A Texan Coming to Maryland!!

(Nadine) Devers, TX(Zone 9b)

I am coming to visit my daughter and her family in Waldorf,Maryland..They bought them a house just outside of Andrews air force base...She has asked me to help her out about doing her gardens.. I come from where I can grow just about anything to a dead halt!! I know nothing about Maryland weather or seasons..I told her I needed to visit gardens,nurseries and places up there where she is in order to help her out...
We are gonna research first to see what she needs to do by winter time...then do her gardens..I will be there from July 7th to July 12..
So I asking for places to visit and show her what she can look for...
Thanks, Nadine-Moodene

Winchester, VA(Zone 6b)

what kind of gardening is she interested in?

I am sure the ladies and gentlemen of the midatlantic forum will be pleased to help her with any information we have.

Adamstown, MD(Zone 6b)

It might also help to know if she has a lot of shade or no shade? How is the deer population? That can be something to consider when selecting plants. Of course, hungry deer will stop at nothing but they are a lot more likely to eat the tulips or hosta than the daffodils.

(Nadine) Devers, TX(Zone 9b)

From what I understand..there is a wooden fence around her small backyard...I mean small backyard...I know I seen shade covering it but don't know what time of the day it was when they sent me pics...I will know more about her yard and size of it when I get there...
Type of gardening...well..she is learning Maryland weather now..She was in New Mexico for 3 years and only had sand and rocks in her yard..so she had cactus...she left that and didn't want nomore of that stuff!!!
She wants green stuff!!! she keeps telling me..LOLOL

Adamstown, MD(Zone 6b)

Well, she can certainly have that in Maryland, assuming sufficient rainfall, of course. We can have downpours or we can have drought. Rather unpredictable. If she has shade and a fence, you can think of perennials like hostas, ferns, heucheras, astilbe, brunera. .annuals like impatiens and begonias . . sunny areas you can do peonies -- beautiful but they only bloom for about two weeks -- daylilies (there are reblooming varieties), iris, black-eyed susans, coneflowers . . . annuals like geraniums, petunias, panies in the cooler months. . . I'm sure lots of mid-Atlantic people will have more suggestions. Kind of depends on the exposure as far as sun goes. Think zone 6 although if it is a solid wood fence with protection from wind, you might get away with zone 7. Hydrangea is another possibility. Lots of possibilities depending on what she likes. Sedums generally do well around here, too. Lirope, ornamental grasses -- that might be a bit much in a small backyard. Lots of choices. . . .I'm not really familiar with nurseries in that area, hopefully somebody else will steer you in a good direction as far as looking around there is concerned.

Chesapeake Beach, MD

I also live in southern Maryland, but over on the Calvert County side. Too bad you'll only be here for a few days! A couple of suggestions on places with good gardens that will give you a sense of the possibilities in this region:

Sotterley Plantation is just down the road from Waldorf. http://www.sotterley.com/

The US National Arboretum is a short hop away as well. http://www.usna.usda.gov/

Mt. Vernon has historical interest, but the gardens also are great. Not too far away from Waldorf. http://www.mountvernon.org/

In DC itself, there are some lovely gardens along the mall near the museums, and it's also worth heading to northwest DC to walk through the gardens at the National Cathedral and Dumbarton Oaks near Georgetown. http://www.doaks.org/Gardens.html

In terms of nurseries, the two best in the region are Merrifield Gardens in Virginia and Behnke's Nursery in Maryland. Neither are particularly close to Waldorf, but both are well worth the visit. There are several nurseries on Route 214 in Maryland, including Homestead which is huge and well-liked by many people. A drive down Rte 214 may be your best bet for hitting several nurseries quickly. This is quite accessible from Waldorf.

Chesapeake Beach, MD

Oh, yeah, I should have added that Charles County and the rest of southern Maryland (where Waldorf is located) is definately USDA zone 7. Tucked down here between the Potomac and the Chesapeake Bay, we're quite a bit warmer than the rest of the state.

Shenandoah Valley, VA

Might be too far, but Monticello would probably be about 2-2.5 hours away and the gardens there are fantastic. They sell some plants and seeds too.

If you go to Merrifield, you might as well go to Betty's Azalea Ranch, which is about five minutes down the road from Merrifield. I guess they must have started years and years ago with azaleas but it's a pretty comprehensive nursery.

There are also Meadows Farms garden centers all over the place. They're considerably cheaper than Merrifield and have lots and lots of plants, shrubs and trees.

(Nadine) Devers, TX(Zone 9b)

Oh Thank you for some of this info..I'll have to e-mail to my son in law to send this link to him..he knows where most of the places are...and this is what I like about him..He likes plants too!!!!!!!!....lol....

(Zone 7a)

Hi Moodene - I have succeeded in not murdering one of your gingers - no bloom, but it certainly ennobles our highland swamp - much appreciated.

There's a garden - about 3 1/2 hours from Waldorf by car - that might be worth a trip: Longwood Gardens - http://www.longwoodgardens.org/

That's quite a distance, I know. However, there are places to stay overnight nearby, and if you time your visit to one of their concerts and/or fireworks displays later on in the early evening, after walking through their vast gardens, you'll be ready to sit. Of all the various kinds of sumptious gardens, there is an idea garden that has oodles of small gardens all developed around different themes, kinds of plants, and different "conditions of site" - be sure to bring both camera and notebook for those, because those gardens have so much to teach.

Bring your most comfy walking shoes, too. There's a picnic area for the frugal that is very spacious and leafy, as well as a restaurant with outdoor terrace sorta toward the center of the gardens.

Longwood Gardens was a wedding "gift" to us from the minister who performed our wedding ceremony back in the 70s - I never would have known it was there if not for Rev. Rhodes, and I must say I cannot think of a better way to begin a life of gardening without a visit to them.


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