Sunday, April 27, 2008

Working weekend

1. I visited Tony's Hardware on Saturday and picked up a mega-bag of potting soil, bought a push cart to put it in, and added a deep crimson Mandevilla. I couldn't stop myself. Otherwise his annuals are rather throwback: marigolds, alyssum, petunias.... Then I added four light bulbs and six parsley plants. Then pushed that lot along Smith, up Bergen, along Congress and onto Henry.

From work, on Friday, I had collected an unwanted, variegated euonymus (who would want variegated euonymus, really? But when one is in need one must disregard ordinary squeamishness), and a pot, and cabbed it back home: I couldn't stand the front of the building anymore. Plants were necessary. A neighbour had said I could use any extra pots they had outside the basement apartment, so into these I stuffed very exciting white impatiens. And planted the stripey shrub. Now our building looks a little civilized...

2. As a reward I took myself to GRDN where I bought an overpriced but lovely wrought iron tuteur with a poppy seed capsule detail and lugged that home with some totally unnecessary, very unusual little double, white begonias, stopping on the way to talk to a sweet black cat sleeping in a sunny doorway; also at Damascus for some babaganoush and taramasalata for lunch. The owner asked after My Husband. I told him his pictures turned out well - he had insisted on taking them of us some weeks ago when we stopped by together. Mystery. You can find one here. Be patient: it loads faster on Firefox. Explorer le sucks.

3. Back on the terrace I dug out my poor Veronicastrum, so recently risen, as well as some innocent violas and fennel, and planted the Mandevilla and Gelsemium together in their pot with tuteur, then replanted the uncomplaining Veronicastrum which didn't even wilt, despite resisting me at first, its roots being very well established. Repotted the violas and fennel and dragged the climbers' pot to a new spot.

The result: a conceptual mess: my terrace doesn't know what it is. Hot house or French patio. Casablanca or Paris (I flatter myself). It is confused. I have succumbed to plant collecting. I would never design a garden this way. I nearly bought another little boxwood which would at least have been forgiveable because I keep telling myself that the little round boxwoods keep the whole ("whole" - you'd think I had a thousand square feet...this is only a little blog after all) together.

Also, another problem: now that I know more about Gelsemium, I don't know that I want it near me. It's poisonous, that's fine, I'm not going to eat it. But it poisons honey bees! It can kill a colony if its nectar is taken back home by one bee. Do I get rid of it??? What an unfriendly plant.

I know. Next weekend I'm going to have to kill it, aren't I?


Mea culpa: Tina Brown (art not food if you're compulsively Googling), the lovely lady and erstwhile client who gave me these wrought iron chairs, called me to say she had two more if I wanted to come by on Wednesday. I forgot. It was a crazy week and somewhere the information leaked out and disappeared.

Hothouse. No, no Photoshop was involved. Yes, I'm serious.

...meets woodland. Oy.

And today I invented, at least on paper, in prose and in a tiny 6 inch long detail-sketch, a new garden for a 40th floor, 2,200 square foot terrace. Several companies are bidding for the work, and one just never knows...It's funny to think that in my head this garden exists down to the distressed paintwork on the planters...no guarantees.

Tonight? Bath + bath salts. Wild pansy, from Lafco , one of the finest shops I know...

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