Pages Menu
TwitterFacebook
Categories Menu

Posted by on Jun 19, 2015 | 1 comment

A Backyard Makeover Part 1: Installing a Dry Creek

A Backyard Makeover Part 1: Installing a Dry Creek

When we moved into our house three years ago, the backyard was pretty much a blank canvas. We always knew we wanted something different but turned to interior and front yard projects first. Last year we added a slide, a rope ladder  and some chalkboards to make it a little more attractive for our children. This year it was finally time to direct our energies towards the back yard. We decided to call a professional designer to help us turn our ideas and vision into a plan. The space is not large, but consists of various areas which we wanted tied together in a meaningful, aesthetic and useful way. We searched high and low for the right person and came across Beth Ginter of The Honeybee Group in Silver Spring, MD. She turned out to be exactly what we were looking for in a designer — with an emphasis on sustainability and use of native plant material and a lot of experience in creating versatile outdoor spaces for families. Beth...

Read More

Posted by on Jun 2, 2015 | 2 comments

DC Schoolyard Garden Bike Tour

DC Schoolyard Garden Bike Tour

As an ACPS teacher and our school’s environmental steward, I was instantly intrigued when I heard about the DC Schoolyard Garden Bike Tour. I wanted to see first-hand how DC public schools incorporate gardens into their educational programs and borrow ideas to use back at home. I met up with the tour at Bicycle Space in DC. We started off with a short introduction and a run down of the rules (basically ride in a single file line). Then we were off to our first school! The first garden we saw was at JO Wilson Elementary. I was in awe with their tower garden system — they had strawberries, lettuce, and various greens integrated into these amazing towers. The towers yield enough for the students to sell strawberry smoothies at their weekly CSA program and garden market. Of course, they have the coolest blender around. The next school was Tyler Elementary. They welcomed us with delicious refreshments (thanks, Slow Foods). I particularly liked their garden signs that were made...

Read More

Posted by on Mar 25, 2015 | 1 comment

Creating a Backyard Community Garden From the Ground Up

Creating a Backyard Community Garden From the Ground Up

I’ve always been impressed with Catherine’s garden. By September it’s overflowing — tomatoes, peppers, carrots, greens, beans, garlic, onions, herbs and more. She even grows flowers solely for arrangements. But this year, the garden is going to change. It’s getting bigger (2-3 times bigger) and turning into a community garden she and her neighbors can work on together, sharing expenses, time and, of course, harvest. Right now, there are about five raised beds along the side of Catherine’s fence, and an additional five by her neighbor Lauren’s house. But they want more. The boxes above contain unassembled frames for more beds. Everyone on the block was invited to participate in the community garden project, they held brainstorming meetings over the winter. Currently three households are participating, but they hope more will jump on board once the real work gets started. Catherine and Lauren created a detailed map for the expanded garden, each raised bed is numbered and coordinates with a spreadsheet that lists what will go in each bed,...

Read More

Posted by on Feb 1, 2015 | 0 comments

Wintertime Gardening…Indoors

Wintertime Gardening…Indoors

 We’re lucky that Justine is willing to share her many talents and adventures with DIY Del Ray. We’ve done an art tour in her home, featured her pour over coffee bar at the Four Mile Run farmers’ market, and learned all about seed saving in a demo she led last August. Justine is a teacher at Mount Vernon Community School, where she leads an after-school gardening and environmental learning club. She and her students are busy even in these frigid winter months doing, as she puts it, “projects to green up” the indoors. Today, illustrated with her own photos, Justine tells about her indoor gardening projects both in her own home and with the school garden club.  I can’t stand not gardening, so I always enjoy creating an indoor garden during the wintertime. Every year, I experiment and add a new plants to my repertoire. All you need is a window with sunlight to have an indoor garden, so even apartment dwellers or people without a garden can satisfy their...

Read More

Posted by on Aug 20, 2014 | 4 comments

The Del Ray Backyard Farm CSA

The Del Ray Backyard Farm CSA

One of the many incredible stops on the Del Ray Urban Farm Tour last weekend was the shared garden at Dan, Lucas and Chris’s 3-unit rowhouse complex. Their garden, which produces food for their three households throughout the year, is everywhere — on their front steps, in raised beds near the sidewalk, in three long beds in the backyard and even in a series of plastic tubs. It’s taken over so much of their land that they have devised a plan to expand into the Del Ray community (and they want you to get involved). But before we get into their plan, let’s meet the farmers. From left to right below, that’s Dan, Lucas and Chris. Chris has lived in Del Ray for over thirty years. He started the garden at his current house on Duncan Avenue a few years ago, convincing previous neighbors to tear down the fence dividing the three properties for more open space. Once Dan and Lucas moved into their homes, they decided to join...

Read More