Fairfax County Sustainable Garden Tour

A few shots from Fairfax County's 2017 Sustainable Garden Tour: This year the gardens were in the Alexandria area -- some down around Mason Neck, others near Mount Vernon, and then all the way up to the Rose Hill area.  There were 9 in all but I only made it to four because it was... Continue Reading →

National Mall Renovation Lookin’ Snazzy

I went downtown today to hit the US Botanical Garden and a couple of museums, and I got a peek at the renovations to the National Mall. Here is my exclusive, professional-quality footage: The renovations include: the turf itself, its underlying soil, improved drainage and irrigation, and a nifty granite edging that really sets the... Continue Reading →

HGTV 2013 Dream House Has Lots of Plants!

It's a bit premature to make a final judgment, but it looks as though HGTV's 2013 Dream House  -- located on Kiawah Island, South Carolina -- might actually be worth cheering for! Over on their website HGTV has posted a series of time-lapse photos which show the house and landscape under construction.  Here's what I see that... Continue Reading →

Conservation vs. Protection

What's the difference? I ask because I came across this quote from Teddy Roosevelt when I visited Roosevelt Island this weekend: "Conservation Means Development as Much as it Does Protection." Coming from the man who established the National Park System, I raised an eyebrow when I read this.  These terms -- conservation, preservation, protection, etc.... Continue Reading →

“Now Entering the Xeric Hardpan Forest”

Recently I purchased and read Wildflowers and Plant Communities of the Southern Appalachians and Piedmont. Now, before you go labeling me as a mega-dweeb, you should know that plant communities are super hot right now. All the coolest middle aged suburban garden bloggers are talking about them and how they can be used as inspirations... Continue Reading →

Will We Grow Nostalgic for Strip Malls?

Yesterday I came across this article  about a competition at the University of Alberta called "Strip-Appeal" in which architects and other designers submitted proposals for re-purposing abandoned strip malls.   As big box stores and online retailers like Amazon claim more and more business, strip malls have started going empty. I had a look at some of... Continue Reading →

Keep Writing, Keep Digging, Mr. Merwin

Yesterday the Library of Congress announced Natasha Tretheway, a Pulitzer-prize winner and professor at Emory University, as the new poet laureate.  I'm not familiar with her writing, but I like that she is from the South and that she is very young for a poet laureate.  I will check out her poems soon. Meanwhile, I wanted to share... Continue Reading →

The Creepy (and Pretentious?) Sustainable Community of Serenbe

As noted in my last post, HGTV's 2012 Green Home is located in the bucolic and "sustainable" community of Serenbe, Georgia.  I find the idea of building a "sustainable community" from scratch to be quite intriguing, so I read a bit about Serenbe on HGTV's site and on the community's own web page. An Overview:... Continue Reading →

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