Rooftop Gardening Done Right

Atop Elgin Community College’s first floor rooftops, I found these lovely (and quite large) student-led gardens just outside the new Humanities lunchroom.  Apparently, the horticulture students maintain the plantings, and the culinary students use the produce in their cuisine.  What a lovely idea!
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And, of course, it is a serene view when I am scarfing my Lean Cuisine between classes.

Succulent at Mariano’s

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I picked up this interesting succulent at the new local grocery store Mariano’s. This little guy was pricey, but I’ve never seen the like: fuzzy purpley-green “leaves” with orange flowers.

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Sweet Autumn Explosion

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My Sweet Autumn Clematis has exploded with blooms.  This perennial vine is designated a “Type 3”, meaning it must be cut to the ground each Fall or early Spring as it only blooms on new wood.  
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Each year, I’m surprised by the voracity of this plant: going from nothing to covering my stairwell in a matter of months.
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Catmint: My cats’ high

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My cats’ favorite plant purchase has to be catmint. Rapunzel (along with many a neighborhood stray) spends all Summer rolling through these amazingly resilient perennials. I even snip off a few bits for the indoor cats who treat it like Christmas. I’ve attempted growing catnip now three times, but it’s always eaten to the roots the day after planting. Catmint, on the other hand, is an almost unkillable, freshly-scented perennial that seems to bloom unfettered early Spring until late Fall “cut back”.

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If I didn’t have cats (oh, what a tragedy!), I’d love to snip some happy blooms for a country-style bouquet; alas, my kitties would smash the vase to get their “kitty high on”.