Capitol Hill Garden Club In Washington, D.C., Since 1952

Recent Happenings

Take a look at some of the things our Club has done, they are all listed here. We hope you enjoyed them.  If you are not a member, then take a look at what you are missing and consider clicking Join Now!

  • November 10, 2015 5:30 PM | Anonymous member

    Techniques and Challenges for Growing Vegetables Year-Round in Small Places

    Featured: Sandy Farber Bandier, UDC Master Gardener Coordinator and Wendy Kiang-Spray, Freelance Writer

    Sandy’s presentation focused on growing food on the new green roof at the University of the District of Columbia. She emphasized for growing successful edible crops on roofs it is critical to:

    • Use good soil
    • Install drip irrigation and when needed use supplemental watering
    • Select the right types and varieties of plants to match the roof top conditions of hot sun and stronger winds
    • Ensure the availability of pollinators

    She also communicated the important role that Master Gardeners played in raising and harvesting the first year’s crops of a dozen different vegetables which included: spicy bush basil, cucumbers, Swiss chard, Cherokee Purple tomatoes Vanguard sweet peppers, and purple podded okra.

    Wendy’s presentation focused on growing vegetables year-round in small spaces. She started by pointing out that:

    • Small spaces often are not ideal for growing edibles but with minimal effort can be very productive if the right crops are grown
    • Few tools were needed for this type of gardening

    She provided information on a wide array of containers from raised beds to pots, identified locations from front yards to window boxes, and showed multiple planting strategies from mixing flowers and vegetables to succession plantings. She also covered soil and watering requirements, how to extend the growing season, and wrapped up with a list of great winter vegetables to try. For more information about Wendy’s presentation, and to download her presentation deck (with photos), please click here.

    The Club extends thanks both Sandy and Wendy for their thorough and interesting presentations.

    Presentation Decks

    Gardening in Small Spaces.pdf

    Techniques and Challenges for Growing Vegetables on a.pdf

  • October 21, 2015 8:30 AM | Anonymous member

    Club Members Honored by Garden Visit

    Long-time Club member Joyce Jones and newer Club member Steven Bauer were honored to be included on a Washington garden tour for the National League of American Pen Women, Inc. (NLAPW). 

    Founded in 1897, the NLAPW sites respect, knowledge, creation, and preservation of the arts as their core values. Current members include journalists, painters, choreographers, sculptors, illustrators, songwriters, poets and others interested in the arts, while prior members include Eudora Welty, Pearl Buck, Vinnie Ream, and Eleanor Roosevelt.

    The NLAPW discovered our Club's website while searching the web for interesting, garden-related things to do during their visit to Washington, and then reached out to Sonia Conley for help.

    Joyce's garden was chosen for her collection of interesting plants, koi pond and wonderful garden sculptures. Floyd, who is often behind the scenes helping and inspiring Joyce, joined in the presentation.

    Also on the tour was the house next door to Joyce's. The next-door garden was designed, created and is now managed by Club member, Steven Bauer who does not own the house, but who was looking for a gardening project and asked permission to create something for the space. The house belongs to Congresswoman Slaughter of New York. To Steven's surprise, he discovered a buried treasure trove of white granite cobble stones which were used many years ago on the streets around the Capitol building. They now accent this lovely garden. 

    To decrease the amount of early snowy morning shoveling, Floyd set up a path between the 2 gardens for Congresswoman Slaughter to use on her way to work. 

    After touring these gardens, the group went to the U.S. Botanic Garden, the gardens at the Museum of the American Indian, and the Gardens of the Smithsonian.

    Their tour was photographed by Joe Purdy, while Mary Ann Sroufe provided logistical support for their visit.

    As a 'thank you', the NLAPW made a small financial donation to our Club.

  • October 13, 2015 6:29 PM | Anonymous member

    Small Space Grand Gardens

    Featured: Derek Thomas, Thomas Landscapes

    Derek began by pointing out the importance of taking time now to answer the following questions as a first step in maintaining, or changing, or creating your garden during the next growing season.

    · What would you like to have your garden become?

    · What needs to be changed, added, or deleted?

    · What worked, or did not, and why?

    He then indicated that once you know the answers to these questions, then there are four factors for you to consider in your planning. They include:

    · Exposure – learning what direction your home faces helps in determining which plants will do best in your garden environment.

    · Scale – knowing the size of the planting helps select the right number of plants that are the right size for the space.

    · Time – understanding whether or not you have the time to devote to maintaining the garden you desire. For example, a 10 foot by 8 foot garden requires at least two hours per week to do the tasks that a well-maintained garden demands.

    · Traffic – selecting plants and/or enclosures that protect our city gardens the feet of humans, waste from dogs, and other stuff that harms plants.

    He wrapped up by sharing information about misbehaving plants and disasters in the garden.

    Derek's presentation deck is available here for downloading, and provides more details and photos from his talk.

    National Capital Area Garden Clubs

    Julie Harrison, District 1 President of the NCAGC will joined us to talk about District 1 activities. As a member of the Capitol Hill Garden Club, you are entitled to various opportunities and benefits offered by not only the National Capital Area Garden Clubs, but our other affiliate clubs, too.

    Our Club's website has now been updated to include important information about these affiliates. To find out more, visit the new Affiliate Clubs page soon.

  • September 27, 2015 3:00 PM | Anonymous member

    Fall New Members Party

    Our first big party of the season was held in the lovely home and garden of Club member (and Board member) Barbara Marks.

    Members enjoyed an array of refreshments, and learned more about the upcoming bulb sale.

    Many thanks to Barbara for hosting our event!

  • September 08, 2015 7:30 PM | Anonymous member

    Welcome To Our New and Returning Members

    Our first meeting of the season was very well attended as we welcomed new and returning members.

    The business portion of our meeting included Sonia Conly, Program Chairperson with an overview of the 2015-16 Program; Gail Giuffrida, Chairman of the Ad Hoc CHGC Fund Raising Committee with an overview of their current status; Donna Brauth, Treasurer with a presentation, discussion and request for approval of 2015-16 Budget which as approved; and Elizabeth McClure, Bulb Chairperson for a bulb sale presentation - why, when, where, sign up reminder.

    Featured Presentation: Sandra Bruce, CHGC Member

    Sandra shared a 'Garden Vignette' featuring her own small shady west facing front garden and how she is adapting to increased shade.

  • June 06, 2015 1:28 PM | Anonymous member

    June Party

    The June Garden Party was held on Saturday, June 6that the National Arboretum where our members enjoyed al fresco dining at this beautiful Washington landmark. This was our last event of the season!

  • May 12, 2015 6:30 PM | Anonymous member

    May Walk

    About 40 of us met for the Garden Walk on May 12 with Alexandria arborist John Noelle.  It was a delightful evening with perfect weather. We began at the James Madison building of the Library of Congress and noted the Virginia Stewartia, a small tree which belongs to the tea family and is closely related to camellias.  Also planted there are elm trees that are resistant to Dutch elm disease.  The viewing prize though was the two yellow woods in full bloom.  Moving across the street to the main Library of Congress we saw the rare cork tree with its wide spread crown.  Unfortunately this tree is in decline.  Still thriving are two very old gingko trees that flank a former entrance.  Come back to visit in the fall when their beautiful golden leaves reflect the sun and drop all at once creating a carpet of gold.  As we moved on to the Capitol grounds, we saw some of the wonderful native trees – black walnut, a blooming horse chestnut and a persimmon among them.  Then there were many different species of oak, which thankfully we had an arborist on hand to help us identify.  Our walk concluded in the Bartholdi garden which was in full bloom with iris, alliums, catmint and beautiful pots overflowing with flowers.  We enjoyed refreshments and a gorgeous sunset.  All in all, it was a good day.  Many thanks to Sharon Fergerson, Dan Bailes and Sandra Bruce for making the refreshments in Bartholdi so delightful.  For those interested in a fall tour, the US Botanic Garden is offering one in October led by the author of City of Trees.

    Top photo of Bartholdi Park courtesy of Scott McLeod;  Bottom photos by Dan Bailes;  Other photos contributed by Club members.


  • May 01, 2015 10:30 AM | Anonymous member

    More Smiles, New Friends

    On May 1, the Capitol Hill Garden Club took a dish garden workshop to senior residents at the Capitol Hill Towers Apartments.  Much appreciation goes to the members of the Community Projects Committee:  Carol Edwards, Vira Sisolak, Joan Fallows and Ida May Mantel, who planned, tested the idea of a training event at a Club meeting, and arranged for this workshop to take place.  Twelve Club volunteers have our warmest thanks; they were essential to its success: Sandra Bruce, Martha Connor-Donnelly, Carol Edwards, Joan Fallows, Pat Hanrehan, Ida May Mantel, Joe Purdy, Sandy Shelar, Bill Sisolak, Vira Sisolak, Susan P. Thompson, and EJ Truax.  They assisted 14 senior residents, one-on-one to make their own stunning dish gardens.  The residents were thrilled and pleased with what they learned and had made.  Merrifield Gardens supplied the same tropical plants, pots and saucers, as used at the Club’s workshop in April.  Linda Wilson Vertin, who led the April Workshop, again generously white-washed each pot and saucer at no charge to the Club.    

    The Workshop consisted of presentations and the making of the dish gardens.  Vira Sisolak explained dish garden making using the pots and plants she later used to assemble the dish garden the residents would make.  She included a pitch for the Club, and we may well see new faces at Club meetings in the fall.  Carol Edwards took on the nitty gritty of caring for the plants and their proper watering, making it all very clear and understandable.  Ida May explained follow-on assistance Committee members will provide to residents needing more help should issues arise.  Joan Fallows and Joe Purdy captured the special moments on camera.  A good time was had by all—volunteers and residents alike—and as she blushed when everyone joined in to sing happy birthday to Vira, there were warm feelings all around.

  • April 14, 2015 6:30 PM | Anonymous member

    Workshop Brings Many Smiles

    The April Club meeting was a dish garden workshop.  The regular conference-room set up became an activity area of covered tables, filled with preregistered dish garden makers and observers.  Linda Wilson Vertin from Merrifield Garden Center in Fairfax led the workshop.  Known at the Center as Wilson, she specializes in tropical plants and design of long-lasting container gardens with a natural appearance.   She led attendees through the criteria for selecting plants and the needs that alternative combinations would have in terms of care, light, moisture and location.  To assist, Linda brought her associate at Merrifield Regina Lanctot, who was warmly welcomed by those recalling her earlier presentation on indoor plants.  The highlight was making the dish gardens and seeing the stunning results.  Following a demonstration, attendees quickly assembled three very fresh robust plants in clay pot and saucer that Linda had generously white-washed for us.     

    The workshop was more than making and learning about dish gardens.  Many prepared to volunteer at the Club’s community project in May to assist one-on-one a senior making a dish garden.  A number donated their dish gardens to the Club.  After receiving them at Capitol Hill Towers Apartments, Resident Service Coordinator Joelle Mendoza wrote:  “What a hit!  .  .  .  .   residents that were passing through or in the lobby at the time all wanted one.“  

    Special thanks go to Community Projects Committee members:  Carol Edwards, Vira Sisolak, Joan Fallows and Ida May Mantel for planning and putting together the many pieces required to make this unusual club meeting work so well.  Other club members offered invaluable assistance preparing and executing tasks:  Sonia Conly, Sandra Bruce, Donna Brauth, Ed Peterman, Joe Purdy and Tony Pontorno.  

  • March 10, 2015 5:30 PM | Anonymous member

    Capitol Splendor

    Parks and Gardens of Washington DC

    Featured: Barbara Glickman, Author

    Capitol Splendor — Parks and Gardens of Washington DC is a beautiful book filled with photos by Valerie Brown with in-depth essays by Barbara Glickman on 30 gardens in the Washington area.

    Barbara shared descriptions and thoughts about 9 of these gardens using a powerpoint with 80 beautiful photos.

    She discussed different types of landscape design as a framework for viewing these gardens and parks, including the gardens' history, owners, and horticultural highlights.

    The nine gardens were: George Washington's Mount Vernon Estate, Museum, & Gardens; River Farm; Meridian Hill Park; Tudor Place; Hillwood Estate, Museum, and Gardens; Dumbarton Oaks; Tregaron Conservancy; Ladew Topiary Gardens; and the US Botanic Garden.

    Copies of the book were available for purchase at the meeting, which Barbara inscribed for our members.

@ 2016 Capitol Hill Garden Club, Inc.

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