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Posted by on Aug 8, 2014 | 1 comment

A Meditation on Weeding

A Meditation on Weeding

We last visited Sue and John’s garden earlier this spring, when their planting had first begun. In this guest post, Sue waxes poetic about weeding and her love of those intrepid volunteer vegetables she discovers each summer. It’s the middle of the summer and I just finished a huge weeding session in our garden. I love weeding and although I’ve heard people refer to it as tedious, boring, hard work (sadly these people include my two sons), for me the results far outweigh the supposed gruel of it all. Weeding brings back balance, gives me a sense of order in the chaos and shows off the beauty of the soil. It helps me to untangle plants from each other while it helps me to untangle my mind. When I start to weed, the minutes turn into hours. I weed and plan and untangle and move plants. The structure of my garden comes back and the lack of structure that always seems to be present in my life fades into...

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Posted by on Aug 4, 2014 | 1 comment

Del Ray Parks and Rec: Monticello Park

Del Ray Parks and Rec: Monticello Park

Tucked in a wooded area of the Beverley Hills neighborhood next to Del Ray is yet another one of our favorite local outdoor destinations, Monticello Park, located at 320 Beverley Dr. It’s well-known in the birding community as an ideal spot to view the numerous species of migrant birds which visit during the year (I’ve heard there are at least 20 species of Warblers). In fact, the only other person who was in the park when we visited was a birder, binoculars in hand. We didn’t bring binoculars or a zoom lens on our visit though, we were here for a walking adventure. After crossing the bridge over the shallow stream, my kids took off, running up and down the hilly terrain, winding through twisted branches and over fallen trees and looping back to the picnic area at the middle of the park. The park does have its downsides though — some of the pathways are blocked by invasive plants and uneven roots and an unsightly stormwater drain empties...

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Posted by on Jul 21, 2014 | 0 comments

Del Ray Parks and Rec: Mount Jefferson Greenway

Del Ray Parks and Rec: Mount Jefferson Greenway

When I told a friend I was going to walk the Mount Jefferson Greenway this past weekend, she asked, “What’s the Greenway?” If you’re into Del Ray history or you live near the Greenway, you’re probably very familiar with it. But for those who have never heard of it, the Greenway is a long thin plot of land about 1/2 mile in length on the east side of Del Ray, tracing the former route of the Bluemont Line of the defunct W&OD Railroad. There’s essentially two sides of the Greenway. On the north side, there’s a park with benches, a playground for kids and a paved path favored by joggers and dog walkers. We started our walk on this side where you enter the Greenway at Commonwealth Avenue between Manning and Ashby Street. The park crosses Clifford and Hume Avenues before it opens to benches and a playground. There’s a marker at Raymond Avenue telling the history of the Bluemont Line — it carried goods, mail and passengers from...

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Posted by on Jul 16, 2014 | 9 comments

Register Now: Del Ray Urban Farm Tour, August 16, 2014

Register Now: Del Ray Urban Farm Tour, August 16, 2014

All around Del Ray, people are growing vegetables and herbs galore in their summer gardens, cultivating figs and other fruit trees, and raising bees for honey — some produce enough food for their families with extra crops to share with friends. In the spirit of the Del Ray House and Garden Tour, we thought it would be fun to host a tour around town to showcase some of our favorite “urban farms.” The tour is set for August 16 when gardens are at their peak and we’d like you to join us! Continue reading to learn how to sign up. How It Works: Registrants will meet up at 8:30 a.m. and set out together, maps in hand, to 6-10 stops around the neighborhood. Plan to ride a bike. Alternatively, you can take a car, but you will need a vehicle of some kind because there are too many stops spread out around the neighborhood to walk. At each of the stops, you will have a chance to see what...

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Posted by on Jul 9, 2014 | 2 comments

Summer Color in a Small-Space Garden

Summer Color in a Small-Space Garden

As many already know, you don’t need a large garden to enjoy bright summer colors. My backyard is about 16 feet wide by 16 feet deep, most of that space taken up by a deck, but we pack in the color as best we can. For reference, here’s an aerial shot from early last spring to see the size of our planting space. This year we planted a mix of perennials and annuals — alstroemeria, zinnia, daisies and daylillies. So far the alstroemeria is a standout. The leaves are thick and the petals may look delicate but they are strong. We’re the lucky benefactors of the vibrant purple clematis my neighbor grows every year — it cascades down our side of the fence. It’s so lush that one year a bird found a place inside to built a nest and lay eggs. It blooms all summer long. In addition to the flowers, we’re also growing hot peppers and herbs (in the garden and in containers). And at my children’s...

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