Wednesday, August 18, 2010

August terrace

Lots has happened on the terrace in the brief period we were away. It is a reminder that things grow. All the time. Perhaps the rain had something to do with it. The self seeded foxtail grass is a sign of autumn, for me. See the pictures on the sidebar of the blog, for the first foxtail against the orange wall. Has a year ever happened so fast? Is it simply age? Faster and faster? One moment I was gasping about the heat and the next I am thinking about September suppers and cool night air.

And there is so much to do.

A few weeks ago I separated the three hollyhocks that germinated from Dan's seeds from Fire Island. This one has gone bonkers, just over the last few days. I need to put it in a big pot and may take out the nicotiana to accommodate it.

Earlier today I looked up to see the black wings of the Black Tiger Swallowtail flitting about near the parsley and I dashed out with my camera but it had apparently accomplished what it had come to do: the parsley is now officially a human-free zone. Bother. No, I won't throw the caterpillars off the terrace this time. I'll be good.

What's this? Another potential bugger? Looks like a lady bug nymph again. But it's not. It's the first swallowtail child! She must have been laying eggs in stages. or it could be offspring of a different butterfly.

This is the doomed Eglantyne, looking very fetching. But the plant is not happy. Wrong situation.

And the Strawberry 'Fern.' I keep mentioning the cultivar because it's such a good performer. Now even the baby plants have flowers and fruit beginning to set, too!

I ate the ripe ones.

The strawberry nursery is expanding so fast that I am going to have to give some away, and pot the rest on the roof farm. I have about fourteen little plants.

And the overripe figs hanging on the tree? They are in the oven, drying. Then I'll have to figure out what to do with them.

I watered the farm in the dark, last night. The zucchini are still there and look very healthy judging by the size of the leaves and the squash was full of blossoms. I'll eat them tonight. My Frenchie is working late. The cucumbers look rather shattered, and we'll see about the tomatoes. I have troughs ready for chervil (I was very excited to find seed, I love the herb), mixed 'spicy microgreens', upland cress and mesclun.

I am also thinking of recipes for dried white shortnose native corn; I had the occasion to interview and photograph the artist Christina Kelly a while ago, about her Brooklyn Maize Fields which have and are producing corn she would like to exhibit in edible form at the upcoming Farm City Fair to be held on September 12th at the Invisible Dog Art Center on Bergen Street, just up the road from her Boerum Hill maize field. I am thinking along the lines of pozole, and Christina mentioned that she might be able to source some bear meat.

Yes, bear. If she can't get bear it will have to be wild boar. So...I'm trying to remember what I've read about bear. Poor bear.

So, plenty to think about. Now I must check on the mealie bugs on the patio tomato on the roof.


  1. It still feels like summer here, so when I read "And there is so much to do", I was wondering... but now, I totally see your point.
    I'm sure the terrace is glad to see you. :-)

  2. Thanks for the Maize links. It does all go so fast. The other night, after stringing up the cukes at the beach, we went for a late night swim. All I could think about was how soon Autumn was, and how many chances left to swim in the sea before it is too cold to want to.

    Hmmm. Strawberries. I need more farm!

  3. Anyes - it is very much summer here too, but there are changes. Ones that excite me. The light, the air.

    Frank, would you like the strawberries? Any space left?

    A late night swim, really? What was that like?

  4. Lovely stories. Effens melancholies. Must be the changing of the seasons. Here in SA spring is in the air. Trees look like watercolour paintings.
    How is Storbie? Miss his stories.
    Love your roof garden.

  5. Hi, Earlier I created a warning poster of the dangers of Foxtail to pets and used your image of the foxtail, I did link your page and put you as the image source, but have since realised that all your images are copyrighted.

    I am in state as we are now dealing with the horrific effects of this plant in our 8 month old puppy.
    Here is the link -
    Please let me know if you would prefer i removed it.

    Thank you

    1. Thanks for asking, Sacha. I have asked that you do not use my image. I'd appreciate it if you took it down.

      And I am really very sorry about your sick puppy. That is very sad and painful. Our cat nibbles the leave tips and has for years. Did your puppy eat the seed and stem, or a whole leaf? What happened?

  6. I have removed it.

    I really hope your cat never has to suffer what my poor baby has gone through.
    There is various ways they get into a pets system but in her case the seed's and barbs get stuck on their coats and in their paws, they then chew and try to remove it, which results in these tiny things from the plant getting stuck in their soft tissue and migrating through the body wreaking havoc.

    I see you were born in SA too, good luck with the launch of your book.

    1. Thank you, Sacha. I'll write a follow up post and link to yours, about the grass...

  7. Marie, the link i sent is not my own. I just came across it on the internet, but gives the best explanation of what these plants do to pets.


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