Monday, April 25, 2011

HELPING: Rebuilding Together Baltimore

On Saturday, April 30, I will be working with Rebuilding Together Baltimore (RTB), a Baltimore non-profit that revitalizes communities and provides free home repairs for low-income homeowners in Baltimore City and Baltimore County. As part of RTB's work, they hold an annual Rebuilding Day in which volunteers undertake numerous projects in designated neighborhoods. This year, RTB is focusing on Pigtown.

As part of Rebuilding Together's beautification efforts in Pigtown, volunteers (myself included!) will be cleaning an existing "pocket park" and then planting new flowers and shrubs to turn the space into an attractive, healthy spot for the local community. But we need your help!

Pigtown Pocket Park at Present
I invite you to get involved and make this project the best it can be. We are seeking donations of plants, compost, fertilizer, mulch, and the like. In-kind donations are critical to Rebuilding Together's success by helping stretch limited resources.

These are the plants we are currently seeking, but will happily take anything that enjoys shade and moist soil.

  • Sweet Joe Pye Weed - Eutrochium purpureum

  • Japanese Skimmia - Skimmia japonica

  • Bottlebrush Buckeye - Aesculus parviflora

  • Mountain Laurel - Kalmia latifolia

  • Carol Mackie Daphne - Daphne burkwoodii 'Carol Mackie'

  • Dwarf Japanese Yew - Taxus cuspidata

  • Sweet Pepper Bush, Summersweet - Clethra alnifolia

  • Rosebay Rhododendron, Great Laurel - Rhododendron maximum

  • Bleeding Heart - Dicentra spectabilis

  • Lady’s Mantle - Alchemilla mollis

  • Hairy Alumroot, Maple Leaf Alumroot - Heuchera villosa

  • Black-Eyed Susan - Rudbeckia serotina

  • Eastern Purple Coneflower - Echinacea purpurea

  • Hosta
  • Woodland Phlox - Phlox divaricata subsp. Laphamii

  • Lily Turf, Monkey Grass, Liriope - Liriope muscari

  • Black Mondo Grass - Ophiopogon planiscapus

If you're able to help by donating one or more of the plants above, please contact Amanda Malone at Rebuilding Together Baltimore. If you have other plants that you think will flourish in a shady, moist location, those are welcome, too! Delivery of your donations to the garden site on April 30th would be a tremendous help, but local pick-up may be available. If you have a donation that you'd like to give, but are unable to bring it to Baltimore on Saturday, please contact me and let me know. I can arrange for pick-up during the week.

Thank you for helping us make this shady, neglected spot something fun and attractive for this deserving neighborhood! Nothing brings together a community as beautifully as a garden.

Friday, April 15, 2011

NOT Doing: Biking and Bombing!

People! And again I say, "PEOPLE!" Tomorrow's Greenhorns event - the event in which supercool people on bikes tour D.C.'s gardens and then drink cocktails and watch the Greenhorns film - has been CANCELED! (Except that the cocktails and movie part isn't canceled. Read on!)

Yup. Canceled. How sad is that?! Not only was the DCGG going to be at the Neighborhood Farm Initiative teaching the peoples how to make seed bombs, but I was going to unveil the spanky new blue camouflaged tablecloth I bought! (It's oilcloth, y'all. Easy to clean! It's retro kitsch at its best, and I love me some retro kitsch.)

Oh, and also? There were going to be chalkboard pennants. CHALKBOARD PENNANTS! Made especially for the DCGG and our chalkboardiness. All flaggy and pointy and blue and chalkboardy.


So anyone who was planning to bike with the Greenhorns and/or visit the workshops and tours along the way, DON'T! Unless you want to be TORRENTIALLY DOWNPOURED ON. And maybe lighteninged.

But if you were going to meet the cyclists in Georgetown (cupcakes!) and then mix and mingle at the Greenhorns' film screening, THAT'S STILL ON! 6pm at the Letelier Theater. Go forth and enjoy!

So again, but condensed: Greenhorns Bike Ride and associated workshops and garden tours = C A N C E L E D. But 6pm movie and cocktails = NOT canceled.

Peace out! And if you're going to be gallivanting in the rain tomorrow, avoid tall trees and kites with metal keys attached to them. LIGHTENING!

Doing: Checkin' Out The Neighbors!

Interested in native plants? Want to help the environment and make your garden look great at the same time? YOU TOTALLY DO!

Join Mike Tidwell on Saturday, April 16th for a native plant tour and sale at his Takoma Park home. Learn how to ornament your home with easy-care natives that provide habitat and food for local critters and look great.

Native plant experts from Chesapeake Native Nurseries will be on hand to answer your questions, and many ornamental native plants will be for sale. You don't want to miss this!

Date: Saturday, April 16, 2011
Time: 9am - 1pm
Location: 7125 Willow Ave, Takoma Park, MD 20912

For more information, email Beth Knox.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Doing: Saving the Azaleas!

Hello, you rascally guerillas!

I came across the following message in the DCUrbanGardeners Digest and, distraught, wanted to share it with you plant-lovers. It is about the death of azaleas...

Death? Of azaleas?! Now in the spirit of honesty and in the method of transparency (the buzzword du jour), I have been the killer of many an azalea, but never on purpose! And never at a national institution. One must draw the line somewhere.

So check this out and act accordingly, mon amies. SAVE THE AZALEAS! And also visit the koi pond because those koi are super frisky and fun to watch.

Should we, D.C.'s green-minded, fail to raise a million bucks and save the azaleas, do you think they'd give me a few of the bushes? My front yard is naked.

Friends of the National Arboretum (FONA) recently announced a major fundraising campaign to save the Azalea and Boxwood Collections. Tens of thousands of Washingtonians flock to the U.S. National Arboretum each spring to witness one of Washington's premier springtime attractions: thousands of azaleas in a blaze of color during a six-week blooming period. However, the future of these collections is in jeopardy due to the loss of funds from a private trust. FONA's campaign seeks to raise $1 million from individuals, families and organizations who value and enjoy one of the area's most magnificent and culturally important natural displays. Supporters can make donations via FONA's website (, or by mailing a check to FONA (3501 New York Avenue NE, Washington, DC 20002-1958, payable to "FONA Save the Azaleas Fund"). Credit card donations can be called in to the FONA office at (202) 544-8733.

The Arboretum is free and open to the public. Hours are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily. Check the "Azalea Blossom Watch" on the Arboretum's home page ( for blooming dates and conditions. Peak azalea bloom can vary, but usually takes place around the end of April. The azaleas attract many visitors to the Arboretum, especially on weekends, so you may want to consider visiting during the week or early in the day.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Doing: Seed Bombs and Bicyclists!

On April 16th, the D.C. Guerilla Gardeners will be teaching the messy art of seed bomb-making to the masses of bicyclists pedaling through D.C. for the Greenhorns' URBAN FARM BIKE TOUR!

Join us at 1pm at the Mamie D. Lee Community Garden (100 Gallatin Street NE) in Ft. Totten. Tour the garden, pet the bicyclists, and get your hands dirty making your very own seed bombs!

Then follow the bicyclists on their route through D.C.: From Ft. Totten to the Washington Youth Garden to the Common Good Community Farm to the Letelier Theater in Georgetown, where the Greenhorns will screen their film "The Greenhorns." Workshops on bees, rain gardens, urban farming, city blossoms and seed bombs occur throughout the day at each of their stops.

If following bikers and learning super cool stuff aren't your cup of tea, then do what I'd do and beat them to the final destination. While those kooky cyclists sweat atop bikes, you and a few dozen cupakes can chillax in Baked and Wired.

And if cupcakes aren't your thing... Well, you're crazy. How can you not like cupcakes?! But if you're crazy and don't like cupcakes, know that Baked and Wired has other stuff, including something called "Hippie Crack," which appears to be granola.

Post-bike/workshops/cupcakes/granola, down some beer, eat some food, watch "The Greenhorns," and mix with awesome people at the Letelier Theater.

Here. Look at this neato flyer. It tells you about the event so much better than I am. (I blame the thought of cupcakes. CUPCAKES! They mess with your mind.)

So! To sum up: Get your butts to Ft. Totten on Saturday the 16th at 1pm to encourage the Greenhorns' intrepid bikers and to make seed bombs! Then either follow them on their bike-y tour-y path to Georgetown, or follow my direct-to-site path to Georgetown's Baked and Wired.

Third choice is to do whatever you want, but we have an impending government shutdown, people. Government shutdown = eat cupcakes.)

See y'all there!

P.S.! Any guerillas interested in helping out at the DCGG's DIY Seed Bomb Stand at Ft. Totten? Please let me know!

P.P.S.! Don't forget to sign up for the DCGG listserv!

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Getting Savvy with the Tech!

Good morning, ye guerillas! Is anyone else out there happy to see the rain? I am awash in joy that it is raining, for lo! I have already planted my vegetable garden. (Impatient much? Oh yes, indeedie!)

Today's scintillating post is about the super-cool D.C. Guerilla Gardeners LISTSERV! *happiness! joy! glee!*

One of our awesome guerillas, the one who I'm not-so-secretly in love with, is a tech genius as well as a gardening genius, and he kindly set up a listserv so that we can speak to one another like the best buds we are! To sign up, go to We'll use the listserv to post messages, ideas, arrest reports, etc. It will be all sorts of fun! Woot!

So jump on the listserv bandwagon and sign up today, folks! All the cool people are doing it. For reals.