Martha Stewart and GardenWise on Herbs and Vines

Plant and Grow Now — Vines, Veggies and Herbs

Martha Stewart was on the Today show this morning  talking about herbs.  She pronounces the “H”.  Here’s  a link via hulu. You’ll have to suffer through  a 30 second commercial.  Martha’s segment has inpired to do today’s post on what you can plant and grow right now — Veggies, Herbs and Vines.  

Plant now: Veggies and Herbs. After the threat of frost has passed and your soil has warmed, start planting your summer herb and vegetable garden.   Some veggie choices I’ve had great luck with in containers include eggplant, peppers, tomatoes, and zucchini.  Seeds are more budget friendly, and it’s always great fun to swap seeds with friends, but some of us may not have those types of friends.  Small plants can be purchased from your nursery for not more than a few dollars per plant.  This is the route I took last year when planting my containers, below, which included lemon cucumbers, also pictured below.   Some of my favorite herbs to grow each year to use for cooking and grilling include basil, rosemary and thyme. 

Grow now: Vines.  Charming and low maintenance, vines offer great a solution for those seeking to add color and fragerance to their outside spaces.  Some favorites are Purple wisteria and Crossvine ‘tangerine beauty’ for color and fragrance.  Carolina Jessamine has very aromatic flowers (not to be confused with Swamp Jasamine which has fragrance-free flowers,) and Tumpet honeysuckles such as ‘Major Wheeler” and ‘JohnClayton’ are favorites as well., an informational website where a large community of experts share information, has a wonderful in-depth feature on huneysuckles by Paul Boland which you can find online here.  Check your local nursery for a good seleciton of vines that are available in your area.



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.