Sunday, September 29, 2013

DWP - Drinking while planning


Red currant gin, this time, to give the black currant a break. And the more I drink the less we have to carry to Harlem, yes?

I sit amidst boxes, while the Frenchman goes for his run over the Brooklyn Bridge and down to Manhattan's southern tip, and back again. While I went for a walk this afternoon to straighten my head out about various things (it always works) Vince packed many books and clothes. When I came back there was a neat low wall of boxes in the living room, draped in a red kikoi. A new work surface, very intriguing to the cat. There is a tower of plastic bins in the bedroom. Our new apartment has no shelves and I'd love a wall that is a bookshelf. Nothing makes a room look as good as books. I wonder if a carpenter would be willing to barter. How many dinners is a wall of shelves worth?

Late this afternoon we lowered all the bags of dead plants and debris I have cleared from the roof farm's pots over the last week, and took down some empty and cleaned plastic pots that will not make the journey. While functional and light on the roof, I still can't bear to look at plastic that actually resembles plastic. It depresses me. No plastic looks good in a photo, either. So we will be buying a few more pots, I think - probably terra cotta, unless I snag some oldish or vintage metal planters or ambiguous containers that can have holes punched in them for drainage. Anyone have an old coal scuttle?

The wrap-around wooden planter boxes, maybe about 40 feet of them - on the new terrace's low wall will give a lot of built-in planting space. They are about 10" wide. I'll take photos. But I think they will take smaller perennials and herbs - maybe the strawberries. It will be fun to work out. I know already I'd like some Dicentra eximia, which blooms forever and will like the shadier bits. There will still be lilies, but they'll go on the deck level. I love hostas and will have a bit more space for their square-foot-consuming leaves, now.

Now, and I won't push this, but: I wonder if I could paint those wooden boxes...66  Square Feet pink?

Or should it be a clean break?

14 comments:

  1. Live with it for a while and inspiration will strike!

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  2. Clean break. I think one needs to adapt to new place rather than new space adapting to one.
    I'm looking forward to your new adventures.

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  3. I am so excited for you! Wish we lived there. Husband (a retired engineer) now makes his living as a carpenter and a wall of shelving would be right up his alley, so to speak. Sounds like a fun project. I bet you'll find someone willing to barter.

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  4. We are all very particular about the pots we choose, so this is just a suggestion . . . as you rebuild your farm, you might consider fabric pots. Plants love fabric -- instead of doing the root-girdling thing, they "air prune," developing finer and finer filigree roots. And the soil temperature has less variation . . . warmer in winter, not too hot in summer. Fabric does not crack during freezes. Fabric pots are perfect for small-space, portable gardening. And if you stay away from the plain single-layer "grow bag" style, they are beautiful.

    To give you an idea of what I mean, two sizes of the nice-looking ones are currently on clearance at West Elm. Scroll down to the Bag Planters.

    http://www.westelm.com/shop/sale/sale-market/?cm_type=lnav

    One of the manufacturers of the plainer "grow bag" pots explains the benefits of fabric:

    http://www.smartpots.com/why-better

    I have no connection with any of these companies BTW . . . just a home gardener who's fallen in love with fabric.

    As to your color quandary . . . 66SF Pink is a pretty awesome color, and it's good to plant your flag!

    Karen F.

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    Replies
    1. Karen - do you have another link for the West Elm ones? Can't find them, and would like to see.

      I like the theory of fabric. But aesthetically (in the ones Iv'e seen and used so far), no. They either slouch or bulge and it drives me bonkers. I like form and good posture in a pot :-)

      Terra cotta is pretty good for plants, and while some crack, I lose one or maybe two a season. And they are not expensive.

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    2. Sorry for providing a non-working link! I think the best thing is to go to westelm.com and look for the link at the right near the top called "70% Off Clearance." Click on that, and look toward the very bottom for the Bag Planters.

      I totally understand your reasons for not liking fabric pots. They do have a softer form and some people just don't prefer that. The aesthetics of pots are very important.

      Karen F.

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  5. Mmm... I think the real question is: how many walls of bookshelves is one of your dinners worth??

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    Replies
    1. I need a carpenter who thinks like you do!

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  6. I think you should go with 66 sq. feet pink...while a clean break can be nice...having a familiar and nostalgic piece of an old place is quite nice.

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  7. It's good to have touchstones. I think the pink will be nice.

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  8. Pretty in pink. A nod to the past is no bad thing : )

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  9. You can also get a bunch of very plain bookshelves at some place like IKEA and add some crown molding to make it look like they were built ins. Probably a lot less expensive.

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    Replies
    1. Or if attaching the bookshelves to the walls in a rental isn't possible, then an IKEA hack such as this would do the trick: http://www.ikeahackers.net/2013/09/fake-old-library.html

      Marie, I have no idea if that bookcase fits your style, but I could picture you settled into a nearby couch with a great book and a gin cocktail. Enjoy this beautiful time of making a new space your home. Looking forward to your adventures!

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