Saturday, October 6, 2012

Hidden corners and quandaries

There is something for everyone on the terrace (although I'm not sure the Frenchman would agree. Let me rephrase that: When there is a martini on the stone table there is something for everyone on the terrace).

Under the chair in the corner, in front of the big pot with the climbing Iceberg -whose roots are escaping - and the gloriosa lily, and in which another pot full of leafy but flowerless Nepeta subsessilis balances, is a soft green mat: creeping Jenny, mint, various pale seedlings, fringed by self sown hardy begonias. At the moment the cat heads here daily to spend most of the morning until the sun is overhead, and hot for someone wearing black fur, and then he moves to the side and onto the cool, damp gravel beneath the Japanese forest grass. When he comes home of an evening (five feet way) his undercarriage is moist.

Speaking of moist, we have an interesting quandary, unique in our terrace and New York life. Because of my book, and the drafts that will be returned to me during the next few months for editing and proofing, we cannot go away as we usually do during this northern winter (apart from a week's trip for my fathers' 80th and mom's 78th birthdays, and the Party). If we do go away, I have been told that May or June will be the best time. This makes the prospect of South Africa very interesting, as it will be autumn and early winter there, which I have not experienced in over a decade. There may even be mushrooms! Pine rings in pine forests. But.

The terrace.

Winter is easy. The terrace is asleep.

And the farm.

It's quite serious. Not only must a willing cat sitter be found but a way to keep the terrace and farm watered. They cannot survive these months without watering. Perhaps I can start coaching our friendly and nimble-looking neighbor, who is about to start eating our salad greens with us, to look after the farm. But it is a bit of a tall order. Up the hatch, down the hatch, close the hatch in case of rain, open the hatch again.

Oh boy. The roses will be blooming, seedlings will need transplanting, ramps will be ramping,  milkweed shoots will be shooting at Dead Horse Bay, Juneberries will be ripening!

What'll I DO????

10-7-12: Funny, this was not intended as a Wanted ad but within 24 hours the unadvertised position has been filled, at least tentatively, as far as dates go. Our plans for travel will firm up in the next weeks and months. The Frenchman muttered something about flying (paragliding, which he misses, deeply) and France. Anyway, thank you so very much for the kind and welcome offers of help, all noted and stored. When Help arrives, it will come from the West Coast: a gardener, a cat lover, a blogger, an author. Lucky us.  
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