Thursday, September 15, 2011

Out and About in Manhattan

If you spend a lot of time walking around the city -- and look up at buildings instead of watching where you’re walking -- you’ll notice floor after floor with empty balconies.  Granted, those postage stamp bits of outdoor space are a little dizzying, but people do pay a premium for them.  Wouldn’t you think they would be filled with furniture and plants and actually used by their owners? If not planted by the owners, what about the developers or the landlords?  They could give some competition to the Hanging Gardens of Babylon by nailing a few boxes to the railings and filling them with plants.  Think how beautiful streets would be if buildings had vines cascading down their facades.

A surprising basement entry

Friday, September 2, 2011

September Calendar

      Hurricane Irene has damaged – if not leveled – most of our gardens and the September work ahead is not pleasant to contemplate.  Our corner of the Catskills was devastated, and the YouTube videos are painful to watch.  Our house was relatively unscathed but our friends and neighbors in low-lying areas near the furious creeks and riversides suffered terribly. 

It seems frivolous to write about ordinary garden work in such extraordinary times, but on some sunny day we will drag ourselves out of our armchairs and head back outdoors.  Gardens look to the future, and the fall cleanup and planting help us deal with the often difficult present and the loss that comes with it. 

Print the calendar, post it on your refrigerator and as the mood strikes you, head out.  September can be the most restful month in the garden, or the best month for some hard work.  It’s your call.