Saturday, May 1, 2010

Friday evening in the big city

Things are filling out on the terrace but still favour a cropped or framed view. Wide angle can wait...

I have two Japanese ribbon grasses, the species, Hakonechloa macra, and then a variegated one which is not 'Aurea' (a grass I tend to dislike), but whose name I forget. The cat chews the striped one every day. I can no longer protect it under the wire cloche as I do in the first few weeks of its season, so ever single blade is chopped short. This makes me very cross. I have been luckier with the green one because I've hidden it from the feline on top of the barbecue. We'll see what happens now that it's back on the gravel.

I have planted Eglantyne, the one David Austin rose, and every day as the sun climbs high she droops and fades. By evening she has perked up again. I must still plant Pat Austin. I hope it's not going to be too hot for them, and assume that they are acclimatizing. They must have been grown under shade cloth in Texas.

We had supper outside and it was lovely, aside from stray mosquitoes that nipped Vince's legs. They're afraid of me. I made sangria, and we had barbecued* chicken and potato and arugula salad, heavy on the mustard vinaigrette.

Below is the Ardmore candle holder, a gift given to me in 2000, before Ardmore's prices went flying through the stratosphere. It was made by Octavia and painted by Makhekhe (whom I can't find on the site). I also have a gorgeous sugar bowl, painted by Pinky, but its handle has been glued back on - I dropped it. Very sad. A little googling just told me that Pinky died of AIDS. Sadder.

If you have the wherewithal and want something uniquely and intricately South African, visit the Ardmore website.

The mockingbird was still singing his bedtime songs, the cat begging for chicken bits at our feet, and on the invisible next door balcony our girl-neighbour was explaining on the phone, either to a very small child or someone who was not fluent in English, that she had two cats, "Meow! Meow!" and that the cabs are the easiest way to get around New York, "Taxi! Taxi!"

* Marinade for chicken:

4 Tbsp ketchup
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup rice vinegar
2 Tbsp brown sugar
3 Tbps mulberry syrup (Ha!)
4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
Lots of black pepper

Mix all together, pour over chicken, leave as long as you can, in the fridge. I actually baked this for an hour in a 450 degree oven, adding a little water at the end to stop the marinade from burning.


  1. The effect in the lower portion of that last photo is peculiar. I'm sure your roses are just settling in.

  2. squeeze and rub orange peel, lemon peel, or lime peel on the leaves you want to protect.

    and get some wheatgrass for kitty.


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