Sunday, October 28, 2012

Fresh Salad in a Hurricane...

A few weeks ago I was lucky enough to get some lettuce starts while at school (thank you Horticulture degree, I don't remember getting free plants in engineering school) and I put them in containers in my cold frame to see how they would do (Lettuce in a Cold Frame).

Turns out they're doing great!! Who would have thought! I decided to harvest some before Sandy came to town and I'm treating myself to a fresh salad for dinner tonight.

Lettuce & Cabbage seem to be loving the cold frame

I'm topping the fresh lettuce with very little, some goat cheese crumbles and a homemade salad dressing. During my recent trip to California I picked up some garlic olive oil and honey balsamic vinegar that together with some fresh cracked black pepper that just makes an amazing dressing! 

As you can see from the mostly empty bottle...I'm finding the honey balsamic hard to resist! 

How do you like to dress your salads??  

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Hurricane Prep ...

Just wanted to wish everyone in the path of Sandy good luck!  I've battened down the hatches here in the Norfolk/Tidewater region of VA. Brought in all of my plants and have them safely tucked away! Here's to hoping power wont be out for too long

Stay Safe everyone!

Norfolk Botanical Gardens

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Mushrooms in London's Underground....

Wow! This is so cool!!  The city of London had a competition to design a green-space similar to the High Line in New York City (A public park in NYC that runs along its west side on old elevated train tracks)

The winning design is was designed by a Landscape Architectural firm called Fletcher Priest Architect and called "Pop Down" They designed a mushroom farm in the old "mail rails" that the postmen would use to move parcels around the busy city without having to fight the crowds.

The design includes a pedestrian walkway, the possibility of some "fungi" inspired eateries at the entrances and daylight would enter the tunnels through fiberglass sculplted mushrooms that would light the tunnel from street level and provide light down to the fungi.

I hope this becomes a reality and I can't wait to go see it! I love the idea of repurposing old structures into new and wonderful green spaces!

Winning Design from Fletcher Priest Architect (image source:

Runner Up from Y/N Design (image source: 

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Lettuce in Cold Frame???

I have a problem.... I can not turn down free plants. It doesn't matter if I have space to plant to them... I just simply can not turn them down.

Last night our professor offered us lettuce, cabbage,  and broccoli starts.  I do not have a garden to plant them in but how could I turn down free plants???

I was conservative I only brought home three types of lettuce and some cabbage... that's not bad right?

Free plants ... Lettuce and Cabbage
On my hour drive home from class I started thinking where could I put these new plants. I have a cold frame out back and decided to give that a shot.

Went to Target and bought clear plastic shoe boxes and drilled six holes in the bottom of them thinking they might make good containers or trays for my lettuce. At $1.22 a piece it was worth a shot

Plastic Shoe boxes  with holes for drainage
Then I simply filled them up with potting soil and stuck in the lettuce and cabbage. I have a feeling the cabbage may get a little bit too big for its britches in the box, but it is worth a shot.  Had a few extra cabbage plants so I put them out in the front with a *FREE* sign. I guess we'll see who else likes free plants 

Anyone else want some free plants? 

. I'm hoping this works and I can have some fresh lettuce and salad all winter long. Anyone else have any luck growing lettuce this way? 

Friday, October 5, 2012

Dwarf Orchard

Greetings and many apologies for disappearing.  I underestimated how much time going back to school and working full time would take.  I have missed writing and have made a promise and plan to keep Adventures updated.  I have a lot of new and fun things to share.

On the top of my list to share with you all is my latest obsession, a Dwarf Orchard. At least that is what I am calling my problem of buying trees and having no yard to put them in.

The Dwarf Orchard set up
I decided to purchase some shelves to add to my indoor hallway garden. This spot gets sunlight from both the SE facing window you see and another one across the hall from it facing South.  Seemed to me to be the perfect spot.

I am already the proud owner of a  Kaffir lime tree, which is about a year old. I have greatly enjoyed its leaves this summer (a subject of another post) and am looking forward to its bumpy fruit.  So naturally a lemon tree would provide a nice companion right?

Enter a 3 year old Meyer Lemon tree. Ok I may have ever so slightly misjudged the size of the lemon tree. In my minds eye it was totally fitting on those shelves. In reality.... well you can see it gets its own table.  It has some very teeny tiny buds just beginning to form. It takes about 6 months or more to develop from flower to fruit, so I will keep you posted.

3 year old Meyer Lemon Tree
I spent the last weekend in beautiful Temecula California visiting family. Along with Avocados (YUM!) and Wine (post on Wine Country later too) they grow beautiful luscious olives. Is it just me or could you live off a diet of Avocados, Wine and Olives?? Yeah probably just me. I have been wanting an olive tree for as long as I can remember. When I saw a Lucques olive seedling I just had to have it. When things like trees are involved the logistics of luggage just go right out the window. I think my Aunt thought I was a little nuts buying a tree as a souvenir.

1 yr old Lucques olives tree
And simply because I saw one at a college campus conservatory here in Norfolk and I thought it would be cool to have one, a chocolate tree. Sadly, I ordered this tree from Puerto Rico and it apparently kicked and screamed all the way to Virginia and shed EVERY SINGLE leaf... so its really just kind of a Chocolate Stick right now.. I am babying it hoping it will put out more leaves. Fingers crossed

Chocolate "stick" 

Well there you have it, the 4 players so far in my Dwarf Orchard. I'll go into detail more on each on each of them in future posts.