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


Sunday, March 16, 2014

NATURAL HISTORY OF A NYC VERTICAL GARDEN

On E. 86th St in Manhattan, a new yoga studio Pure, with the first vertical garden I spied in the city. Astounding in 2008.
But within a year, the dreaded scaffolding went up to allow workers to check the mortar of the brick building above, as required by law. Not surprisingly, within three months of all shade, most of the plants had died.
Two years after planting, this sign still gave me hope of a resurrection.

But yesterday...

6 1/2 years after initial planting, same building, same Pure Yoga Studio, more scaffolding.  I was told by the guy at the desk that a permanent wood sign would be going up, it's too cold in NYC for outdoor plants. Ya think?

Sunday, March 2, 2014

LOOKING HARD IN NYC

Around NYC we're desperate for a sign of spring. Yes, there have been sightings of witch hazel blooms at the NY Botanical Garden and snowdrops on Abbie Zabar's terrace but I want my own signs, closer to home. On my 18th floor roof garden I seek and find.
Above, real flower buds of  Hellebores, the lenten rose, tucked deep in a container, preparing for the start of Lent next week.
Buds are starting to form on the pussy willow tree propagated from one stick, rooted in water six years ago and shoved in a container outdoors. The tree is ready for its spring pruning.
 In my apartment, the new prunings stand in a vase of warm water, giving me pleasure as the buds enlarge and mature. These  stems will root and be ready for transplanting anywhere I chose, the grandchildren of my first NYC grocery store bunch of pussy willow.
Spring is on its way.

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