Home & Gardens

12/14/2016 - 10:41am
Question: How many cans of partially used paint cans are sitting in your garage or basement in the hope that one day you’ll find a use for them? If you’re like me, you have too many, and you know that at least some of that paint has aged beyond use. But what to do with it? As of November, the DC Department of Energy & Environment (DOEE) and PaintCare Inc.are sponsoring a program that will reuse, recycle, energy-recover, or responsibly dispose of your unwanted paint. This... >>more
12/14/2016 - 10:29am
Why do my Garden Clubby friends say that in Washington, DC, tulips are “annuals”? Certainly not where I come from. Our summers are too hot for the longtime survival of tulip bulbs, which simply rot in the ground before they can survive to re-bloom properly. New England, the Middle West, even Canada are better for tulip growing. That is the reason, perhaps, why the National Park Service has given us an outdoor Tulip Library on the Mall (in SW, near the Tidal Basin). There, about 100... >>more
12/02/2016 - 1:34pm
It takes a long time to build public landscapes in Washington, DC. With hearings and approvals required at every stage of the design process from commissions and agencies at all levels of government, design development can easily last over a decade. Construction can take years. But when projects are completed, DC residents, particularly those on the Hill, benefit more than most US citizens, with unparalleled access to some of the most significant designed landscapes in the country. This column... >>more
11/19/2016 - 9:11am
If I stick geranium shoots in water until roots form and then plant them in potting soil, can my healthy geranium plant overwinter indoors? Probably yes. You can also put the shoots directly into potting soil at once – minus any buds or blooms. Another way to overwinter tropical (Pelargonium) geranium plants is to bring the entire plant indoors, either in its pot or bare-root. There are excellent YouTube online illustrating both methods (Google “overwinter geranium”).  ... >>more
11/18/2016 - 9:12am
You may think that the time to plant bulbs was in September, or October at the latest. Think again. With the hottest year on record, and temperatures hitting 90 degrees on Oct. 19, we must move back our bulb planting to November. Spring flowering bulbs are best planted after the first hard frost. If you’re reading this in early November, you are right on time to begin a bulb planting campaign, which is one 2016 campaign guaranteed to bring you pleasure. Bulb Basics Bulbs are the most... >>more
11/18/2016 - 8:18am
The Farmers’ Almanac and other weather forecasters all warn that we’re headed for a winter with above-average snowfall and below-normal temperatures for the Washington area. We may be lulled into complacency by a mild end of the year, but some sources are predicting more than 24 inches of snow for February. For Hill homeowners that much snow can cause monumental problems. Fall is a great time to prepare for weather-related issues. That includes doing an annual check of equipment and... >>more
10/14/2016 - 9:12am
I am helping a friend transplant two grandiflora rose plants that are struggling in shade. When and how should we undertake the task? Prune the roses to about 30 inches in height in late fall, well before the first frost. Make your cuts just above a growth point. In two sunny spots that you have previously identified, dig two wide, very deep holes with plenty of compost at the ready, along with some bone meal and composted manure. Fill the holes with water, letting it recede while, with great... >>more
10/14/2016 - 8:21am
More frequent and violent storms, hot summers, pesky mosquitoes. Welcome to the world of climate change. It all sounds quite sobering – and overwhelming. What can any one person do to make a difference? In a previous article I outlined some of the actions the DC government is taking as a part of its Climate Ready DC Plan(www.sustainabledc.org/climatereadydc/). Did you know there are actions that you can take to make your home climate-ready and more comfortable? Read on! The DC government... >>more
10/13/2016 - 9:14am
A photographer walking through Dublin one evening in 1970 was struck by the beauty of the Georgian-style doors. He photographed 36 doors and put them together into a collage. On St. Patrick’s Day the Irish Tourism Board put the collage in its window in New York, and “Doors of Dublin” became one of the best-selling posters of all time. The same could be true of Capitol Hill doors today. The different styles, colors, and shapes make each home unique, and collectively they create... >>more