Saturday, October 31, 2009

last minute halloween costume for baby

some people should not have children. this guy thinks he has 3-fer: halloween costume, diaper, pumpkin seeds...uhmm...maybe someone should call the police?

Friday, October 30, 2009

make your dog into a bunch of grapes for halloween

DO NOT make your dog into a bunch of grapes-or anything else-for halloween, why would anyone do this to a beast who gives nothing but unconditional love? NOT COOL! (yes: shouting).

Thursday, October 29, 2009

bat plant

plan your scary halloween garden for next year by planting a Tacca chantrieri or bat plant today. they do sell seeds for this terrifying flower, but it takes two to three years to grow in green house conditions (read: hot and humid) to produce a plant.
think i will try a bulb: very scary!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

vintage vessels

i went thrifting last weekend and found these fantastic vintage planters from mccoy and redwing.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

crape myrtles provide fall color

clearly i am obsessed with fall colors...but what about these crape myrtles? exfoliating bark...late summer blooms...fall color...what else? oh yeah: seed pods for winter interest. becoming a little over-used but still awesome!

Monday, October 26, 2009

sweet sugar maple

another beautiful autumn weekend here in the mid-atlantic! we wont hit our peak colors until next weekend, but the sugar maples will have come and gone by then. sweet.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Shenandoah national park

why drive to all the way to skyline drive in shenandoah national park when you can see all the beautiful fall colors in your own back yard?
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Saturday, October 24, 2009

storms roll through

it got up to 80 degrees here today: crazy but great! the inevitable storms rolled through this evening though, cooling it down to 69!
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sweet potato vine

my sweet potato vine is showing all of it's best colors for autumn: love the purple and gold! this year, I am going to see how these gorgeous ornamentals taste: I love sweet potatoes!!
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Wednesday, October 21, 2009

crape myrtle flower pendant

alene bought this sterling silver crape myrtle pendant from my herban elements etsy shop for her birthday.
happy birthday to her!

beautiful beauty bush

How gorgeous is this beauty berry bush? purple and green is one of my favorite color combinations!
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Tuesday, October 20, 2009

how to harvest walnuts

there is such a disconnect between food and its source, and in a lot of ways, i am no exception to this. growing up in berkeley, we had a small vegetable garden plus a lemon tree, a lime tree, peach trees, apple trees, an orange tree across the street, a pomegranite tree in katherine's yard, cherry trees and one of the neighbor's even had a meyer's lemon bush that was kind of awesome. we had organic plantings throughout the hood and plum trees lined the streets. heading to santa cruz to run the boardwalk, we would pass miles and miles of strawberry patches, artichoke plots, and avocado trees. during a trip to visit the tide pools in halfmoon bay, we would also pick pumpkins. if i travelled up to the sierra-nevada foothills to visit grandma, we passed through apricot and peach orchards, olive fields, hops fields for the beer companies and mile after mile of nuts: we always stopped at the nut house to pick up some freshly picked walnuts. now that i live in the mid-atlantic, i grow a few things, do buy from my favorite farmer, but tend to spend most of my time harvesting at whole foods. as i ran with the dog yesterday in rock creek park, a large black walnut fell from a tree, narrowly missing my head and causing me to have a nutty ephifany: hey, that was food that almost just knocked me out! looking around, black walnuts are every where right now, especially on the ground. why let them collect in bunches and clog storm drains when they are one of my favorite foods? so, i collected a bunch and went to the internet to figure out how i could harvest black walnuts. google-ing "how to harvest walnuts" resulted in a lot of info, but after watching a few videos and reading a bunch of articles, i think this is the one i like the best: basically, you collect the nuts, run over them with a car; collect the shelled nutmeats, and let them dry in the sun (hello, squirrels!) for a week; crack em and either eat or store in an air tight container: simple! one side note: dont compost the outer green/black hulls because they are toxic to most other plants.

Monday, October 19, 2009

conversation starter

this is a new bench for public spaces that the designer says will promote chit-chat among bench-mates because its tippy. the tree in the center has no say.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

too scary for halloween not festive, just frightening.
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Saturday, October 17, 2009

grain silos

everytime i drive by the grain silos in the northern neck, i dream of converting a few of them into a variety of living spaces. one would be a guest house; the second could be my studio; number three would be a very organized shed. wait: i need one more for a potting shed! the ones above are great inspiration. Abbey Road Farm Bed & Breakfast, shown in the photo on top, has three grain silos incorporated into one large structure. the silo converted to 1-bedroom loft apartment is a unit available for rent at the gruene homestead inn in texas. love these! via weburbanist.

Friday, October 16, 2009

no' easter blows tide up

i feel like I have been in a cloud for the last two days: literally! it's not really raining, just misting heavily. low pressure off the coast pushed up a super high tide.
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Capital Harvest Farmer's Market on the Plaza

washington dc is suddenly thick with farmer's markets: i blame it on the obama administration. another one rears its delicious head today 1-5 on woodrow wilson plaza @ 13th and pennsylvania avenue, nw . capital harvest on the plaza will host 18 local farmers who will be selling their stuff and cooking demos from the chefs at equinox and ps7. sounds yummy.

vertical planting: not!

i saw this vertical planter on the comtemporist: i really dont like it...maybe if it wasnt shown in such hideous colors.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

how to make an acorn bird feeder

one of my favorite blogs is design sponge because it has so many cool things and great diy projects, including this one for an adorable autumnal acorn bird feeder. it is really simple and fairly genius: im making a couple this weekend in hopes of attracting a bunch of different migrating song birds. so great!

farm fresh market near the white house

grab some fresh stuff on the way home tonight at the farm fresh farmers market near the white house.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

porcelain vine takes washington dc

porcelain vine is a horrible invasive plant in the eastern united states that smothers native plants and is sold in nurseries for its decorative qualities. sure, the berries start as an awesome turquoise and eventually turn to a more awesome purple, but this plant pulls down trees, people! in the dc area, it was actually recommended as a decorative verticle plantscape to cover sound barrier walls around the beltway: stupid paid advisor! birds love the beautiful berries and spread them throughout the area: now they threaten to take over rock creek park. only the weed warriors care.

own a share of your farmer's market

if you missed yesterday's liberty farmer's market and cant make it to the fresh farm market near the white house tomorrow, head to clagett farm to pick up your share of the bounty. Clagett Farm is a working farm, owned and operated by the Chesapeake Bay Foundation (CBF) in Upper Marlboro, Maryland. they grow vegetables for their Community Supported Agriculture program, raise grass fed cattle and have a native tree nursery on more than 285 acres. you can purchase a `share’ to become a member of the farm, and each week, from mid-May to mid-November, they divide their harvest by the number of shares. members can visit the farm at any time to check it out or to harvest as much as they want from the items on the you-pick list. The you-pick list might include flowers, herbs, and any vegetables in abundance, such as tomatoes or collard greens. maybe, pumpkins? i think i am going to do this if only for the vegetable-growing-knowledge i hope to gain...not to mention the deliciousness!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

zero firplace

i love this fireplace that also stores firewood.

Monday, October 12, 2009

what is this shrub?

i love this plant, i just dont know what it is! it's not that i am lazy: i dont have any of my books over here in virginia...i do have the internet though...ok, maybe it is because i am lazy...this is a lovely shrub that blooms daisies in october! i have to water this woody guy (like a hydrangea) a lot during summer, so it cant be a native to this semi-arid area.
really pretty.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Virginia creeper

how gorgeous is this Virginia creeper?
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Saturday, October 10, 2009

okra is awesome

as i approached my neighbor's garden plot, i saw what i thought were a row of hibiscus or rose of sharon blooms. wrong: they are okra flowers! who knew it was in the same family?

Friday, October 9, 2009

return of the stink bug

they are back, just in time for halloween: the brown marmorated stink bug (Halyomorpha halys) or bmsb has returned, and that's not good! i originally posted about this invasive species back in may, and had hoped to forget about them. now, as the leaves begin to change colors and fall, this little beast is looking for a place to hang, your house! this stink bug is completely different from any native ones you may have around because it eats all and everyone of your favorite plants, shrubs and trees. this bug has colonized parts of pennsylvania and is quite obviously here to stay in maryland: i may have inadvertently transported him to virginia in my suitcase last year. learn to identify this ferocious beast and kill it (i really hate to say that: killing is soo final). join the marmorated stink bug facebook group: its that popular (or infamous!).

Thursday, October 8, 2009

crab apple trees

when I was a kid in Berkeley, we had a crab apple tree in the front yard: my parents designed and built a deck around it, and it promptly died the next spring. in the interim, I tried making pies with the bitter fruit. the baked good looked pretty and tasted nasty! still, it started me thinking about cooking, and especially pies! I haven't tried reinventing my original crab apple pie recipe lately, but as fall descends upon us, I do notice how enticing the little fruits are: so cute! the birds seem to really go for them.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

draconids meteor shower

well tonight is date night for the mister and me: the first official one! one of the things we are doing is going to the national mall to lay flat on our backs to watch the draconids meteor shower which peaks tonight and tomorrow night. strong winds gusting up to 45mph have cleared our skies: they should diminish once the sun goes down, and its not so cold here. cant wait!

rose hips

lovely, lovely rise hips!

finally, i feel like i have entered 2007, able to post from my iphone, now that at&t has enabled sms and mms! just seeing how it works: seems to be great (so far!).

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

liberty market

penn quarter in dc is one of my favorite neighborhoods. i have been clubbing there since the 80's (?)...the national portrait gallery and museum of american art are there, as are hundreds of great restaurants and bars...i love basketball and the verizon center is on the corner. i do a great art show, the downtown holiday market there in december. the cowgirl creamery cheese shop rocks! the one thing they don't have there is a raw food source: a grocery store. welcome, liberty market! liberty market is a new farmer's market open tuesdays from 2:30-6:30 at the corner of 7th & k streets on the grounds of the historic society of washington, dc at mt. vernon square. help promote community sustainability by supporting your local farmers, musicians and artists!

Monday, October 5, 2009

vegetable gardening disaster

oh, man...the veggie garden in the field is so depressing! the mister says this is the last time we try: he mowed it under today, and next weekend he will till it, and then cover with black plastic...maybe that will help. so much work for so little return! yet, i take it as a challenge: me versus mother nature.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

climbing/cascading garden

bilbao, spain is a town known for it's artistic flavor and that includes gardens! new york based landscape architects balmori associates recently installed this climbing/cascading garden in a downtown office complex. i like the varied plantings of thick grasses with blooms giving the garden a sense of movement.

Friday, October 2, 2009

fall harvest from my 'square foot' garden

whereas my large vegetable garden which i worked so hard on was a complete failure (again), my august-planted square foot garden seems to be something of a success! i have been harvesting arugula for small salads and sandwiches for a couple of weeks, but today i plucked out radishes, a little sunburst squash and some pear tomatoes (volunteers: the ones i planted are red and covered in worm holes). also, the swiss chard looks great, and i have onion sprouts! this is very encouraging: i think i will be thinking small again next year.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

sustainable stretch bag replaces plastic grocery bags

Artecnica, the cutting-edge group behind Design w/Conscience, has teamed with ad agency TBWA to produce a paper bag made from recycled billboards. There’s no glue or stitches—just a clever die cut that creates a 3-D design inspired by nature and strong enough to hold 33 pounds. One side is white, other colors vary, and no two are exactly alike.The Stretch Bag sells for $17 and arrives in early October, but you can pre-order now @ great thinking! it would be wonderful to offer these as an alternative to nasty plastic grocery bags.