We have actually had rain here in DC! I know my plants at Mr. Yogato are loving it. They could use a couple more days of soaking--and that's what it looks like we'll be getting. The plants that survived the crazy heat, the intense dryness, and my complete inattention are doing swell, even if they look a little bedraggled. And, of course, these are the plants that will remain at the Mr. Yogato garden in the future--the ones that don't need constant babying; can take drought, heat, and the drunks; and look okay even when they aren't too happy.
I was walking by this afternoon (while it was raining), and I snapped a few photos with my new phone. To bypass the computer issues I'm having and the limitations of blogging on my phone, I e-mailed the photos to myself, logged onto my computer in safe mode, downloaded the photos, and then blogged. That limits the quality of my photography, but it's better than using the crazy keypad on my phone. Anyway, although the Mr. Yogato garden hasn't been getting a great deal of attention from me this year because of twice-broken collarbone, travel, and all those other excuses I have, there are some star plants I feel the need to spotlight before the cold (or a drunken crowd full of drag queens) does them in.
The Renee's Garden trombetta squash (bottom) is a monster again this year! (Also in this photo are some stalks of corn and my grapes, but more about them later.) It's my second year growing this particular vegetable, and I absolutely love it. Not only is it a vigorous grower and makes a great deal of fruit for fresh eatin', sauteeing, pie baking, or whatnot, it also has very pretty foliage--huge green leaves with silver veins, covering the spearmint that is surprisingly unkempt this year and climbing up the ivy and up the wall. People trimmed the apical shoot for some reason, making the plant go ape-shit with its lateral growth. It's an even larger plant than last year because of that, but it's more dense because the vine isn't traveling around the tops of the windows.
That over-the-window space is being taken up by the grape vine, which is going crazy this year! The primary vine has grown, easily, 30 to 40 feet, with several lateral vines trailing behind it. The main vine is almost reaching toward the door of Cafe Green, a new vegan restaurant (not a cafe at all!!).
Okay, so maybe this is hard to see, but the grape vines are actually growing on the ivy along the building's wall. The ivy is attached to the wall, and the grapes are attached to the ivy. It's a wonderful relationship! My hope is that, in the future, the ivy can be slaughtered, and the grapes will take over covering the wall. This ivy is mature--it makes such a quantity of berries every year! It's beautiful against the red-painted brick and the historic bits of the building, but it's also invasive. I'd rather have pretty, less invasive, edible grapes growing up the building.
Also in the window box, framing the middle window, are a couple stalks of Seed Savers Exchange Bloody Butcher corn. They germinated well, but the whole drought/heat/crazy DC weather thing took its toll on the plants. They aren't as tall as they should be, the leaves are thin, and the cobs are multitudinous and small. Also, some have holes, like this one you can see here. I'm not happy about that.
And some volunteer Datura plants made an appearance! The bush pumpkin plants I had growing in this area up and died during the hot, dry summer, so I stopped pulling up all the volunteer Datura seedlings. Yeah, they're hallucinogenic. Yeah, they're invasive weeds. But good golly, look how beautiful they are!
Before Datura got so huge here, I planted some lemon verbena (which was promptly stepped on, so only a nubbin is growing, but there are a few new leaves near the base of the plant), rosemary, lavender, and a pretty columbine. I also sprinkled some arugula all around for a nice fall harvest.
Not pictured: The strawberries are surviving, but not spreading as I'd hoped (the spearmint is, however!). The rhubarb got stepped on one too many times. I don't know whether it will come up again. The bulb garden got sat on so many times I didn't get to see half of what flowered--and many things never got the opportunity to. In a few months, some of those plants will start sending leaves up again. I'm hoping most of them made it despite the rough treatment they received at the hands (and butts. and bookbags.) of the general public.
There are some other random plants (Heuchera, violets, swiss chard, Gladiolus) that are sticking around--they aren't dead, but they're not really worth mentioning right now, either.