Sunday, January 2, 2011

Top 10 Gardening Stories of 2010

I've watched review after review of top stories of 2010 and thought it might be fun to talk about the top gardening stories of the year for this blog installment. Please add to the list if you would like to add your own experiences and ideas for the year that has passed.

  1. Stink bugs, specifically the Brown Marmorated Stink Bug, invaded the mid-Atlantic region wreaking havoc on fruit and vegetable growers. In late fall, they moved indoors becoming obnoxious nuisance pests. They will be a problem for years to come.
  2. Our weather extremes, record snowfalls in February followed by unprecedented heat and drought in June and July, were very challenging in 2010.
  3. Vegetable gardening and using edibles as ornamental plants in our gardens took hold. The White House garden, and gardens grown at Maryland's State House and Baltimore's City Hall provided food for area food banks and shelters.  
  4. Green roofs and living walls are being included in new construction by large and small business. Did you see the nation's largest Green Wall at Longwood Gardens unveiled last fall? A fun spring project may include renovating a doghouse and birdhouse roof. 
  5. Tropicals and succulents included in spectacular container gardens have become all the rage, according to the many articles written in national gardening magazines. Two new books, authored by Ray Rogers and Deborah Lee Baldwin are must-reads for enthusiasts.
  6. Locally, the Baltimore County Agricultural Center has opened at Shawan Road in Cockeysville, putting important resources at our doorstep. Baltimore County Master Gardeners and the University of Maryland Extension both have offices in the building. Demonstration gardening and farming will be available in time.
  7. Rain gardens have been installed at local schools teaching children the importance of water containment and conservation.
  8. Pollinators have received a lot of  "buzz" recently about their importance in growing food crops. Gardeners are renting hives from beekeepers and looking for plants that attract pollinators to the garden. 
  9. Gardens have joined the technical information age. Garden blogging, Tweeting, facebook and smart phone apps are just the beginning. Codes imbedded on store signage and plant tags will have growing information available just a click away.
  10. New plant introductions keep on coming. My favorites this year include the black petunias and trees and shrubs for small spaces and containers. 
There are thousand of gardening stories from 2010; this blog hints at just a few of them. Tell your own story about gardening anytime. Share it with family and friends. It's fun stuff!

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