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.

Hm.

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.

But...garden or top floor, garden or top floor? I chose garden.

And we shall see.
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