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Brookside Gardens Xperience Spring 2011

Brookside Gardens Xperience Spring 2011



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Published by: M-NCPPC on Feb 02, 2011
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Spring &Summer
Rosalind Creasy Comes to Brookside Gardens! Page 7
Landscape or Lie Series, page 13
Garden Party Beneft or Brookside Gardens, page 6
The creativity and resourceulness o thesta at Brookside Gardens has certainlybeen tested by a very challenging 2010. Theckle weather has thrown every extreme:with punishing snows and cold drying windsin February that required hours o snowremoval to reopen the Gardens; a summerwith a record-breaking number o days above90 degrees that orced the closing o Wingso Fancy; the rapid, violent windstorm in July that elled dozens o trees; and an earlymorning thunderstorm in August that cast3.3 inches o rain in less than hal an hour,which scoured the creek and surroundinggardens with a fash food six eet or more above its regular level.Clean up and restoration ater each weather event has taken countless hoursand is ongoing, as Gardens sta coordinates with other skilled trades inMontgomery Parks to repair the damage. In addition to replacing damagedplants, other restoration includes signicant work by the arborist crews toremove and prune hazardous trees, ence replacement and repair, asphaltrepair, and cleaning out clogged storm drains. All these reparations divertresources earmarked or daily operations rom our already lean budget. Asyou may know, this scal year the budget or Montgomery Parks was cut by 15percent. Next year looks to be similarly harsh. And despite this, sta continuesto be optimistic about what we can accomplish and resourceul in ways tocontinue providing the high quality garden and programs our visitors expect.I am very grateul to the sta or their commitment and ingenious solutions,and to the volunteers and donors who support our operations through the gito their time and money. Brookside Gardens is a special place, and it takesmany special people to keep it that way.Best regards,Stephanie Oberle
Director, Brookside Gardens
1. How Did Our Gardens Grow?2. Wings o Fancy: Success withWings and Six Legs3. Were You There?4. Volunteer Update5. Thank You, Donors!
7.Special Events8.Group Tours9.Spring Lecture Series &Art Xhibits10.Horticultural Talks &Workshops13.Garden Photography &Writing Workshops14.Cooking Demonstrations &Xcursions15. AdultPrograms by Date16.Brookside Gardens School o Botanical Art & Illustration18.Children’s Programs21.Registration
Table o Contents
General Inormation, 301-962-1400Adult Education, 301-962-1470Children’s Education, 301-962-1408Library, 301-962-1476School o Botanical Art & Illustration,301-962-1470 or 1474Volunteer Oce, 301-962-1429Git Shop, 301-962-1448 or 1479Facility Rental, 301-962-1404McCrillis Gardens, 301-962-1455Media Relations, 301-962-1427Sponsorships/donations, 301-962-1402
Brookside Gardens
1800 Glenallan AvenueWheaton, Maryland 20902
Brookside Gardens is openevery day except December 25.
Visitors Center:
9:00am–5:00pm(closed some holidays)
McCrillis Gardens
6910 Greentree Road, Bethesda, MD 20817
Letter rom the Director
Horticultural Reerence Library
10:00am–3:00pm Mondaythrough Friday, except holidays
301-962-1476Master Gardeners—Plant Clinic at Brookside Gardens
Saturday 10:00am–2:00pmSunday 1:00–4:00pmOpen Year RoundWed. & Thurs. (May–October)1:00–4:00pm
Ellen S. Bennett, 301-962-1402
Cover Photo:
Leslie McDermott
The Shop at Brookside Gardens
Monday-Saturday10:00am–4:00pmSunday Noon–4:00pm
 Adversity has the eect o eliciting talents which,in prosperous circumstances, would have laindormant.
 — Horace
or the 2010 growing season BrooksideGardens ocused on the theme o 
: what is it?; where does it comerom?; what, in act, do ood-producingplants even
look like
(ever seen rice plantsin bloom?). Our displays approached thisuniversal topic rom several directions. There was a large“Victory-type” vegetable garden that eatured a successiono crops, companion plants that repel insect pests, andthat was intentionally NOT planted in traditional rowsbut rather more artistically. There were beds devoted toplants producing sweeteners; that showcased grain cropslike corn, sorghum, wheat and rice; that eatured ediblefowers; and some that were specically designed to showthat vegetable beds can be beautiul in their own right.We chose time-tested commercial varieties as well asnewer ones geared toward smaller spaces and with moreornamental appeal. We wondered (nervously) what oureorts would look like by August.With the season at an end, we took some moments torefect.
Which plants worked?
Red okra produced massive crops, with the shortestcultivar (‘Little Lucy’) being the best.
‘Ruby Perection’cabbage was showy and insect-resistant.
Cardoonswere dramatic all season.
Notable eye-catchers: lushhyacinth-beans (on a dramatic new arbor); rice in bloom,especially the red-leaed orms (
Oryza sativa
‘Red Dragon’and ‘Nigrescens’); Swiss chard with its beautiully coloredlea stalks; and the enigmatic, menacingly beautiul spiny-bastard (naranjanilla).
Which did not?
The tall okras (‘Red Spray’) proved to be too spindly oran ornamental display.
Since we chose not to spraypesticides except in extreme cases, insect pests decimatedthe rapeseed crop as well as lima and scarlet runner beans,all eggplants, and Brussels sprouts.
What surprised us?
Bananas fowered!
Pineapples produced small butexquisite ruits, even though they hated the excessivesummer heat and our slow draining clay soils.
Swisschard tolerated the record heat surprisinglywell.
Rice is beautiul.
Stevia leavesare incredibly sweet when chewed.
Little animal damage occurred to our“crops” except rom chipmunks (and somewayward visitors).
It was quite gratiyingthat all beds overall looked quite showy even pastSeptember.Based on this season, we plan to continue the ood themein 2011 and 2012.
What did we learn that we can take orward?
We showed a wide range o plants to which visitorsrom many dierent cultures could relate. It wasascinating to the sta that the sight o some o theseplants appeared to spark an emotional response andcopious memories. There was a great deal o interestoverall, as evidenced by the common exclamations, “I’venever seen this grow” and “Is THAT where that comesrom?”
We were successul in showing that ood displayscan be surprisingly beautiul and long-lasting, almostwithout the use o pesticides or unusual care. Visitorsresponded to these ood crops equally as well as to ourtraditional foral displays o the past.
We were successul enough to be able to donatesignicant amounts o produce to a local ood bank.
We’ll modiy the composition o the beds based onperormance, appeal, and even the harvest rate.
We’ll change our vegetable garden around a bit toshow types o backyard-sized gardens with plants romour broad geographic areas: Central America/Mexico,Southern Asia/India, Asia, and the Mediterranean (Italyand Greece).How do YOU think we did?—Phil Normandy
Plant Collections Manager
Brookside Gardens Xperience
• Spring–Summer 2011
Food Theme: How didour Gardens Grow?

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