Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Scenes from a terrace life

Pretty. I love violets. I would like to be able to pick posiesful of scented ones. Memories of childhood.

Well, it happens, though not very often. Calculated risk. Sadly, though, this pot was new.  I might replace it or just use another material. I'll see what I find. Inside are fall anemones, just sprouting, hardy begonias (Begonia grandis) still dormant, and lilies. I may move the begonias to the brownstone steps. I still dislike their shade of pink. Actually, this is not a brownstone, I don't know why I keep saying that. Perhaps because of the steps themselves, which are brown.The building has a brick face, circa 1890.

The sound of spring masonry saws. Squeeeeeeal. The triple construction threat has at least shrunk to two. One townhouse has risen in the last year, and is all but complete. But the former Amity Street Horror is still undergoing changes (and is on the market for $4 million - would you like a mansion on Henry Street? You'll like the neighbours) and the deep hole beside it - below - is filling up fast with new townhouse basements. I can actually sleep through the 7am noise, but find writing proper sentences a trial.

The new seeds and clean soil on the roof have been fenced against squirrels and cats. I found cat poop in two of my pots. Not good at all. We discovered the culprit last night, I think: Estorbo got into a rare and noisy fight on the roof  in the dark and when Vince went to his aid with a flashlight, he spotted a pretty grey and white cat exiting stage right to a terrace two doors down. Estorbo had a super-fluffed tail and has upgraded his threat level to orange.

After a long day and before an entirely sleepless night, a glass of Vouvray,  a sparkling Chenin blanc.

Lots more seeds to plant. New pots to buy. A terrace to clean.The roses are pushing out new growth even as their leaves from last year cling to their canes.

A long hot summer? I hope not.


  1. I always marvel at your terrace shots and think 'those pots wouldn't be safe in Cape Town wind'. What got that one?

  2. Oh the lingering construction noise would be intolerable for me. I am waiting for the Spring beauty from my fruit trees and my lilac bushes. I saw a ground squirrel nibbling on my lilac buds the other day and so my husband has once again declared war on the thousands that live in our property.

  3. I absolutely love your terrace. It is so inspiring and just all-round lovely. Especially your roof-garden.
    How much food do you really get from it? Compared to what a couple (healthy living/eating) normally uses/buys.

    Though I do hope for you to have a bigger space one day to make greater projects and post even more beautiful pictures of it.

  4. Denise, I am grateful that the rooftop nature of the garden does preclude most pests :-)...

    Jurate - by no means do we sustain ourselves on what I grow. However all my herbs come from the terrace (except rosemary), and in cool seasons all our leafy salad greens come from the roof. In June, the cucumbers start, we need not buy another till late in the year; there is a single crop of blueberries and white currants. July and August we can easily eat tomatoes every night. There are aubergines and peppers. There is our delicious fig crop. And we hardly ever buy strawberries. For me it is less about quantity than about the thrill and inspiration of home grown flavour. Growing really teaches you about seasonal eating. This year I am planting more...stay tuned!

  5. Oh the sound of a cat's just terrible! Was that the reason for the sleepless night?

  6. Hello great blog. I have lurked for a year but this is my first time posting. I have a rooftop garden on the second story. Last year I did flowers and herbs to feel out the conditions. I was thinking of doing some berries and tomatoes but frankly I am afraid of rats. I sit out on my roof and entertain there so a rat sightings would ruin the fun. Am I being paranoid or is this a real concern? What's been your experience with beasties besides cats and squirrels? -Tru

  7. Hi Tru - unless you have a rat plague I don't think rats would be a problem. The thought certainly does not deter me! If there are rats I am entirely unaware of them. Go for it.


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