It's that time of year again! Eating lunch with old friends and new, swapping seeds, and talking plants. I can't think of a better way to spend an afternoon!
Date: Saturday, February 11, 2012
TIME: noon to about 4 pm, we'll start the seed swapping around 2
WHERE: Frederick, MD, Chef Lin Buffet (scroll down for directions)
WHAT: Eating Lunch and Swapping Seeds
WHO: DG subscribers and their guests (see list at bottom of post)
If you've never been to a DG Mid-Atlantic event, don't worry... we are a fun and casual group. Everybody brings their extra seeds to swap & share (it's very useful to make up little labeled packets ahead of time), everybody visits and talks, and everybody goes home with a nice selection of seeds to try! I wrote an article that may give you an idea about how this event goes: http://davesgarden.com/guides/articles/view/1479/. This will be our fourth year for a midwinter seed swap here!
You may want to plan to come early so you can drop by Dutch Plant Farm, my favorite local nursery for winter visits! I wrote an article that has a lot of photos taken there, if you'd like an idea of what they are likely to have. http://davesgarden.com/guides/articles/view/769/ If we're lucky, the truck will be back from FL by then with new plants.
At NOON we'll meet for lunch at Chef Lin, a local Chinese buffet that's one of my favorite Frederick restaurants. I'm hoping we'll have 20+ people, as we did last year, so we can use their back room, which gives us room to set up tables for name tags, door prizes, and seed swapping. The manager has been very accommodating, and she's happy to hear we're planning to return. Chef Lin Buffet, 417-A South Jefferson St., Frederick. 301-620-0664.
At 2 pm, we'll do a little thing and give away some door prizes. If you have something you'd like to donate to the "gift table," please Dmail me or post that you're bringing something (so I know around how many items we'll have). Purchased items for the table should be under $5.
We'll concentrate on seed swapping from 2 to 3:30 pm or so. Of course, seeds can be swapped outside of that time, and of course anybody who doesn't want to swap seeds can just keep chatting and visiting. It's usually at least 4 pm by the time we all leave, so plan to make a day of it if you can.
The cost for lunch will be $12 per person, including tax/tip, water, and hot tea. If you want a soft drink, please add $2.50. With the other seafood on the buffet (sushi, steamed shrimp & mussels, clams/oysters on the half shell, fried fish/shrimp/scallops, and various hot dishes), I've never felt the need for the snow crab, but it's an available option for several dollars more. The buffet has everything from soups and stir-fries to fried chicken and mozzarella sticks... there's salad, fruit, and an array of desserts, including soft-serve ice cream and hot little fried doughnuts. The selection is remarkable, and even if you don't like Chinese food you'll find plenty of possibilities.
We will all be on one tab, so please bring $12 (or $14.50, with soft drink) in cash to pay for your lunch. Give your money to SallyG when you arrive.
I know some folks might be on tight budgets. If the cost of the meal might keep you from coming, please Dmail me, and we'll get you covered. I don't want anybody to miss out.
Swapping of plants (with potting soil or dirt) that we can't bring inside can be done in the parking lot... the best time seems to be between 1:30 and 2. I know it's not an ideal arrangement, but bear in mind this was meant to be a seed swap. :-)
Please post on this thread if you're interested in coming. It's useful for the restaurant (and for me!) to have an approximate head count.
If you can't come but still want to swap seeds, please post here or on the seed swapping thread to ask somebody to volunteer to be your "seed fairy." You can post have/want lists, send your seeds and return postage to your person, and they'll send your seeds to you after the swap.
I had a blast at our previous seed swaps, and I'm so excited about this year's gathering!
~ Critter (Jill)
People planning to party!`
Buttoneer (Judy) & Bob
Critterologist (Jill, with Jim & Joyanna joining us for lunch)
NicnCarol (Critter's parents)
egnalg & Greenthumb99
Foxnfirefly (needs a ride from Falls Church area!)
Gitagal & Aina (her daughter!)
Haighr (Candee) & Steve
Holly & Ric
Marlene4 + 1
Ruby & John
Theresa (critter's friend), possibly also her parents/brother (family of "avid gardeners!")
The restaurant is in Prospect Plaza, at 417 S. Jefferson St,near a nest of interchanges where 15, 340, 40, and 270 all come together. This makes it both easy to get to from different directions, and hard to describe, but these directions worked well last year, LOL. McDonalds is at the front of the Plaza, easy to spot. Chef Lin is toward the center of this strip mall.
From the north, coming down 15 South. Get off at the Jefferson Street exit, turning LEFT (going east). Cross over the highway, and Prospect Plaza will be immediately on your LEFT (turn LEFT at the light).
From the south, along 15-340 North (the two highways merge together just south of Frederick): Stay on 340. (Don't get off onto 15 North when it diverges.) 340 more or less becomes Jefferson Street. Keep left. You'll cross the bridge over the highway, and then turn LEFT at the light into Prospect Plaza.
From the south, along 270N (coming up from the DC beltway): Get off at the Jefferson Street exit and turn RIGHT at the end of the ramp (east onto Jefferson). Make an immediate LEFT at the next light to turn into Prospect Plaza.
From the east (Baltimore), you'll be on 70 West. Take exit 53b, 15 North. Take the first exit onto Jefferson Street. Turn RIGHT at the end of the ramp (east onto Jefferson). Make an immediate LEFT at the next light to turn into Prospect Plaza.
From the west: you'll be on 70 East. Take the exit for 15 North. You're now on 15-340. Stay on 340. (Don't get off onto 15 North when it diverges.) 340 more or less becomes Jefferson Street. Stay to the left. You'll cross the bridge over the highway, and then turn left at the light into Prospect Plaza.
From Dutch Plant Farm, at 151 Baughmans Lane. Turn LEFT onto 40 East. Take the first RIGHT onto 15 South. Take the first exit, Jefferson Street. Turn LEFT onto Jefferson Street, cross over the highway, and then turn LEFT at the light into Prospect Plaza.
Dutch Plant Farm is off "the Golden Mile," highway 40, W Patrick St. At the corner of 40 and Baughman's Lane, there's a shopping center with a JoAnn's. DPF is just behind the shopping center. Coming from 15 onto 40W, you'd turn RIGHT at the first light onto Baughmans Lane and then take the 2nd entrance on the LEFT into DPF. (The 1st left is the side entrance into the shopping plaza.)
OK, I need some feedback here... In the past, we've had a thread for seed swap discussion (a place to talk about seeds you could bring or to say, "yes please, I could really use some purple fringed thistleberry seed!"), and we've had a separate thread for posting have/want lists (with 1 post per person, edited as needed, to make it easy to find everybody's list). We could do the same thing this year, or I could set up a database for all our seed lists and trades. (Each person has an entry in the database where they can keep track of their seeds.) We did the database thing in a recent by-mail swap, and it worked really well... It might be simpler to keep everything in this forum, or it might be easier to organize things on another link. (We'd still have a thread here for seed chat, requests, etc.)
Please let me know where you want to do seed lists, thread here or database. One way or another, I'll get us set up soon. Thanks!
Count me in, Jill. I would not want to miss it. Of course--that would mean that sallyg has to come too.
We know she will--and be the $$$$ lady.
I have no idea how a database works--so my vote is for the old way--on a Thread.
I am trying to re-interest "Donner" (Sally) to get back to us.
I recently D-mailed her with an AV question--and she said she has really been busy and has not
been in touch with anything on the MAF in the last year.
I will send her the link you posted for the Swap.
The Swap's date is also my daughter's B-day...Aina will turn 47...Aggghhhh! I have a child THAT old????/
Thanks for organizing this, Jill! I'm afraid I can only stay for an hour, but I'd still like to come! I'm looking for common herb seeds, such as parsley, cilantro, and basil. I think I'm going to have plenty of seeds leftover from wintersowing. As far as having a separate database, I'm not experienced enough to know which way would be more convenient for everyone.
Pippi told me the food was great at this restaurant. I'm looking forward to seeing you all again!
Years ago--well, a few--I got seeds from Jill for 3 different Basils. I have been growing them--
and have been patient enough to collect seeds...believe me--most of them need toothpicks to get the seeds out!
If no one else has them--I will.
--Italian (Genovese) Basil (from Italy)
--Lemon Lime basil citrusy flavor...
--Thai basil--has an Anise flavor--used in Oriental dishes.
Sweet basil can be had at any garden center...mucho seedlings per pot.
Honestly, ss, it is better to buy the common herbs (Parsley--Cilantro--regular Basil) at a HD
already growing than to mess with growing anything from seed. Just NOT worth the time!
BTW--Parsley and Oregano, as well as Rosemary-- can overwinter outside and continue growing next year.
Thanks, Gita! I'm actually going to grow the "food" herbs separately (near the kitchen) and grow annual herbs all around the garden for non-cooking purposes.
I'm interested in growing a bunch of parsley in a partly shady area to see if it attracts butterflies! I heard it was good butterfly/caterpillar food. :-)
I got what was labeled Thai basil last year and even saved the seeds, but it looks nothing like the pictures of Thai basil I see on line! The one I got bolted right away, but the flowers were so beautiful I just let it flower. I'm interested in growing it around the roses, because I heard basil deterred certain unwanted insects, and it would be such a lovely companion plant.
I already have all the winter-hardy herbs I need (thyme, oregano, rosemary, lavender, mint, sage). But I'd love to grow dozens and dozens of basil varieties!
SSG, you're a kindred spirit! Joyanna and I are going to grow out bunches of different basils this year. I'll take a run through my stash for you. It might be easier for you to try to pre-arrange some trades if you won't be able to stay until after 2... I'll have bags set up on a table again with everybody's name on a bag, which makes it easy to set seeds aside for a particular person and just drop them into their bag when you arrive.
Gita, I'm glad you're saving basil seeds too! I did get a lot of the Italian basil and Hot & Spicy basil seeds this year, but I didn't grow Lemon or Lime (I think you're growing the mix I shared one year when my Lemon & Lime seeds got mixed up together). I've found if you let the little seed "pods" get nice and dry, you can rub them to crush the pods and then use a sieve to separate chaff & seeds (seeds and chaff-dust fall through the sieve, then I blow away the chaff-dust). Joyanna helped me rub the basil for the seeds this year!
I need to order hybrid pepper seeds and a few other things, probably from HPS, so I'll post a thread for anybody wanting to split packets or share shipping charges and put a link here or on the seed swapping thread.
Jill--Yes! I got all my original Basil seeds from you.
Now--just rubbing the dried "pods" will not get you all the seeds that can be had.
I, literally, took each little bloom-pod in hand and, using a wood toothpick, dug out 4-5 more
seeds from each of the "pods". They ARE in there!!!
Very tedious--but can be done while watching TV or something.
I will have plenty of L&L seeds...Thai basil also.
Hey! Did you know there is now a BLACK red pepper???
A woman at work (last summer) was eating one. I took out all the seeds.
The Pepper was store-bought--so not sure how the seeds will grow out. Just found this interesting...
I DID grow out a couple of your "Ornamental Black Peppers". They grew more upright and bigger
than the Purple ornamental peppers...
Jill, thank you for organizing the swap. Please count me in. I will have no seeds to contribute, but will bring a table prize.
Gita, thank you for giving me the "kick". Sorry about "falling off the horizon" for such a long time. I have been thinking of you guys/gals although I didn't come to the forum very much :-). Now I have a lot to catch up.
Jill, Pat (ecnalg) will attend for sure. I have a prior commitment that may or may not occur that day. I will let you know my disposition as soon as I know for sure one way or the other. Thanks once again for your never-ending organizational efforts!
Oh yeah...can't say for sure yea or nay...need to speak with the chauffer first and see what he has planned for that day. We haven't attempted to attend any of the seed swaps in the past due to believing the drive is too much in one day. We were proven wrong when attending the plant swap at Jill's last fall. We can do a day trip and be no worse for the wear.
Coleup...please think seriously about attending...you already know the online closeness of this group, I hope that you will join us for the in person version...you won't be sorry.
Since Jill's fall swap I have had the good fortune to do some behind the scenes, through dmails, to get to know a few of you a bit better on a personal level and I have not been disappointed in the least. This group serves as one of my connections with the outside world...above and beyond the hillside I live on.
I thank my lucky stars when seven or so years ago while I was researching vacuum cleaners I found a link to a conversation on Dyson's cleaners on Dave's Garden... little did I know how important these message boards would become to me. I have never regretted the day.
Ruby, I know you may not be able to leave the critters on their own, but you and John would be welcome to stay with us either before or after the seed swap. I'll extend the same offer to Stormy & her SO (if she's back online soon) and to anybody who might be coming from some distance away... We have a queen bed in the guest room, 2 twin beds in Joyanna's room (she'll move out for the night), and a sleeper sofa in the living room. Just sayin'... :-)
Jill, you are so kind to offer for us to stay over. The trip to your place in the fall was in no way too taxing on neither John or myself, so if we make it, we will head home in the afternoon. I still haven't had an opportunity to ask him about coming, but he will be here most of the day tomorrow and I will talk to him about it then and let you know if you will need to add two more to the restaurant list.
Ric and Holly, your being there certainly sweetens the package. It is always really great to see and chat with both of you.
Jill, you know I want to be there again this year. Only thing is a way. The date is open as far as I can see. So, if anyone from my area is going, please D-mail me if you've got room in your ar for extra cargo I'll keep a watch out and if anything breaks, I'll let you know.
I'll be there and Steve would like to come along so count on 2 of us. I only have a few seeds and don't need any for myself, but will be bringing a gift for the prize table.
See you there on the 11th!
I posted about a couple of "group buy" opportunities over on the seed swapping discussion thread for this swap. Basically, I'm ordering seeds from HPS and Atlas gloves from Palmfit, and anybody who wants "in" on the good prices can order with me. :-)
Mine is cuter. ;-) Kidding, Gita, you know I'm kidding! I'm really excited about finally getting to meet one of your girls. I think I'm turning 47 this year also... what does it mean when you have to think through the arithmetic to figure out your age? LOL, in my case I think it means I'm just too distracted and busy and happy to keep such "trivial" details at the front of my mind. Or it's just that I'm blond. And, by golly, I don't care how dark my hair grew out after chemo -- by the power vested in me by Clairol #98, I'm still a blond!
I hope everybody will help spread word of this swap! When you notice somebody posting on another forum who's from the area, please take a minute to write a post or an email inviting them to the swap (either post a link to this thread or just direct them to the MAG forum). That's the sort of "personal connection" that can encourage somebody (whether a new or long-time DGer) to jump into one of our gatherings... our community grows because it's friendly & welcoming!
I'm getting ready to place my HPS order, although I'll likely still be able to add to it tomorrow morning... So far, I've got Gypsy, Carmen, and Flamingo sweet peppers (non-bell hybrids), Holy Mole hybrid pepper for Ric, either pink cosmos or purple-veined petunia for Joyanna, Hypoestrum (polka dot plants), and thinking about something to share in LadyG's memory, maybe their combo pellet with pink petunias and white bacopa.
Hopefully I haven't left the APS order until too late, but they usually ship out pretty promptly. *fingers crossed* although I can always mail out a few seeds post-haste (so to speak) after the swap.
I don't believe I'm going to miss it this year, I'll be on my way to Norway the following Monday and doing some last minute mad packing on the weekend! I hope y'all have a great time, eat some SUSHI for me!!!! Tweedle Dee!
Foxnfirefly wrote:Jill, you know I want to be there again this year. Only thing is a way. The date is open as far as I can see. So, if anyone from my area is going, please D-mail me if you've got room in your ar for extra cargo I'll keep a watch out and if anything breaks, I'll let you know.
Have you been able to arrange a ride yet? Inquiring minds want to know!
Speaking of guests... My parents are coming down for a visit next week so they can come to the "seed party" and meet some of the fun folks I keep talking about. Some of you met Jim's parents at a fall plant swap at our place, but mine haven't been to a MAG event yet, so I'm psyched (does anybody still say "psyched?" LOL, as Douglas Adams would say, I'm so un-hip it's a wonder my buns don't fall off).
Also, I talked to my friend Theresa earlier today, and she'll be there. Her parents Al & Irene and brother Tom are "definite maybes" at this point. People who have been to previous plant/seed swaps in Frederick have met them. I can't seem to get them gardening online, but they're some of the best and most enthusiastic gardeners I know!
Great, I am "psyched" and yes I still say that! This is going to be a big family reunion. Can't wait to meet your family, I feel like I have know them for years Jill! And looking forward to seeing those familiar faces and new ones as well!
Please add my daughter, Aina, to your list. I am sure you will need a count before all this gets going.
She will be there--just as my guest.. A birthday treat to pig out on Chinese food--- which she loves. .
She has become a "budding gardener" in the last couple of years.
Her tomatoes in June last year.! Monsters! And she grew them from seed!
Can't wait to see everyone. It is always too long between visits. Pat, Cheryl is down in Florida and won't be back in VA until Easter - she and her husband are part of the FL snowbird bunch. Her B-day is this week, so I'll be giving her a call - I'll tell her you said hello.
Yes, and tell Cheryl to put May 19 on her calendar, because she is going to Holly & Ric's with us! By golly.
Gita, I admit my second thought when I clicked on that photo (first thought was how pretty your daughter was, with that proud smile)... anyway, my second thought was "those tomatoes aren't such monsters." And then I looked again and realized you'd said they were that big in June. Yikes! :-)
Jill---They rent the first floor of a single home in Dundalk.
No one has gardened there in years. The front bed was infested with Mint--which Aina hand-dug out.
The soil there is quite a lot of clay with rocks in it. Really fine--almost like silt...
However---everything she planted, front or back yard--grew like it was on steroids! What gives????
Put my garden to shame!!!
I gave her some Datura seedlings--and they just about filled the front bed.
I gave her seed for some Hollyhocks--and it took her, and her sister, major effort to DIG the root ball out of the bed.
Like a foot-deep hole to get it all!
I gave her a pot with 3 Montauk daisies in it--and they grew to fill an area about 4'x4'.
The Tomatoes--in the picture--were so huge they collapsed all over themselves...unbelievable!!!
Quite an encouragement for a new gardener--don't you think?
And--a testimonial that never-gardened, un-ammended clay soil is FULL of nutrients by itself.
I remember that from my first couple of years of gardening at my house--in very clay--ee soil.
Everything grew so great!!
She even planter Asparagus starts last year. we will see...We will see...
Need to get her a bag of Manure to dump over them. Sally talked about that with her Horse manure...
I need to find a place around here for some manure...
Hi Coleup! Thanks for asking--no, I haven't heard from anyone in my area who is going yet. So at this moment, I am not sure I will make it. I guess I live in the wrong State. I still want to come, though. So, if anyone from Northern VA is going, and has room in their car, please D-Mail me. I'll chip in for gas for the ride. I'll keep watching this thread to see what happens. I realize there is only one week left...
Foxy, can you get to the Metro? Maybe somebody could pick you up from a different Metro stop? Geez, I wish the red line went all the way to Frederick! The train and bus runs seem to mostly be good during the week rather than on weekends.
I know the seed swap is as much about seeing the people as about the seeds, but for anybody who can't make it -- remember, somebody can be your "Seed Fairy." Seeds you want from people can go into your "goodie bag" with your name on it, and seeds you want to give people can be mailed to your Seed Fairy this week (with return postage).
Foxy, I'll be happy to send you a bubble envelope with anything I might have that you're looking for, and I think Ruby said the same... we'll be your "Seed Fairies," so please go ahead and post on the seed swapping discussion with trades or requests!
I've got plenty of bubble envelopes! I'll bring a few along in case they're needed.
SSG, do you live close enough to I-70 for the Sally/Gita caravan to swing by for you maybe?
(Gita, if you look at the bottom of "post a reply" box you'll see it now says "you may upload up to 5 images" and the "Browse" box says "First Image" above it... I haven't done it yet, but I imagine you upload one image and then you get a box that says "Second Image" and you upload another, etc.)
Hmm, I might still have some perilla seed... I can check, but have to say that if you let them go to seed, even 1 plant just once! they then turn into a weed. They're all through that side garden, and sometimes I even find them in front!
If anybody's coming up 270, they might be able to meet up with Foxy, too. I just don't know if anybody is coming from around the DC area... start sending out Dmails to anybody nearby! ("please come to the seed swap, because I need a ride!" LOL)/
My folks arrived today, and Mom found some really cool things for our gift table, including a pottery mug my grandmother (an artist who mostly did watercolors) made and a dish she picked up at the Smithsonian 50 years ago...
If anybody has a little starter plant in a 4 inch pot, I have a couple of cache pots for the gift table that could use an inhabitant to go with them. One is white & footed and just really needs something trailing, maybe even variegated...
I could bring a small pot of the Curly Spider plant for the white pot. It "trails"...and it is variegated.
It is growing in a 4" pot--the kind AV's come in. I have several...
I also have a small Swedish Ivy in a 4 1/2" pot--which is a bit taller than the AV kind of a pot---
but I could re-pot it for you in a reg. 4" pot.
Of course--I have plenty of Holiday cactus in small pots. One has a beautiful, pink bloom on it.
I hand-made something--beyond cute--for the gift table. It will get snatched up whoever goes first...
Will bring another gift--so Aina can also be part of this.
I too have had some fun getting things for the gift table. I was in Michael's yesterday and saw all kinds of cool ideas. This whole swap thing is such fun before, during and after. Sure makes for lots of conversation if nothing else. Can't wait to see everyone.
Jill, I wish the Red Line went all the way to Frederick, too. I know that a Marc train did, probably still does. I may look into that another time, though. I was just pushing my luck for a local to come out of the woodwork to join me. I know I need to host a swap and I will plan for one later this year or early next. The Red Line is undergoing track work and has horrible delays on weekends so I prefer to have a ride from here on up. Saves a headache. I'll take you up on the bubble deal. I know you have some "goodies" posted on the next thread. I'll check out ASAP. Have a good evening and a great time on Saturday!! I hope to see you guys later on. For now, I'll be a "Seed Fairy" by mail. :-)
Well, I just sent out a better-late-than-never "blast" invite to a bunch of additional subscribers, including some folks in Falls Church, so you never know! I didn't realize the Red Line was being worked on... urk.
Coleup, thanks for the "blast" you sent out earlier... it's a great way to keep folks in the loop. I get so used to just clicking on threads I'm already "watching" that it's easy to miss new threads/events in the forum.
I'm getting pretty darn excited about seeing everybody on Saturday!
Oh... and I finally realized I hadn't copy/pasted the directions onto this thread yet... directions to Chef Lin are now in the second post on this thread! I also need to check back with Dutch Plant Farm to see if we'll be getting a discount this year. When I stopped by a couple weeks ago, I saw they have a new project underway in the central indoor area -- a big pond! I'm looking forward to seeing it this weekend. :-)
Just checked the MARC train schedule and they apparently do not run on the weekends. Also, trains outbound from DC run in the afternoon/early evening. Too bad, as we pass through Point Of Rocks on our way to Frederick, and could do a pick-up from there.
Unfortunately my 2 garden friends have other plans and will not be able to attend, but Steve and I will be there (weather cooperating) as they are just calling for a few snow showers on Sat. morn.
I can't wait to see everyone.
The forecast changes every time I look! I'm hoping any "serious" weather will come earlier or later, but you're right, we could be dealing with it. Drive carefully -- and if you decide against coming, please let us know by posting on this thread, because we worry about our friends... I'd hate to wonder if anybody who didn't show was stuck halfway here. And I happen to know Sally has a fancy new phone, so I can ask her to check for posts. :-)
Gita -- print out the directions, too... your daughter can use them to navigate in case you lose sight of Sally. :-)
I had an idea for gift table "picks" this year... instead of going one at a time and then telling the next person (which always takes longer than you'd think, because people get busy of course), we'll set it up according to time... The first 5 people take their picks... 10 minutes later, the next 5 people come up, 10 minutes after that the next 5 etc. We'll do a numbered list of names and note the time after which people may come up and select from the table. If you "miss" your time slot, you don't miss your turn, just come up to the table any time after the time by your name. And after the ending time (maybe 3:15, we'll see) everybody is free select another item from whatever might be left, but I don't think we need to continue taking turns at that point. I think it will be easier than it sounds when I try to write it down in words! LOL
It is unlikely that I will be attending this Seed Swap. So, maybe you all should ride together and play fancy tech phone and visit on the way to Frederick and back. Let me know if your meet up time changes from 10"30 to earlier in case I can engineer getting my promised trades to you all to take to the Swap. Maybe Robin would be my designated seed swap fairy???
lol Gita, I forgot about that photo! I look as tired as I feel after delivering 900+ newspapers for 5 - 6 hours before gathering at Sallyg's. Because of the iffyness of the weather, tomorrow mornings deliveries could be routine or take even longer because of road conditions locally. So, I plan to sleep as much as possible tomorrow so I can be ready to deal with quite possibly slippery driving conditions again for the big Sunday paper. Can't do my route by rote when weather is yucky.
Guess I'll just have to remain a mysterious unknown MAF er a bit longer! (like that perennial that still hasn't bloomed, my roots are going deeper and stronger)
Be safe and have a great time all.
PS Sally be glad you have a shepherd and not a husky type...I hear they shed enough to make wool for two sweaters per year!
PS Gita, have a very good and Happy Birthday outing with your daughter. I know she will see how loved and valued you are by all of us.
Well, now I don't feel so badly after reading about you others being concerned about the weather conditions too. After all the hoopla and real excitement I have had over the past couple of months, dang it...we won't be coming either. I believe that in my first message here I mentioned that any sort of precip was going to keep us homebound. So, I will hopefully be able to catch up on some things that I would be putting off for another weekend, tomorrow.
I am going to really miss seeing all you great folks, but I will do my very best to make it to Holly and Ric's in May or whenever. For those I have promised seeds to, I will be mailing them. For those of you who had so kindly offered me houseplants, please wait until Ric and Holly's or warmer weather and we can do a mail type of deal. Mail works quite well I have found.
Anyway...so sorry we won't be making it, but you folks have a good time and eat some of the yummy delights for me. I have a feeling John is going to be making a run for chinese one night this weekend.
I will look forward to hearing how things went and seeing some pictures if there are any. Speaking of pictures, I had envisioned Coleup being a larger woman too. The hair I got correct, but that is probably because she told me about it at some point.
I'm still crossing my fingers that the snow will be a non-event, at least as far as slippery roads go.
We went out to Dutch Plant Farms today, and their new indoor pond is lovely! They have a pretty good selection of plants on their half-off "polka dot" sale (look for plants bearing a polka-dot ribbon), and they also are offering 50% off all their glazed ceramic pots (selection outside as well as on the shelves near the front, note that the big ceramic saucers at floor level aren't included).
I've left a couple of messages for Mike (the owner) to see if he can offer us a group discount again this year, but I haven't had a call back from him. So -- ask at checkout if there's a Dave's Garden Club discount today, but the answer might be no. (But if we all ask about it, maybe the answer will be yes again next year.)
The Polka Dot Sale is in full swing. I think there were 4 tables, including a table with orchids (not in bloom). By * large, the plants didn't really look scraggly or anything to me... some that I think just needed to be repotted and possibly split (and if you're like me, that's the one you look for anyway LOL).
Would you know if they have ceramic tops to bird baths?
Mine is all in pieces--as I forgot to take it in before the frosts hit.
I still plan to glue it back together with Epoxy and maybe coat the
inside of the "bowl" with something glazed...Not sure what yet...
We have a slight dusting of snow as i write this--and it is flurrying.
The are calling for 1"-2" starting later this afternoon from the second storm coming this way.
That should not be a big problem--as the roads will be clean--I am sure.
Sorry that Ruby and John have now dropped our--along with Buttoneer.
Well--it will be less crowded at the tables.
Aina and I will be coming with Sally, after all, since Judy dropped out.
Gita, I know they carry birdbaths, but I don't know what they have in stock right now since I didn't go around outside. Maybe we'll have to have a (warm day!) March get-together for hypertuffa and/or concrete leaves... I could see a big leaf serving as a bird bath!
I'm packing up a couple of boxes and still splitting off "just a few more" seeds from what I have.
OK, everybody... when you arrive, please put on a name tag from the table just inside the room and give Sally your lunch money ($12 or $14.50 with soft drink) :-) There will be a table (or two) against the wall for gifts. The name tag table will also have "goodie bags" which serve as seed mailboxes... if you've brought seed for a particular person (or for one of our awol friends), put it into their bag.
Another great Seed Swap! Was great seeing everyone and of course the food was terriffic. I did hold myself to my resolution not to take seeds (still have plenty from the last swap) but lost the battle to be good once we got to Dutch Farm. Somehow I think the seeds would have taken up less space in my room.
I wanted to be the first to post a picture of our darling Joyanna, so her she is! The lady behind her is Jill's mom, a really nice person.
So nice to visit with old friends and meet new friends too. Jill, you certainly gave us a wonderful afternoon. Apparently it had snowed more while we were at the restaurant, because the route home looked like the woods had been replanted with white birch.
Did you actually drive through blizzards on the way home?????
When Sally & company left---there was no more snowing going on. Just nasty windy and cold.
All I bought at the Nursery was a 20lb. bag of Espoma's Bulb Tone--which I have been out of for a year.
Need to make a point to go ore to the BIGGER Garden centers around here. I am such a miser...
The roads were clear and we all got home with NO problems.
Aina (my daughter) loved the day and seemed happy to meet you all and enjoyed the whole day.
I told her our Plant Swap was on May 15th at Holly's--and asked if she would like to come again to particiapate.
YES! was her answer...
Hmmmmm...maybe i will give her a gift subscription to DG and show her the 'ropes" of this web site.
It DOES take a while to find the right paths and learn the ways and ropes of DG.
I think the gardening Bug has bit her...:o)) Smiling...Proud mama!!!
Jill--Thank you once more for organizing this. It was wonderful! Thr food was awesome--as always...
I will upload the few pictures I took tomorrow--RIGHT HERE. Time to get to bed soon.
Yes, I'm so glad we made new friends -- in person-- by having Gwilter & Marlene there! Marlene, I apologize Icoffee must be wearing off), but I can't remember your friend's name... Duessa? SHe's such a sweet person, and she just radiates a calm taht i wished I could tap into a little as I bounded around today,
My parents loved watching such a positive group dynamic and finally getting to put faces to some of the names they hear most often.
It was just a great party! Thanks to all who braved the weather to come, who shared seeds and also shared themselves. i do believe the event has taken on the form of a tradition! :-)
It was a full blown blizzard down 70 till just before 29. All traffic was staying ~60, so you know it had to be white out. Snow was even sticking some in the left lane.
Got home & there was NOTHING at all happening here so it stayed a bit north of us.
I'm so looking forward to getting my seeds into some dirt.
If' I'm still in the area come May I'd enjoy getting to the plant swap.
Thanks everyone for such a nice day and especially Jill and Sally for the organization. It was a pleasure to meet everyone and as I anticipated Jill's parents and are as much a Joy as Joyanna. We didn't have snow on the way home, but quite a lot of wind.
Looking forward to May so we can let the seeding begin. I don't start mine inside anymore as I lose too many in the transplant.
I was lucky to sit with Marlene and Daphne at the beginning, and hear about their vegetable and flower gardening pursuits. Marlene had the perfect shirt- a wanted poster for Mr Squirrel the birdseed thief LOL
ssgardener, Terry, I apologize again for stealing the chair from your poor swollen ankle!
Jill in her yellow shirt looked like Sunshine Mom~Yes, those amaryllis centerpieces came from that sunroom that we all deeply envy, and were beautiful. I'm going to need a Harry Lauder Walking Stick bush so I can have a curly branch, it looked so nice with the Amaryllis.
I've already told my DH he's coming to Ric and Holly's. We'll be happy to give rides and or caravan it up there with anyone from this area.
Bob & I are so sorry we didn't make it last Saturday but I've been sick with this upper respiratory virus going on 3 weeks now and I didn't want to spread it & the driving was poor up here with us anyway. It takes a LOT to keep us from going to these fun get-togethers and I am so sorry because I wanted to enjoy everybody's company, the camaraderie & the bodacious food. Hope everybody had a great time and we will look for another get together later. Judy & Bob.
Jill, thanks for broadcasting for rides. Just my luck to miss out again. Looks like anoher time was had last Saturday. And I'm glad the snow didn't put a damper on the event. If you have any seeds you don't want, you can pass them on to me. I read your 'have's" and was interested in the tomato (pastey one). I have some great lamb's ears and am getting some day-scented stock to trade for.
My, my, Joyanna is now a young lady!! I bet you are enjoying reading fairy tales to her and garden fairy play.
Enjoyed seeing the pics. I had a bit of trouble, though, getting back to the thread after viewing enlargements. I was hoping you could see all of them enlarged in a scroll. It still is one at a time. The thumbnails are a bit misty/blurry on my screens.
I agree, it would be nice if all 5 photos enlarged together... but I'm happy with having up to 5, makes it much easier when I have multiple photos to share!
I do have a solution of sorts for making sure you can get back to the original thread/post... I recently learned that using the "middle click" on my mouse (for me, the scroll button in the center will also click) will make a link or a photo open in a NEW TAB! So you can "middle click" across the line of photos and open 5 new tabs with big photos in them, then just click your way across the tabs to view them. Of course, middle-clicking can lead to having 68 tabs open at once, so you either have to exercise restraint or close a few once in a while, LOL.
Jim is working in Rockville today, but I'm continuing to go through seeds as I sort out my winter sowing and get a few things started inside... if I come across any goodies I think somebody Must Have, I'll mail them! Foxy, for example, I found some cherry tomato seeds called "Fox" I think, and I pulled them out for you. I'll put the San Marzano tomato in your bag, also.
SSG / Terri, I think you'll like that 'Sicilian' basil for pesto also... it's very similar to the one Theresa brought back from Italy for me, but it doesn't have that strong anise note in its flavor. I think I'll be planting both in my veggie garden this year and tucking a lot of other basils wherever I have a little space!
Soooooo, I have my little amaryllis potted and the black willows in water to root since it is just too cold to put them out. I have the seeds that I selected sorted and ready to start in a few weeks.
Thanks again everyone for a fun day with wonderful friends! And Jill the centerpieces were gorgeous.
Hope it's not too cold! LOL Joyanna and I dug holes at the edge of a bed, near soaker hoses for summer irrigation, and we stuck the black willow a good 8 inches into the moist dirt (like my mom told me to do). Joyanna sprinkled moisture crystals into the hole and told the sticks to grow, so I'm sure we're good to go.
So, Ric gave me this absolutely beautiful necklace for V-Day. He quite often picks me up jewelry when we are on vacation so I asked him where did he get it and he said off the gift table at the Swap. LOL He didn't know who brought it. I wanted to say it is just beautiful and thanks alot.
I believe I saw our Catbird bring in a couple of her original creations... :-)
Jim picked up a set of shot glasses from the gift table. He's about as far from a "bar guy" as you can get, so I thought, ??? Back home, he said he knew I liked little vases & glasses for rooting cuttings (I've even been known to use spice jars), and when he saw how these were skinny with heavy bases, he figured I could put them to use. So, my thanks to whomever brought them!
I thought the same thing about the shot glasses when I saw them in the clearance at Giant a couple years ago...and had never used them but I figured somebody else would see 'bud vase'...or shot glass...I do believe you're getting jim well trained!!!!!
Sorry you weren't able to make it Holly. I just put a few in the ground, so we shall see? I was telling Ric that I had a really nice, established melanostachys willow but I decided to move it and move it and move it and the last move it was more into the shade and didn't survive. I have the perfect spot for one now unfortunately it is the spot where my pink flowering almond was for the past 25 years, but suddenly last year it croaked and I have no idea what happened to it. It was about 5' tall and has bloomed every year that we have lived here, but last year the limbs just got brittle and the whole plant died?
haighr, as wet as it was last year, it may have drown. How well drained was that area? Almonds don't like their feet wet. Bores may have been a problem, weakening it so it had no tolerance to stress. Ric
Hi all, how was the "Think Spring" swap? I wish we lived closer. Joyanna's getting so big!! and so cute...I didn't even realize we can post 5 pics now. I like that feature! Hope everyone is healthy and happy. I'm looking forward to sorting through seeds today in planning for our spring garden.
Critter, your basil lives on in our garden, as well as your peppers and thyme. I think we have a hoya indoors too that was from you =) Gita, your spotted leaf begonia is awesome and doing great too!
Happy Gardening! miss everyone...any Longwood Garden plans this year?
Wind, I hope you might be able to get to Holly & Ric's for the spring swap... it's at least a bit closer than when we gather south of DC. Joyanna and I want to start a zillion basils this year, I think... all different kinds. She has loved any basil she's ever tasted (even "clove basil," which I thought was kinda skunky)
Thanks Jill, I'll keep a look out for H & R's swap date. Would luv to try and go again. It would be great to see everyone. Has Joyanna every tried Blue Spice Basil? We get it all over in the garden, seems to self sow easily. I usually weed some and let some grow since I like the plants. I don't harvest it ...may be in the same category as the way you describe clove basil!!
Lunch & plant/seed swap tentatively set for April 21at a restaurant
near the ChristmasTree Shop in Cherry Hill, NJ.
There should be a good variety at our swap.100's of seeds need to be
directly sowed as well as veggie seeds that can be successively sown.
For those of us who have a tendency to start early this may be a good
way to find a home for those 20 extra seedlings you weren't sure were
going to come up at all & you just can't plant all that did. Which will
help those who's seeds really didn't come up.
If you haven't done so lately please update your Want lists. Aside from the
general swap I plan to have an area with envelopes devoted to surprise seed
for those who come.
Always subject to change but those who said they would be interested
in attending should you want or need to carpool.
HollyAnnS & Ric - Dover PA
Roses_R_Red - Mt Bethel PA
Avpat - Atco
Ninatheretired - Bordentown
Nisi - Bordentown
FlowAJen - Central, NJ
Onewish1 - Denville
Gabigrier - Maple Shade
Jan23 - Salem County
Marie_Kap - Williamstown
I'm in Port Norris just a river away from Cape May County
There are 7 on the "not sure but keep me posted" list.
I have some friends who believe in being prepared for emergencies of all kinds and so over the years they have acquired and stored tools, food, and various supplies beyond the 3-4 days of sheltering in place recommended by our state. This year they have added "seed vaults" which consist of more than enough non-hybrid seeds to grow over an acre. These vaults come in five assortments:
beans and legumes
What? No flowers? Beauty is surely part of my survival stash! (Besides, what would the bunnies, deer, and brer groundhog eat!
Hi Everyone - Such a chatty bunch. I love reading all of your thoughts. So many times I will read what someone is saying and realize that I have just been thinking along the same lines. What is it they say about great minds? hahaha
Anyway Jill, I know I am going to feel really stupid asking this questions, but is the BE you have for Buttoneer and I? I will gladly take whatever it is, but would like to know what it is first. hahaha
Anyway...I will be getting out envelopes in tomorrows mail with seeds that I had promised folks. Wind, Foxnfire and anyone else reading, if you would like to take a quick peek at my offerings, I will gladly add another envelope or two.
Just need to point out to those who may not know, but many of my plants on my front deck have come from Wind's home. Some years back, John and I were priviliged to tour her beautiful home and garden in New Jersey. Grand doesn't begin to describe their place. I felt a bit silly with all the oohing and aahing I was doing. I know she grew tired of my questioning what is this, what is that? She was such a great tour guide and hostess. I haven't had reason to be in her area for a while now, but hope on our next trip to that destination that we can arrange for another tour if the season is right. Always great to see you Diana.
Longwood Gardens is another thing I would like to comment on. What a glorious day for our group when we toured the grounds together. Just a few days ago I was hunting for a picture and found the ones I had taken that day and recalled the glory of that place. Amazing...ladygardener had organized that trip for us for those who didn't know it. What a sweet sweet soul. Our loss.
Anyway...as always...great way to start my week...reading and catching up with you wonderful folks. Hope the week is a good one for all.
Jill, that Tansy Pansy bear was a gift to one of my kids, when said kid was a bit too old for little bears, She sat unloved and packed away. I was clearing out and found her looking like new, and just thought I knew who would make her 'real'
8 ^) !!
I was happy to see her claimed
I really think people should not assume we all know what all these acronyms mean.
Have some consideration, PLEASE!!!
I don't either! Lets not assume that everyone else does...
PLEASE--spell it out for us ignoramuses. It would help a lot!
I, for one, am tired of posting to whatever Thread, when they use all these acronyms, and asking---
WHAT does that mean???? We all do not live in these "Acronym" worlds.
Same as not all of us know the horticultural names of plants--that many of you take for granted.
Please use a language we all will understand. Thanks! Gita
My seeds (and a pr of the gardening gloves) were delivered to my "seed starting expert" yesterday. If she plants 1 seed, she gets 2 plants; if I plant 10 seeds I get 1 plant!!!! Of course she doesn't have cats either,
She was extremely excited to see the "Chocolate Daisies".
OK GITA! Thats the acronym for Generous Interesting True Adventurer...or something ROFL
I didn't pick up on BE either...but I let it fly
Me and Jill are going off in a corner ( anyone else welcome too) to mutter Corylopsis, and Heliopsis and NOID DLs and NCDs (not chocolate daisies, a name whch I defy ANYONE outside of DG to understand )
Qwilter- I think I've had that "bug" too, the number of seeds planted bears no relation to what you get. Choc Daisies are cute. Or was it Not chocs? Now I don't remember which one I grew, or didn't grow..LOL...I do now have Choc Daisies seeds...
Critter, what a great article (and some great giggles), thank you for pointing me there! Those not-chocolate-daisies are really lovely, but I think I really really prefer the real chocolate ones. And, following links from your article, I see now that I'm also going to *HAVE* to have chocolate Cosmos as well. < =D You know how it is.
And, thank you everyone for clarifying DH for me! =)
Pretty photo... like those big flower stalls that we saw in Amsterdam!
Gita, I know well what an Ox-eye daisy is. But "Yellow Ox-Eye" is a name I've seen for that heliopsis, and it's easier to say than Heliopsis helianthoides var. scabra and prettier than some of its other common names like "false sunflower" or "rough heliopsis."
I got a wonderful goodie packet too! Thanks, Ruby! We are going to have zinnias galore out there this summer... more than even Joyanna & her friends can pick!! And you put in such surprises for Joyanna, just what she is getting into now... She loves "playing card games" even if she doesn't quite have the hang of game rules yet (we play "Cootie" cooperatively, taking turns throwing the die but drawing one cootie together). Add an alphabet to color and a whole envelope of stickers for the next rainy day... what a treasure trove for a 2 1/2 year old! She was just thrilled to see her name on the envelope, too... wish you could have heard her... "for me??!
Oh gosh, so glad that she enjoyed the things I sent. I went on my monthly grand child shopping trip on Sunday afternoon. I keep those sorts of things on hand, but I sent your package when the stash was low on goodies. Oh my gosh, I was thinking she was a year older than she is. Duh, I suppose because she is so tall for her age, or either my grand daughter is so short. DUH!!
One of Emily's favorite games to play is "store." She gets coins out of my coin jar and things finds things around the room that she wants to buy, and I have to ring her out. When I tell her that she is paying with a credit card, I give her an index card to sign her name. On Sunday I found a little cash drawer toy with bills and coins and I think she will like having that, only it require more time for me to be cashier, as it takes two to play this game. She is big time in to "let's pretend." She is always giving herself a new name, her brother a new name and most often I am the waitress in a restaurant and she gives me another name too. So fun!!! She really loves the names Tina and Lena and that is usually what she calls herself. Not exactly sure why she always wants her brother's name to be Paco. hahaha
Anyway, thanks for allowing me the opportunity to bring a smile to my face while sitting here. I am usually pulling my hair out after they have been here for a few hours some days, but it is fun to recall the fun parts of their being here. I guess you gotta take the bad with the good.
We had lunch on the back deck this noon... mac & cheese with a can of mexicorn (her pick) and adobo seasoning (also her pick). I don't know why, but first she decided we were goats, and then we were mice, and when we ate the last few bites we were bunnies. Whichever animal we were, though, we still ate with spoons.
I had to smile Jill. I am often designated at the farmer feeding my horses whenever we have apples. On occasion Emily will be a kitty eating the apple, but usually it is a horse, which makes more sense. I love the pretend games too.
I had so much fun at the dollar store today buying goodies for Easter baskets. I have always loved the colors associated with Easter, and really get in to Easter even more than I do Christmas. This year I will be dyeing eggs the first time in ages and ages. That was such a fun time from my childhood.
I was also able to pick up several different types of planters today to fill and sell at the Farmers Market this coming summer. I also purchased some plastic bucket types of things that I plan to start several kinds of seeds in. I am hankering to get outdoors and do some real clean up soon. In the past month or so I will get an hour here and there, but haven't yet sat aside a day to devote to outside and get something accomplished.
Holly, I was so delighted upon checking on the Peace Plant you gave me last year. It has a bloom. Yippie!!!! I have had these plants for years but can't remember the last time any of them bloomed. I guess it is a good thing that I haven't yet repotted it. It might take the lack of space in the container in order to bloom. I know that one I have is in a too large pot and want to go down a size or two sometime soon.
A couple of weeks ago I took pictures of The Hibiscus that Sally gave me and also the some sort of cane plant that Sally and I took pieces of from Jill last fall. They have really done great this winter. I put pieces of it in two different pots and both are really going to town.
I haven't yet downloaded the pics from the camera, but will try to do so this weekend and post them somewhere that you all will see them.
Anyway...almost the weekend. Hope that everyone has a great one.
One must always download pictures while you are thinking of it--or they will fade into oblivion...
I am sure you have the time--just need a nudge to the motivation...Make it a "must" one day--and it will be done!
We all love to see pictures of everyone's plants and gardens...SO!!!! It is YOUR turn!!!!
Just DO IT!!!!!
Heya, Ruby! The "some sort of cane plant" is probably the Galangal (a ginger type) that I got from Wellspring in FL. I'm sure John remembers using mighty force to cut a chunk out of that tightly rooted pot! My newly-smaller plant is doing fine this winter, and I gave a nice division to my brother as well. I love the smell of the stems when crushed... haven't made use of the root, but I've chopped a stem into my teacup from time to time!
My plants have had a happy winter. All except the African Violets that have all decided to take a nose dive and are dieing off slowly. Thankfully, last fall I started several from leaves of the plants, so will have some to replace what I am losing. I have never done very well with African Violets.
Let me do the picture thing now and I will try to return shortly with some pictures.
Alrighty, that wasn't too hard. Thanks for giving me a tip on how to try and remember the name of the Galangal Jill, I will smush a leaf and see what it smells like and hopefully recall ginger galangal.
Gonna try downloading several pictures in this new addition to the program we have. Haven't yet tried doing five at a time.
Howdy from central Florida. I found this thread because we are wanting to explore the Washington DC area in the last week in March. That should be cherry blossum time on the national mall! My daughter is at Andrews AFB so we are planning a week-long visit in a couple weeks. Plan to drive up. Google maps say DC to Orlando is 14 hours, but we normally can drive it in 11 hours. We have visited the National museums and monuments already, but would like to venture-out into suburban DC and western Maryland or eastern Virginia.
Please suggest to us what you know of any interesting parks, historical sites, and public or private gardens
that we can tour ? Maybe there is a DG thread already that you can direct us to read ?
Has anyone visited the river farm at the American Horticultural Society north of Mt. Vernon ?
This is a pic from the playground at
the National Harbor on the Potomac.
Annapolis MD is about a half hour- 45 min drive east of the DC beltway via route 50. Its a small historic city (and the state capitol) gone upscale. You can park in a garage downtown and easily walk around several blocks of homes, businesses, and the small harbor full of yachts. A historic garden behind one of the historic houses (I forget the name). Or go into the Naval Academy, there's a visitor center. That, and National Arboretum, would be fairly convenient to Andrews side of DC.
National Arboretum, I would say, is sort of more casual and self directed than some others- spread out and loose. No real food on site, only fast food in immediate vicinity, but you could easily visit it and then head back towards andrews where your daughter can recommend a meal.
We tried to do the cherry blossoms a few years ago but did not plan our day well. It can be very busy but must be stunning! We drove to New Carrollton Metro station and were lucky to get a spot to park.
If you want some ''mountain''(like) experience, consider Catoctin National Forest/ Cunningham Falls, north of DC in Thurmont MD. I think you could get there in an hour or so from the Andrews area. It aint the Rockies, mind you.
Oh and a stop at Ft McHenry is a must. This is the 200th Anniversary of the Star Spangled banner & activities have already started.
Like wine???? MD/VA has quite a few wineries and you drive through some beautiful country getting to them.
I make the drive fm Fleming Island to Severn (hour north of Andrews) in 11 hours!!!!!
You can always come by and "admire" my gardens.
And the BIG news is we have a CONTRACT on the MD house. Paperwork was signed over the weekend. If all goes as planned, I'll be living in FL on 20 April!!!!!
John, I agree with Sally, that scallop fossil is huge! What a treasure - where did you find it?
Annapolis is a fun place to visit when the weather is nice (which we are certainly enjoying right now!), and the Naval Academy offers tours, and has a great museum in addition to the visitor center. I believe Sally's thinking of the Paca House & Gardens in the historic area? There is also the Hammond-Harwood House - lots of history in one small place.
There is a charter company that offers cruises departing downtown Annapolis for St. Michaels on the Eastern Shore, as well as shorter, more local, trips. We've taken the one to St. Michaels in the past and it is a nice day trip. Here's the link to their website: http://www.watermarkcruises.com/cruises.htm
If you're looking for a meal, the Middleton Tavern ( http://www.middletontavern.com/ ) is right in the historic area. Galway Bay would be good for a late St. Patrick's day atmosphere :-) ( http://galwaybaymd.com/), and a little farther afield is the Severn Inn (http://www.severninn.com/), which has a gorgeous waterfront setting just across from the Academy. Depending on your budget, they can be pricey for dinner, but lunch is just as good and less $$$. Finally, VERY casual and low key, but easy on the budget with waterfront dining, is Mike's (http://www.mikescrabhouse.com/). They have good pub fare in addition to the crabs. I can vouch for their lump crabcake - it's very good!
I have visited River Farm, the headquarters of the American Horticultural Society in Alexandria. It's nice, but I'm not sure it's worth a visit if your time is limited, and you're coming from a fair distance. Jill recommended Brookside Gardens in Wheaton, MD, which while around the Beltway from Andrews, is a lovely and large garden which should be in full spring bloom when you're there. The National Arboretum, as Sally has said, is also a good place to go - lots of separate display areas, and spring blooming should be in full force.
I would strongly suggest that if you want to go down to the Tidal Basin during near peak or peak bloom that you don't try to drive, but take the Metro. It's total gridlock down there during the bloom periods, but a very nice area to walk around if you've taken the train.
For anyone not minding a 20-year drive, Historic St. Mary's City, waaayyyy down south in Southern Maryland, is also a great place to visit. They've often got festivals and special events going on, and the funnel cake is so yummy!! http://www.stmaryscity.org/
Note: This is NOT a formal-dress type of place to visit, so wear your cruddy shoes! ;)
John, if you come to downtown DC on a weekend, you can park the car right outside the Capitol building -- you will see the parking lot on your right if you drive east on Constitution Ave. The parking lot opens to the public on weekends and it is free. If it is a busy day, you may want to get there before 10am.
Gita, I am just now reading this thread and see you asked a question about the first picture I posted. It is the Galangal Ginger that Sally and I took pieces of last fall from Jill's gigantic one. I have two pots of it and both pots are really doing well.
I have had two different plants that I own and have had some time but never bloom, and they have bloomed for me this year. Only thing is the folks who potted them up isn't me. The Peace Lily that Holly shared at a swap last year and an Angel Wing Begonia that Gita shared at a swap. Not sure what I am doing with the ones I have potted up, but healthy looking as they seem to be, they haven't bloomed for me. Waaaaaa...
My patience paid off big when three or four years later a Clivia that I received from Darius decided that it was going to bloom and has kept me very pleased with it for over a month now.
Thanks to the above advice for the things to See in Dee Cee. We visited the national arboretum, smithsonian gardens, and US botanic garden just below the capitol building. We arrived the last week in March just-in-time before the last cherry blossum petals fell off the trees, too bad the week before the cherry blossum festival, they were gone, there were no cherry blossums, but the crab apple trees were beginning to open.
At the arboretum, my wife got excited the bonsai collection. And our grand daughter had fun shaking petals off the branches.
You stay safe, too! We need to see that big smile of yours again soon... Bob's, too!
Joyanna is learning about harvesting seeds, and, now that she's got the idea about growing them out, she's very keen on collecting them. So while we might not have a huge selection for the swap, we'll have some "collected with love" ones!
I ran into our Miatablu last night when we were out at dinner! She and Rick are looking great, and I'm hoping we'll see her around MAG/MAM again soon.
Speaking of harvesting seed...Jill, I have been meaning to write and ask you how to harvest the unusual Zinnia seeds that I received from you last year. I have gathered some of the dried blooms, but don't know the next step. Any tips would be appreciated. Thanks doll. So cool about Miatablu. She was a very nice addition to our group and I too hope that she will return here at some point.
I don't usually bother separating zinnia seeds from the dried petals.. I just crumble the dried flower heads, and as long as I can tell there are seeds mixed in there, I figure that will work! The seeds are oblong, flat, and dark, a little less papery than the dried petals... if you remember what commercial zinnia seeds look like, you'll recognize them. And although 'Zahara Starlight Rose' is a hybrid zinnia, the F2 & F3 offspring seem quite similar, at least in coloring. It seems to me that plants grown from the hybrid seed have a denser habit and more vigorous branching/blooming, but I'd sure save seeds too. :-)
Thanks Critter and Button...loved the page with all the beautiful Zinnia...I love any Zinnia it seems. Jill, I could have sworn that whatever the type of seeds you sent and distributed at the Seed Swap were actual micro mini small round seeds. I did label them when I planted them but the label has since lost it coloring and I cannot read what it is. I haven't yet had a chance to play around with them, but I am sure that once I sit down and start playing, I will figure it out and hopefully have a much larger container of these lovelies next year.
I have gathered some different colored Celosia already but need to go out again when things dry off and gather a few more of the salmon color which were new to me last year. I want more of those beauties. It may be after the holidays before I actually find the time to devote to sorting and bagging up seed. Still working on getting things settled in plant room. I have some how ended up with way too many Wandering Jew which have grown way too large for me to deal with. Need to figure soon what I plan to do with them.
Ruby I love Celosia. This year we grew Red and Yellow Celosia, Ric grew them from seeds and they did very well. He collected some seeds from them. I really like the pastel colors. Bet those Salmon colored ones where very pretty.
hmm, micro mini round seeds wouldn't be zinnias.. the starlight rose zinnias were "regular" looking, maybe a little smaller than some but with the standard shape. Not sure what you had in that pot...
I snatched some wheatstraw celosia seeds when we were up at Catoctin orchard, mix of different colors 'cause I stuffed them all in one pocket, but they included hot pink, pale pink, salmon, cream, and pale yellow I think.
You're right about that! Last time I had them in my garden, I just broke off bunches of dried flower stalks and threw them all in a paper bag... shake, rattle & roll... and there must have been a quarter cup of shiny black seeds at the bottom of the bag!
Visited the National Historical Farm, at Pawtucket Park off of the Indianhead hiway south of DC. This is a peaceful pastural setting that I think you would enjoy. Great place for a relaxing stroll. They have an experimental rooftop garden on top of the visitor center, and rainwater recovery barrel demonstration. Inside there was a lady who showed our grand daughter how to card some home grown wool in the process for making yarn.