Home & Gardens

07/20/2017 - 11:12am
As every residential garden designer knows, a homeowner’s pets are your clients too. Pets’ well-being, habits, quirks, and age need to be taken into account to arrive at an attractive and sustainable garden solution that works for humans, pets, and plants. Dogs and cats are the most common household pets, so today let’s focus on them. While these two types of four-legged friends may seem very different, they have many garden requirements in common. They need to be kept... >>more
07/20/2017 - 10:12am
Recently, with all the talk about how our garden practices may be harming bees and pollinating insects, the discussion of beneficial insects has again become a hot topic. Products on the market address many areas of insect infestation: Beneficial nematodes that can prevent insects in the soil that are harmful to plant roots or to the plants themselves. Snails that can stop harmful garden snails. Mealybug control. Aphids and other common chewing garden pests. As we become increasingly... >>more
07/20/2017 - 9:12am
Can I grow a knockout rose in a pot? As Jim Shelar, a master of gardening in pots, so succinctly puts it, “What have you got to lose by trying?” You can wheel the pot into a sunny place – and move it around to follow the sun.   I am crazy about heliotrope, but every part of it is poisonous. Also, it is only an annual. Is there any warmer hardiness zone in which it is a perennial? If yes, I’ll try to move there! You’ll be moving to Hardiness Zone 12, somewhere... >>more
07/19/2017 - 10:12am
Here on Capitol Hill the vast majority of roofs are flat. Flat roofs are common to commercial buildings, but residential flat roofs are rare except in historic urban areas such as Capitol Hill. There are several different types of flat roof systems, but across the board, a handful of issues make up the most common problems found on flat roofs. Often the shared ownership of demising parapet walls between neighbors creates a challenge in the coordination required to properly build a new roof... >>more
06/19/2017 - 10:21am
I heard that a garden in a pot should contain just three things – “a Thriller, a Filler, and a Spiller.” Meaning what? Fine Gardening magazine popularized this wise mantra. The Thriller can be a brilliant spike of bloom or leaf. Filler – any bushy thing. The Spiller – something drooping down over the edge of the pot. Find three that go together, and go for it.   My springtime Japonica camellias were sensational this year. But I can never figure out how to... >>more
06/19/2017 - 9:17am
Capitol Hill has been compared to a village, a finely integrated community, a place to call home. Perhaps one of the most alluring parts as many Hill homes are their entries. Some have grand, long walkways like the homes on East Capitol St. and Massachusetts Avenue. Some are secret enclaves, little pockets, all are enchanting. 12th St NE. #1 The alliums that were planted here are a demonstration of restraint. In the large bed in the front of the home the only plants are allium’s--... >>more
06/17/2017 - 10:12am
Capitol Hill is a neighborhood built with brick.  Almost every street is lined with colorful row homes built about 100 years ago.  Though most brick row homes look similar, these buildings were designed and constructed by various builders and architects and there are unique differences between the buildings. Almost all the bricks you see in Capitol Hill row homes were actually created locally.  Because masonry is composed of simple material-- sand and clay--bricks can be produced... >>more
06/17/2017 - 9:10am
Nearly 100 years ago, a man named Fritz “Frank” Frager got laid off from work at the Navy Yard in DC. It was the end of World War One. But instead of trying to find another job, he decided to put what money he had toward opening a local hardware store on Capitol Hill—Frager’s Hardware. Frager’s has prospered through the decades with community support and the leadership of first the Frager family and later co-owners Ed Copenhaver and John Weintraub. Now as it nears... >>more
05/23/2017 - 9:12am
I oversee the maintenance at a local private garden. For the past two springs, the multitude of daffodils planted in 2012 have not flowered well – lots of buds, but most dry up before blooming. My own daffodils and others all over the Hill bloomed profusely. What is the problem? Soil? Crowding? We did have hot weather in January, followed by hard freezes – but as you say, your own daffs bloomed well. Moisture has been similarly sporadic – first months of drought, then rains.... >>more