Home & Gardens

02/04/2016 - 10:43am
We received a blue poinsettia for Christmas, with little sparkles all over the blue leaves. How did they get to be blue? They were commercially spray painted en masse and the sparkles dusted on after a misting of glue.   Squirrels have again eaten all my camellia buds. So -- another year with no blooms. I know squirrels can’t get through bird netting -- but that netting is hard as the dickens to manage. Can’t squirrels stick to acorns, of which there were billions this year?... >>more
02/04/2016 - 9:51am
Michael “Max” Grove is the proud owner of Max Insulation, a Capitol Hill-based business that specializes in making old homes comfortable and energy efficient. Grove knows and understands old houses. In addition to being a licensed general contractor he is certified in building science principles by the Building Performance Institute (BPI). This certification requires a thorough “whole house” understanding of the factors that make an old home comfortable, from evaluating... >>more
02/04/2016 - 9:28am
Customers like to buy plants when they’re in bloom. Urban plant retailers like Ginkgo Gardens and Frager’s can only fit so many perennial plants in their limited outdoor space. Put these together and you’ll realize that if you don’t know the range of available perennial plants, your new garden will look good each year primarily during the weeks in which you made your first big plant purchase. You may wind up with a gorgeous, pastel early spring garden or a bold mid-... >>more
01/13/2016 - 3:39pm
Safe at Home promotes aging-in-place for older adults (60 and older) and people living with disabilities (18 to 59 years old) by providing up to $10,000 in home accessibility adaptation grants to reduce the risk of falls and reduce barriers that limit mobility. Eligibility for this program includes: District resident who either owns or rents their home; 60 years or older or between 18 and 59 years old living with a disability; and have a household income at or below 80% of the Area Median... >>more
01/06/2016 - 12:10pm
OK, I’m going to start a New Year’s Revolution in our backyard – against my wife’s advice that it won’t work! I want to have a raised-bed vegetable garden in the sunny place. She thinks there’s not enough room. How little a space would I need? As little as one square foot could work to grow some nice cut-and-come-again leaf lettuce, radishes, scallions, even baby carrots. You can grow a tomato plant in a deep container too. Greetings, Gardeners! Let’s... >>more
01/06/2016 - 11:42am
Precisely because it defies the season, greenhouse gardening is a pure sensory delight that a growing number of urban dwellers are opting for as their garden amenity of choice. Why own a greenhouse? Anyone who has visited the U.S. Botanic Garden’s glass house in January knows how good it feels to smell the warm, moist air, feel the sunlight filtered through lush green leaves, smell the tropical orchids, and hear the gentle sounds of water fountains. There are many horticultural reasons to... >>more
12/10/2015 - 10:42am
Dark winter hours and the approaching holidays come as a reminder to consider updating or adding security features to our homes. Metropolitan Police recorded 387 thefts, robberies and burglaries in the First District during October—about a 14 percent increase compared to the same month last year. Keeping in communication with neighbors and the lieutenants in charge of the eight First District Police Service Areas can help. Following neighborhood listservs and attending meetings keep... >>more
12/10/2015 - 10:12am
Winter is coming, but plunging temperatures don’t mean you have to give up on gardening. The art and science of hydroponic gardening not only brings this enjoyable hobby indoors, it can keep you eating healthy and save money on your grocery bill. Tucked away in an alley off Upshur Street is Capital City Hydroponics. The boutique shop caters to the local community and specializes in a unique gardening method. “We understand that there are a lot of novice gardeners out there and we... >>more
12/10/2015 - 9:42am
Stories about renewable energy are all over the news these days, and solar panels are popping up on buildings everywhere including the White House, the Eiffel Tower, the Taj Mahal, and the Vatican. Wind energy production is also growing, and the United States is now the second largest producer of wind energy in the world, behind China. As the technology for renewable energy becomes more available, the cost is dropping substantially. DC Mayor Muriel Bowser announced in June a 20-year agreement... >>more