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

Thursday, November 14, 2013


The gift wrap, a recycled plastic bag, dead leaves and brown paper bags inside.
But since the gift was from noted author/artist/storied NYC gardener Abbie Zabar, maybe something else of more interest.
Inside the plastic, nine individually wrapped strawberry plants, roots carefully shielded, each plant with a rubberband to secure it until planting. Ever thoughtful, Abbie choose one plant (top left) with a berry still attached so I could see what I had to look forward to.
The reverse side of the label had the variety name, 'Mara des Bois' which I could further investigate. Full sun, plant with crown at soil level, excellent drainage, like all other strawberries; info courtesy of Mr. Google.
Abbie explained that the plants were divisions of her own and the leaves from her roof garden to use as mulch. I thought back over all of the divisions I've given over the years and I blush with shame at my carelessness.
Nine plants, happily ensconced in a self-watering container await next spring.
But I have one MAJOR problem. How can I let them fully ripen and still get a taste before the hordes of kids who live in the building scarf them. They have as much right to pick from the communal garden as I, but me, me, me I quietly scream.

Friday, November 1, 2013


photo courtesy of Jen P. Hopkins
Jen and I push our way off the 23 Crosstown bus and stroll down 10th Ave, on our way to an art gallery and then The High Line. Cars are honking, sirens are blaring and behind a white picket fence we spy this scene.
I laugh out loud at the incongruity of largest swath of lawn in Chelsea with grazing sheep. Getty Station a new public art program just opened its inaugural show, Sheep Station by the late Francois-Xavier Lalanne, featuring 25 of his epoxy stone and bronze 'Moutons'. I'm assured by a gallery attendant that there are two kinds of sod, Kentucky blue grass and another kind that he can't remember and I can't identify.
This was an actual filling station, much as I remember it, in a commercial neighborhood now with rolling hills and lolling sheep.
The pleasure of walking anywhere in this city is stumbling across the surreal, and in this area, The High Line is responsible for a renaissance.

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