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Archive - Nov 5, 2014

Dear Problem Lady

Last winter severely damaged our blue hydrangea bushes. They have come back – alive but splayed and leggy. Should I prune them? Or should I find another shrub? We wanted something with glorious blooms that can tolerate shade!

The Capitol Hill Garden Club meets next on Wednesday (note the change), Nov. 12, at the Northeast Library, corner Maryland Ave. and 7th St. NE. Meetings are free. Culinary historian Michael Twitty will share information on plants and cultivation practices contributed by Americans of African descent to agriculture, gardening, and the culinary arts of the United States. The Capitol Hill Garden Club brings together Washington-area people interested in gardening, landscaping, and the environment. Join us at 

Saving Face

Pipe-and-Clamp Scaffolding for Your Home

Owning an historic Capitol Hill home brings with it a certain amount of responsibility, stewardship, and home repair obligations. As you walk around the Hill it’s fairly common to see a row house regally framed in scaffolding and draped in dark netting while brick is re-pointed or painted. On taller houses scaffolding is sometimes needed to access the roof or turret for repairs. The DC Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs (DCRA) requires a permit for any scaffolding that exceeds two stories.

Catherine Plume is the blogger for the DC Recycler (; Twitter @dc_recycler.

Researching our house history and architecture on the CHRS website

Do you want a quick, easy, and free way to learn who built your house and when?  The Capitol Hill Restoration Society (CHRS) Beyond the Boundaries research project offers a wealth of information on buildings outside the Capitol Hill Historic District.    

Beth Purcell is Chair of the CHRS Beyond the Boundaries Committee 

Small Rain Gardens Do a Big Job

The rear yard of the C Street SE home designed by Capitol Hill landscape architect Ryan Moody is beautifully detailed with a custom rear gate, masonry, a fountain, and bright red accents in furniture, birdfeeder, and flowers. With long, narrow proportions typical of the neighborhood, the space is subdivided into a patio with seating, a walkway to the alley, and a garden area. But not just any garden area.

Cheryl Corson, RLA, ASLA, is a local licensed landscape architect who works on the Hill and beyond. She has designed rain gardens for various sites, recently completing one for the Smithsonian’s National Zoo funded by the DC Department of the Environment.

Fall essentials

Garden Spot

Every fall a garden ritual begins. Right about the time when the trees start to turn brilliant colors and cooler temperatures bring to mind apple cider and pumpkin pie, avid gardeners clean up, prep, and make their gardens ready for old Man Winter's attack. Fall makes us assess what worked in our gardens this past summer and start plotting for the season to come. We gardeners have grand spring dreams of too-yellow daffodils, fragrant hyacinths, and electric-colored tulips, the harbinger of spring.

Derek Thomas is principal of Thomas Landscapes. His garden designs have been featured on HGTV’s “Curb Appeal” and “Get It Sold.” His weekly garden segment appears on WTTG/Fox 5 in Washington. You can reach him at or 301-642-5182.

You can find and friend us on Facebook at Facebook/Thomas Landscapes. Follow us on Twitter @ThomasGardenGuy For Great Garden Tips.

Rewiring the Brain through Movement

Lessen Pain, Improve Physical Function, Increase Athletic Performance

The amazing thing about the work that Adrienne does is that she is able to help strengthen the connections that make young athletes excel rather than trying to run them into the ground with extra workouts or risky weight training." - Michael Skinner

Pattie Cinelli is a fitness consultant who helps clients reach their health, fitness and wellness goals in their homes, offices, at Results or Lavender Retreat. She has been writing her fitness column for more than 20 years. Please email her with column ideas or fitness questions at:

The Life of an Outdoor Cat

We've all seen cats lurking in the shadows of Capitol Hill's alleys, scavenging for food and fighting to protect their turf. They dart in front of our headlights, sneak through the bushes, and occasionally make loud vocalizations when we are trying to sleep. Oftentimes traveling alone, but sometimes living in colonies, the feral cats in our neighborhood have been an ongoing dilemma. Local residents deal with feral cats by shooing them away, compassionately feeding them, or increasingly more often welcoming them into their homes as a new family member.

Dr. Miller lives on Capitol Hill and is the co-owner of AtlasVet (the Atlas District Veterinary Hospital) at 1326 H St. NE ( He is a graduate of Auburn University College of Veterinary Medicine and attended the 2013 Iron Bowl.  War Eagle!