by Jane Solomon
This Sunday, you can be part of a lucky group who will tour the studios of three fabulous – and very different – neighborhood artists. How about a Saturday prelude of landscape design and gardening?
It’s my pleasure to invite the neighborhood to tour our garden this Saturday May 17th, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. The entrance is 2935 Albemarle Street. The early peonies are blooming, rosebuds are starting to open, the ferns and hostas have finally unfurled and the azaleas just keep coming.
The garden encompasses two lots on one and one-half acres with two houses, and was originally designed in the 1980s by British transplant Jane MacLeish for my late mother-in-law, Lillian Solomon. Several years ago we collaborated with Richard Arentz, who designed new areas, with particular attention to those adjoining the houses as part of a complete home renovation. It was completed five years ago, but as any gardener knows, that’s when the real work begins.
And it never ends. I couldn’t do it without a great support team.
The event is the brainchild of Alex McCarty, who is in charge of community outreach and marketing for John Shorb Landscaping. Shorb won a 2013 award for “Excellence in Landscape Maintenance” from the Landscape Contractors of America. In her excitement, Alex came to me and said, “Let’s have a party! Please?” How could I say no?
Many of you have become familiar with the name John Shorb through the indefatigable Alex, who knows only one way to connect with the community – by spending her weekends rolling up her sleeves and digging in, literally. Mulch, tools and hours of her hard labor and expertise were essential in bringing off the beautiful “Daffodils for Dad” planting on Connecticut Ave. This spring she’s leading ivy and invasive removal teams in the park for the Rock Creek Conservancy.
Alex asked The Care of Trees if they’d like to co-sponsor the event. That means we’ll have an arborist or two on site to answer questions, including Shawn Siefers, who has seen us through at least five devastating tree falls – including one on the house! Not only is Shawn a fine arborist, but like Alex, he’s always happy to help. During my four years on ANC 3F, he was our unofficial, pro bono arborist, regularly walking properties with me discussing applications and potential impact on trees.
During the recent tour of the Broad Branch stream daylighting project, there was a lot of interest in rain gardens and many had never heard about the District’s RiverSmart Homes program and rain gardens. John Shorb is one of the lead contractors for installing rain gardens for RiverSmart and has been doing dozens each year since it began. One of their rain garden experts will be on hand to answer questions and you can have a look at some of our approaches to water management as well.
There are three important directives: Dogs must stay home; small children need to be closely watched, particularly because the pool will be open; and wear flat comfortable shoes for walking on paths and stepping stones.
Please come, bring a friend, and feel free to share this with others.