Yesterday, I tried to take my hops, rhubarb, chayote, lemon verbena, sweet potato, and some other potted plants to my Newark Street Community Garden plot. I put them in tubs within IKEA bags. The tubs were 14 to 18 gallons--perfect for potting hops and other vigorous growers in while ensuring that I get to keep them years down the road if I end up moving. I was planning on dropping the plants and tubs off, heading to the nursery about a half-mile away from the garden, buying potting soil for the hops and other plants, and carting it back.
But even in small-ish pots, those things were dang heavy--how would I carry several cubic feet of soil by myself? I barely made it a block with the plants before thinking about getting a cab, but because I had to go to the Arboretum yesterday as well, I ended up getting a ZipCar instead--I figured it would probably save me a lot of hassle, and it would not be much more expensive than cabs everywhere.
I got to the nursery and picked up some soil and a small pot of lemongrass, potted up my hops and sweet potato, and stuck the lemongrass in one of the pots the hops had vacated and headed on to the Arboretum to drop off some fliers for DC State Fair's Seedling Swap next weekend. I was in a rush to return the ZipCar, but on the way, I determined I wouldn't make it in time--so I extended the reservation and stopped by Wangari Gardens to water my plot a little after 2 PM.
It had been raining a lot in the past couple days, but of course, the plot was about bone dry when I got there. I spent about 15 minutes giving it a little drink before I had to get back to the car and return it.
Whereupon I discovered this.
You can see the community garden in the background--a lot of the wood-pallet fence has been painted vibrantly green. I was just a few hundred feet away, within sight of the car, but I didn't see who came up, smashed the passenger-side window, rifled through all the nooks and crannies, and eventually filched my backpack, which had some articles I was writing freelance pieces about, a book I had just picked up to review for Washington Gardener, my contacts, and a couple other things.
But, they left the cardamom (an Amomum NOID), the Cuban oregano (trying again with Plectranthus amboinicus--I keep killing the cuttings that Mr. Subjunctive sends, but I figure with garden plots, I might leave it alone enough for it to thrive), and the Eucalyptus. Thank the gods. Although the cufflinks and tie clip that I received as a wedding gift when I was best man for a friend's wedding in 2010 are gone, I am happy not to have lost more. I might have to pay a hefty price to ZipCar for the incident, however--I don't generally purchase the damage waiver when I rent, so the check for that profile of a researcher I just sent an invoice for might just be going straight to ZipCar instead of to the Rent God of Doom, my beau. I'm sure he'll let me slide just this once.
On the plus side, a fellow named Andros knocked on my door around 6:30 PM or so and dropped off what he said he found in an alley where he hangs out. I got my magazines, freelance articles, Washington Gardener book to review, and my optical mouse back. As well as my passport, birth certificate, and social security card, which I turned the house and all of my bags upside down to find back in January. I am, in some respects, happy that it ended up in that backpack, because otherwise, Andros wouldn't have known where to come (well, he might have--there was also a letter from a friend with my address on it, but still). I'm still missing some electronics, my contacts, those cufflinks, and the bag itself--but at least I have some of the less-replaceable things back.