Friday, November 30, 2007
If you need more Gardener Gift Ideas, tune in to WUSATV9 tomorrow, Sunday 12/2 from 8-9am. I'll be on showing some fun gift ideas for the gardener in your life or yourself. Hey, I know I'm not the only one who shops by the "one for you, one for me" method ;-). The segment will most likely air during the last 15 minutes of the live broadcast.
Thursday, November 29, 2007
Also in today's edition of the Examiner is a Yeas & Nays piece on Kitty Kelley getting caught maliciously ripping plants up in her Georgetown neighbor's yard. It was all caught on the neighbor's security cameras. I had to read it through twice to let that one sink in. Looks like they'll need to update the infamous muckraker's unauthorized bio. (Cover picture above.) Poisonous indeed!
Tuesday, November 27, 2007
The TwoDaLoo is billed as the world's first toilet two people can use ... at the exact same time. WiseRep.com is selling the unthinkable to help save the planet and bring couples closer together.
Truly what does this PR person who sent this to me have in mind?! Do they seriously think this is this really something a regional gardening magazine would be interested in? What really singes my tail feathers is that because I have to spend time wading through all the spam and just plain old crap like this, I have very little time to follow up and the cool garden gadgets and new plants I'd love to trial. I don't dare set any spam filtering on. Tried it. It blocked all the good and still let in a ton of the bad.
Every media person and every publication out there is experiencing the same thing. My plea is, if you have a legit press release to target it very selectively and it might just surface out of the slime ooze and make it into a story. If you are not legit or are determined to spam the known universe, I hope your reap that bad Karma you are sowing sooner rather than later.
(I got this Karma meter image from a Google search - apparently though that web site is no longer around and I cannot link to it. Ironic.)
Sunday, November 25, 2007
The newly acquired orchid was blooming beautifully and lasted exactly 48 hours in my house before Chantilly accidentally* swung her tail too vigorously while sitting on the back of the sofa. She knocked the orchid off the neighboring table to the floor. The flowering stem snapped in 3 pieces. Nothing was salvageable of the blooms, but the plant itself is okay. Fat lot of good that does me as the dirty little secrets of this orchid lover include: A. I think orchid plants without blooms are not especially attractive (i.e. downright ugly); and, B. I have never gotten one to successfully re-bloom.
Should I let it live for months as it mocks my every attempt to baby it into re-bloom or just chuck it now and admit defeat? Stubborn as I am, I'm going to give it a try with a healthy touch of realistic pessimism at my eventual prospects of success.
*I say accidentally, but I know that feline brain was secretly jealous of how much attention was about to be lavished over those gorgeous blossoms in the coming month.
Friday, November 23, 2007
I'm a little miffed to not be mentioned at all (for good or bad) in Adrian Higgins' Washington Post Home article on his garden magazine reading choices. When I went online at their page to make a comment on the article, I see a few loyal readers have already jumped on there to endorse Washington Gardener Magazine. What a nice thing to see.
Way too cold with frigid winds to spend much time outside in the garden today. I did a little wind storm pick up and trash collecting. I curse whoever invented those cheap plastic bags that seem to gravitate like magnets to the deep reaches inside my groundcover rose bushes. I'm not a Smashing Pumpkins fan, but that is just want I did this morning with a few of my larger pumpkins as a treat for the squirrels . They had already been chewing on the thick outer shells of many of the small pumpkins I have lined up by my back drive, so I thought I'd make it a little easier for them and the birds to get at the good stuff inside.
Darn! Somebody beat me to the idea of a "What Happens in the Garden, Stays in the Garden" T-shirt and the pricing is much better than I could offer through our magazine's T-shirt cafepress.com/washgardener page. I even like their design better than what I'd had in mind. Oh well, back to potting up bulbs for indoor forcing and dreaming up my next get rich quick scheme.
How are you spending your Black Friday/Buy Nothing Day?
Thursday, November 22, 2007
Wednesday, November 21, 2007
I posted about the practice of post-dusk gardening back in July here and observed how an innocent gardener can easily be mistaken for a nefarious grave digger. I know if one of my neighbors was out there hacking away at the earth past their bedtime, I'd have to seriously consider a call to the cops. It is just as well the darkness forces me indoors, when else would I have time to write these blog posts or browse through my seed catalogs?
Pictured here is one of the new displays at Brookside's Garden of Lights. Strolling through holiday light displays is one nighttime activity in the garden that we can all enjoy without raising undue suspicions.
Tuesday, November 20, 2007
Last night's meeting we were treated to a talk about the British embassy gardens and the recent visit by QE2. We were joking post-election about just how I should be addressed. Madame President? -- too stuffy. El Jefe? -- too stern. I'm thinking more along the lines of Your Grace or Your Excellency -- something that calls out a particular admirable trait in one. Maybe, Your Greenness?
More gorgeous local fall foliage from north up New Hampshire Avenue pictured here.
Monday, November 19, 2007
To get a weekly fall foliage update for Virginia go to www.FallinVirginia.org or call the Fall Foliage Hotline 800-424-LOVE. No such site for DC or MD that I've found.
Pictured here is a small oak tree (I think) from along the C&O Canal up by the MD-WV border.
Sunday, November 18, 2007
I spent this morning visiting a local garden in the Japanese-style with the Four Seasons Garden Club, then planting bulbs in a nearby park, then refurbishing my 4x8 ft edibles bed. I was actually not planning on doing that bed over today -- it was towards to bottom of a long list of tasks I have and certainly many other things are more pressing like taking out my screen doors and putting in the glass ones. However, I found some perfectly usable lumber sticking out of a dumpster across the street and inspiration struck. Several trips back and forth following by several bucketfuls of animal manure compost and the bed is a blank, rich chocalate brown palette just waiting for seed next spring. I have no idea just what I'll plant, as I tend to pick edibles not for necessity, but instead for which is most fun to grow. I'm thinking the Moon and Stars heirloom watermelon and those Baby Boo small white pumpkins. We shall see what muse strikes me at the next growing season.
Friday, November 16, 2007
In This Enews Issue:
Plants for the Holiday Season
Magazine Excerpt: Versatile Viburnums
November To-Do List
Spotlight Special: Hydrangea Forever & Ever® Together
Reader Contest: Brookside's Garden of Lights
Local Gardening Events
Read it online anytime here.
Thursday, November 15, 2007
Wednesday, November 14, 2007
The first photo is of a colchicum which just popped up after the steady rains we had for the past few days. I had given up all hope that the batch of fall-blooming bulbs I'd ordered were ever coming up -- this one bloomed and is being followed by about 5 others. Late, but certainly welcome.
The second photo is of another Mum Society seedling purchase (see earlier Go Team entry). Again, can't recall this one's name. I'm going to call it "Mum Sandwich," since all the blooms are in tight bunches of 3-4 flowerheads like this one.
Aside from these two, I have the following on parade at the moment:
- Aster monch
- Beautyberry/Callicarpa - not blooms, just brilliant purple berries
- Black-eyed Susan
- Grasses (various)
- Hydrangea (red)
- Mums, various including Sheffield Pink
- Rhododendron PJM
- Roses (Alba Meidiland)
Tuesday, November 13, 2007
(Photo courtesy of bulb.com.)
Saturday, November 10, 2007
Today I went out to Star Gazing Farm in Boyds, MD, to pick up several buckets full of composted animal manure. They are testing the process plus results and hope to have it for sale next year. Since I was getting dirty in the muck, I did not bring my camera. What a big mistake! The animals were in rare form today. One goat in particular needs a little home-training. I took his pic from of their web site where I also see his bio shows his name is Newman. Yeah, he looks all cut and innocent, doesn't he? He fooled me too -- at first. But then he started trying to over turn the buckets of manure compost, get between me and the shovel, open the car doors, get inside the car trunk, pull out the tarps, etc. All in a matter of about 30 seconds. His picture here also doesn't convey his size -- he comes to about my shoulders and his head is same size as mine, which means his horns are petty formidable. As goats go, he was fairly harmless, but he sure would be a pain to have around on a regular basis.
When I spoke on that WAMU segment this week about "Gardening with Kids,"this is definitely NOT what I had in mind.
Update: After writing this blog entry, I read Newman's full bio story here. It appears he is quite the infamous scamp and clearly my experience with him was not unique.
Friday, November 09, 2007
This morning I saw a piece on one of the early shows on the Millennial generation, who is now hitting the college and job market. They described these kids as being in for a shock when they start real jobs and have to do actually do work since none of them spent summers doing yard work, working in food service, baby-sitting, etc. -- as none of those activities would get you into a good school. Are we really raising generations of kids that think this way?
One thing I can say about Boomers is, as a group, they certainly are not afraid to get their nails dirty and jump in there to do the hard, manual labor.
Thursday, November 08, 2007
Tuesday, November 06, 2007
Today I was going through my October '07 WETA guide on my way to the recycle bin and saw that the "Hometown Hero" last month was Butterfly Bob. Since I missed it on the air, I watched it online here. Robert Speaker is truly a hero for giving his time to the butterfly project at the Washington Youth Garden. It takes a special and patient person to work with kids, plants, and butterflies on a regular basis.
Someone left a nasty, anonymous note under my back door yesterday morning. I won't go into the details of it except to say this cowardly bully has a problem with the way I maintain my yard and what I plant in it. Clearly he/she is not mature enough to actually address me in a direct manner nor sign their name to their opinion.
Pictured with this entry is my front entrance - I'll be switching out the seasonal items soon. Have to say I'm enjoying the orange motif for now.
Monday, November 05, 2007
Saturday, November 03, 2007
On the one-hand, I really enjoyed it. Some good laughs and overall I'm clearly FOR bees and all pollinators. On the other-hand, this movie gets so many things factually wrong it is almost bizarre. In some aspects they are scrupulous in detail, in others they treat pollination like it is fairy tale magic. One spore of pollen just touches a dead plant and it springs back to life in full bloom no less -- don't all we gardeners wish it were so! I won't even go into the depictions of cherry trees and roses blooming in tandem and Central Park as a ridiculously opulent ocean of flowers.
Now far be it from me to want to spoil a good story with the facts, but I think this movie sends out some weird mixed social messages and the morality of the "good" characters is wobbly to say the least. Some bugs are okay to kill and it is even funny to do so. Sometimes you can break the rules just as long as it benefits you personally. Ignore all the Hollywood movies that tell you to be an individual, being part of the group is better -- except when it isn't. You come out of it wondering if any of the plot lines were actually thought through or they just threw together a bunch of funny-sounding scenes. I expect better from the talents involved, that's why this movie rates a B- in my book.
Thursday, November 01, 2007
Why isn't Halloween a national holiday? People have to leave work early anyway to rush home to make it before dark plus get the kids dressed, fed, and out the door. And does ANY school work really get done that day?
Last night I assisted in my niece's trick-or-treating out in the suburbs. They are pictured here -- two cats that think they are just purr-fect. We were followed around by a real orange-and-white adolescent cat. I suppose he had a sweet tooth as well or just figured some kind of treats might come his way.
BTW, here is the online link to this week's The List: Top Home & Garden Events on page 25 of today's print edition in the Washington Examiner.