Text and photographs are © by Ellen Spector Platt & Ellen Zachos, all rights reserved.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014


The first day of summer finds me, Ben and Jen in my new all time favorite garden, Bedrock, in Lee NH. Turns out I'm not so jaded from 20 years of touring gardens with the Garden Writers Association that I can't be moved by this idiosyncratic wonderland. Mowed spaces and meadow intermingle.
The creation of the wife and husband team Jill Nooney and Bob Unger,  Bedrock Gardens is on their home ground and open to the lucky public 5 weekends a year and by appointment to groups.
Jill's garden art in combination with perfect plant selection makes the garden a joy to stroll.
I restrain myself from peeling the paperbark maple to use in a collage, but just barely.
In the White Garden allium wait to pop, look like 'White Giant' to me. This isn't a botanic garden but a pleasure garden, so no signs.
The white fringed Papaver are at peak on this cool day.
 Nooney's sculpture 'Julia' looks exasperated; perhaps she's thinking of all the work to keep up this garden. Those cooking spoons will never do it.
Munger, a retired physician, designs walkways, water features and other satisfying architectural elements.
 In the All-You-Need-is-Balls garden more giant allium are on the verge of popping.
In the shed and barn, rusty metal elements await transformation.
Just when you think 'I could never do that'...
you spy the home patio with myriad containers featuring circles and foliage plants. Yes you can 'do that' even in a small space.

Sunday, June 1, 2014


of the year, maybe the decade, had three elements; chive flowers just beginning to open, blue star amsonia (Amsonia tabernaemontana) in that ethereal color so hard to find in a garden, and chartreuse new foliage of spirea. The trio came from daughter Jen's garden in Canterbury NH, and welcomed us to the guest room on our Memorial Day sleep-over. All are stuffed casually in a bud vase from the swap shed at the town dump.
The amsonia grows casually in Jen's garden, befitting a native wildflower.  I've never grown it, but now I have to. On sale from many sites on line.

Monday, May 19, 2014


 Taking Amtrak from my new home in Exeter NH to NYC allows me to read the intriguing mystery, "City of Veils" and play dozens of games of Words With Friends.When I emerge from Penn Station I'm greeted by a huge dumpster filled with evergreen shrubs and ivy. Is this a sinister omen?
No, the vertical garden at the Rubenstein Atrium at Lincoln Center, that I first photographed in 2010...

now has more variegated plants and some with colored foliage.
The view from my host's window is of an iconic NYC roofgarden: next to a landmarked historic building, a wooden watertower, a few shrubs, a few pots, a view of the Hudson River, and voila, a garden.

All is well.

Sunday, May 4, 2014


By the edge of the woods, the spring ephemerals are coming into bloom. Last Wednesday, a solitary Trout Lily was closed in the rain. Three days later I spied masses in full bloom.
Fiddleheads pop up everywhere.
And Marsh Marigolds burst open in the wetlands.
A few shy Wood Anemones enchant me.
But oh, how I miss the bright lights of New York.

Above, the start of my latest collage using pieces of photos I took at night in the City and found papers. Click on image to enlarge.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014


Rhubarb in my new raised bed in New Hampshire today on April 16th; it also snowed in the NYC overnight I hear tell, a record snow fall in both places for the date. 
The rhubarb crop, one of my faves, was planted by a previous gardener who had been using this plot. I've had legal opinions from a retired judge in Mass, a former lawyer in NH, and a highly opinionated gardener in NYC, Other Ellen by name, who are unanimous. 
 None of the three recused herself, despite two being dear friends and one being a dear daughter. This year's harvest belongs to me, ESP. As are the flowers of the evening primrose, emerging on the right.
As are this year's cuttings of chives. Greedy, greedy me

Friday, April 11, 2014


above, view of the Exeter River from a trail behind my apartment

 NEWS FLASH: Ellen Spector Platt, now living in an apartment complex in Exeter NH,  with favorite guy Ben Platt.  Still gardening in a limited space. Now instead of 85 containers on an 18th story roof garden in NYC, I've been allotted a barely raised 3' X 6' bed, NOT NEARLY ENOUGH SPACE for one who once farmed three acres of flowers and herbs.
I'll have to find ways to expand. I'll try in order: asking for more space, wheedling, begging, maybe not bribing, but certainly surreptitious planting if I have to.
In the meanwhile, the woods are full of emerging sights very un-NYC-like.
 The pussywillow stems that I cut from my rooftop garden in the city and schlepped here well wrapped are happily rooting in water in NH  awaiting their new homes. Down by the Exeter river in the lead picture? It's only about 2 blocks down the trail from my home.... oops, they don't measure distance in blocks here.

Sunday, March 16, 2014


On E. 86th St in Manhattan, a new yoga studio Pure, with the first vertical garden I spied in the city. Astounding in 2008.
But within a year, the dreaded scaffolding went up to allow workers to check the mortar of the brick building above, as required by law. Not surprisingly, within three months of all shade, most of the plants had died.
Two years after planting, this sign still gave me hope of a resurrection.

But yesterday...

6 1/2 years after initial planting, same building, same Pure Yoga Studio, more scaffolding.  I was told by the guy at the desk that a permanent wood sign would be going up, it's too cold in NYC for outdoor plants. Ya think?

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