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

Saturday, May 23, 2009

a busy week

It was a very busy week. No surprise there, since it's May and I'm a gardener. But between plant deliveries, runs to the Long Island nurseries, and planting, planting, planting, I haven't had time to think of a boffo blog post. So instead, I thought I'd walk you through a day in the life of a city gardener. (Warning, they're all cell phone photos; can't carry a big camera on these heavy work days.)

8 am: This brownstone backyard garden is just 12 blocks from home, so I often make it my first call of the day. Since it's an office I like getting it done early, before everyone comes in to work. Bulb foliage is still dying back here so I haven't planted the summer annuals yet. Right now I'm tidying up foliage, feeding, and planting window boxes. The annuals go in next week.

10:30 am: I walk between clients as much as possible. Since I wasn't carrying plants this morning, I walked through the park to the west side and admired the Aquilegia canadensis in the Ramble.

2:30 pm: Forgot to put on sunblock. Stupid, stupid, stupid! It was the first hot/sunny day in a while and I just wasn't thinking. After 4 hours I'm exhausted (and a little sunburned), but the garden looks good. There are two large terraces here: the north side (approximately 500 square feet) includes only white flowers and is where my clients often eat dinner. I use lots of silver, gray, and white foliage here too; it shows up nicely in the gloaming. The south terrace (approximately 600 square feet) is chock full of color. This year I've focused on pinks and yellows with a few purple accents thrown in. I started the annuals here on Monday and finished today.

3:00 pm: I walk back to the east side along the reservoir path. A moment of relaxation. I need to take this route more often. It's cooler by the water and the view can't be beat.

Whenever possible I pass this building on 79th, between 5th and Madison. Other Ellen has written about it before and it never fails to make me smile, even when I'm hot, sweaty, and utterly exhausted. It's a reminder of how much can be done with very little space; a real gardener can make magic with a few containers and some imagination. Now all I need is a cool shower and an even cooler drink.


Layanee said...

That was a nice stroll through the city. Bodacious planters!

b&g girl said...

wow! i love heavily packed over the top gardening!

SaraGardens said...

There's a spot in Brooklyn with ferociously imaginative gardening pouring down the stairs and colonizing the sidewalk... I owe you pictures or a neighborhood tour!

Ellen Zachos said...

Thanks b&amp, I do, too!

And Sara, I'm ready for a neighborhood tour, especially if it includes a lamb burger!

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