Saturday, April 25, 2009
Wednesday, April 22, 2009
Sunday, April 19, 2009
At our Washington Gardener Magazine booth at the Leesburg Flower & Garden Fest, many folks have come by to comment on enjoying the radio piece and that they too have been bluebell peeing on this glorious spring weekend. If you get a Chance to come out to Leesburg today, please stop on by.
Thursday, April 16, 2009
The bad news is everything I'd been working on for the April 15 issue of the Washington Gardener Enewsletter and the May/June issue of the Washington Gardener Magazine is GONE. I'm trying to recover what files I can from old emails and such, but that is patchy at best.
If you have sent me files for book reviews, event releases, or other content for our publications in the past 6-8 weeks, please re-send them to me in the next few days.
So now I try to reconstruct several weeks of work and stick to our original deadline dates as best I can. I'm off to have ice cream for dinner and watch the NBC comedies for serious stress relief.
Wednesday, April 15, 2009
Here is a link to the spring garden piece.
Tuesday, April 14, 2009
~ On Sunday, the Virginia bluebells were blooming at McCrillis Gardens in Bethesda, MD. Not sure about when they peak. - Eric Raun, Silver Spring, MD
~ I was just out at Carderock and in some areas the bluebells are almost fully out. In others they are still in bud... I also go to places on the Virginia side such as Riverbend, Scott's Run, and Turkey Run. These will all be better Easter weekend especially since the orientation of the Virginia side of the Potomac is more northerly, so gets a bit less warming than the Maryland side. But many native wildflowers are out now and 'peeping' is great just about any time.
- Marney Bruce, Montgomery County Master Gardener
~ Lovely stands of bluebells occur at BlockHouse Point Park which is also along the Potomac, but further out River Road. If possible park at the second (small) parking area and take the BlockHouse Trail into the woods. - Cheryl Beagle, Conservatory Gardener, Brookside Gardens
~ I've seen them on the C&O canal (years ago) near the locks above Swains (like Pennyfield Lock). Not sure how many are still there, and it wasn't a huge field or anything, just patches alongside the towpath. If you can get a bike out there to ride the canal, you can cover more miles to discover more patches. - Cindy Walzcak, Takoma Hort Club member
Monday, April 13, 2009
Saturday, April 11, 2009
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Thursday, April 09, 2009
It seems everyone wants a Community Garden except for my very own neighborhood. Well, let's rephrase that as a large number of my neighbors in East Silver Spring, South Silver Spring, and North Takoma Park DO very much want a community garden plot as they are in condos, rent their homes, or have heavily shaded yards. However, the majority has been out-shouted by a very vocal and ferocious minority who want "their local park" to remain as is because it is so "heavily used."
Every day I go by this park, which I can see from my front yard, the basketball courts are routinely full of kids who walked over from DC, took the bus in from PG County, or are just in the neighborhood. This court is pretty shabby condition-wise, but it is well-used as it has a reputation far and wide of being the place for serious street ballers -- which is cool and would remain completely untouched by any nearby garden plots. The only other section of the park I ever see used is the playground and that is sporadically throughout the day as groups of young kids come and go. Again, well away from any proposed garden plot areas.
This afternoon I walked over on what it undoubtedly the most beautiful day of the year so far. It is also Spring Break for the kiddies making this prime outdoor play time. Again, they were crowded around the basketball court and playgrounds while the vast fields of green remain empty (see photos). I waited around for anyone to even run across the green. Nada. Go figure. My suspicion lingers that the actual use of these green expanses is as an illegal, off-leash dog park.
Of course, no one will admit that this is the real use of this open land and that is why certain folks are so fighting mad about a portion of the field being converted to a sectioned-off vegetable garden. Meetings have been held, alternative options have been proposed, and compromise is not in the vocabulary of the NIMBY group.
Tuesday, April 07, 2009
Monday, April 06, 2009
Saturday, April 04, 2009
Wednesday, April 01, 2009
by Melanie Choukas-Bratley
Review by Jim Dronenburg
As a general rule, guidebooks are not entertaining. This one was, but for all the wrong reasons.
Primarily, you expect a guide to be used in situ, and therefore it should be of a size which allows one to carry it. This seems a little large and heavy for long carrying, but that may just be me.
Reading the first part of the book, about the founding of the city, which explains much of why Washington is called “city of trees” in the first place, has nothing to do with what is here now. Although it must be admitted that the story about getting Martha Washington down out of the elm tree had me in stitches.
In the second part, which is stories about various individual trees at selected locations, we get a little more meat on the bones. Sites all over (and surrounding) DC proper are covered, and although no book can cover every square inch, this sometimes does a good job.
Lastly, and comprising at least two-thirds of the book, comes the guide to tree identification. This is arranged by characteristic, which makes sense when you don’t know the name of the tree. The illustrations are line drawings, which is all you need for a lot of the weedy, common sorts, and the average user of this guide probably won’t find or notice the rarities anyway, so there is no need to bother with more in the way of illustration for those.
Finally, there is an index section, which is useful primarily for those of us who DO know trees in the first place, as it allows us to go through and chuckle at the descriptions of whatever tree is in front of us at the moment. Tree habits, leaf types, and the like, are contrasted and explained.
Of course, there are some photographs, in their own section of the book, mostly of flowers. I still haven’t figured out the criteria for inclusion, the one that comes to mind is the flower of a tulip tree which tends to be forty-feet-plus above eye level, and never noticed to begin with until long gone and the resulting cones drop.
On the whole, I have to say that the author has gone to excruciating detail to make sure that your landscape services are well informed. What she should have included is a section on planting trees, so that one can see that the crews do it right.
Lastly, if you would like to add to/embellish my views of the book, you can post your comments online here or directly to me at email@example.com.