Category Archives: Gardening

Monastery Herb And Plant Sale Coming Up This Weekend

Franciscan Monastery Brookland NE Washington DCThe Franciscan Monastery Garden Guild Annual Herb & Plant Sale has evolved into a very popular neighborhood event. This year the sale will take place on  Saturday, April 25, 9:00 am to 6:00 pm and Sunday, April 26, 8:00 am to 4:00 pm. The sale is located at the Franciscan Monastery of the Holy Land, at 1400 Quincy St., N.E. For more information, check out the  Franciscan Monastery Garden Guild’s website here.  From their website:

Plants include:

  • Herbs and vegetables
  • Roses, annuals and perennials
  • Shrubs and fruit trees
  • Camellias and azaleas
  • Monastery-grown plants

Plus food and craft vendors – and more!

Questions or interested in volunteering to set up/take down? Email us.

Easter Lily Sale At The Monastery This Weekend

Franciscan Lily SaleOur neighbors at the The Franciscan Monastery are hosting their annual Easter Lily and Palm Cross sale on Palm Sunday weekend. The quality of the lilies at this annual event have become well-known, so this is a popular event.  Hundreds of lilies and 20″ handmade braided crosses made of fresh palm fronds are available in the monastery’s Portiuncula Chapel today, 10 a.m.-6 p.m. and Sunday, 8 a.m.-3 p.m. All just $9 with proceeds supporting the care and preservation of the historic monastery gardens.  The Monastery is located at 1400 Quincy Street NE. For more information call the Franciscan Monastery Garden Guild at (703) 967-0958.

Get Money Back For Planting A Tree

Image Courtesy of Casey Trees

Our good friends at Casey Trees remind us about the tree rebate program that is funded by the DC Department of the Environment. You can start by checking out the list of qualifying tree species on the Casey Trees website. You also want to make sure you pick a good tree for the location you identified. The CT website offers a lot of helpful information that guides you through the entire process from selecting, planting and caring for the tree.

Black Gum Tree in our Back Yard
Black Gum Tree in our Back Yard (partially funded by the Tree Rebate Program)

The beautiful Black Gum Tree on the left is just one of multiple trees we submitted a rebate application for.

On their blog CT describes how easy it is to submit an application for a tree rebate:

Participation is simple: purchase a tree from a vendor of your choosing, plant it in D.C., then download our form and submit the rebate with a purchase receipt for each tree. There is no limit to the number of rebates per property.

Many large canopy trees, thanks to their immense environmental benefits, qualify for rebates of up to $100 per tree. Most small and medium canopy trees also qualify, for rebates up to $50 per tree. Invasives, dwarf and ash trees however do not qualify for a rebate of any amount. Refer to our species list for more help.



Greater Brookland Garden Club Membership Drive – Time To Sign Up!

GBGC House and Garden Tour Party 2013. Photo Courtesy of Tom Bridge's Bit Bucket.
GBGC House and Garden Tour Party 2013. Photo Courtesy of Tom Bridge’s Bit Bucket.

The Greater Brookland Garden Club (GBGC) is a great way to meet your neighbors and share/learn about gardening, not to mention the awesome parties! Becoming a member has never been easier as you can now pay your annual dues online at their membership page.  Dues are $15 for the year, and get you invited to garden parties every other month on Sundays and gardening events on the Saturdays of alternate months. The GBGC also plants and maintains public gardens in Brookland,  holds a Mothers’ Day plant sale in May and sponsors one of the premier neighborhood events, the Brookland House & Garden Tour in June.

The Brookland Beautification Small Grant Program Info Session Tuesday January 7th

The DC Office of Planning and the managing organizer for the Brookland Beautification Small Business Program Dance Place would like to remind all Brooklanders of tomorrow’s Information Session. Got an idea about how to improve Brookland? Submit it! Here’s the info:

Brookland Beautification Grand Program logo courtesy of Dance Place.
Brookland Beautification Grand Program logo courtesy of Dance Place.
Don’t Forget: Info Session Tuesday January 7 at 6:30pm

The Brookland Beautification Small Grant Program will support the commissioning of art and landscaping projects on 12th and Monroe Streets NE. The project is being funded and directed by the DC Office of Planning and managed by Dance Place.

Project support will be provided with a range of $750 – $5,000. Interested artists, landscapers, gardeners and anyone with a great idea can apply!

Information Session: January 7
6:30-8:00pm at Studio 21 part of the Monroe Street Market development at
716 Monroe St NE, Washington, DC 20017 (just steps off the Brookland/CUA Metro).
Interested applicants are encouraged to attend and ask questions!

Application Deadline: January 24 by 5:00pm
Application form and more information can be found at

Casey Trees Keeps You Up To Date With DPW Leaf Collection

Now that the beauty of fall leaves are showing themselves on our lawns and streets, it’s time to think about picking them up. Through their blog  the good folks at Casey Trees are keeping the city up to date on DC’s Department of Public Works (DPW) redesigned “Leaf Collection Program” brochure. From the Casey Trees Blog:

The fall collection season for D.C. will begin November 4th and continue on through January 11th, with DPW’s crews using vacuum trucks to collect the leaves piled in treeboxes and along curbs, as well as collecting any bagged leaves left next to trash and recycling cans (even in those neighborhoods with alley trash and recycling collection). To organize this, they’ve has taken each of the city’s eight wards and broken them into two or three sections, color coding each and then providing the dates that they’ll be picking up leaves by (as well as the date residents should rake their leaves to the curb/ bag them by). 

Here is the DPW Ward 5 leaf collection schedule. For the other Wards, check out the DPW brochure.


Brookland In Photos – Tree Boxes That Go Above And Beyond!


Brookland Tree Boxes Summer 2013Brookland Tree Boxes Summer 2013Brookland Tree Boxes Summer 2013Brookland Tree Boxes Summer 2013Brookland Tree Boxes Summer 2013Brookland Tree Boxes Summer 2013
Brookland Tree Boxes Summer 2013Brookland Tree Boxes Summer 2013Brookland Tree Boxes Summer 2013Brookland Tree Boxes Summer 2013Brookland Tree Boxes Summer 2013
Brookland Tree Boxes Summer 2013Brookland Tree Boxes Summer 2013Brookland Tree Boxes Summer 2013Brookland Tree Boxes Summer 2013Brookland Tree Boxes Summer 2013

We have noticed that quite a few neighbors have gone the extra mile to spruce up the tree box in front of their home or businesses this summer. Hats off to them! Here are some examples from 13th, 12th, 10th and Newton Streets, NE. Notably, B’Cafe and Askale Cafe have nice mulching and flowers. The neighbors who put a mini picket fence around theirs are growing a herb garden in their tree box – complete with mint, basil and dill and more – pretty smart! Some neighbors have gone with care-free plants such as decorative grasses, evergreen ground cover and lavender, while others have opted to grow roses and other more elaborate set ups. For more info on tree boxes, including ideas and DC regulations, Casey Trees has a bunch of good information here.

Summer Tree Care Tips from Brookland Based Casey Trees

Summer has put a tight grip around our area. Although we have had more rainfall than average, it is still helpful to review a few tips that Casey Trees published in their tree almanac. Following these guidelines will help especially your young trees to make it through the hot summer. Please do not forget about the many new trees in our neighborhood that were planted by the city, i.e. along 12th Street. They need your help as well. Consider investing in a watering bag to make it easy for you to give a young street tree the sufficient amount of water per week, or a tree guard to protect the trunk from lawn movers and weed whackers.

Here is an excerpt from Casey Trees website:

There are a variety of ways to help water your trees:

  • Pledge to water your trees through our #25toStayAlive campaign and we will mail you a complimentary rain gauge for your yard. If less than 1.5 inches of rain falls in a week, you know to water your trees. (Offer limited to those within a 25-mile radius of the District.)
  • Follow our weekly watering recommendations. Every Monday from May through September, we post tree watering recommendations here, on our homepage and to Facebook and Twitter. Tweet @CaseyTrees with the hashtag #25tostayalive or send us a message on Facebook to let us know how your watering efforts are going.
  • Purchase a slow-release watering bags to help make watering your trees easier – 25 gallons, once a week. They’re available for purchase on our online shop for $15 each.

Also, here’s some other advice for District residents –

  • Mulch. Mulching helps keep the soil moist and controls weeds. If you did not mulch in spring, now would be a good time. Apply the “3-3-3 Rule” – three inches of mulch in a three-foot ring with a three-inch space around the tree trunk to prevent decay.
  • Weed. Remove summer grasses from around the trunk.
  • Check Trunk Guards. Weed whackers and lawn mowers can cause severe damage to a tree’s circulation system. Add tree guards to the base of the tree if landscaping equipment is used around the tree. Check installed tree guards to make sure they are installed properly. They’re available for purchase on our online shop for $3 each.

We have additional resources in our Trees How-To section of our website – look for our tree care tips as well as our video instructions for how to water and prune a tree.


Free Guided Tours Of The Franciscan Monastery Gardens All Summer Long

Sorry for not posting  this earlier, but there is still plenty of time to catch a guided tour of the Franciscan Monastery gardens and grounds this summer. If you haven’t been to this neighborhood treasure, it is definitely worth a visit. While walk-ins are welcome at the Monastery from 9:00 am – 4:45 pm, the guided tour provides a wealth of information. For example, the docents explain the history and significance of the statues and shrines, the architecture of Monastery buildings, and of course, all the amazing plants, trees and flowers in the gardens. Guided tours are Saturdays at 11:00 am and 12:oo pm and Wednesdays at 11:00 am, or you can schedule a tour by calling 202-526-6800.   The Monastery is located at 1400 Quincy St. NE and tours will be given all summer. Here is a video describing the tour: