Archive for July 2010

A Room With A View

My apartment doesn't look out onto much--other people's apartments, mostly, the parking lot, and an edge of Rock Creek Park. (I've seen the view that others across the hall have--it's beautiful!).

But sometimes, I catch glimpses of beauty through my window.

And no, I'm seriously not talking about that girl whose window looks directly through her living room into her bathroom, with the door wide open and the light on while she does... Whatever it is that she does.

Not really the vision I'd like to share here. I'd rather share the windowsill tomato plants of the girl who lives next to the naked bend-over-in-the-bathroom-with-the-blinds-wide-open girl.

I would like to think that these tomato plants were inspired by the greenery I have in my apartment. I also hope that this isn't the same person who wrote the note saying "I don't care what you're growing, but turn your lights off or close your blinds." I mean, why couldn't that person close his/her blinds instead? I moved the lights to the corner, sure, but even so. Passive agressive notes, anyone?

I'm inspired by this rooftop garden next to my building. The photo is fuzzy, and the rooftop is obscured by reflections of my own plants through the window, but to be honest, I can't see it much better in person. Even so, I can make out some sort of cucurbit, tomatoes, okra, and bunches of herbs in pots.

One of the questions is how does the gardener get on top of the roof to care for the plants? That little bubble-dome-hatch? Does s/he fly in using a jet pack?

These, and many more, questions have been left unanswered for far too long.

These people are, however, the exact people we hope to attract to the DC State Fair next month. This, here, is urban agriculture.


Bloomin' Edibles

In the winter, I requested seed packets from Renee's Garden to trial indoors. The company graciously provided, and although I have had a bone broken a few times and various events that take me away from my apartment for weeklong periods at a time, some of the plants have survived!

The star at the moment is, naturally, the "Super Bush" tomato. The leaves may be sparse (I trimmed the plant in an attempt to curb the spider mite population upon my return from Nova Scotia), but it has flowered! And, as you can see, my beard-trimmer technique (although it works) leaves behind little hairs everywhere.

Maybe this time I'll get almost-ripe tomatoes before November?

The "Bush Slicer" cucumber, however, has had a rough time. It's flowering, but it's ridiculously young and small. Beside the big spider mite issue, maybe it is overwatered? Maybe it needs more light? I am not convinced that the flowers will reach maturity and yield anything edible, but I'll see how far I can take this baby! (As you can see in the background, my Alternanthera dentata pulled its dramatic leaf-dropping act while I was away. I swear, if I don't water those plants every day, they up and throw a tantrum on me.)

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Nova Scotia, Scenes Of Beauty

As I mentioned, I was in Nova Scotia for about a week at the end of June/beginning of July. I didn't have much opportunity to gallivant around at gardens, take macro shots of pretty flowers, or buy any new plants (although I seriously considered it!), but there were occasional opportunities to capture snapshots of that which Nova Scotia is truly adept at: creating natural beauty.

These little shrooms (?) were growing on the deck at the groom's parents' house, in Enfield (near the airport). They're very striking! But they're probably not a good sign of structural integrity. Also, I almost fell through the deck.

This little planting is in front of the Beveridge Arts Centre/Library at my university. Really, the only reason I photographed it is because apparently the inuksuk was rebuilt (for a fourth time?) in a less easily damageable place! The first few times, the larger inuksuit built on campus were vandalized by students or run over by snow plows--this one seems quite happy where it is! I'm a big fan of inuksuit for some reason. Maybe it's because they are one of the few nature-related things that have continued cultural relevance nowadays? I mean, I guess they probably only do if you're from Nunavut. But even so. I like them.

This is a parking lot in Wolfville. For serious. I love this parking lot! In the background at the top, you might be able to just barely make out the top of the chimney where all the chimney swifts live.

Here's a blurry close-up of the poppies in the parking lot.

Nova Scotia is full of these views. This is Cape Blomidon in the distance, on the Bay of Fundy. This is the view from Old Orchard Inn, where the wedding reception was held. In other words, this is basically what I saw from my backyard every day when I lived in Nova Scotia.


This is a picture of the Cape from near the dikes. Or is that dykes? One is large mounds of earth, the other lesbians. Confusing the two is a running joke for students in town. Especially when you're walking past "Old Dike Road."

This is a portion of Willow Park, at the eastern edge of Wolfville on Main Street across from the kids' skate park and the closed PetroCan. It was built to commemorate Canada's centennial way back in the when.

I had a picture of this fountain and willow tree (from a different angle and with a good chunk of the membership of the Classics Society dressed up as different gods and goddesses arrayed around the tree and fountain) on my credit card for a long while. It does hold a special place in my heart!

The following are scenes from a car. I mean... Can you imagine? I would adore being able to look around at this while driving, rather than seeing eight lanes of traffic or just weedy deciduous trees or tons of buildings everywhere.

Gosh I miss Nova Scotia.

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Foodie Fights: Coffee Caramel Sweet Potato Cinnamon Rolls

Go Vote Now!

Voting is closed, and I came in second place--only three points behind first place! I call that a wonderful victory. Thank you all for your votes, and I hope you try these yourself!

Alright, folks, I posted twice in a row about plants. Now it's food's turn!

I signed up for another Foodie Fights competition: sweet potato and coffee. One is one of my favourite food items, the other is my favourite beverage. How could I not sign up to cook something and be judged on the basis of the "yum" factor and my photography?

Well, the "yum" factor turned out to break the chart! But don't take my word for it--decide for yourself on the basis of these mouthwatering photos! (Also, don't forget to vote starting Tuesday.)

I had a hard time deciding what to cook. Sweet potato scones with a coffee glaze? Sweet potato gnocchi with a savory coffee sauce? Sweet potato coffee cake with coffee in it somehow? Maybe just coffee candied sweet potatoes. Everything sounded good and simple (because I couldn't really think of anything more complex), but nothing really jumped out at me.

Until I came across this blog post with a recipe for Sweet Potato Cinnamon Rolls. I was all like "Hell yeah!" I adapted this recipe only slightly in order to include the coffee (I also substituted agave nectar for corn syrup and cut down the butter in the filling by half because I was using coffee in it--besides, five sticks of butter in this recipe? For serious?). Let's get on to the recipe!

All of my ingredients! Sweet potatoes, pecans, egg, butter, heavy cream, agave nectar, flour, brown sugar, baking soda, cinnamon, vanilla, yeast, buttermilk, fair-trade locally roasted (in Nova Scotia...) coffee from Just Us! Coffee Roasters & Co-Op, and sugar. Used but not pictured: salt and orange extract. Pictured but not used: powdered sugar (dead centre!). I just assumed I would need it, having made regular ol' cinnamon rolls before, but this recipe didn't call for powdered sugar at all!

To start, peel and cube the sweet potatoes and boil them for about 10 or so minute to soften them. Drain and mash with a fork--it should be easy! While the sweet potatoes are cooking, mix 1/2 cup warm water, 2 packets yeast, and 1 teaspoon sugar in a bowl and let sit for five minutes. After that, I used my food processor to combine 1/2 cup flour into the yeast. Then I added my 1 cup sweet potatoes, 1 egg, 1 cup buttermilk, 1/2 cup sugar, 1 stick melted butter, 1 teaspoon baking soda, 1 and 1/2 teaspoons salt, and (instead of 2 tablespoons grated orange rind) a few drops of orange extract. I combined all that until smooth, then started adding 5 cups of flour in 1/2-cup increments until I got a nice dough.

Here's my nice dough! I used Pam cooking spray to grease the bowl and then sprayed the dough, too. I stuck it on my bed (because I have 12 inches of counter space), covered with a towel, and let it rise for about an hour.

While the dough was rising, I prepared the filling for the rolls. The original recipe calls for 3/4 cup melted butter, 2 cups brown sugar, 1 cup chopped pecans, and 2 tablespoons cinnamon. I wanted to include the coffee into the filling--I thought the caramely cinnamon flavour would go well with a hint of bitter coffee. So, instead of 3 sticks of butter, I used only 1 and 1/2 sticks and added about 1/2 cup of coffee.

I heated the butter, coffee, and sugar in a pan to create something of a syrup. I wanted it a little thicker than I got it--I think I could have used even less butter, maybe a bit more coffee, and reduced it further to create a stronger coffee flavour in the rolls.

After the syrup became thick (and before the butter and sugar left the solution, becoming chunky, as happened when I tested the syrup the night before), I stuck it in a bowl with the 1 cup chopped pecans and 2 tablespoons cinnamon. I couldn't stop myself from "sampling" it every once in a while--it was way too tasty!

Once the dough finished rising, I punched it down and kneaded it a little. I attempted to roll it out into a rectangle, but it could have used a bit more punching, I think. It was very thick and fluffy, but I think it is supposed to be? Anyway, I got a fairly rectangular shape. The recipe calls for a 10-inch by 18-inch rectangle.

Once rolled out, I coated the dough with the filling. One of the reasons I would adapt my adaptation is because this made a huge mess! The filling was pretty liquidy (y'know, because it's half coffee and melted butter) and ran all over my counter. So I rolled the dough up right quick (from the top edge first, folding over the un-filling-coated edge last) and sliced about 11 rolls (I think you're supposed to get 12, but I like mine thick, apparently) before the filling could run all over the floor.

With the leftover filling, I liberally doused the rolls after putting them in a greased 9-inch by 13-inch pan. Then I stuck them in my oven, which I had preheated to 400 degrees Fahrenheit, for 10 minutes.

While they were cooking, I prepared the glaze (in the pan on the bottom right). I debated just using the powdered-sugar-with-water standard glaze, but then I decided to actually follow the recipe. I put 1 cup brown sugar, 1/3 cup agave nectar (instead of the recipe's corn syrup), and 1/4 cup butter in a pan, stirring constantly over pretty low heat until reduced and thick (but not so reduced and thick that it became chunky). Then, I mixed in 1 teaspoon vanilla and 1/2 cup heavy cream.

This glaze tasted almost exactly like those soft-chew caramel candies, except it was pretty liquidy. When I pulled the buns out of the oven (as seen here) to coat them with the glaze (which is supposed to soak into the buns before cooking a bit further), I realized that my buns are huge and fluffy delights of sugary goodness! (Or, that is, they had risen and I was scared the glaze would just drip over the sides of the pan.) So I drizzled the glaze on them not as liberally as I had with the filling, baked for another 10 minutes (until a fork I stuck in the test bun didn't come out gooey), then coated them again with glaze and served with coffee.

Oh so delicious! A lot of the filling found its way to the bottom of the pan, creating a coffee-caramel-flavoured bottom on the buns, which was amazing! The citrus and sweet potato worked well together in the dough, and the caramel glaze sealed the deal. I ate four of these the night I baked them, and another two the following day (I brought half of the batch to a committee meeting potluck I had--everyone was very complimentary about them!). The coffee and sweet potato flavours were evident, but not overpowering. I think they actually worked splendidly together in this creation, but next time, I might emphasize the coffee flavour and make the buns a bit less sweet, a bit more savoury--a side dish instead of a dessert, maybe!



I'm almost speechless (that's a big fat lie, I can never keep my mouth/fingers shut/still). I ran across this Black Mondo grass at Garden District weeks ago, and every time I stumble upon the photograph, I keep re-shocking myself. A four-inch plant for $14.99? For, like, a bit of grass? For reals? I mean, even on eBay, small divisions go for $10 or more, with shipping and handling.

I found a lot of blog and message board posts via a Google search of "why is black mondo grass so expensive?" that all ask the same question. People seem to shrug and just accept it, buy a plant or two when perennials are discounted, and then divide them a few years down the road. Maybe that's why they're still so expensive despite being fairly popular plants? The intricacies of the horticulture trade yet escape me! But I would not turn down someone who would like to offload a little Black Mondo grass onto me!


Hey? What's Going On?

I haven't updated on the living room garden in over a month, and the last update wasn't what one would call comprehensive. Nor will this one be, but these are the interesting things happening at the moment. (I have to mention some mixed news pertaining to that last update--the lime fruit fell off while I was in Canada [I think the plant was shocked because I forgot to water it before I left], but it also sent up an eight-inch-long growth full of healthy green leaves. So, vegetative growth for healthier plant and more limes in the future!)

Well, there are other interesting things, but they aren't that interesting--my lemon basil is doing well in the windowsill windowbox with my ornamental hot pepper and some Sempervivum. The blue fingerling potatoes that had died in there previously apparently didn't all die--one started growing again. The Alternanthera dentata is taking over every empty pot (as one plant dies, I stick a cutting in, and they go crazy, as is their wont.). My Ledebouria socialis is also going crazy--in a year since I purchased the original plant, I have grown almost 50 new squills.

But I didn't take pictures of all of that. So, here you go!

My Little Bluestem, Schizachyrium scoparium, is doing alright. I mean, it's several months old and pretty tiny... But it's branching and growing. I wonder if it'll flower indoors? It should toward autumn, but one never really knows how nontraditional houseplants will react to the indoor environment. It's doing better than the seeds I sowed at Mr. Yogato (but let's not get into that, eh?).

The eggplant in the background did not survive my Canadian absence, unfortunately, but the Yucca is doing fine!

Soon after the last bloom faded (literally only weeks later), my Ornithogalum caudatum decided to send out another inflorescence! Although I tried to sexually propagate my pregnant onion last time, it didn't take. Maybe this time I'll try the vibratory method I used successfully for my indoor tomatoes last year?

Also in this picture? My oh-so-huge lemon geranium and my Philodendron bipinnatifidum lording over the bedroom.

My Hippeastrum seedlings are doing splendidly! I had pretty good germination from the seeds I gathered from my "Red Lion" amaryllis. I have no idea how/when/whether I'll try to separate these seedlings once/if they go dormant later. I'm excited to see in about three or four years what colours these plants' blooms will be! You know, if I can keep them alive that long. It's a big if.

My Kohleria "Silver Feather" is doing awesome! I got these rhizomes from Kyoko back in March at the Gesneriad Society Plant Show & Sale. They haven't bloomed, yet, but they have pretty leaves and haven't died despite my intermittent overattention--I consider that amazing success!

I got this Saintpaulia at the last Gesneriad Society's National Capital Area Chapter meeting (the first and only one I have been able to attend, actually). I joined the chapter after the show and sale in March, and at each meeting, members bring plants that are raffled off as a fundraiser. Any leftovers are free for the nabbing--that's how I acquired this African violet. It was in bloom when I got it, but of course, the blooms fell off immediately after getting the plant home. But, look! It's blooming for me now! Several blooms!


Sampling Chef Tony's

I had one of the most satisfying culinary experiences last night at Chef Tony's in Bethesda. I know I'm usually a bit... hyperbolic, to say the least, but beyond the delicious in-season generally local/organic food, numerous courses, excellent service, wine pairings, and pleasant atmosphere, the on-the-spot theme created for us by the sous chef really helped build the night's experience.

It started with a treasure hunt I set up for my date. For those who are interested in going to Chef Tony's and having their significant others go through a similar series of hoops to get there, I created a Google map describing the route, the clues, and ways I think the treasure hunt could have been improved. It was definitely fun to plan, but waiting for the treasure hunter to finish the route is a large test of patience--you don't know whether the clues have been left alone by passers-by, whether the clues are clear and your date is on his or her way or whether s/he ended up in another town because your clue was just that bad, or how long it'll take for the treasure hunter to finish the route.

But despite a little issue with me trying to be too clever with Clue 5, delaying the other half of my dinner party, the wait staff at Chef Tony's was very accommodating and friendly, chatting intermittently with me and explaining the five-course tasting that Chef Tony is offering (only for another two days extended until 25 July, so get there if you can!).

While I was waiting for my date to arrive, I was brought a starter of Peruvian corn, roasted with hot pepper flakes, lime juice, and lime zest. It was nice and crunchy, but mostly what it made me think of is using my roasted chickpea recipe with the Bloody Butcher and Maryland Gourdseed corn that I'm growing! The deep red kernels would look awesome paired with the large pale yellow kernels!

Once my beau arrived, we both requested vegetarian tastings, although the restaurant has a heavy seafood focus. Chef Tony, when I had e-mailed him, said that his "very creative" sous chef "would love to do a vegetarian tasting." He definitely spoke truth--what the chef prepared for us were dishes with a rainbow theme (how did he know?!?).

I must take the chance to apologize here--I did not bring my camera. Each course was unique and amazing, and I am really kicking myself for being a bad food blogger. But I did get a picture of the dessert with the camera on my phone, poor quality though it is. Also, I likely missed a few ingredients or subtleties of the courses in trying to recall all of this. Some of it went down the hatch so fast, I'm not even sure that I chewed!

The first course was Purple. What first caught my eye was the blue fingerling potato across the plate from the purple fig. The blueberries and peas scattered around on top of the blueberry reduction were a delicious touch, and to top it off was grated purple cauliflower (I think). I feel that I'm missing something here, something that was the main part of the course... I didn't expect so many varied flavours and items to go together, but the peas and figs actually went spectacularly well together, and the sweetness of the blueberries and the figs helped tie the taste together with the rest of the course. I thought it was a very nice presentation, and I was superexcited about the colour theme (and purple is, by the way, one of my favourites!). The course was paired with a nice red wine. Not too tannin-y, not too sweet.

The second course was Red. I have this problem with melon--it kills me. That's less of a problem, I think, than the way in which I present that problem to servers. I hadn't thought of mentioning it prior to the meal, although, as anyone with a deadly food allergy knows, you should do so at any restaurant, especially when the meal has five courses and is prepared without the diners' knowledge of the meal's constituents. So, as I saw the plates coming, I said "Oh, no, I'm so sorry, I'm deathly allergic to watermelon. No, no, it's okay, I'll just remove it from the white asparagus and eat around where it was on the plate, as long as it was just scooped it on and didn't let it touch anything else?" The dish was really cool, despite my little issue of potential death--there were three pieces of seared white asparagus garnished with a scoop of watermelon and half of a juicy red tomato. Pomegranate seeds were scattered on the plate, and the swoosh of a mesquite hot sauce was well-complemented by the sliced strawberry. The sweet-hot combo worked wonders! I think this was the course paired with the rose-coloured bubbly lightly sweet wine, but I'm not certain. That could have been paired with Yellow.

Yellow was the third course. It was composed of a nice risotto with a bit of cheese, yellow cauliflower, pineapple, a yellow Early Girl tomato hybrid, jicama, and a dehydrated plantain chip, all atop a sweet parsnip puree. The flavour of the pineapple with the mellow risotto and sweet parsnip puree blew my buds. After a cooking class I took in Nova Scotia (good review to come, trust me!), I am now in love with risotto! It is so incredibly versatile, and the chef at Chef Tony's clearly knows how to make it well. I'm pretty sure there was a white wine paired with this course, but I'm not certain. I got a little mixed up--we ended up with several courses worth of wine glasses on the table concurrently during the night, because there was almost more wine than food on the plate! Up until this point, Yellow was my favourite course of the evening.

But then we were brought Brown. It might sound simple, but its taste was incredible. A bed of quinoa was topped with two portabello mushroom caps stuffed with a mushroom filling. Thai peanut sauce twirled its way around the plate, encircling the dish. I definitely did not get enough of this dish--it was, quite simply, amazing. The flavours of the mushroom and nutty quinoa were subtle and complex, a good combination with the deliciously mellow-with-a-kick Thai peanut sauce. The wine pairing was a smoky red, which complemented the subtle-yet-strong flavour combination of the dish well.

The final course was dessert. The colour theme was dropped for this, but I'm not complaining. Look at that! My camera phone does it no justice. I call this the "Um, Hells Yeah, Gimme That No-Flour Chocolate Cake!" I'm not sure what the chef calls it. I should trademark the name. It's so rich, so chocolatey, so thick, so... amazing. Also, gluten-free? But, almost what I liked best, was that the cake was in the shape of a heart (Awwwww! I'm a sucker for such things, can't deny it!). It had a raspberry (I think) puree drizzled around with raspberry (I think) whipped cream topped by a sliced strawberry. I think this right here was about half of the calories for the meal, but it was well worth it! Any chocolate lover who maybe has celiac disease should definitely go to Chef Tony's and get this chocolate cake. The dessert was paired with one of our server's (I forget his name, I feel bad about that...!) own special Key Lime Pie martini. And yes, it was sweet and tasted like a key lime pie! It was difficult to go from cake to martini, because one was so sweet and refreshing, the other so dense and delicious, but both were definitely worth the calories.

So. Worth. It. Chef Tony's recently changed names from Visions, if you knew it as that before. If you have not yet been, well, you have a couple of thumbs up from me if you're thinking about it! (Just to let you know, the menu changes daily on the basis of what's in season and available at the market, but prices are very reasonable for such a nice restaurant--main courses for dinner go for just $13 to $20. The five-course tasting was only $29 per person, but it's running only until 15 25 July--for the summer, at least. I am hoping Chef Tony will continue this in other seasons!)

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A Brief Visit To The Halifax Public Gardens

While in Nova Scotia to be my friend's best man in his wedding, we happened to be in Halifax on Canada Day (1 July). (That's our northern neighbour's version of Independence Day, for those who aren't Canadian or live in states that border the country.) The Queen was down for Fleet Week (lots of sailors clogging the ports to garner her approval), and we passed her car on the highway before picking people up at the airport. Her license plate was all blinged out in shiny gems in the shape of a crown, and the car was packed with old folks, but there wasn't an escort or anything. We wondered what the heck she was doing taking a joy ride when she needed to be in Ottawa that afternoon, but one must not question the Queen.

But that's beside the point, of course, because on Canada Day, I got the chance to finally visit the Halifax Public Gardens. The one time I had planned on going was after Hurricane Juan, which closed the gardens for almost a year while the damage it caused was fixed. (I enjoyed what was dubbed "White Juan" better--it was during Reading Week in first year of university at Acadia, right before my professors went on strike for a month, and it dumped four feet of snow down on Nova Scotia. It was awesome! We didn't get any time off of school for snow [we would have, had the professors not struck], but that's also beside the point.)

While the groom was attending his then-soon-to-be-bride's family on site-seeing binges, I got the chance to slip away and see a few friends with whom I haven't been able to catch up in a few years. We ended up wandering toward the gardens. I have to admit that I wasn't exactly focused on the plants--my friends and I really had a lot to catch up on. But when I ran across this xeriscaped area, I was utterly pleased and had to take some photos of the very-healthy-looking Agave.

Oh. Well, first, apparently, we have these awesome orange campfire-looking flowers. They were blooming in large clumps around the gardens, and I wish I knew what they were! I'd love to grow them myself; they have such an interesting flower shape and seem as if they'd be great cut flowers!

Okay, so now to the xeriscaped planting! Agaves, Sedums, random other stuff I didn't bother to try to misidentify... Wish I could be there when these variegated Agaves are in bloom! I don't think I'd ever have expected these plants to be able to survive Nova Scotia winters--I don't know if the garden employees mulch them for protection, or if the snowcover keeps them insulated, or if they're just that hardy, but they clearly seem to be thriving! (Many of the smaller plants, however, did look as if they are placed annually--or, at least, had been placed fresh this year.) Update (about ten minutes after posting): I finally found a tiny piece of information on the gardens' website that says these plants are stored in a greenhouse overwinter and planted again every year. Pretty much exactly what my horticulturalist friend does at the National Arboretum here in DC!

A close-up of one of the variegated Agave. I thought the curly leaves were a little shy and cute--and yet mischievous. Do I anthropomorphize? Heck yeah! (Speaking of anthropomorphizing, see that giant duck in the background? ... I don't know, either. Your guess is as good as mine.)

Here's me! The friend with whom I was wandering around was shocked at all the weight I have lost (about 100 pounds since he last saw me). I didn't pass up the chance to have him take my picture--it's a rare occurrence, since I'm the one always the one being the photographer, and the Agave was cool and unexpected! (I'm all dressed up [I put on a tie] for the bachelor party that was later that night. Brewery tour, fireworks, almost getting killed by a man in a bus decorated with bloody children's handprints, and some parkour on the sidewalk. Fun times!)

And, of course--geese! It wouldn't be Canada without them, eh?


Seed GROW Project #4

After returning from the wedding I was best man for in Nova Scotia, I was all like "Oh shoot, the GROW project! I didn't post!"

Then I collapsed and slept for a whole six hours! Upon waking yesterday, I checked on my "Spitfire" in the windowsill at home--it looks the same as ever, except with a few more new leaves. I eventually made my way to Mr. Yogato to check on the ones there and discovered what I had hoped wouldn't be the case--the month full of 90-plus-degree temperatures unsoftened by any respectable rainstorms (barring two brief squalls that just teased the parched greenery) took its toll on my garden.

Of course, the Mr. Yogato employees don't feel any sense of ownership over the plants (although I have been trying to encourage them to clip flowers, use the mint, eat the strawberries)--they think of the garden as just the plants of that crazy guy who comes in occasionally. Some of them, sure, but they're also Mr. Yogato's plants. If they look unhappy, then visitors (those who notice the plants, anyway) will think that Mr. Yogato doesn't care for appearances. I asked the managers to encourage the employees to water the plants when they have down time while I was gone for a week, but I'm not sure if that happened.

Anyway, enough of the details: the plants are dried out and all crisp from DC's intense summer heat and unabated dryness.

A shame.

I'm growing Nasturtium "Spitfire" for the GROW project. Thanks, to Renee's Garden for the seeds.



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