Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Doug Tallamy to Address Club on April 13

Dr. Douglas W. Tallamy, Chair of the Department of Entomology and Wildlife Ecology at the University of Delaware, will show D.C. gardeners how they can be better stewards of our fragile urban ecosystem in an address to the Capitol Hill Garden Club on April 13, 2010.

Dr. Tallamy is the author of Bringing Nature Home--How You Can Sustain Wildlife with Native Plants, Timber Press 2009.
" Everyone with access to a patch of earth can make a significant contribution toward sustaining biodiversity. There is an unbreakable link between native plant species and native wildlife — native insects cannot, or will not, eat alien plants. When native plants disappear, the insects disappear, impoverishing the food source for birds and other animals. In many parts of the world, habitat destruction has been so extensive that local wildlife is in crisis and may be headed toward extinction. Bringing Nature Home has sparked a national conversation about the link between healthy local ecosystems and human well-being, and the new paperback edition — with an expanded resource section and updated photos — will help broaden the movement. By acting on Douglas Tallamy's practical recommendations, everyone can make a difference."

In his address, Tallamy will explain how seemingly innocent and widely popular gardening practices threaten chains of interdependent insects, plants, birds and animals. The future of North American biodiversity is at risk according to Tallamy’s lifetime of research. Because animals, birds and insects depend on plants for their food, the diversity of animals, birds and insects is closely linked to the diversity of plants. When many species of plants die out, so do many species of wild life.

After a dramatic presentation of the vulnerabilities of our living environment, he will suggest better ways to garden.

Admission is FREE to the public. Meeting starts at 7 p.m. at the Church of the Brethren, corner of North Carolina Avenue, SE at 4th Street, SE. Enter basement meeting room from 4th Street door. Blue or orange line to Eastern Market Metro.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Club Receives Community Project Award

March 23, 2010: Capitol Hill Garden Club today received The Beatrice M. Coiner Award for Community Projects for its annual bulb giveaway during annual award ceremonies for National Capital Area Garden Clubs, Inc. The award is memorialized in a certificate and a cash award of $100.

Janice McKenney received the award on behalf of Capitol Hill Garden Club form NCAGC Awards Chair Babs McClendon.
Janice (2d from left) is shown with District I Director David Healy, Margaret McKnew of New Carrollton Garden Club, Julie Harrison of Mount Airy Clay Breakers Garden Club and Poss Tarpley of Tanta-Cove Garden Club.

The club also was recognized for Outstanding Garden Club Achievement (60 or more members).

For more on the NCAGC awards, go here.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Philadelphia Flower Show 2010

Photographs of this year's Philadelphia Flower Show are here.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Vegetable Gardening 101

March 9, 2010: Master gardeners Dave and Casey Kneipp, founders of the Cheverly Community Vegetable Garden, presented an informative program on the basics for starting a vegetable garden. They discussed site, soil, seeds and sustaining. Casey said the only topic not covered was the "no work garden."

President Vira Sisolak (r) shows off Tony Pontorno's vegetable centerpiece.

Casey stressed soil testing and, in the following discussion, lead and arsenic were raised as two concerns in Capitol Hill gardens. Raised beds with new soil would avoid these concerns.

Dave demonstrated the mobility of a salad box:

From left to right, the containers contain standard yard soil, artificial growing medium and organic soil amendments (l); Tony Pontorno's vegetable centerpiece anchored the refreshment's table:

More information on many of the topics discussed can be found here.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Member Gardens

February 23, 2010: We had a good turnout for the snow delayed monthly meeting.

Charles McMillion discussed the green house he built into the dog leg of his house; Michele Bogdanovich discussed the transformation of her front yard garden; and Alex Belano discussed the front yard landscapes of his row of condominiums.
Margaret Missiaen gave a presentation on what not to do to snow-bound plants and discussed pruning snow damage to trees and shrubs.