Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Pop up jungle


The yellow cab from JFK dropped me, my suitcase and my box of wine at the door on 127th Street. We had flown nine thousand miles, crossed several time zones and two hemispheres and found ourselves in a new season.

I hauled everything inside, greeted the startled cat, and went out to the terrace. And I began to garden.


A jungle has appeared in my absence. Hot weather, long days and plenty of water (French and sky in origin) and suddenly the purple runner beans have made that bean screen I dreamed of, in the long, very dark start to the year. There weren't even flowers when I left. The Malabar spinach is a slender python trailing in search of prey. The shiso (aka Perilla, below) is shiso-ing. The Nicotiana look tropical and are shouldering the roses. All the herbs are in bloom. Even the parsley. I started deadheading.


Then I pulled myself together and forced myself inside to unpack - which I detest - and shower, before letting myself out again. With a glass of sparkling elderflower cordial (about which more later) and bubbly water and lots of ice, I gardened some more.

Then Vince came home, which was wonderful, and I showed him all the goodies I had brought and we had a drink at the stone table.

Last night as we sat eating on the terrace he looked rather sadly at the de-flowered lemon basil. I realized guiltily that he has become proprietorial after being the garden keeper for four weeks, and I should have asked him. They were pretty, he said, taking a sip of prosecco. And they are, and bees love them. But I'm greedy and want the leaves, which give up after full bloom. So, no flowers for now. There will be more.


It's good to be home.

17 comments:

  1. I know exactly what you mean. :-) As soon as I get home after being away for some time I have to check on my plants on the balcony... :-)

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    1. ...what I could see in your Schneckenjagt post looks very lush, mel! Did you catch them (My German is very rusty)?

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    2. PS Beer traps work really well. Repeat nightly until you catch no more slugs or snails.

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    3. They didnt work :-( I guess the potatoes were just too tempting... ;-)
      But slugs are a real problem this year aroud here...

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  2. Welcome back! The terrace looks lush and beautiful.

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    1. Thank you, Kath! Lush it is. Unruly.

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  3. while I am away here in Dubrovnik I am fretting a bit about what I might find upon my return. Dead mice secreted behind curtains for sure (my old cats still hunt. Bless them), but my tomatoes were just starting to come thick and fast. And my kale was on the verge of needing a little help from pests. Will there be anything left in my little patch. Yours looks so lovely and lush. An inspiring small space. PS Nice to 'meet you' over at my blog, Marie.

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    1. Likewise, Kellie. You're in a beautiful place! I hope your critters leave some kale behind, for you.

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  4. Replies
    1. Goed om jou hier te sien, Anjo-Mari :-)

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  5. Welcome home, Marie! I've been blitzing shiso leaves in the blender with simple syrup and mixing it with cucumber vodka or just bubbly water for a very refreshing quaff.

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    1. You are the boss of refreshing quaffs, Laura!

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  6. Welcome back. Now I can leave. Need a gardener in the city at all times you know.

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    1. That's a funny idea :-) Where are you going now?

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  7. Hi Marie. Your terrace looks like a true oasis. That last photo (with the cad) could be anywhere, so green and vibrant! : )
    As with many of us here, after time away, the first stop is pets, then the garden - so easy to become immersed in picking and pruning and reacquainting...
    PS: I detest unpacking too...it represents the absolute end to my holiday.

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  8. Welcome home. . . you're tempting us with lovely (partial) shots of splendid green. Would love to see a full terrace shot to experience the transformation! You seem pleased with the progress. . . Enjoy. . . Susan

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  9. Welcome back! So glad you three are all together again.

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