Monday, May 30, 2016


Before the heavy rains of last night I snapped a picture from the rear of the long back garden here at Chez 66 in Carroll Gardens. After snipping the tops of these fava beans (to eat raw in salads), I pulled them out. I love them - they have been a staple of my New York gardening life, perhaps especially as they are the first up in spring and the last down in winter, but I did not feel like doing daily battle with black aphids and a squirt bottle of soap (though it has worked on my Camassia flowers, also besieged).

I chopped the bean plants up, dug unaffected parts back into the soil, and used the lower stalks (also no aphids) as a leafy mulch in one very difficult and sloped corner that stays very dry (under the viburnum). It is planted with some volunteer purple perilla and sunchokes.

The umbrella from Patio Living has been even more useful than I had anticipated. In these months the sun actually clears the building well enough to make the area where the table is very hot in the morning, so if I have coffee out there, I can hide from it (the sun, not the coffee). And the Frenchman likes to keep it open for dinner because it creates a room beneath, a screen that gives us some sense of privacy.

This photo has made me decide: Those paths have got to go. I really dislike the color and texure of those pavers, especially in photographs. I have a nice little Rewards Card from my credit card company (points mostly due to long distance air tickets) and I'm going to blow it on river gravel, which will camouflage them.

It's decided. Phew.
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