Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Upper East Side

Lilies waiting to open...

This is a garden I designed in 2001: my first. Lots of crabapple trees and shrubs, lots of learning curves; it's bitterly cold in the winter: Arctic. Plants in the face of the winds from the west bit the dust. First boxwood, then Rosa rugosas. I'll be switching the western hedge (round the corner) from rugosas to spirea, which you can see on the right, with the pinkish flowers about to open. Often boring and suburban, it can be graceful if not abused (like most of us, too). The lilies will pop in a couple of weeks, and right now the catnip is in full bloom. The roses that did and do work, and which will open soon, are my favourite David Austin hybrid, Abraham Derby: repeat bloomers with a delicious scent.

The Roses on the Corner

Lurking at Henry and Congress to remind you that stuff happens in the spring.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Clematis and Roses, Last Call

Clematis "Venosa Violacea" opened late last week.

The Real Kikoi

This is for Lisa: this is a real kikoi. The white thing you saw me wearing after I'd taken a shower in Chicago, oops, I mean Oak Park, was simply a Turkish bathsheet, but I think I blasphemed and called it a kikoi. Anyway, another Turkish bathsheet is on its way to you via FedEx...This one is my hightech sunscreen for the mornings when the sun blasts my cubbyhole. It's like being in the old country, though. Not bad.

Fort Tryon Park, Inwood

OK. Help, Ma: what's this one? I thought you had it in your garden and that it was scabiosa, but Marijke says no. Any ideas? The flower's about an inch across.

It's like an icecream. Don't you want to lick it??

And these pink paeonies were scented, quite incredibly.

Long weekend

Estorbito and I started the weekend off quietly enough. The temperatures went beserk and dropped May straight into July, at 90'F. He kept cool on his patch of lysimachia, which has established itself very happily in an inch of gravel with a little soil mixed in. This on top of filter fabric that I laid over of the hideous, landlord-installed pressure-treated lumber deck. Ugh. Anyway, no one knows it's there now.

Friday, May 25, 2007

New Dawn

Yes, one could read a whole lot into that, and maybe I do.

But let's just say that Rosa "New Dawn" opened on the terrace and with it a whole new 2007 chapter. Maybe. Do you know the Nina Simone song? "It's a new (noo) dawn, it's a new (noo) day, it's a new (noo) life for me, yeah...And I'm feeeeeling good."

Also, the roses on the corner have opened. This is Henry Street and Congress. They grow up and over an old wrought iron fence and they are just lovely. Probably David Austin hybrids. I have mixed feelings about them. They confirm that spring is well and truly here, and they also mean that something has begun that can't be undone and that it's going to happen no matter what.

Yeah, right, whatever. But they're a bit scary anyway.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

The crew

Later this morning I was interviewed by LXTV for NBC, at a Holly, Wood and Vine garden in Tribeca, where I did the I Design Gardens thing. Privately, I was peeing in my pants, but this (not ugly) crew made it easy and lovely. Mamma! Now I know what the fuss is about. I'm taking up a collection for my first facelift...Stone, camera man and producer on right; Colin left, holding round shiny thingy; George chatting away over the pneumatic drill.


George and me...

Lights, Camera, Roses!

This morning's roses, waiting for this evening's party. I watered them with prosecco to fluff them up...

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Ramps and Pancetta

Marijke, who is visiting from South Africa, gave me a bunch of ramps. In New York ramps mean spring. I sauteed them last night with pancetta and plopped them on top of an endive, arugula and beet salad.

Tomorrow is the Rose Party day. You can't see the ones in bloom in this pic (these in the background are New Dawn, and will be pink). The Icebergs are on the other side of the terrace and have exploded, so we're having drinks and teeny sandwiches, and I will squeeze everyone into my mousetrap-apartment for the duration.

Monday, May 21, 2007

What is 66 Square Feet About?

It's about gardening in tight spaces. It's about New York. It's about how to live in a tiny apartment with a tiny terrace. It's about friends, and inspiration and blackspot on the roses. It's about food and cooking over an open flame. It's about wine. And water. And watering...It's about seasons without and within. I'll try to stick to the without.