Tuesday, December 28, 2010

the river is frozen

the potomac river is frozen...very frozen, from one side to the other. this shot was taken from the george washington parkway in mclean, virginia looking toward dc, a little above fletcher's boat house...looking forward to the melting happening this new year's weekend.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Friday, December 24, 2010

how to make a vivarium

while contemplating whether to do a terrarium or a vivarium, i stumbled across tortoise loves donkey, supplier of tiny bromeliads and succulents. precious!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

how to make a terrarium

as winter settles in, so do you. keep your inner gardener happily gardening indoors all season with a diy terrarium...i might do one with the tiny-est of bulbs.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

lunar eclipse

so i stayed up for the eclipse last night and it was awesome! i was still writing stuff at 1:40am when i realized it was on! the rare cosmic coincidence of the winter solstice and a total lunar eclipse hasn't happened for three centuries, so i ran outside and saw a quarter of the moon consumed by the earth's shadow...i checked it out an hour or so later and saw three quarter of the moon hidden: it really was awesome and i am sorry if you missed it! catch it again in 2094.

winter solstice

at 11:38 tonight, everything aligns, creates the longest night of the year and reverses the shortening of days: yeah! spring will be here before we know it!

Monday, December 20, 2010

ham & eggs

it has been a long winter so far, and winter doesnt officially begin until tomorrow! i found a surprise while out on a walk with the dog: a huge shrub verbena a.k.a. lantana with blooms still in full delicious color! often called 'ham & eggs' in the south where it is considered an invasive species, this lantana was in virginia near the chesapeake bay on the back side of a building creating a 8+ zone sub-climate for clearly a long time...very delicious!

Saturday, December 18, 2010

downtown holiday shopping

i am a little behind on everything right now due to the confluence of holiday shopping, holiday entertaining and work: i have been selling my wares at the downtown holiday market! if you need a lovely gift for a gardener, birder or fashionista, please come visit me at this wonderful annual event in front of the national portrait gallery/museum of american art and buy something or eat something or listen to the wonderful musicians...its a great event and you will leave feeling the spirit of the holidays once again! i am in booth 38.

Friday, December 17, 2010

first snow storm

it is not yet winter, but temperatures here in dc have been 10-15 degrees below normal for weeks now and yesterday we got our first snow fall of the season: it's beginning to look a lot like christmas!

Tuesday, November 30, 2010


what could make chilly winter nights more bearable? a firebowl, that's what!
sticks and stones have produced this cast concrete firebowl to light your fire any time of the year
(they're canadians).
i'm putting this on my x-mas wishlist!

Sunday, November 28, 2010

new wave

earlier this month the dover esplanade art walk opened to the public. designed by tonkin liu, the water inspired installation and park is based on a wave theme:
resting wave
lifting wave
lighting wave

Friday, November 26, 2010

for insect lovers only

looking for an unusual gift for the entomologist or exterminator in your life? click over to etsy shop wilson graphics for a great selection of insects and bug wall stickers...there are also flowers, plants and a great selection of other cool things. you can bet your last dollar: no one else will think of gift!

Saturday, November 20, 2010

migratory activities

i spent the better part of today outside...not gardening...blogging. i sat down low in the yard, almost level with the river and i heard a lot. small flocks of chickadees and titmice bathed in their newly refilled birdbath...various woodpecker-types worked it out above...i saw one arcadian flycatcher and heard a couple of bald eagles, but the highlight of the day is the streaming of the tundra swans...i dont think they are migrating from here: i think they migrated to here and are feasting on the fresh cut fields of corn and soybean

Thursday, November 18, 2010

happy pomegranate month!

i pay homage to the pomegranate as much as i can this time of year: they are just becoming readily available in an edible form here in the mid-atlantic: previous years saw small, shriveled and tasteless fruits. but now that people know they are really good for them, pomegranites are all ya hear about. i have been eating them as long as i can remember: katherine louie had a pomegranate tree in her side yard and we picked it clean every year...those were the delicious years...

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

crazy colors of fall

we had 69 days of over 90° days this past summer and rain in bunches when it did fall...but somehow the autumn color has been more spectacular this autumn! my dwarf fothergill continues to impress as it morphs on...

Friday, November 12, 2010

saturday gardening events

you should be raking leaves, but...
•tour don juan's garden in long beach, 1-4
learn to propogate stuff at dawes arboretum, 10-noon
•get your facts straight at the horticulture history tour at masshort.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

dwarf fothergill

my dwarf fothergill never fails to show off in fall...although, i have never seen this color in it's arsenal of awesomeness!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

leonid's meteor shower

the sun sets in 12 minutes, which is ridiculous. but after the sun goes down, the leonid's meteor shower will begin. it is super clear out, at least here in the mid-atlantic, so i am excited! you have til the 17th so dont miss it this year.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

garden studio

i would love to work in this contemporary garden studio by in.it studios...all the photos make it seem so serene, while in my studio, all hell breaks loose!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

freeze warning

i think at my house it was a frost warning and upcounty it was a freeze warning...whatever: i ignored/forgot about it and almost lost a healthy crop of basil! after the blackest leaves were removed, i combined them with a lot of garlic, some walnuts and olive oil for the most delicious pesto: primo!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

floating garden

this floating garden inspired by traditional japanese art themes will no longer be just a fantasy once vertilignes manufactures it. 

Friday, October 29, 2010

weekend gardening events

news flash: this weekends' gardening events involve you raking leaves...lots and lots of leaves. so forget the house and garden tours...rallies to restore hope and/or insanity...and any homecoming activities that you might know about: grab your rake and get yourself outside to get it done...you will burn lots of calories! this year i am without my beloved oak, so my chores are so much less than in the last thirty years (thankfully!), so i will be attending the rally: hope to see you there!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

the sphinx

moths can be pests (gypsy moth) or beneficial (major pollinators)...i am  not sure what category this waved sphinx moth falls into, but he landed on my television today so i took a photo! quite impressive markings, i would say!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

fall foliage

more fall color from another maple...we are still not in full effect foliage-wise, but the strong storms that blew through earlier today made it seem like fall. now leaves are swirling through the air...mounding on the ground...and beginning to change from green to awesome. one weird note: it's 76°!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

dwarf fothergilla

other than the sugar maples, we are not seeing a lot of color around here yet...which is fine by me: hold off winter til the last second, please! while weeding today, i found this blazing leaf in the middle-at the bottom-of my completely still green dwarf fothergilla. a peak at things to come.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

herb preservation

it's the end of the season and i need to figure out what to do with all my basil...my first go-to is the herb saver, available everywhere... 

Friday, October 22, 2010

sugar, sugar maple

hands down: my favorite shade tree for autumn color is the sugar maple...at the first hint of fall, the sugar maple's leaves go from chartreuse green to golden yellow... depending on weather, rainfall, blah, blah, blah...the large leaves may gyrate through various gradations of red, hot pink and orange: 
it can be stunning, especially when the autumnal sun illuminates them like so many stained glass windows in an outdoor cathedral... the thing about the sugar maple is, you have to be fast to catch the color wheel transformations: the tree can do its thing in like, 48 hours and then drop everything to the ground. i feel fortunate i was able to see this old specimen while walking the dog, because its gone now!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

tons of purple coneflowers

i was fortunate to have not one but two of my coneflower pieces feature in this lovely echinacea treasury on etsy by lahara.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

lessons learned from the field

as i watched the final (sunny) sunset of this week while listening to the chatter of the kingfisher, i contemplated this past season's garden and the lessons i have learned...

1. smaller is better for me...at least when it comes to gardening...i dont have time (apparently) to deal with my city garden and a fairly large (for me) vegetable patch in a community gardensquare foot gardens are the answer.
2. containers also appear to be my forte´ when it comes to edibles and i got a fair amount of food out of my pots...some died in the drought, though.

3. self watering containers are good.
4. self watering containers are good, but other contraptions didnt work that well for me. my fancy upside down tomato planters were weak...

i dumped my spring potato bag after there was nothing in it at the end ( i have since replanted for a possible fall crop)
...my weed blockers didn't work.

5. figure out the edibles you really need and grow them prolifically. work edibles into every possible nook and cranny, because fresh foods rock.

6. get vertical.

7. compost rules...bottom line: it rules!