Wednesday, June 18, 2014

City terrace days heat up

I made supper last night for our friends Paul and Sonya who are on a garden-viewing holiday, with their baby daughter Maggie, from their home in the one-stoplight wilds of Virginia's Blue Ridge Mountains. Paul is the nursery manager for Saunders Brothers, and Sonya is a botanist, so it's fair to say that they are plant people.

After spending a hot - very hot - day on the High Line they arrived in Harlem with a truckload of beautiful plant gifts, and then we stood around under the ceiling fans, sipping drinks. More about the plants, later. I snapped this picture from the roof of the townhouse before they arrived - so the wonderfully fluffy Virginia-bred boxwoods that are there now, are missing.

I braaied a butterflied lamb, and we ate cold ajo blanco, with pickled field garlic. Boscobel, a new David Austin rose, had just opened, and there is one ripe blueberry.

The uber-double red Darcey Bussell held up well in the heat.

And downstairs, our landlord's sour cherry ripened audibly. Just the other day it was in bloom. 

The candles managed to stay lit till the end, when our friends left to drive back to their Park Slope AirBnB.

It will be time for air conditioners, soon. It's extraordinary to remember the days when our bedroom thermostat never topped 60'F, indoors, and that was with $500-a-month heat. I actually thought the thing was broken and that at 60 it just maxed out (it went as low as 48'F). But as I type, it stands at 80'F. Terrace snow and the icicle-entombed roses (a leaky gutter made an ice cataract) seem bizarre hallucinations.

Viva extremes, viva!



  1. All looks lovely and so very 66 square feet.But I have to wonder.....what happened to those boxwoods?

    xo J

  2. Any more sightings of Estorbo's doppelganger on the lower level?

  3. I'm going to be heading down for just such a trip probably in late July. The Highline is on my list but are there any other gardens or wild places I should see that aren't in the tourist books?

  4. That table looks lovely. As we grilled out last night at the beach farm I recalled your gift for setting table.

  5. Your description of your evening, the terrace and the current weather sounds like paradise.

  6. "A garden-viewing holiday" I like the sound of that. I'm told I'm going to get a visit from you for Garden Walk Buffalo this year. I can't wait! I want to show off gardening in New York's second largest city!

  7. It is fascinating to see how the new terrace is coming along, and the candlelit scene is beautiful.

  8. Well done! We knew you'd rock that terrace. Oh Marie, you are back in full stride. Now, it feels like summer! ::)

  9. It is just gorgeous - well done Marie and well done to New York weather.

  10. Can't wait to see the boxwood additions. I guessed Saunders when I saw VA (started with the bottom captions up today). One of the Mr. Saunders was nice enough to spend a good while on the phone with me answering questions about how to select and plant boxwoods in my courtyard in NC. I also found their online guide to be so gorgeous and informative. I found out about the nursery through one of the national newspapers. Hope The Cat continues of do well and that he likes the new "forest" you have created for him. Lynne in Pittsboro, NC


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