I’m a woman of a certain age, a grandma, dignified, polite, law-abiding. You wouldn’t think I’d go dumpster diving. You’d be wrong.
Stepping off the number 10 bus on Central Park West, minding my own business, I spied a woman throwing a large flower arrangement in the corner trashcan. It had probably once decorated the lobby of a grand apartment building. Like catnip to a cat, it lured me. There among the browning Star-gazer lilies, the limp roses and the curling callas, were five gorgeous stems of blue hydrangea, mature and crisp and just ready to complete their drying in my warm livingroom. For the result, see above.
©Alan & Linda Detrick
Piled in front of a neigh-
borhood grocery store
were crates and baskets
ready for the trash man.
I retrieved this mush-
room basket, sprayed it
with yellow paint and
made a grand container
for pansies. No need to
cut drainage holes be-
cause water seeps
through the cracks.
©Alan & Linda Detrick, Ellen Spector Platt design
Philadelphia where I grew up, was a proper city with alleyways behind
houses. Residents put out their garbage cans in the back, and trucks
could drive down, grab the garbage, all properly hidden from street life.
New York isn’t so dignified and mountains of plastic bags with both
garbage and recycling form on front curbs several times a week.
The great part of this system is that people display their larger items
and reusables for all to see. No need for FreeCycle.com. Two years ago
I snagged a fabulous green metal chair sans seat, to serve both as plant
stand and trellis for a climbing Hoya in a containerized succulent garden.
It’s still serving with honor on my rooftop. (above, center)
Last spring a storm pruned large limbs of a flowering pear on Second Ave.
Rushing to make a meeting, I had enough time to snap off some pieces
and stuff them
in my ever-
bag. Later at
home I clipped
the stems and
buds bloom in
My New Years Eve gift below. See the explanation in my comment to Judy Lowe, at the bottom of the post SHOWOFF on 12/29/08.