Sunday, March 21, 2010

66 Square Feet

Within minutes of walking back into the apartment I was on the terrace sniffing about for news of spring. The tarragon has many shoots, and deserves a larger pot. Although I tend to lose interest in it in summer. All the chives pots are sporting sappy green bristles, and the cat's nepeta has new grey leaves.

Last night should have been welcome-home-roast-chicken-with-tarragon night, but I passed out before 8pm. Vince had an afternoon nap while I did a rather-more-than-ritual cleaning of the apartment. Hm, that sounds bad. He really was very tired. And had already cleaned the bathroom.

Our trip was a little eventful, with a camera left on board our flight from Cape Town to Johannesburg - please hold thumbs that it surfaces - they actually found it and reported that to our New York-bound aircraft but with so many hands through which it must pass the likelihood of seeing it again is perhaps slim. Just before landing I contrived to break one of my toes, stubbing it on a piece of rigid airplane. But I have nine more.

Yes, the cat is fine! Indifferent to us, up at 4am, all as usual.

Hm. Calamintha seedlings. I let some of them live last year, but shan't again. Any takers? At least...could they be summer savoury? I'm going to have to look at last year's pictures again. Savoury stay, calamintha (although I love the flowers) go. Many baby fennels, too.

The climbing Iceberg is very healthy and prepping for its May party. We've extended our lease on the tiny apartment so will definitely be here. The New Dawn is also well, but very sad news is that the Abraham Darby didn't make it. It was a little diseased already last year, but the healthy branches made a huge effort and lots of flowers. I'm not sure why it succumbed this winter.

So that is at the top of my shopping list. Have to have one, can't live without those flowers and that fragrance.

I also need a new, tall Thing for the big pot in the corner were I grew my tomatoes last year. It used to house the standard Iceberg that I took out. Possibly another standard, or even a very small, trained fruit tree. Currants? Apple?

The New Dawn might come out after May. And perhaps a grape will go in. The rose does not rebloom, and in this tiny space I want as many seasons of interest as possible from a single plant. Pressure. A grape will give us leaves to eat as well as, well...grapes.

The fig is alive. Green tips.

Above, the juicy shoot of the Silk Road lily. By July it will be 6' tall. I think I will order some more Formosas for April planting.

Today? Perhaps some compost for repotting of herbs and fig. I must prune its roots. And spread mine.

And maybe plant some garlic cloves...


  1. Welcome back! Ouchy on the toe and sucks on the camera. I laughed at the cleaning , I do that too. Reclaiming my space. Enjoy spring.

  2. So good to have you "home", altho I thoroughly enjoyed my vicarious trip to the Cape. Glad Mother Nature was looking out for things while you were gone. I must have a Silk Road Lily, tho. The pictures are gorgeous. Thanks.

  3. Oh no, not the Abraham Darby! Such beauty must be replaced! Also, it's good that you know your audience...welcome back, blah, blah, blah..How's the CAT?

  4. Welcome home you two! Gosh, I hope the camera is returned very soon.

    Broken toes hurt a lot but at least sandal weather is coming instead of winter boot weather. That should help, eh?

    How about a little satsuma tree in that big pot in the corner? It is beautiful to look at and gives lots of fruit for snacking on the deck or for salads or whenever. Would it make it through winter with the protection you have there? Maybe?

  5. Welcome back. Sorry about the toe and camera - that trip back is bad enough all on its own, even when everything goes well.

    At least you got back to the best weather we have had in all the time you were away, and to green shoots starting. I guess you knew exactly what you were doing when you planned the trip duration.

    Simba's Mom

  6. I'm very happy you and Vince are back, but very sorry about your toe and the camera! Ouch. My friend just had her camera go missing upon arrival in Cancun, but she wasn't lucky enough to have it recovered. I pray the camera gods are smiling on you ... Hope the toe is on the mend.


  7. Of course the cat was indifferent! - on the surface. You wait. Beneath, he will have been beside himself and filled with conflicting feelings, and I wouldn't be surprised if you found him glued to your ankle for a few days. Aw, bless...

  8. flwrjane - yes, the cleaning... it's sooo necessary, isn't it?

    webb - thank you for staying with us for the duration, and there will be more to come. I have some serious flower ID'ing to do with the help of some great books, bought and borrowed.

    Donatella - yeah yeah yeah. I'm giving him he computer now.

    Mountain Thyme - you do NOT want to see this toe in a sandal, tros' me. It doesn't really hurt now, and I just needed the sympathy :-)

    Satsumas are delicious, but even here (very protected terrace) I think it may be a bit of a push...then again. One likes to be told something is Not Possible. We'll see.

    Hi Simba's mom - ja, that trip is long. And the leaving very sad. This is the latest I have returned to the NE...and there are flowers everywhere already. I'd better see if that pink viburnum has already been and gone. I'm just sorry to miss Anything :-)

    Ikaika and Keli'i - Estorbo says, Enough about her already, what about me, what about my toes?

    Rachel - he's not glued yet. And he's wearing his dratted red coat as of 15 minutes ago because he's licked a spot on his tummy. Silly kitty.

    Jenn - hello dear Jenn.

    Frank - thanks for staying :-)

  9. Welcome home! I'm glad that everything was still in one piece when you got back.

    I'll be thinking about you when I purchase my fig trees in a few weeks.

  10. Welcome back! You certainly missed one heck of a winter, and it's nice that the terrace has so many lovely signs of spring. Also glad you extended your lease! I've been too busy and have missed most of your looking forward to going back and reading through it. Sorry about the toe and the camera...hope the toe heals soon and the camera returns home. (Can't remember if i mentioned this before, but my vet prescribed megace for my cat Peter Solomon who licked a spot raw on his helped.)

  11. Welcome back. I vote for currants: beautiful foliage, neat growth habit, and fruit that's delicious and gorgeous. Plus I think it starts bearing sooner than an apple would. Hope the toe heals fast.

  12. Hi Thomas - Thank you! And, well, sort of in one piece :-(...But I am ogling your citrus trees.

    Thanks Paula - I have ointment with a quadruple-barreled name, it's mostly just to keep him from licking it off again. Luckily the infamous red coat has a tummy-band that covers his ...tummy.

    Ellen - thanks for the input: I saw the most beautifully-shaped, tall currants at Leuthardt's last year. Out on LI just before the South Fork. Do you have any other sources?

  13. yay! you've signed your lease! perhaps this spring/summer estorbo will invite me to see (cough) his (cough) terrace garden :)


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