Monday, October 21, 2013
Here it is, photographed from two floors up. The cable guy's visit the other day, slinging cable from the roof for our Internet, inspired me to pop the hatch for a contextual picture.
So here are the bones, with the accessories we brought from Brooklyn, as well as a couple of planters that were already on site.
I spent yesterday evening gardening without direction, but cleaning and turning the existing soil in the built-in wooden planters on the southern (top of picture ) side, and dividing the overgrown irises in a couple of them. I looked up as a small movement caught my eye. Two tiny songbirds were looking at me from the branches of the cherry.
I felt a lot better.
I love iris, but they need more space - so I have replanted some, and perhaps the others can be put up for adoption. The soil is like dust, and I have no idea where to came from, originally. It is probably not too bad. I added some Garden Tone (Espoma, and organic), which comes with its own list of soil microbes, and watered everything, even though there were virtually no plants. I want soil life to return, and that requires moisture.
I will order some extra bags of good potting soil from the Urban Garden Center (whose Dimitri Gatanas has sent me a kind email recently, offering me a tour of the hood) to top up the level of the wooden planters, which is low.
Our landlord's garden is below, with the sour cherry on the right, and many grapes. And a black cat. Not ours. This block has lots of feral cats.
I have been tempted by suggestions of a hedge, for privacy, but despite their impressive depth, at 10.5" across, the southern planters aren't wide enough to support a healthy hedge (low boxwood, perhaps - but slow-growing and expensive). So I think it's going to be a collection of perennials, occasional boxwood, perhaps another squeezed-in blueberry, and shade grasses. I have not figured the herbs out, yet. Currently they are still in their own pots on the western (right hand) side. In summer the sun may be high enough for them. But I must decide whether to keep them on the deck, or to plant them out in the wooden planters. The fig will be planted in the sunniest corner, in a bigger pot.
There are the siren songs of shade-tolerant flowering shrubs, for medium-sized pots. 'Mohawk' viburnum - sweetly scented in early spring; hydrangeas, paniculata and macrophylla - late-blooming but long-lasting; cammelias, daphne, witch hazel. Maybe even serviceberry. I wish that roses had semi-shade counterparts that re-bloomed every three weeks. I am jealous of space, and a shrub that blooms for just two weeks better have some other seasons of interest.
I will be taking on a new garden design client: Me.
There will be sketches and plant lists. I sense that my new client is both high maintenance and opinionated and in possession of a very thin skin. I know how to pick them.
But I hear she likes flowers and does not mind watering. Silver lining.
I may be able to help her.