Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Getting a grip

The proverbial bowl of cherries, just picked up on Court Street and reflecting my mood.

I spent a partially sleepless night, thinking, worrying, fretting. Work, politics (of work); what should, what could, what doesn't.

I had to get up earlier than usual, to meet Kevin , one of our HWandV gardeners, to drive out to Long Island on a plant-buying expedition. I don't do this often enough: I imagine gardens, design the gardens, know what I want in them, order the plants and they are picked up.

On the Williamsburg Bridge I discovered that my camera was sans memory stick. Doh! All those pictures I needed to take, for fun, for work, for my mom's garden I have none to show.

On the Long Island Expressway we drove out to Exit 68 and meandered, lost, through farmland and spring-green trees and at last found Leuthardt's, the hard-to-communicate-with nursery that specializes in fruit. It was worth the drive and the wait and the frustration of missed emails and faxes and phone calls. My garden designs became scrambled and came out again featuring pears and apples, and future ones with tall trees of currants (yes, trees), and cherries. Lovely trees. And I was taught things I should know, by John, the son, about pH and pests and what works and what doesn't and how to kill without killing. And we met a very nice cat, Tipper, who boxed a beagle. I can't wait to go back.

At Bisset East I plunged into a patch of tall, fastigiate yews and picked twelve, which two exceedingly helpful and nice Mexican guys loaded up for us. At Half Hollow we pounced on a lovely fat little crabapple and an acer (maple) I'd never heard of: "Eskimo Sunset"... (perfect as a focal point through a window onto an alley-like - albeit on the 14th floor - area with very good light but zippo sun). At Atlantic, which was fairly humming with the scent of lilac, Kevin and I split up and became engrossed in our own interior plant monologues, drifting like drunk bees from perennial patch to perennial patch. Learning, attacking, grabbing, rejecting, wishing. I picked up all the roses I needed and more iris than I did, and astrantia which I had not known, phlox and nepeta that I had, and a tiny Solomon's Seal for the maple's feet...Plus a tray of pink gypsophilla and many blue nemesias as fillers. Plus rows of lavender for one of Bob's projects.

It was wonderful. I have been stuck behind a desk and in books and in my head for too long. I have been de-cobwebbed.

A fat, loaded truck drove sedately back to Manhattan, careful not to jostle plants and trees.

I'll be back. There, I mean.


  1. This sounded like a fine, spirit-lifting, fresh-air-breathing, flower-filled day. IWIHBT


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