Saturday, February 18, 2012

The February terrace


Above, pre-clean up, yesterday. I tossed the yellow parsley and snipped all the dead from the strawberries, which are the messiest three pots in the front row. Soon I must divide them - perhaps Nora over on the other rooftop would like some. Do I root prune the fig this year? Last year's performance was relatively dismal in terms of fruit - several dozen, as opposed to 2010's 100-plus. But I root-pruned it both years. Perhaps last year it was simply resting.


After threatening her with eviction for a couple of years, I am removing Pat Austin from the terrace. See the black in the middle of the big canes? Tsk. I feel sorry about it, but she never did well in the hot months, and now I have an added excuse to go rose shopping, which I will do online at David Austin. I'm thinking of deep, blackish red: Munstead, reputed to be strongly fragrant (essential) and to perform well in hot, humid summers. I never did like the name Pat Austin for a rose. As lovely as the real lady (David's wife) may have been, I kept having visions of a rigid, hair sprayed up-do in sensible shoes driving a wide American jalopy into a strip mall parking lot. It was disconcerting.


On the roof the Lacinato kale is still going strong. The leaves are small and tough but sweet. The parsnips, on the other hand, now resemble...parsnips! Nice and long and white and carroty. I'll leave them in a bit and see what happens. Am I supposed to let them make new leaves, or should they be pulled now? It's my first time with parsnips.

So, roses to choose. I'm considering a standard, too, but would then have to move the beautiful clematis. And seeds to think about. The weather continues to perplex. In the middle of February, it is lovely spring day.

10 comments:

  1. Yes! Nora would love to try some strawberry plants. I am thinking about blueberries this year. Have you tried them? Inspired by you, I bought a couple of fig trees at Union Square Market yesterday. They are very small, but wonderful leaves.

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  2. Hi Nora - Excellent! If your figs have leaves they have been in a greenhouse and should be kept indoors in cool spot till warmer weather, if possible, or they'll be in for a shock. Possible?

    Blueberries work pretty well, and like a more acidic soil. I mix used and unused coffee grounds (the thinking is that used grounds are actually not that acidic at all)into the potting soil/compost as well as some politically incorrect peat. Then feed with a fertilizer for acid-loving plants.

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  3. Agree on Pat Austin. I see bridge-playing, cigarette-smoking.... Munstead, on the other hand (I think it's 'Munstead Wood') invokes Gertrude Jekyll, as that was her garden's name. You could underplant with Lavandula 'Munstead' for the perfect shrine.

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  4. Parsnips! love them, but haven't a clue how to grow them. Hope they are wonderful

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  5. It has been a warm winter and my kale and spinach are starting to grow again. Come on spring!

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  6. Lovely blog! I am visiting from Houston by way of the March issue of Martha Stewart.

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  7. From an excellent extension website for mobile.

    "the roots become fibrous if you do not harvest before the new leaf tops begin to grow. "

    A biennial this way, probably will bolt in the warmer weather.

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  8. Oh, you are so right about the weird February spring weather. Despite a bad cold this past week, I also spent some time outdoors yesterday cleaning up the garden and digging about. Almost all my perennials show signs of new growth -- from herbs to sedum to the wilder salvias and yarrows.

    I'm also starting to receive a wave of gardening magazines, which is daaaaangerous. And I really need to pick up my copy of the new Martha, of course! Either way - hope you enjoyed the fresh air this weekend! :)

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  9. Love parsnips, as well. Will you eat the green tops?

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  10. did you start the parsnips from seed? i noticed your terra cotta pots, don't they crack in the cold? is that why they don't have the saucers underneath? i bought the ms magazine and the article is really nice. i like the idea of lavender and rose both named munstead--and as a bonus they are good companion plants.

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