I see that it’s been (ahem) a while since I posted here. I won’t bore you with my excuses, but instead try to catch readers up.
With construction done, indoors and out, both my front and back gardens are ready for planting. In 90+ degree heat. Oh, well. In this story I showed off photos of the front yard, and included a plant list, which has been modified a bit since April when I wrote that. And just yesterday I did the same for the back garden, hoping to get lots of suggestions about what plants to add. One commenter asked for an update on the front garden, and I’ll be doing that soon – maybe even on THIS blog.
Next up for the gardens? Lots of buying, begging freebies, and tweaking what’s there. Oh, and begging for more design and plant-suggestion help, too. The wonderful Northern Virginia landscape architect Thomas Rainer offered to help free of charge (saying I’d somehow gotten him clients – hope so!) and I accepted that offer pronto, before he could reconsider.
Notice anything new and shiny in the photo above? I’m thinking of the lovely 11 by 17-foot screened-in porch that was completed just in time for me to sleep in it when I was without power for four days and the temps were over 100. Fun times!
You’ve already seen my newly renovated bathroom, but the whole damn kitchen is new, too. Photos have been taken and I’ll be posting them in the next day or two, right here and on the new community blog I write for. Speaking of which…
Greenbelt Live – the Community Blog of Maryland’s New Deal Utopia
That’s the name and tagline of my latest adventure in blogging. I’d always wanted to work on a community blog but my last town had a great local website, so didn’t really need one. Here in Greenbelt there’s a wonderful all-volunteer print newspaper that’s delivered free of charge to our doors every Friday, as it has been without fail for 75 years. It’s produced for the sheer love of doing it – by those aforementioned volunteers, some of whom working 40 or more hours a week at it. So I volunteered to contribute to the paper and while chatting up the staff found myself volunteering to also create a web version of each issue, but making that happen is a hurdle the staff can’t take on right now. Hey, it’s only in the last couple of months that the paper’s been available in pdf, and in expecting them to go hog-wild digital (in addition to print, of course), I was just showing my ignorance of the situation.
But then someone suggested I do a community blog independent of the paper, free from the obligation to actually cover news – crime, weather, and the important but snooze-inducing stuff about the city council. It could be exactly how I want it to be. Ooh, I couldn’t resist that part.
So last month Greenbelt Live launched to either indifference or wild enthusiasm, depending on whether or not people saw how the blog could help promote something they’re interested in – the arts, the environment, or their own business. The idea is to have as many contributors as possible, of all ages, who write copy or send photos and videos that I’ll edit and publish for them. I’m imagining school-age kids sending in entries for a Best Pet Photo Contest, or short How I Spent my Summer Vacation stories. I’m suggesting all this to anyone who’ll listen (“It’ll be fun AND educational and them!”)
People who’ve offered to contribute so far include the town’s major environmental group, the realtor who helped me buy my house (and who grew up here), a nutritionist who works for the co-op grocery store and started the farmers market, and the owner of a local fitness business. But the person who’s had the most impact so far is the town’s primary arts booster, one Barbara Simon who’s an artist herself and heads up several arts programs in town. She and I dreamed up the notion of having the blog run a weekly feature promoting all arts and entertainment in the city (or anywhere if Greenbelt-based artists are involved). We’ve done two issues so far (like this one) and so far, people are clicking on it and the arts groups seem to appreciate that for the first time, these events are compiled in one handy place.
Just click on that link and scroll down to see how much is going on in this small town in the dog days of summer, no less. Greenbelt’s quite the little arts and entertainment hub, I tell ya! It helps that artists and entertainers can afford to live here, compared to, say, D.C. or my former town of Takoma Park.
If you’re curious or just feel like supporting this blog FOR and BY the little Socialist experiment that is Greenbelt, subscribe to it or just “like” us it Facebook. Thanks!
I’m staying loose with my vision for the blog and have no idea where it’ll eventually go – if anywhere – but it’s a helluva way to get to know my new neighbors. And it’s fun.
Garden Blogging with No End in Sight
I’m still blogging one or two times a week each for Homestead Gardens and Behnkes Nursery, and weekly for the team blog Garden Rant, that last one for over six years now, I’ll have you know. That’s a whole lotta blogging for negligible financial gain. We did manage a redesign in the last year, so that’s another tidbit of news. We’re finally on WordPress, and have switched from a traditional blog format (like this blog) to a magazine format (like the style I chose for Greenbelt Live). Apparently tastes change in blogging, and one tries to keep up, if it’s not too much extra work (like, say, regular tweeting would be for this Twitter-averse soul).Tweet