Sunday, October 6, 2013

The Other Roses

The edges of the terrace still look like a garden. Lady Emma Hamilton, Windermere, Abraham Darby (and another of those, on the roof). And all the sun-lovin' herbs.

And, as I shuttle between this photogenic gem of a terrace, and the bigger wider one in Harlem (ironically not as easy to photograph, and you know it's all about the pictures!), I am consolidating ideas about the new space, which is so different. There is the uniform line of wraparound weathered wood planters. It is both a boon and challenge. Boon because it's all there, already - lots of linear feet of planting space. Challenge because in long, quite narrow boxes roots become intertwined and plant bullies can crowd out more tentative perennials. In pots they are segregated, and their differing water needs can be meted out easily. Shared planter - everybody gets the same. So there will have to be more discipline in plant choices.

The Harlem terrace, south view. 

The terrace floor here on Henry Street is exposed, now. The gravel has been removed, the filter fabric lifted, and the planks of the pressure treated deck revealed. Pots have been coralled, some emptied, in preparation for the second phase of our move to Harlem, with the new terrace, and new light, next week.

Yesterday we moved boxes up there, traveling Manhattan's length on 1st Avenue in a bouncing truck. The Frenchman calculated that he climbed 140 flights of stairs, total. Four flights down to truck, four flights up, and the parlour level stairs over there.

66 Square Feet,  May 2012

I have decided that the Iceberg is coming with us.

It was the first rose on this terrace. Arrived as a stick from Texas, and gave us these, last spring:

May 2012

I cut it back to about three feet, and have no idea, really, how it will respond. I doubt we'll see flowers next spring, even if it recovers, as I think it will want to bloom on canes formed this year. And now there ain't none.

At night it leaks clear fluid from the cut ends. Capillary action undiminished as it pumps water and nutrients to phantom branches, higher up, and over the roof.


  1. The iceberg will do fine I wager... I think they like a good clip back once and awhile... When we lived in Ohio I would cut the roses down to keep them from being broken by all the snow and they were always lovely in the summer. Did the iceberg come from the Antique Rose emporium in Brenham???

  2. Roses are more hardy than we give them credit for a good haircut often works wonders.

  3. Mother used to say that you have to be harsh with plants sometimes to get their attention so that they bloomed better. The Iceberg will probably be fine ... maybe even glorious. Know you are excited to get moving.

  4. Pot inside planters? I've done that a few times and seems to work well for plants that can be bullied.

  5. I never thought I'd feel sorry for a rose but I felt sorry for the Iceberg. So glad you're taking it with you.


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