Columns

Where do you live?
Lake Monticello
How long have you lived in Fluvanna? What brought you here?
I was born and raised in Charlottesville and moved to Fluvanna in 2001. I always liked the area and I wanted to live in a more rural environment.
Tell us about your work.
I have worked at the University of Virginia for 19 years. For the last nine years I have been the Administrative Manager in the U.Va. Department of Radiation Oncology, School of Medicine. I oversee the day-to-day operations of the department and ensure everything runs smoothly. It’s a busy and sometimes demanding job, but I am fortunate to work with wonderful staff who make my job rewarding. I am very honored to just have received the 2013 Leonard Sandridge Outstanding Contribution Award at U.Va.

Add a comment

Read more...

While picking up perennials the other day, I overheard a greenhouse worker say, “I would never have planted that if I had known.” She was talking about spiderwort, tradescantia, which a customer of mine had just purchased in quantity. It’s a beautiful plant and has its place in some of the finest gardens. At Ladew Gardens in Monkton, Md. it is planted in a huge circle with ‘Caesar’s Brother’ siberian iris and ‘May Night’ salvia. It is a startling ring of electric blue for at least a month coinciding with the soft pink of the rose garden. Well worth the visit. However, it is a spreader, popping up in the driveway and invading flower beds. I have many varieties and I dig up the volunteers and give them away which is how I got my first piece of it.
Add a comment

Read more...

The Master Gardeners have been coming to the market every year. Their member volunteers staff a table with a tremendous amount of information and enthusiasm. Come see them each week between 2 and 5 p.m. The following article was submitted by Marie Hussey. Tuesday, when a cicada was found, while holding it in her hand we decided that she should share the information which she discovered about it with the community.
– Phyllis Montelese

What do Fluvanna Master Gardeners and cicadas have in common? They were both at Fluvanna’s Farmers Market at Pleasant Grove Tuesday. A red-eyed, clear-winged adult periodical cicada was discovered inside the Master Gardeners’ tent where they were set up to answer gardening questions. A small crowd gathered to see the docile stingerless cicada being gently handled by a Master Gardener. It was the first live adult cicada most had seen this year although some spoke of seeing several cicada “shells” (exoskeletons) around. Central Virginia is expecting an onslaught of these 13- and 17-year periodical cicadas this month with their numbers peaking in early June and gone by July.
Add a comment

Read more...

Where do you live?
Fluvanna County, born and raised.
Add a comment

Read more...

Iris are not deer’s choice for dinner. Photo by Lynn Stayton-EurellDeer and voles are the bane of gardeners everywhere. Fighting them has not worked for me so I do my best to discourage them. Dogs help keep deer out of the garden and so do fences, but planting things that are not their favorites is a good place to start. They will eat anything when they have to, so know that nothing is truly deer proof. At Lake Monticello, a true test for deer resistance, barberry and its relative the mahonia are not tasty. The amaryllis family includes belladonna lily, known as ‘naked ladies’ or ‘resurrection lily’, which are not eaten by deer or voles. If you use mulch, make a pocket of sand and chicken grit where you plant to discourage voles. Many plants are listed as resistant but have they passed the Lake Monticello test?
Add a comment

Read more...