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

Thursday, December 9, 2010


In spring my view looks like this. Fall 2010 it looked like this, with a firethorn in berry, and small trees and vines sporting their autumn colors.It's my borrowed scenery, the view from my office, living room and bedroom windows. I love to see how the across-the-street gardeners are progressing. I know not their names, but their smoking and coffee drinking habits as they emerge onto their terraces in early morning.
An avid reader of Garden Bytes, BBP, alerted me. Although I was well aware when the scaffolding went up, when the cranes and ladders arrived on the 18th floor terraces across the street, I didn't connect all that to losing my borrowed scenery. But as BBP pointed out, all the plants were gone.I go away for one day and all the plants and containers on the 16th floor are missing; the crew is now working to clear the terrace on #17.Down, down, down in a cart on a flimsy pulley ......... to the dumpster below. So you fans of dumpster diving, who knows what garden treasures you'll find if you can just wiggle under the tarp that covers the dumpster at night. (double click on image above to see some of the treasures you're missing)SO YOU THINK YOU HAVE GARDEN PROBLEMS?
Today four men in hoodies are ripping out decking and repairing leaks on the terrace, then will re-surface. Come spring will I have new borrowed scenery to enjoy? Is the co-op owner responsible for totally redoing the garden on the terrace?


Shady Gardener said...

Something interesting happening over there... I was, at first, thinking they were permanently removing the patios. (Or are they?) Hopefully something beautiful will be established to increase your viewing pleasure (and ours)! :-) Perhaps some of the workers took home those wonderful huge pots?

Ellen Zachos said...

I've had many clients go through this trauma. In my experience it is almost always the coop owner who foots the bill to redo the garden. One client had two terraces and was able to shuffle things around and save most of her plants, but often it's a sad sad story like the one you tell, and everything gets dumped. Poor rose, poor firethorn.

meemsnyc said...

Oh my, what a shame that they had to get rid of all those plants. And what a shame that they had to throw out all those great beautiful pots. Oh how I wish they would list those items on Craigslist or Freecycle. So many people would take pots like that so it could be saved from the dumpsters.

Urban Gardens said...

Someone should start a plant recycling service, like Green Demolitions does with someone's old kitchen:
Great post!

Ellen Spector Platt said...

I used to host a plant swap in my barn every spring. That was before I moved to NYC. Bring a covered dish for lunch and up to five plants to trade. After the first year I added the rule:no mints or other invasives.
Highly popular.
Never thought of swapping containers too.

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