Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Plant Picks

Our latest Washington Examiner article is now out. It is Plant Picks for 2007 -- this is a different list than the one in the Jan/Feb 2007 issue of Washington Gardener Magazine. I have enough picks to make a Top 50! This second "Top 10" is shown in its entirety in the Baltimore version, but is trimmed to a "Top 8" in the DC one. Read the DC edition online (Feb 23 edition - page 63), if you managed to grab the print version at the red street boxes around town last Friday or have it delivered to you - the article is on R6 (Real Estate section - page 6). It is also in the Baltimore Examiner edition online (Feb 23 edition - page 66) or print version on R10 (Real Estate page 10).

Pictured here is a tiny orchid that has just come into bloom. The flower is a mere one-inch in size. I adore it! I got it at the Takoma Hort Club indoor plant exchange in January from Anne H. It is a "Phal. equestris 'Hana Nguyen.' She promises it reblooms and makes babies like crazy, so maybe I'll be able to share it as well at next year's exchange.

My schedule for the past week was full of all-day events and the upcoming week or so will be incredibly hectic with the Philadelphia Flower Show trip (still room - sign up now!) and the Washington Home & Garden Show. I may not be posting much, but will do what I can.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Zapped by the Current

I had written a nice, long posting about the recent article in the Northwest Current's February 14 edition (see pages 16 and 18) on our recent Seed Exchange. However, just as the post was uploading toBlogger late last night - there was an audible 'boom' somewhere in the distance and the cable and power both went out. Came back on a minute later and repeated it twice more! After that I just went to bed in annoyance. (Ironic isn't it that I live in a former PEPCO transformer substation. The art at left is from their web site. Note that it was a steady rain last night, but hardly an actual storm.) Anyway, I wrote on how the reporter used most of the article space to discuss the change in venue from the USNA and how trivial a part of the day I thought that actually was. For the record, I hold no ill-well towards the USNA nor its staff and am actually a new FONA member to boot. Well-written piece and gave us nice coverage, just think it was a bit overzealous in trying to stir up controversy or dirt where there was hardly any.

Monday, February 19, 2007

The Rewards of Pre-Planning

Here is a pot of Lady Jane tulips I have forced into early indoor bloom. When the sun hits them they open up amazingly wide and have this gorgeous face. They are really getting me through these ice-encrusted February days. I have about 10 other containers of different bulbs that I potted up last fall and most are ready to pop over the next few weeks. I'm really hoping to have some nice ones set for our booth at the Washington Home & Garden Show frm March 8-11. Will see how the timing works out.

Speaking of timing and pre-planning, are you trying to get word out about your organization or business to gardeners in the greater DC region?

Washington Gardener Magazine now offers classified advertising space in the bimonthly print magazine that goes to garden lovers all over the DC region. For $100 you get up to 100 words to sell your garden-related items, announce your garden club events, advertise help wanted, send a special wish to your favorite gardener, etc.

These classified ads are text only. If you wish to have art or color, please refer to our media kit for display ad space rates and sizes.

Upcoming deadlines:
February 20 for March/April 2007 issue
April 16 for May/June 2007 issue
June 15 for July/Aug 2007 issue

Contact editor@washingtongardener.com today to book your ad.

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Interested in Earning a Few Extra Dollars to Feed Your Garden Addiction?
We are always looking for ad partners to cover the steep costs of printing and mailing our publication -- in pursuing that goal, I thought I'd offer the same deal we offer our independent ad sales reps, which is any display space ads that you book for us you earn a 20% sales commission.
The way it works is you get a signed contract from the advertiser, we get the ad artwork files directly from them (or create it for them if requested), then the ad is published and invoiced, when it is paid we send you your commission check. You can earn some nice pocket change. For example, a $1,500 ad is a $300 commission. If that runs 6-times in one year that is $1,800 for you -- just from one ad booking! Anyway, something to think about as you talk to any garden-related businesses you may know.
If you are interested in pursuing this, just contact me and I'll send you our Media Kit PDF file customized with your information on the contract page so we know when the booking comes in from you. Some of you, who have the time and an affinity for sales, could really develop it into a fun work-from-home career. We literally have 100s of ad leads, just not enough time to pursue them!
(Note this commission does not apply to Classified Ads - only Display Ads in the magazine and our enewsletter.)

Friday, February 16, 2007

The Cutting Edge

Saw the dance adaptation of Edward Scissorhands at the Kennedy Center last night -- getting rave reviews and I concur -- it is well worth making the effort in the cold and ice to get over there for this weekend's final few performances (if not already sold out). The highlight of the show is the human topiaries. If the film did not make you want to run out and sculpt some boxwoods, surely this dance number will.

The Washington Gardener ENEWSletter, February 15 2007 issue, is out and now available online at: http://archives.zinester.com/85920/122151.html. We have added a new regular feature to our Enews -- a Reader Contest -- check this issue for details on a chance to win a pair of tix to the Capital Home & Garden Show - we have a pile of passes so odds of winning are very good :-).

As always, we had way too many local garden events to fit in this issue. In addition to those events featured in this issue, we have posted our extra event listings for the time period of Feb15-March15 to our Washington Gardener yahoo discussion group list.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Petal Pusher


Looking for a way to get a taste of spring during these gray, snow days?

Treat Yourself and a Loved One to 10-acres of flowers, plants, and gardens!

Washington Gardener Magazine is co-hosting a day trip to the Philadelphia Flower Show on Wed., March 7 which begins & ends in downtown Silver Spring, MD.

Full details and registration form are at: http://www.chevalsgardentours.com/

The published registration deadline is February 14.
After that date, you may still register, but please call Cheval at 703.698.0421 or email her at GardenTours@gmail.com to ensure there are still spaces available for you.

Monday, February 12, 2007

Doing Business in Your Bathrobe Day

That's today! Doing Business in Your Bathrobe Day started by Webmomz.com. This day "recognizes the hard work and dedication it takes to be an entrepreneur. It's a national holiday to call attention to the millions of home business owners who have waved good-bye to the corporate rat race and settled into a better quality of life. We felt it was high time to recognize the efforts and dreams of entrepreneurs." Webmomz cofounder, Kristie Tamsevicius, says, “It’s a national day to support entrepreneurs everywhere who are taking their work and paychecks into their own hands,”

I'm not a working mom, but I am entrepreneur and home business owner who took the leap just two short years ago. I love this idea. Not just because it is a day of solidarity, but also because it reflects how I spend a great deal of my work day.

My usual routine is to get up around 8am, feed the cat, make some tea, and hit the computer, about 10am I take a break to catch a bit of the Martha Stewart Show while getting dressed, brushing my teeth, and eating breakfast. Some days I work right on through Martha and up to lunch. At that point I've been in my robe and pjs for 5 hours of my work day, which is not unusual at all for me.

I force myself to take lunch about the sane time everyday be tying it to watching All My Children.(I was convinced that David is the Satin Slayer, but after Dixie's death, I'm not so sure.) Sometimes I don't get off the computer or phone until the last 10 minutes of the show, but at least I try to make 1-2pm my break period daily.Then its back to the computer until 7pm or so -- depending upon what deadlines are looming and what evening events I have planned. I'm usually in bed about Midnight.

Many days of course I have to go out to article interviews, photo shoots, meetings, and errands. And on weekends my hours are much earlier and go later depending upon what local garden events we are scheduled to attend. On those days I'm out of my bathrobe and into "real" clothes asap, though lately during this frigid February my wardrobe has started to slide into a lot of baggy sweaters and fleece so I don't feel too much of a shock at the change.

How about you? Wearing your bathrobe to work today?

Saturday, February 10, 2007

Where Credit Is Due

One of our past EdibleHarvest columns from Washington Gardener Magazine was reprinted with permission in the February 2007 issue of Groundwork, a publication of the Landscape Contractors Association MD-DC-VA. (I'd link you to the direct article reprint online, but you must be one of their association members to access it.) We got the reprint credit, however they left off Cindy Brown of Green Spring Gardens, the author and photographer. She will get acknowledged in a correction in their next issue.

Friday, February 09, 2007

Foolproof Flower Photos

Our latest Washington Examiner article is now out. It is Garden Photography Tips straight from our photo contest judge's mouth. Yes, reading it WILL give you an advantage in next year's competition. Read it online (Feb 9 edition - page 60) or grab the print version at the red street boxes around town today - the article is on R4 (Real Estate section - page 4). It is also in the Baltimore Examiner edition online (Jan Feb 9 edition - page 78) or print version on R14 (Real Estate page 14).
Two quibbles:
~ In the DC version, why is this printed in black ink and not on one of the color spreads? At least was hoping it'd be in color online, if not in print. Oh well, gives folks more incentive to see the photos in their full glory in the magazine and at the art show. The Baltimore edition has it not only in color, but also squeezes in an extra photo (that is Rob Rudick's winning entry at left.
~ And why is Evelyn Jacobs name at the bottom of the side-bar indicating she authored it? That is just bewildering as her name was nowhere in the text submitted except in the separate photo captions.

A New Schedule Addition:
Washington Gardener Magazine
and the Takoma Horticultural Club will have a table at The Takoma Park Green Building Conference - Tips to Go Green at Home - on Sunday, February 18th from 11 AM to 5 PM, at the Takoma Community Center. Most of the speakers at the event will address garden-related issues like cpmposting, rain barrels, etc. More details here. At our table we will have subscriptions, current and back issues, and other magazine goodies for sale. We will also have membership forms for the Takoma Horticultural Club and free garden seeds and Earth-friendly gardening tips.

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Don't Smell the Roses!

It was a full-house last night at the Flower Confidential book talk with author Amy Stewart and I think we are were all mesmerized by Amy's "flower porn" and fascinating stories of the behind-the-scenes in cut flower production. Her cautionary tale of watching long-stem roses being plunged in chemicals for export to our markets and her advisory on NOT taking a bath in store-bought rose petals, had me alarmed enough to add that to my brain files under "things never to do" along with not putting them on wedding cakes, strewing them across your bed sheets, and using them for potpourri mix. And how many of us haven't gone up to these same flowers, stuck our noses in and taken a big, giant inhale -- little did we know we were just sucking in those toxins!?! Truth in labeling, anyone? Learn more in her new book, Flower Confidential.

Everyone left the talk with a bunch of SCS-certified tulips courtesy of Sun Valley Floral Farms, who are profiled in Amy's book. I'm enjoying my bunch of pale pink beauties this morning and can't wait to see my own tulips blooming in my garden this spring. At the talk I let most everyone choose their own tulip color, you know that shades of pink went last. First choices were the oranges and dark purples, next in line were clear yellow, bright red, then finally the whites with the pinks left over at the end. Maybe it was just the mix of attendees there last night or the lighting of the room, but this would not have been my guess on which tulip colors were most popular! Given my preference, I'd probably gravitate to the pinks or whites myself.

We got a big promo help for the event by nice listings of our press release in the Northwest Current and Foggy Bottom Current. For those who live outside DC borders, The Current is the free weekly paper delivered throughout the city and gives all the local news.

If you attended last night, please leave comments about it this blog or at any of these:
http://takomagardener.typepad.com/tg/ (see "3-Way Blogger Meet-Up" post)
http://www.blog.amystewart.com/ (see "Snow in DC" post)
http://www.gardenrant.com/

If you missed Amy last night, she is at the US Botanic Garden this afternoon and at Olsson's Books in Crystal City tonight You can listen to Amy live today on the Diane Rehm radio show (WAMU 88.5FM American University) and she will also be in the CBS Sunday Morning Early Show on 2/11. Whew! And this is just the start of her two-month book tour!

PS We still have some spaces left on our Philadelphia Flower Show tour, so if you are jonesing for some more flower porn in this frigid weather, take a few minutes to download our registration form at http://www.chevalsgardentours.com/ and send it in today.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Voice Shouts "Washington Gardener!"

The Takoma Voice's February 2007 issue is now out and has our Seed Exchange wrap-up article on page 20 along with a few selected photos. You can view it online here or pick it up (free) at the many drop locations in Takoma Park, MD and the Takoma DC neighborhood. It is also on page 20 of their sister-paper, the Silver Spring Voice.
Also in this issue is an article on page 33 by Susan Harris on Amy Stewart's new book, Flower Confidential. As you may recall, Amy is in-town today and tomorrow promoting her book on a whirlwind tour. Tonight, we co-host a free book talk with her at the West End Library downtown. Breaking News: We have fresh eco-friendly tulips flown in today just for some lucky book talk attendees. I just got off the phone with Amy two minutes ago and despite snow, wind chill, and DC drivers, she is looking forward to seeing you all tonight.

Friday, February 02, 2007

Joy in Repetition

It is Groundhog Day! Not exactly something I usually celebrate or observe in any form, but this year I thought I'd use the example of the Bill Murray movie and give you all a little memory jog. Here are all our upcoming deadlines and events:

- February 7 - Flower Confidential Book Talk with Author Amy Stewart
- February 10 - Advertising and submission deadline for our March/April 07 issue of Washington Gardener Magazine
- February 12 - Advertising and submission deadline for our February 15 07 issue of Washington Gardener Enewsletter
- February 14 - Registration deadline for the Washington Gardener Philadelphia Flower Show Tour
- February 15 - Washington Gardener Enewsletter 2/15/07 issue is out
- March 1 - Washington Gardener Magazine March/April 07 issue is out
- March 7 - Washington Gardener Philadelphia Flower Show Tour
- March 8-11 - Washington Home & Garden Show - Booth #920
- March 18 - WUSATV9 Appearance
- March 23 - Washington Gardener Photo Contest Art Opening

In addition, look for Washington Gardener staff at these upcoming area garden events:
- February 19 Silver Spring Garden Club meeting "Green Roofs"
- February 21 Takoma Hort Club meeting "Starting Annuals and Vegetables From Seed"
- February 23 Green Matters Symposium, Wheaton, MD
- February 25 Friends of Brookside Gardens Silent Auction

I'm sure I'm forgetting several things, but this should keep your calendars busy for now.

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Deadline Extended - Procrastinators Sigh in Relief

Registration for the Washington Gardener 1st Annual Philadelphia Flower Show Tour on March 7 has been extended through February 14. We still have some spaces on our coach and if need by, will start a waiting list or add a second bus (uh, coach). Full details and registration form are posted at: http://www.chevalsgardentours.com/