Garden Committee

Small garden plots are available to residents on River Towers’ grounds at the rear of the property. The plots may be used to grow fruit, plants, flowers, and vegetables, but trees may not be planted. (See the garden rules for more information.) Garden tools are available in the garden shed. Hoses are provided as well.

To get an application (new or renewal), stop by the RT Management Office or download a copy of the new gardener application.

A $30 annual fee is payable by check or money order for a garden plot. The Chair of the Garden Committee will review applications and assign plots to residents on an “as available” basis. If you have questions, please contact Dianne Snyder, the Chair of the Garden Committee.

The garden gate lock has been changed. Returning gardeners should pick up a new key at the office.

2018 Garden Timeline

Saturday, Nov. 10 (rain date Nov.17)--End-of-Season Garden Cleanup. Meet at 9 am to prepare the garden for winter. Snacks and cold drinks provided. See End-of-Season Tasks for details of the work for that day.

May 1 -- deadline for starting work on individual plots. The garden chair will contact you if your plot shows no sign of having been worked on by that date.

Messages from the Garden Committee Chair

(1) Please, Help Update the Garden Map!

If you have not yet recorded your plot measurements, please do so by  Nov. 10 so others don’t have to do it for you. Use the pink flags (stored in the tray in the shed) to flag the corners of your plot(s), as needed.

Use the measuring wheel or your own tape measure to measure the length and width of your plot; record the results beside your plot number on the sheet posted in the shed. Round off the numbers to the nearest foot. If you have more than one plot, treat them separately.

Bonus point: Do the math and record the total sq. footage of your plot(s).

The more you help, the quicker we’ll have a new garden map drawn to scale.

Click here to see a list of this year's gardeners and their assigned plots. Disregard the map, which is being redrawn.

(2) Please take a moment to read the new garden guidelines for disposing of trash. The guidelines are posted on the fence by the trash cans.  Plot E-34 has been designated a landfill for disposing of biodegradable garden trash. Please use it! Also, help yourself to anything growing there (day lilies, daffodils) that you want for your own plot.  

(3) Rejoice, ladies! Thanks to Patrice Ferris, we now have a solution to the perennial problem of where to go if you have a call of nature. Her hours of on-line research have yielded what we are calling a P-tent. It’s a pop-up tent (which will be left up for the season) with a bucket and potty seat inside, along with a 10-gallon sack of peat moss. Add peat moss to the bucket as needed. Toss in the landfill when the bucket is half full.  It’s as easy as that and cost less than $90. We envision this as a ladies tent reserved for peeing, but we realize that emergencies can occur for both sexes. So, if you need it, use it.

Dianne Snyder, Garden Chair, 2/1/18

Garden News

Please email your submissions (text and photos) to Dianne.

The Friends of Carlyle House’s Annual Garden Day Herb & Craft Sale is on Saturday, April 21 from 8 to 4. Tour Carlyle House and purchase herbs, plants, and flowers raised in Mount Vernon’s greenhouses. Bring your gardening questions to the Master Gardeners of Northern Virginia.

Places to Purchase Plants

Green Spring Gardens' Garden Gate Plant Shop

Greenstreet Gardens

Holly, Woods, and Vines

Home Depot in Mt. Vernon Plaza

Lowes in Beacon Center

Nature By Design

Old Town Ace Hardware

Whole Foods

Local Plant Sales

American Horticultural Society's Spring Garden Market at River Farms on April 13 and 14 from 10 to 4

Friends of Carlyle House's Garden Day Herb and Craft Sale on April 21 from 8 to 4

Green Spring Gardens' Annual Plant Sales in May and September. Their  Big Plant Sale is on Saturday, May 19 from 9 to 3.

Mount Vernon Historic Plant and Garden Sale from April 21-May 20 (You don't have to have tickets to Mt. Vernon to go the plant sale.)

Old Town Farmers Market (a few vendors often have plants)

Seed Catalogs

Park Seed

Southern Exposure Seed Exchange (located in central Virginia)

Territorial Seed Company

Bulb Catalogs

Brent and Becky's Bulbs

Schreiner's Iris Gardens


Free Mulch

Fairfax County operates a brush grinding operation which produces double-shredded wood mulch for residents. You can pick it up at multiple locations.

If you have a friend who lives in Alexandria, you can ask them to go with you to pick up free mulch at 4215 Eisenhower Avenue.

        * Note that you'll need to bring your own shovel and bucket.


Fairfax County Master Gardeners

Fairfax County Office of Virginia Cooperative Extension and their Vegetable Planting Guide and Recommended Planting Dates

Green Spring Garden

Master Gardener help line at Virginia Cooperative Extension: 703-228-6414

Virginia Native Plant Society

Don't forget about your fellow gardeners. Many of the experienced gardeners are generous with their advice and tips.