Thursday, April 11, 2013

In the beginning

The spring pots are well watered and I'll begin feeding them this week. The roses already have their Rose Tone. Two more David Austins arrived last week, catching me by surprise. They are a gift from their rosarian, and I am curious to see how they do: Windermere, and Lady Emma Hamilton. I ask too much of roses, up here - with smaller-than-ideal pots and extreme summer heat. It is one of the reasons I recommend Abraham Darby again, and again.

And I'm wondering what will happen to the mossy rockfoil  - the red flowers, Saxifraga hybrids, above, which were my instant spring impulse buy - when the weather heats up; these ones don't like heat and humidity, and if they expire I'll give their pots up to basil. I didn't have enough last year.

I am surprised by how highly scented the primroses are. They smell wonderful.

The "Black Adder" agastache is looking very healthy. I had meant to repot it but now I don't think I will. The Mexican hyssop/agastache was unhappy and rotted after pushing up some new growth. These plants require perfect drainage, and I think the snow that sat on top of the pots didn't do any good. I might look for some more this  year - the pollinators were ecstatic about its flowers last year. So now that pot has been moved to the terrace floor and the last year's geranium is in it: below. Behind the geranium are about ten gladiolus corms. It will be a scented September.

The thalictrum, below, is beside the geranium. Unlike the terrace edges, these floor-pots receive sun only when that star is directly overhead. A strange situation of shade till midday and then blazing light and heat and then more shade - so I choose plants that seem to be able to handle both. I have mixed feelings about the thalitrum (meadow rue). Very pretty when in bloom, with fluffy flowers high above the feathery leaves on thread-thin stems. And then nothing. It's short lived and I always say that little time for ephemera on this small terrace.

But the Tiarella cordifolia (foamflower) contradicts me. A woodland native, its pretty white flowers will open in a week or so, last about three weeks (quite long for a perennial) and then disappear. The leaves are attractive, though, and useful in this very shady spot in the shadow of the southern terrace wall, in pots balanced on the large container that houses the New Dawn rose, an autumn clematis and some lilies.

Both boxwoods are happy. The little one is in bloom.

And the big one is pushing out lots of new growth.

Creeping Jenny and mint are fluffing out in the gravel.

...along with the volunteers under a nearby chair.


  1. What a wonderful assortment you'll have waiting for you upon your return. For some strange reason my Digitalis has been blooming (and throwing out children) for 6 weeks now! I must have done something right this year.

  2. I love the buildings in the backround.
    My herb pots are all ready to go on the driveway and whatever made it thru wintered in the garage (rosemary & sage).

    Looking fwd to cooking w/ fresh herbs again.

  3. How lovely to see spring happening! It's late over here because of the snow - determined lumps of which can still be spotted in some hedgerows, incredibly - seeing all your lovely plants gives hope! : )

  4. Have you tasted the creeping jenny yet?

  5. Love your blog! Found it when i google'd "tiny terrace" :)

    I live in Norway and have a narrow but long terrace that I fill with flowers during the summer. Last year most of them came back but this year the cold cold winter killed absolutely every single one except for the Tiarella cordifolia :(

    I guess the NY winter is much warmer than the one we have in Oslo, we didn't really get spring till this week!!

    Thank you for blogging, will continue my journy in your blog-diary now!

    All the best,


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