with over 6,000 orchids. As you wander through the conservatory you’ll see Phalaenopsis orbs hanging above the Patio of Oranges, to Lady Slipper orchids tucked in along the Fern Passage, to delicate Cattleya in the Orchid house, orchids magically transform every space. 

Great news! We are now available on both iTunes and stitcher, making it easy for you to listen to The Garden Hoes on the go! To listen to our latest episode click here.

You can find out more information about this event, Longwood Gardens, and their other events by visiting If you can’t make it to Longwood Gardens for the exhibit check out “Everything About Orchids.” This free online course hosted by Longwood Gardens offers valuable insights from experts at Longwood Gardens through video lectures and discussion forums. 

Fountain Phalaenopsis

Fountain Phalaenopsis: upon entering the Conservatory you’re greeted by a sea of yellow Dancing Lady orchids (Oncidium) as light pink Phalaenopsis spill over above them. (Photo taken by: Rachel Rhodes)


Pierre the cat

Pierre: Longwood Gardens is home to a diverse feline family. They supply ample entertainment and companionship for all who grace the gardens. On this trip, we were lucky to have Pierre guide us through the Conservatory. His favorite spot was the large Orchid Panels featuring Phalaenopsis in the East Conservatory. (Photo taken by: Rachel Rhodes)



Phalaenopsis_Rose: dark pink Phalaenopsis gently lead you through the Rose House. (Photo taken by: Rachel Rhodes)



Phalaenopsis: Phalaenopis Tai Lin Red Angel ‘V31’ Orchids gracefully hang from elevated columns on the west side of the Exhibition Hall. They are rarely displayed outside of Asia. (Photo taken by: Rachel Rhodes)


Paphiopedilum Invincible ‘Spread Eagle’

Paphiopedilum Invincible ‘Spread Eagle’: is a beautiful slipper orchid hybrid that originated by Wrigley in 1911. It is a cross of Paph. Hirsutissimum x Pap. Monsiuer de Curte (Photo taken by: Rachel Rhodes)


Greg Griffis

Greg Griffis, senior horticulturist, and orchid grower, sat down with the Garden Hoes to talk about all things orchids. (Photo taken by: Emily Zobel)

If you have any garden questions or topics you like us to talk about, you can email us at Garden Hoes is brought to you by UME. Mikaela Boley- Senior Agent Assoc. (Talbot Co.) for Horticulture, Rachel Rhodes- Agent Assoc. for Horticulture (QA Co), and Emily Zobel- Agriculture Agent (Dorchester Co.).