Thursday, April 29, 2010

how to grow potatoes

today my potato planting bags arrived and i couldnt be happier! i started planting potatoes about four years ago on valentine's day: the first year was awesome! the second year was good at first, then we got 11" of rain followed by drought and the potatoes were done; last year, potato beetles ate them to the quick...this year, i didnt plant early because we had a ton of rain, snow and freezing temperatures that persisted through march followed by a super hot and dry april. i decided to go with the bags this year because of the beetles and the fact that i dont have enough space to rotate the crops. i have a plot in an open field that was infested last year and yield nothing: other gardeners are currently planting potatoes there equalling more bugs. i also have a shady garden at the beach house with super poor soil and a garden in maryland that is going to be eliminated due to impending construction. so, the portable bags seem like the answer over the more permanent potato box! i bought four bags, each one will yield 13+ pounds of potatoes... i am going to consecutively plant them on my deck every few weeks: you start with 4" of soil; add 3-5 potato seeds; cover with 4" of soil; with each 8" of vine that grows, cover with 4" of soil; repeat until the bag is full. so easy and delicious!

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

iPhone bird app

this afternoon i was weeding again...trying to catch up with the henbit that has enveloped many parts of my poor neglected flower garden: i know it's in there somewhere! i did leave a little of the weed in front of the rabbit's door, as its supposed to be cold tonight. there were a lot of birds out there with me...most of them i recognized, but the little sparrows are hard to differentiate: they are all so stripe-y in browns and beiges...then one popped up on the tutuer in front of me and sang a fantastic song! i was determined to i.d. this one since i had such a clear view, and pulled out my iPhone and opened my birds app. i knew this bird was some type of sparrow, and since it sang, i figured it could possibly be a 'song sparrow', so i typed that into the search box. the photo that turned up looked like the little guy and it had a song sound sample...which i pushed. the little song sparrow flew right at me and tried to land on my arm! after i screamed (not too loudly!), it veered left and landed on a branch above me and belted out it's song. what just happened? i hit the song button again on the app, and once again he tried to land on me, but choose to land near me instead, and sing the same song again! turns out the bird is attracted to the recording: some bird watchers actually use their iPhone bird apps to attract birds down from trees...not me, though: the little song sparrow seemed genuinely disappointed there was no mate there.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

birch birdhouse

a saw this birch birdhouse at kiosk...its cute, right? but i read something last year about the spread of the devastating bronze birch borer, which is closely related to the emerald ash borer, being hastened through the transportation of infested birch tree branches. the bronze birch borer's larvae feed inside the main stem of the tree, hidden from view. the u.s. forest service recommends destroying recently killed or cut trees so as not to allow the adults to emerge in spring, where ever the decorative birch branches have been sent.
so, be wary and don't support the bronze birch borer!

Monday, April 26, 2010

wonderful wisteria

this is the time of year wisteria is in it's full glory...and i love it! these beautiful blooms are from a neglected neighborhood american wisteria vine that is rambling up a metal telephone pole support. they can get rather large and need sturdy support: the largest wisteria in the world measures over an acre(!) and weighs over 250 tons (how do they know that?), so you better have sharp shears if you want one! i love the lavender-to-blue color.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

sunday in the park

Podophyllum peltatum,mayapple,may apples,rock creek park
i went for a lovely walk in rock creek park with the mister and oto today. the green canopy is so high, made up of many very tall trees including tulip poplar  and sycamores. the ground was covered in a thick, cush-y emerald plant: marsh marigold.
marsh marigold, or Podophyllum peltatum, will be covered in yellow blooms in a few weeks, even in shady areas. it is a native flora in maryland, and also sold at nurseries and online as a quick, fast growing ground cover for difficult garden spots. it seems a little aggressive. best in bogging-type areas. i also saw mayapples in bloom.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

tonight's sunset

tonight's sunset
was beautiful and memorable.

Friday, April 23, 2010

rainbow tree

growing up in berkeley, i am familiar with eucalyptus trees: they're tall and they smell good. but i never saw one that looked like this rainbow eucalyptus! wow!
via colourlovers.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

butterflies are not free

let butterflies migrate to your living room on this papillon chaise by d.sign21. the designer envisioned hundreds of butterflies chasing each other: i am not sure if it comes in custom colors, but i like the concept!

earth day blasts on

today is earth day and the navy introduced  a partially bio-fueled version of it's gas hog f/a-18 super hornet called the green hornet. the twin engine jet made its test flight from pax river naval air station filled with 50% bio fuel derived from the crushed seeds of Camelina sativa. the hornet cruised the bay and tried to break the sound barrier.
 it could see my house from up there!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

plum peonies

I love the idea of peonies: big gorgeous fluffy heads bursting with color! in reality, mine had always fallen over and became infested with ants, so even if I wanted to bring them indoors I couldn't. but then I ran across these plum peonies this morning: standing erect despite the rain and looking gorgeous! I might have to rethink peonies...
- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

future flower

i love tonkin liu's future flower!
installed as the premier project signaling the resurrection of widnes waterfront, the big blossom stands almost 46 feet tall and 15 feet wide and has solar powered, wind activated lights in graduated shades of red: wow! a lot is riding on the future flower: a local councilman states "it is an amazing piece of artwork. we are proud to see how quickly the widnes waterfront area is developing and expect thousands of people to enjoy the future flower over the coming months".
right on!
read more on contemporist.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

why does my neighbor do this?

i am not sure what precipitated this first i thought it was halloween, but it remained and then changed at thanksgiving...then christmas. did they clean out their garage, find this old wig head and not want to part with it? oh...its up-cycling!, i declared. but then she got a new sparkly outfit for new years. and, yes: red and pink for valentine's day, followed by green for the st. patty's celebration. thank god easter came and went, because this fantastic spring planting outfit appeared this week. oh, man: cinco de mayo is next.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

white house garden tour

the national park service will distribute free tickets for the white house garden tour starting at 8:00am this morning. tour the jacqueline kennedy garden, the rose garden, the white house kitchen garden as well as the south lawn of the white house from 10-3 today.

Friday, April 16, 2010


in the middle of the woods i found this lone magnolia petal, laying there looking gorgeous...

Thursday, April 15, 2010

men at work

i never see women at my vegetable garden plot: not sure why, but it's true. maybe they know something. today all the mens worked the field. not hard enough though: i'm calling in the farmer for a deep plow, otherwise these weeds will be taking over in a few days.

moss covered tables

these moss covered tables for a secret garden are by ayodhya trade (could not get a valid link for them) and are fantastic. i bet they could be adapted to a diy project for my shade garden or patio!
(i dont have a patio).

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

i ♥ pansies!

pansies are so awesome: why are they associated with light-weights? my first flower box planting of the year is pansies! why? last year when the weather broke, i planted amazingly decorative sweet potatoes: 9 inches of rain followed by a freeze later: my potatoes were this year: i am starting with the velvety flowers that can cope with the unpredictable ups and downs we call 'weather'.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

cherry blossoms

the heat...the wind...the rain...the wind...the cherry blossoms are gone! they were gone by last tuesday downtown, even though the national cherry blossom festival ended this weekend, and the few that made it through the weekend are, unfortunately, in the gutter.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Common Good City Farm

today is the opening day for
common good city farm,
a half-acre of earthly delights located @ 300 V street, nw. this fantastic
ledroit park farm grows fresh organic
produce for low income residents, as well as conducts edible gardening
workshops for everyone.
celebrate the greening of d.c. with live music, tastings and an easter egg
toss (wasn't that last weekend?).
anywho...the farm starts today, and
will be open monday
and thursdays 3-7 and wednesdays
and saturdays 10-1.
today's festivities run from 11:30-1:30.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

hot weather

last year at (about) this time, we had snow: not today, though.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

@tacos el gringo

must be sunday...
- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Saturday, April 3, 2010

city farm

today is the pre-opening day for
common good city farm, a half-acre of earthly delights located @
300 V street,nw.
this fantastic ledroit park farm grows
fresh organic produce for low income
residents, as well as conducts edible
gardening workshops for everyone.
celebrate the greening of d.c. at the
public opening on april 10th with live
music, tastings and an easter egg toss.