Wednesday, July 31, 2013
Started from seed (at left) on my windowsill in late March
Does this mean that they're really tobacco horned worms eating my tomatoes, rather than tomato horned worms that have black 'horns'?
Although initially devastated to loose my crop, I soon became enthralled by the notion that a moth found the garden and knew to lay eggs on the 18th floor of a building on 80th St. in NYC. Tomatoes aren't a common crop in this garden. How and why did she ever find her way here?
My entire crop wasn't hit because I had spread out the plants to containers in different areas.
Garden writer and photographer extraordinaire Julie McIntosh from the Arnold Arboretum Seed Herbarium Image Project was visiting for breakfast and taking the roof tour.
Monday, July 15, 2013
It's not yet mid-July but the Marigolds I started on my condo windowsill at the end of March are in full bloom. The color in the garden against the cold grey pavers and steely containers makes me happy. I was even happier when I saw a bee buzzing around them, and I'm trying to remain patient until my first butterfly sighting.
One pack of seeds, only $2.79 from Renee's garden seeds* has given me 20 plants to spread around in multiple containers, and I have about 3/4 of the seed pack left. They'll probably still be viable next year if I store them in a cool, dry spot. The lantana cost me about $18 for a tray of 12 small plants at wholesale. Compare for cost, but that's only one reason to plant seed. You get a vast array of varieties and color choices and the genuine thrill of starting new life.
Regular GardenBytes reader BFF Nana sent me an email with this news:
"There was an article in today’s Boston Globe West section about the Concord (Mass.) Library that 'lends' packets of vegetable seeds and patrons give back from their harvest. Cute idea! You 'borrow' seeds at the beginning of the season and bring back more at the end."
Yet another great way of to share your garden, (see blog post below this.)
*As a garden writer, I get free seeds from most seed companies upon request. I particularly love Renee's because of the varieties offered and the huge about of information on the seed pack .
Monday, July 8, 2013
Gardeners are generous people. We're delighted to share divisions of favorite perennials or seedlings we've grown too many of. Eudora Welty honored the custom of pass-along plants in her famous novel, Delta Wedding.
I used to host a day on my farm every spring called 'Plant Swap in the Barn', where customers where invited to bring five divisions in pots, (no mints please) and a covered dish for lunch. Everyone went home happy with precious new choices.
Now gardening in NYC I'm thrilled to be on the receiving end but I'm finding it harder to find the space to cram in the gifts I get.
Above, irises from Ellen Zachos, about five years old, planted with a rose 'Harison's Yellow'.
Last summer Linda Yang schlepped a huge mound of northern sea oats to my door. I managed to
stuff it in an already full container. It's preparing to bloom right now and by fall should look like this...
Monday, July 1, 2013
I was curious to see what NYC gardeners would substitute given the shady sites and color and budget considerations. No better way to investigate than in NYC treepits. Above, a common replacement choice, begonias, green and white caladium, and New Guinea impatiens, not affected by the virus.
Thanks to Other Ellen for the tropical I.D.s