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


Wednesday, June 3, 2009

VOLUNTEERING IN THE GARDENS OF NEW YORK

Above, volunteer bachelor buttons with the David Austin rose 'Crown Princess Margareta'
I’m a casual gardener, always delighted to observe as nature has its way with my rooftop garden. Eighty plus containers to choose, but portulaca from last year have sown themselves among the paver cracks some 20 feet down wind of their former site in a stoneware bowl.

Goldenrod, once dropped by a bird or brought in with purchased plants, runs rampant in one planter. It will look lovely blooming in August and September when I need a pop of late color. Why purchase quart pots of Solidago when I got it free.

Cilantro has reseeded itself in one of the herb containers near where it grew two years ago. Today there are four plants, as many as I need for my pinch-an-inch herb garden.

And all over the roof,
bachelor buttons vol-
unteer year after year.
I started with one pack
of Centaurea cyanus
‘Blue Boy’ and now have
the original bright blue
as well as pink and even
a few white flowers.
Right,Baptisia 'Midnight Prarie-
blues' and volunteer 'Blue Boy'
.

My biggest surprise was
cherry tomato plants
growing with my zinnias
last summer. Hard press-
ed to figure it out, I
finally realized that the
seeds came from my
worm compost. Early in
the spring I had treated
those pots to a hearty meal of the precious stuff, product of my indoor
worm bin. By late summer, kids on the roof were plucking the tomatoes
as fast as they ripened up.

Taking a tip from
my plant volun-
teers, Ben & I
went to Central
Park on Mother’s
Day and volun-
teered to pick up
trash. Wouldn’t
you go if you
knew that the
Central Park
Conservancy was
offering official badges, bags
and GRABBERS,
not to mention
letting you
choose your own
territory? We opted for the Turtle Pond near Belvedere Castle. Don’t miss out on trash grabber fun. Visit the Central Park Conservancy or the park nearest you.

2 comments:

new york city garden said...

I wish I took a photo...

I was cleaning out the side veg. garden and I saw an old cherry tomato, dried out and inside was the whole pile of seeds sprouting at once. Maybe 50 seeds inside a one inch ball.

Tropical in NYC?

Last year a tomato sprouted from a crack in the sidewalk in front of my apartment.

Ellen Spector Platt said...

I wish you had taken a photo too but your description is very evocative.

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