Home & Gardens

08/19/2017 - 10:12am
DC rooftops are busy places. A flyover of the District shows a growing mosaic of rooftop terraces, solar panels, green roofs – and increasingly, retail space. Niraj Ray, CEO of Cultivate the City(CtC) (www.cultivatethecity.com), is just one DC entrepreneur who’s taking advantage of rooftops to run a green business, create jobs, and grow food. I met Ray at H Street Farms, on the roof of the W.S. Jenks & Son hardware store on Bladensburg Road, on a sunny May morning. Ray loves his... >>more
08/19/2017 - 9:12am
All my flowers are tightly planted together to crowd out weeds and weeding. That works except for always the same darned little thing that looks a bit like clover, or shamrocks, with a tiny yellow flower. I’ve been failing to get rid of it all my life! What can I do? Could this ubiquitous pest, so hard to get rid of, be Oxalis? Yes! You can easily pull Oxalis, it is shallow, but you will rarely get the entire, wide-ranging root, of which any fragment will produce a new plant. Any stem... >>more
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