Grouping Groundcovers Together is GardenWise

We’ve written a lot over the past two years about losing at least HALF of your lawn areas to create a “greener” more eco-friendly garden. Losing some of your lawns areas is a fantastic way to make your garden space less water needy — and it will introduce new options to make your landscape current and interesting.

Replacing lawn areas with ground covers is a great option I recommend everyone to consider. And remember that if you position numerous species of ground covers together in large groupings, it will add much drama to your space, in addition to both color and texture. Think about creeping Jenny for a sunny areas and Creeping mints for shadier spots. And trailing yellow dale and trailing Lantana.

What to really ramp it up? Bring your sense of smell into the mix and add a fragrant ground cover, such as Sweet Woodruff, to your garden space.

If in the end your heart belongs to grass, think about replacing your lawn areas with grasses and grass-like options such as pink mulhy grass, liliope, deschampisi caespitosa (aka tufted hair grass) or mondo grass.

You’ll need to water your grasses and ground covers adequately until they’re established, after that, depending on the type, you’ll find your ground covers require up to 100% less than your former lawn areas.

The DC Ladies are GardenWise

Hello @DCLadies!

We started to follow @DCLadies on twitter last year because we loved their name! Soon we were visiting their fabulous site each week. Their one paragraph bio made us read on . . . “A forty something mom and her twenty something daughter team up to give you an eclectic mix of what is fun, fashionable, family related and just plain fabulous in our Capital Area for women.” Well, Shelley and Sarah deliver, with original content ranging from DC events, DC style, DC Food, and stories for everyone in and out of the district to enjoy.

Today, GardenWise shares our Landscape and Gardening ideas and tips with The DC Ladies, and we couldn’t be more excited. J. Mark White is a native Washingtonian and he founded GardenWise on Capitol Hill in 1994. Metro-DC is so special, with the most incredible spaces to add gardens. As summer begins, make your garden spaces all they can be, whether you’re in an urban area with limited space or in a neighborhood with larger garden spaces. Remember, you already have the space! How you define it and use it can forever change how you live your life at home.

As everyone in DC knows, a DC Lady can be a Foggy Bottom Lady, a Capitol Hill Lady, or a Penthill Lady. But in the Metro-DC area, a DC Lady can also be an Arlington Lady, a Silver Spring Lady or an Alexandria Lady. While we love our neighborhoods, combined we make up the DC Ladies, and that’s what we loved about this site, it’s for everyone!

Something we must remind all the DC Ladies, if you take on a larger gardening project or one that involves hardscape (retaining walls, steps, brick work, etc.) talk to a trained and educated landscape professional whose job it is to avoid the traps untrained folks will fall into. Broken gas lines are just the beginning — replacing improperly designed and installed plantings, walkways, arbors, brick and stone work, water features and irrigations systems can be quite costly, and will only take away from what should be a fantastic and inspired gardening experience and result.

Pictured: GardenWise, Inc. projects on Capitol Hill and in Georgetown (photo credits: Home & Design Magazine and Lydia Cutter)

DC State Fair is the Fairest of Them All!

Welcome Back, DC State Fair

For those of us inside the beltway, calling D.C. a state isn’t as strange as the out of the district dwellers may think.  And we now have a State Fair!  

DC has  a  strong  “state”  attitude,  a  beloved and  popular  newspaper,  excellent  colleges , and fatastic restaurants — it seems all the interesting  “Top Chef” contestants have a restaurants and a presence here, including  Spike Carla and Richard Blais.  Each month somebody considered famous is here to testify about something  close  to  their  heart  on t he Hill,  and our special brand of power and history draws more than  3,000,000 visitors each year. You  can  turn  the  corner  and step into an  Angelina  Jolie  or   Matt  Damon  film,  and  Michelle Obama can be seen planting a garden or picking up burgers from Five Guys.   Can  you  tell  I’m  a  DC  native?  While many believe we’re taxed unfairly (our  license  plate  tag?  “Taxation  Without  Representation”)  we take it all in stride because that’s how we roll.  

Well, we also have a state fair, which launched last year and it was a great success.  I started to hear about the first annual DC State Fair last year online and via friends on twitter, and from there it seemed everyone in town was writing and reporting on it.  I was in, and excited to attend.  I  was  convinced  to enter some of our container veggies in the fair’s vegetable contest, and our lemon cucumbers won first place in the  “funkiest” veggie category.   That win led me to talk about my DC State Fair memories  with  Kenneth  Moore,  president   of  the  DC State Fair, who blogs about gardening and cooking as The Indoor Garden(er).  I hope you’ll read the interview, and check out the DC State Fair blog.  If you’re, as we say,  in the distirct, at the end of August, come check out our state fair.  For more infomration  you can visit the DC  State  Fair  blog,  or  tweet  Ken at  @indoorgarden_er.  

One of my favorite memories of the event?  All the wonderful pies entered in the  pie  baking  contest,  which  I  got  to  judge.    

GardenWise on Winter Watering and Mulching


Winter Garden Prep

WATERING: Water all new trees,

shrubs and other plants before you

put your hose away for the winter

as they require as much moisture

at the root level to survive though

winter.  Rainfall only soaks in just

below the surface.  This last deep

is important for your newlyplanted trees, shrubs and especially evergreens.

WINTER MULCH: A reminder that we’re approaching that day, so after the

ground has become frozen, apply an extra layer of organic winter mulch to

tender plants, such as Lavender. Avoid using mulch like whole leaves that

will compact and smother your plants. Mainly Mulch works nicely and adds

organic matter as it decomposes. Don’t apply the extra mulch before the

ground has become frozen, which is an open invite to unwanted guests

such as mice to move into your garden.