by Kathy Sykes
When the days are getting shorter and the temperatures are cooling down, it is bulb-planting season! October is the time to plant bulbs that will emerge in the spring to brighten and color our neighborhood with red tulips, yellow daffodils, and purple crocuses and allium. And this month, Van Ness Main Street and I will be leading volunteers in planting bulbs and pollinator-friendly plants along Connecticut Avenue, with our Main Street purchasing the plants.
I am also teaming up with Van Ness Main Street to launch a “Say No to Pesticides” campaign. I am donating “no pesticides” signs to urge neighbors to protect the pollinators our plantings attract along the avenue.
Hopefully you have noticed more movement on Connecticut Avenue, and I don’t mean people. I mean insects, butterflies and birds. Just recently a praying mantis was visiting the new pollinator garden near Muchas Gracias. Very exciting.
This past August, we saw a few monarch caterpillars on the milkweed plants in the tree box in front of Uptown Market, and goldfinches feeding from the sunflowers by Politics and Prose. We also heard and saw crickets along the front of the UDC law school and by Acacia Food and Wine this summer. And bees were busy gathering nectar from Laliguras to the I’m Eddie Cano/Rosemary Bistro Cafe streatery – a very good sign for Mother Nature.
“Say No To Pesticides” on the corridor
Applying pesticides to lawns and gardens and any green space or tree box threatens human health and well-being and the environment. Pesticides can harm the health of children, pregnant women and older adults, as well as persons with underlying health conditions or compromised immune systems. Pesticides are also harmful to our pets and wildlife. Moreover, they threaten our pollinators – bees, butterflies and beneficial insects – which are critical to our food supply since they help pollinate one out of every three bites we take.
Soon you will see pesticide-free signs along the corridor. These signs were purchased from Beyond Pesticides, a national not-for-profit organization based in DC. You can take the pledge to go pesticide-free, order a sign for your home (or encourage the management of your building to buy one) and proudly display it in your yard.
This three-day weekend, from noon to 4 p.m. each day, friends and neighbors of all ages are invited to plant bulbs and plants in the tree boxes up and down Connecticut Avenue (from Van Ness to Nebraska) that will grow into beautiful flowers next spring. We’ll do it again the following Saturday and Sunday, October 16th and 17th, and then again on Saturday, October 23rd. We’ll meet each time at a different spot along the avenue.
These fall plantings will add to the growing perennial gardens and pollinator corridors that we started this past spring. This is a great way for students to fulfill their community service requirements and give back to their neighborhood.
Sign up with Kathy at [email protected] for plantings on one or more of the following dates:
Saturday, October 9 – Laliguras (4221 Connecticut Avenue)
Sunday, October 10 – UDC Law School (4340 Connecticut)
Monday, October 11 – Calvert Woodley to WAMU (4339 and 4401 Connecticut)
Saturday, October 16 – Uptown Market to Italian Pizza Kitchen (4465 and 4483 Connecticut)
Sunday, October 17 – Politics and Prose to Comet Ping Pong (5015 and 5037 Connecticut)
Saturday, October 23 – Rosemary Bistro and I’m Eddie Cano (5010 and 5014 Connecticut)
Again, all plantings take place from noon to 4 p.m. Rain dates: Sunday, October 24; Saturday, October 30; Sunday, October 31.
Forest Hills Connection is a program of Van Ness Main Street.