Monday, November 23, 2015

66 Square Feet goes wide, and long

Well, there it is. My third New York garden: The one in the middle. Let's call it #1, after our apartment number. Rose's lot is on the left, our condo neighbors' shared garden to the right.

A top-floor neighbor moved out and I was invited to take some pictures.

It needs some structure. A fat boxwood or five (I know, it's an addiction). I might river-gravel the path around the earth patch as I don't  like those rough pavers, very much. And the concrete slabs that the table and pots are sitting on are just something we must live with. I had two seconds of a hot pink (or turquoise?) fantasy, but surely one would regret it?

Maybe. One. Wouldn't.


And I would love a bigger table. Oh dear. I just noticed the sheep fell down. See the sheep?

What you can't see on the earth edges are the bulbs planted (Allium, lilies, Camassia), or the perennials, waiting for next spring and summer. At the back are many North Americans: Solomon's seal, sweetfern, Joe Pye weed, my three blueberry bushes, foam flower, asters and golden rod, agastache; plus Alpine strawberries, calamintha, the existing day lilies and violets, divided and transplanted, and my herbs, scattered about.

The viburnum in the top right corner has been hard-pruned - it was a thicket of very old, vertical suckers, and I removed about a third. It was fed, probably for the first time in its life. And I removed a lot of crushing wisteria from its crown, The wisteria originates in the hedge on the right, with an ancient English ivy.

The earth patch in the middle is designated edible-only: right now the few rows are arugula, fenugreek, red mustard and lambs lettuce (mache) that has at last come up, in the cold weather. In the spring I'll plant much longer rows. And I have sent off four cups of soil to Cornell for heavy metal analysis.

The thing is, right now? Not a drop of sun. Not a drop. So I remember August when it baked in sun-heat, and when I hauled out armfuls of weeds and cursed at squadrons of mosquitoes. And I pray that there are enough hours of sun to support what I have planted. I think it will be fine - but the shadow for these long months is a hurdle. I do miss the sunlit heights.

Because up there, there is this view:

Same house. Forty feet up. or top floor, garden or top floor? I chose garden.

And we shall see.


  1. The garden is going to be glorious, I am sure!

  2. That is going to help you get through the winter, the thought that next season you will have this space to really make your own. It will be wonderful I have no doubt.

  3. Hoorah! can't believe how much you got done this fall - makes me feel very lazy. Can't wait to see it in the spring. Happy Thanksgiving to you and the Frenchman.

  4. I'm sure the garden will be wonderful! I can't wait to see it in spring although I know I will be very envious. Happy Thanksgiving!

  5. I saw the Beady Sheep!
    And I saw other things...a thick common hedge...perhaps robins will nest in it?
    Now, I must leave you to deliberate and get back to hacking (no, I'm not pruning!) hibiscus in order to clear some wisteria and Petrea to make room for some orchids...

  6. You could power wash the concrete and paint it gray or green. Your yard has a lot of possibilities!

  7. You must be delighted to be able to garden in the ground for a change instead of only in pots....although at least pots don't get as many weeds!! I am excited to see what you do with this space in the spring....and I hope your landlords gave you a long lease!

  8. Can't wait for spring! It's already beautiful. You do nice work lady.

  9. I am a full-time RVer, And miss my garden - search for RV rug @ - an easy way to add color to the concrete patio.

  10. I have fat boxwood a plenty! Actually, we don't. Demand outpaced supply by quite a margin this year. But, we will find a way to wrangle a few. I hope the new upstairs neighbor turns out to be a pastry chef or a dumpling wizard or something else foodie and friendly and fun. Happy Thanksgiving to you both :)

  11. Yah !! can't wait for the next chapter ... xoxo Susan & les Gang

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