Below, this is Nick, today, representing some new gardening blood recently hired, sawing at the very potbound roots of a Japanese maple. One of the challenges of container gardening, with container-grown plants. He said rather carefully, This is more brutal than the type of gardening I was taught.
I know, son, I said, welcome to New York! And blessed him for being taught at all. It is a pleasure to work with people who love plants, and he does. He speaks fluent Spanish and Portuguese and Paulo, our resident Brazilian, beamed all day in response.
Fast forward: the Swiss chard perking up in the kitchen garden after a thorough soaking. The new boxwood hedge in the background immediately changed the space and made it more intimate.
The two espaliered Mackintoshes were retied to their cross-pieces and upright supports with velcro ties: easily removed and super-strong. It gave me a new appreciation for this art of tree-training - I stood up there for about two hours taking off the old plastic ties and making sure the trees would remain supported in wind. It is a sweet thing to be balancing on a high floor, looking down at the traffic patterns below, the thunderclouds above, the silver Chrysler Building gleaming in the distance in a shaft of sunlight, and then to refocus on the apple branch 8 inches from your face...it is one of the best ways of belonging to the city.