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.  

17 comments:

  1. You, the Frenchman and kitty can come to New Jersey (if you dare) for a Sunday in the burbs, sit in front of the fireplace, drink Plymouth w/ Quinquina and have "snacks".
    You'll feel like you are on vacation! I mean it! You have a winter invite to our humble abode, and I will feed you too.

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  2. Oh Marie, the temptation of New York... and my boyfriend is a very dedicated gardener you know ;)

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  3. Hi Marie, I am free next may. And would love to spend some weeks, not only weekends, in NYC. Would you probably like to sublet your flat to a German follower-cat owner-gardener??

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  4. oh, Estorbo may be shuddering at the mere image of me thinking of a way to come and take care of him and skaweez him day een and day oud.

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  5. We'd do it in a heartbeat, butmay/june isour busy time at my job. In a couple of years, tho...

    Someone will turn up. You're wise to start looking early.

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  6. Watering seems like a straight-forward task, but it is hardly the case. Proper watering of plants in pots is an art requiring keen observation and diligence. Be careful who you choose!

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  7. You mean you might be spending Christmas with us?????

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  8. How could anyone who lives in NYC and likes cats and plants resist this offer?
    Alas, we honestly live very far away and can't help.

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  9. Gardener/life-long cat wrangler/cake sculptor and someone whose big dream is to visit NYC, someone who hasn't been away for...er...oh my - 5 years! That's my application :)

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  10. Hi there,

    I live just down the road and would be very happy to help out. I'll send a message to your fb inbox with more details.

    Clare

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  11. Hi there,

    I live just down the road and would be very happy to help out. I'll send a message to your fb inbox with more details.

    Clare

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  12. Stacey - are are so kind. Thank you...Yes, we dare to come to Jersey, we have had our shots :-) I can almost feel your fire on this dripping, chilly day.

    Rosie - :-)

    Mona - perhaps another year it will work out?

    Sara - he shudders every time I skaweeze him.

    webb - it seemed to work very fast! New York plus real estate, no matter how small, are a strong drawcard.

    Rachelle, you are so right. I think the garden will be in very good hands.

    Sigrid! I am not sure what our plans are. I am sure it is a distinct possibility. Promise Christmas can be on the 25th and not the 23rd? :-)

    Thank you, Anonymous...

    jelli - keep the dream alive :-)

    Oh, Beence, I am sorry. And I thought the picture of the martini would make you happy :( You are right. It's not just martinis you like on the terrace. When there is boerewors on the fire you like it, too. Speaking of which...

    puccgrrl - that's great to know. Thank you.

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  13. I love how small the world is. I devoured Amy Stewart's 'gilding the lily', and just last week recommended it to my boss! Glad you have found the perfect qualified sitter. Hope to share some autumn flowers/meals with you and Vince next year.

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  14. I am pleased for Storbie, for the roses, the herbs and for New York, that someone who will embrace(not skaweez) all is coming to Henry Street.

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  15. If that means there's a house that needs a sitter in Mendocino, Sonya and I will happily volunteer (can you imagine the bar?!). Then someone can sit for us and someone for them and so on and so on. We'll have one giant round robin vacation :)

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  16. Paul, that is a very funny suggestion. I think Amy's husband will be there most of them time, but I'll put it to her :-)Of course now I have to make sure the terrace is looking good enough. Stressing out about impressing the over qualified cat sitters/s.

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