Thursday, April 1, 2010

The terrace

The one half of the herb garden such as it is...I actually dug up a garlic clove from the zinc bath to see whether anything was happening. Nada. But it was firm, not mushy, so back it went. The weather has turned warm and blue and sunny. Hopefully the message will get through.

The pots on the roof look as though they are right on the edge of the roof, but there is a 20" wide gutter between them and the long drop.

It's all I can do to stop myself snipping the luscious chives. Their flowers will beautiful, come early May.

See this cane? It started to grow about this time last year, at the foot of the New Dawn rose, the one I keep threatening to pull out. It grew and grew and grew. It grew up over the gutter at the top and all the way past the other end of the terrace. It grew 16 feet. In one year.

Of course the big question is, will it make buds, or is it a worthless sucker?

I have folded it back on itself and woven it through the climbing Iceberg. Also in the New Dawn pot are two Silk Road lilies, and a volunteer Clematis paniculata. I had one on the terrace some years ago and grew disenchanted with it, so sent it to the gallows. This little one made a small spray of flowers last year, and is already shooting out new leaves, so will make more flowers this fall. We'll see.

The Iceberg has buds! I just noticed them this morning, while I was having coffee on the the terrace.

I fed both roses a large dose of Rose Tone (6-6-4) a week ago.

Come summer, I must move the rose canes that have covered the air conditioner as it starts to blast hot air at them. New York in summer. Let's just not think about it.

Amazing what you see when you sit still. Sipping my delicious coffee, complete with a little creamy fluff from the espresso pot still on the brown surface, I suddenly zoomed in on the lily shoot I thought I had accidentally snapped off.

&*^%$$#@!!*&argh!*&# snail!!!!!! The little bugger.

He was airborn and off the terrace in no time.

That's a whole lily gone! Gone! Pretty sure it was a 'Seafarer.' No heart, no flowers. Just like people. Check your hearts for snails.

When Vince gets back we're going to eat snails somewhere. If Florent was still open and not lost to the Disneyfication of the Meatpacking District, we'd go there.

My snail arrived one year with a plant from a nursery. There were three. I thought they were cute. They multiplied like mad, and I have never been able to get rid of them entirely. I've just inspected the whole terrace and collected 15. Maybe I could start a rooftop snail farm.

So I dug the bulb up. Brutal, I know. But up here, every inch counts.

The two boxwoods have frilly new shoots. I need one more. Having two boxwoods is just...stupid.

The Japanese forest grass is at that succulent stage where the cat is drawn to it like a magnet. So I have covered it with wire basket.

So that's the terrace in April. By May it will look a lot different.


  1. What's up with all the red arrow graffiti on everything?;)

    Thats a shame about that lily. I'm surprised every year mine make it, they are a bonus. I have lots of slugs and some snails (I did not grow up with these!) but they seem to leave my plants alone. They slime my compost, which if you ask me is the only reason to throw my vegetables out in a pile in full view of passersby.

    Oh, but the other day I spied a spiteful street cat shitting on the compost pile. Bugger.

    My New Dawn put out three 12 foot long new canes last year- I had to cut them they were poking people on the sidewalk! Very substantial plant.

  2. You need a pet duck for those snails! Think what fun Estorbo would have !

  3. Seeing your terrace makes me miss my old rental garden in Carroll Gardens. I crammed it full to bursting with plants which made me happy. We had lots of snails. I thought they were cute too. My puppies found them very puzzling. I'd collect a lot in the spring but then sort of let them do their thing the rest of the season. I actually never noticed what they were eating though, so I don't think they did a lot of damage. Or maybe I just blamed bad horticulture for whatever disappeared (Virginia bluebells, bletilla striata). Our snails had yellow shells of all things and looked exotic and pretty. Do your trips make you long to have South African plants on the terrace or is it just too difficult with the humid summers?

  4. Hi! Just stumbled upon your blog via a post here

    Your garden is amazing. It makes me feel very tempted to try growing ornamentals!

  5. Slugs are bad, but at least you don't have any rabbits (at least I hope not - that high up!) They ate my entire crop of lilies one spring - just as they were about 8 inches tall. I am so impressed at how much you have sprouting already. You are way farther north, but I don't have nearly as much coming along. Thanks for sharing.

  6. Eating snail? I lost that chromosome a long time ago... I'll take the garlic butter, though.


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