1. Blue on Blue rooftop garden.
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At Blue on Blue at the Avalon Hotel, a rooftop garden is born

1. Blue on Blue rooftop garden.
By Deborah Netburn

Although the menu at Blue on Blue, the poolside restaurant at the Avalon Hotel of Beverly Hills, occasionally references “rooftop” arugula or “rooftop” mint, there is no farm on the roof of the buildling — at least not technically. (Gary Friedman / Los Angeles Times)
2. rooftop
But stairs at the back of the hotel lead to five EarthBoxes, self-watering plastic planters about 2 feet long, 1 foot wide and 1 foot deep. They’re about waist height and planted with micro greens, strawberries, tomatoes and more. (Gary Friedman / Los Angeles Times)
3. Blue on Blue rooftop garden.
The fledgling rooftop garden is the brainchild of 24-year-old restaurant manager Ryan Hoffman, left, shown with Blue on Blue’s executive chef, Scott Garrett. (Gary Friedman / Los Angeles Times)
4. Blue on Blue rooftop garden.
Hoffman spent 10 months researching rooftop gardening before convincing the general manager of the hotel to let him invest $550 in the project. To start, he planted seedlings that lend themselves to garnishes — mache, basil and mint. (Gary Friedman, Los Angeles Times)
5. Roof top garden.
So far Hoffman has bought all his seedlings from Jimmy Williams of Hayground Organic Gardening, which sells plants at the Hollywood and Santa Monica farmers markets. “Their nursery is on a rooftop in Hollywood, so we thought if it could grow there, it could grow here,” Hoffman said. (Gary Friedman / Los Angeles Times)
6. Rooftop
“We’re not growing enough to supply the entire restaurant, but this is a place to start,” said chef Garrett, shown here in his kitchen. “For now, if I could finish every dish with something from the garden, I’d feel pretty good about it.” (Gary Friedman, Los Angeles Times)
7. rooftop
Rooftop scallops? Not yet. But the pesto on the side was made from some of the plants growing on the roof. (Gary Friedman / Los Angeles Times)
8. Rooftop
And though the peas in this dish had to come from somewhere else, the pasta was made with arugula from the rooftop. (Gary Friedman / Los Angeles Times)
Blue on Blue at the Avalon Hotel
The Avalon has asked gardening guru Darren Butler to teach a class on small-space food gardening. The three-day class will be held 7 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. Feb. 21, Feb. 28 and March 7. The class is free for low-income attendees and $150 for others. (Courtesy of Blue on Blue)