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Container Gardening 101

Even if you’ve only got a small slice of concrete jungle, with a few simple steps, your balcony or small yard can turn into a plant-filled oasis. Container gardening is a method for taking containers, large or small, and growing flowers, produce, and herbs in a tiny space. And there’s perhaps no better time to pick up container gardening as a new hobby. As long as you have a bit of room, you’re just a few steps away from fresh basil for homemade pizza and bright flowers to brighten your long work-from-home days. Kristen Menichelli, the master gardener behind Green House Designs, is running a virtual workshop called “Container Gardening 101.” The class will walk through the basics of container gardening, how to effectively manage your space, what hardware and tools you’ll need, and the best budget-friendly places to buy containers. Menichelli’s expertise in gardening, as well as her experience working with sustainable and eco-friendly design, guarantees you’ll walk away from the virtual class with a new appreciation for your front stoop, windowsill, or patch of grass. Get ready to start planting—a new culinary concoction is just around the corner. The class begins at 1 p.m. on Aug. 1. Registration is available at dclibrary.org. Free. —Sarah Smith

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Backyard Picnic

The summer of shutdown has stripped away so much of what makes it worth surviving these hot, hot weeks. Cookouts, road trips, barbecues, pool parties, and backyard get-togethers are now the stuff of strict epidemiological scrutiny. Like a lot of us, the gallery Art Enables has come to the conclusion that this pandemic is the pits. Backyard Picnic, a virtual exhibit of new and recent work, pictures all the pastimes that we’ve had to sacrifice in the name of public health. “Whoppers Fries Drinks,” a marker drawing by Paul Lewis, is a still life from the before era: Grabbing a couple of burgers with a pal today isn’t an option without pandemic planning among quarantine teammates. “Summer Crabs and Soda” by Imani Turner captures a scene of Chesapeake Bay bounty that many will have to go without this year. Still other works point to the presence of absence, like Toni Lane’s “Yard Scene,” an urban landscape of a laundry line hanging in the breeze over a tree stump and some discarded toys. As a vocational program for adult artists with cognitive and developmental disabilities and mental health issues, Art Enables focuses on perspective as well as practice; the Langdon gallery has put together nearly 50 drawings in a wide variety of media. Most all the works on view—including Shawn Payne’s “Cherry Blossom Heels,” Eileen Schofield’s “Popsicles at Night,” and Egbert “Clem” Evans’ “Family Reunion”—speak to the same point. Summer minus summer stinks! The exhibition is available at art-enables.org. Free. —Kriston Capps