Horticulture 101 for Crofton Residents

What to plant, where to plant, how to plant, why to plant, and when to plant – those five basic questions of every beginning gardener in Crofton are the pre-K of Horticulture (as in pre-kindergarten).  In fact, your basic gardening how-to article answering these questions is, in many ways, just as much about horticulture as it is about beautifying your yard or patio.

Flower-Purple Iris

Purple Iris (istockphoto.com)

Horticulture is the science (and industry) that expands those very basic questions into the advanced study of plant propagation, cultivation, crop production, plant breeding, genetic engineering, plant biochemistry and plant physiology.

While the term “horticulture” comes from combining the word “horti” (meaning grass) and culture, it is certainly not limited to the study of grass.  It includes research on fruits, berries, nuts, vegetables, flowers, trees, and shrubs, as well.   Crop yield, quality, nutritional value, environmental stresses, disease and insect resistance – these are the focus of highly specialized horticulturists who share their work with us and make it possible for us to have healthier and more beautiful plants and gardens.

The Horticulture Society of Maryland, located nearby in Baltimore, is an organization that offers a busy calendar filled with lectures, trips, workshops and other shared experiences for anyone wanting to learn more about horticulture.  You’ll want to visit their website to see the full schedule, but here’s a preview of the opening presentation in their lecture series for this fall:

Karl Gercens “Desperate Landscapes (karlgercens.com) – 9/8/09
Explore the tragedy and drama of landscapes both good and evil on Wisteria Lane as well as in you own neighborhood.  We’ll look at design “faux pas” and ways to correct this ongoing behavior !  Simple design elements can be employed to get your landscape off the “Desperate List” and on the “To Die for List.”  (For more information, call 410-821-5561.)

Don’t miss the winter workshop, upcoming field trips and June garden tour of The Horticulture Society of Maryland.   Any of these opportunities would be a great place to start your study of Horticulture 101.

Margaret Woda

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Whether you’re a beginning gardener, a master gardener, or somewhere in between, find out how to join the Crofton Village Garden Club by contacting club president Sunny Frank by email SunnyFrank@verizon.net.  Membership is limited.

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