Tuesday, July 5, 2022

Tiny terrace summer

Evening time. After leading a friendly pack of 15 people on a plant walk on the 4th of July - none of us feeling celebratory - and feeding them a tasting picnic (what's a tasting picnic? A picnic where you have a taste of everything, of course), I came home, washed up, and thought about supper. I like thinking about supper. The Frenchman rolled some paper balls for me (we use paper shopping bags as fire lighters; never, ever the smelly liquid) and carried out the charcoal (hardwood, not briquettes), and I lit the fire. 

Then I picked some flowers for the table.

The summer-leafed prickly ash, with ginger and sesame sausages grilling alongside chicken soused in shoyu* with chopped cilantro stems. 

*I can't think when I started using Ohsawa nama shoyu (a Japanese organic, unpasteurized soy sauce, still slightly active in the bottle), but it's a game-changer. Noticeably more expensive than the Kikkoman I used to use and infinitely more delicious and rich.

And the Oscar goes to: the liatris. Plus, nobody got slapped. These plants (they grow from corms) slept quietly all through winter in galvanized bucket (with drainage holes punched into the base), and are now around three feet tall. I lost several lily bulbs to the old freeze-thaw cycle, but the liatris seem immune. Bees love them.

While fireworks crackled on the street and local rockets burst nearby, and giant dragonflies patrolled the sky, occasionally zooming past at ear level, the first 'Silk Road' lily opened, unafraid of the bright competition. As the evening darkened the lily's perfume grew stronger. By the time the thunderworks of the Macy's display had started, way north on the East River, out of sight but not sound, the terrace was drenched in scent.



  1. After you write and photograph it, I can feel it! I look forward to your posts to elevate my day.

  2. I have missed your posts about your own balcony, the pictures and the storys. These days I have read the old posts from your balcony and I enjoyed it very much.
    Sending greetings from the Mosel Valley in Germany,

    1. Thank you, Astrid. There are a few more terrace posts always in my Instagram feed @66squarefeet


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