Monday, December 31, 2007
The Third Annual Washington Gardener Seed Exchange, hosted by Washington Gardener Magazine, takes place on January 26, 2008 at the Brookside Gardens visitor center in Wheaton, MD. Seed Exchange attendees trade seeds, exchange planting tips, hear expert speakers, and collect goody bags full of gardening treats.
New to this year’s event is the garden book and catalog swap. Participants are encouraged to bring their gently used garden books and mailorder garden catalogs to trade with each other. Any leftover publications at the end of the swap will be donated to the National Agriculture Library in Beltsville, MD.
The first annual Washington Seed Exchange was held on January 26, 2006. After that event’s success, seed swaps in other cities across the nation have joined in celebrating National Seed Swap Day each year on the last Saturday in January.
Subscribers to Washington Gardener Magazine receive a $5 discount off the admission to the Washington Seed Exchange. The event is limited to 125 attendees and is expected to sell out. Registrations are encouraged to send in their registrations by January 20. A brochure with registration form can be printed out from the PDF posted here.
Please help spread the word on this fun, green event!
Sunday, December 30, 2007
Thursday, December 27, 2007
Wednesday, December 26, 2007
Monday, December 24, 2007
I'll probably post here a few more times before the year is out, but I know many of you are already gone (maybe just mentally?) and won't be catching up with your blog reading until 2008.
Thursday, December 20, 2007
I'm scrambling to get the Jan/Feb issue of Washington Gardener Magazine finished and to the printer before this weekend. I feel like the whole world has taken off work these past few weeks and it is making it tough to get those last few photos, stories, ads, etc. pried out of them so I can complete the layout. Clue to PR folks everywhere: if you want to pitch a story to your local media, holiday and vacation time is a great window and be available for last-minute, odd-hour calls -- our usual sources are all MIA and real news is pretty scarce.
Meanwhile, I'm at the DC Holiday Market in booth #3 (Antique Prints) today and tomorrow. I have shifted my hours to 11am-1pm as the few folks who did walk through the market before 11am were not interested in doing anything but looking and chatting.
I have a gross story to share about city wildlife. ** Stop reading here if you have a delicate constitution.** Yesterday, as I was opening the booth for the day and putting everything to rights, I looked down and saw the toolbox had been pushed forward and was peaking out from under the back table. Thinking it was a bit odd, but not terribly unusual, I lifted up the table skirt to push it back in. What greeted me was the detritus of a rocking rodent holiday party. Scattered, half-chewed chocolate-covered pretzels, rat urine, and miniature poops -- all neatly arranged on a plastic case lid that had fallen just behind the toolbox. No one who worked in or near the booth will admit having left those pretzels out, so I can only guess that some rats found them in a nearby garbage can and brought them over for sharing at their party. I don't know if I'm more miffed about the leftover mess or about not receiving an invitation! Where is the Inside Edition rat patrol when you need them to enforce these etiquette rules?
Tuesday, December 18, 2007
Enter the Second Annual Washington Gardener Photo Contest and have a chance of getting your winning images published! Whether your take the photos in your own backyard, a nearby public garden, or while visiting friends and family in their local gardens, there are so many photographic opportunities to be found. Let’s show off the best in DC-area gardening!
This year we have added a new entry category for a total of three classifications:
• Garden Views: Beautiful, dramatic, or unusual perspectives of a garden landscape, including wide shots showing the setting. Subject can be a private or public garden.
• Small Wonders: Tight close-up images or macro shots of a single flowers, plant parts, fruits, vegetables, etc. Subject can be photographed in a private or public garden.
• Garden Creatures: Images of insects, birds, frogs, domestic pets, etc. in a private or public garden setting.
This contest offers an opportunity for all levels of photographers to present their best shots of gardens in the greater Washington, DC area. Contest entries will be judged on technical quality, composition, originality, and artistic merit. More than $500 in prizes will be awarded!
For the full details and entry form, see this page on our web site or see the full details in the Jan/Feb '08 issue of Washington Gardener Magazine.
Monday, December 17, 2007
Sunday, December 16, 2007
The Washington Gardener Enews 12/15/07 edition was sent yesterday and is now archived. This monthly online newsletter is a complement to Washington Gardener Magazine and is fully supported by subscriptions to the print publication. If you are not already a subscriber, please consider signing up for a magazine subscription today.
Saturday, December 15, 2007
*According to the Wooden Shoe Tulip Farm: "All parts of tulips are edible and the bulb can be substituted for onions (although they are a little more expensive and less flavorful). The petals have little taste but can be used to garnish a dish, chop a few petals and throw them in a salad, sugar them to decorate a cake or use the entire flower for a fruit bowl, pinching out the pistil and stamen in the middle."
Friday, December 14, 2007
We meet a lot of residents when we stop in front of their houses with flashlights,shopping carts, bags and fruit pickers. They are usually happy to see us and offer to let us pick more fruit inside their properties. Its rare, at least in LA, to find people who actually use much or even any of the fruit growing on their properties. The mission of FallenFruit is to change that.
Note that "usually happy" point. Can we hear about those that are not so happy? Now this may be an East Coast vs West Coast thing, but I'm thinking that around here that practice may get you a beat down or arrested. If you have a fruit tree in your yard and some branches overhang into a public right-of-way, how do you feel about this? It'd be one thing if they scouted out trees, contacted the owners, and got permission in advance to glean from them. It is an entirely other thing to be coming up to homes at night, declaring the fruit "public," and essentially stealing it. I fully appreciate the attempt to eliminate so much waste, but is this the best way to go about it?
Thursday, December 13, 2007
Here is the online link to this week's The List: Top Home & Garden Events on page 28 of today's print edition in the Washington Examiner.
Wednesday, December 12, 2007
Monday, December 10, 2007
Pictured here is the "before" photo I took of the park site a year ago. This is after the billboard and condemned house were removed -- at which point it became a mud pit and illegal parking lot. The "after" picture here is from today's planting. It gives you just a taste of the future great green space it can soon become.
Thursday, December 06, 2007
My brother, Ulli, has a booth for his "Jentz Prints" antique print sales from Friday, December 7 - Sunday, December 23 at the Downtown Holiday Market. I'll be helping out there on 12/10, 12/14, and 12/17-21 from 10:30am to 12:00noon (or so). I'll have the November/December 07 issue of Washington Gardener Magazine with me and can also take subscription and gift orders. The holiday market is on the F Street sidewalk between 7th and 8th Streets, NW in front of the National Portrait Gallery. A festive atmosphere and live musical entertainment will accompany more than 50 local exhibitors and artisans selling a diverse array of goods and high-quality gift items, such as photography, jewelry, knits, paintings, cultural crafts, seasonal beverages, prepared foods, and more.
I'll be doing a lot of my Christmas shopping at both of these events as my own holiday preparation are woefully behind schedule. I usually have my cards sent, lights hung, and tree up by now. At this point, I'll be happy if I just get the cards out before Santa's arrival. Maybe this year I'll just enjoy everyone else's light and tree displays. And don't even bring up cookie baking! I try out one new recipe each holiday season. That might still happen as I've stocked up on baking supplies (except eggs!), but may be one of those delirious, late-night in the kitchen sessions. The late-night-baking cookie results are often delicious though not necessarily photogenic or gift-worthy.
Wednesday, December 05, 2007
I'm posting a couple pics I took in my side yard today of this first snow of the season. The local weather folks are always alarmist, so I ignored their snow forecasts -- thinking if we do get any, it'd be a dusting at most. Well, I can admit when I was wrong and the predictions were dead on it. It looks pretty out there right now - an unusual, white Hanukkah. Wonder what Christmas day and New Year's will bring?
Monday, December 03, 2007
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.
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