And now, as they say, for something completely different… My first daylily of the year! I’m not sure what this variety is called (I swiped it from my mom’s garden last year), but it’s now the first daylily to open for the second year in a row… I love how it looks against the industrial green garage door thingie that serves as a section of our fence.
Posts Tagged ‘gardens’
in Cabinet of Curiosities | Add your comment »
Here’s a picture of my latest garden surprise—a Rose of Sharon bush that looked all but dead when we moved in, miraculously came back to life, and then lost a bunch of leaves when we transplanted it to the other side of the garden. Needless to say, I was not expecting flowers, but flowers are here, and they’re spectacular!
The name “Rose of Sharon” reminds me of Steinbeck’s Grapes of Wrath (which I haven’t read since sophomore year of high school and can only dimly recollect), because there’s a character in the book who’s called Rosasharn, after the plant. It’s a Biblical name—in the King James translation of the Song of Solomon, the beloved claims “I am the rose of Sharon, and the lily of the valleys”—though that’s apparently a mistranslation of the Hebrew word for “crocus.”
When I lived in Europe, I had a plant called the Rose of Jericho, which is basically a tumbleweed: put it into a bowl of water and it unfurls its frothy leaves, take it out and it curls up into a dry, brown ball and goes to sleep.
in Cabinet of Curiosities | 1 comment »
I made an impulse purchase at the garden center recently: a beautiful little dwarf pomegranate that I walked by and fell in love with. It’s too cold here in New York to let it winter outdoors, but for the moment it looks fabulous in its little pot on my patio.
Apparently, dwarf pomegranates are very popular bonsai plants. Right now, that seems like more work than I can handle (I’m still figuring out plant names and what I should and shouldn’t compost), but I’m very curious about it. The Brooklyn Botanic Garden has a whole greenhouse full of bonsai trees, and if I remember right, some of them are decades old.
Do any of you bonsai? (Can I use that as a verb?) How did you get into it?
in Where to Go? | 1 comment »
I’ve got all the enthusiasm of a beginning gardener—and very little skill or knowledge—so it feels like a bit of a miracle to see my tulips blossoming. Meanwhile, I’ve been removing dead debris from the rest of the flower bed and slowly acquiring more plants. Now if I could only persuade the neighborhood cats to go elsewhere when they poop…
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When I was growing up, my mother always kept a “yuck bucket” under the sink to store our biodegradable waste: stale bread, leftovers, eggshells and coffee grounds… periodically, someone would be tasked with taking it outside and dumping its contents on top of her compost pile.
Here in New York City, though, composting is rarely practical. Indoor bins are expensive, and besides, who has room for them? Few of us have any outdoor space, either, and when we do, our yards are quite small.
Fortunately for my own tiny yard, they now make reasonably small, compact outdoor composting bins; the one I just bought online is made from recycled plastic, and it doesn’t look atrocious tucked away on one side of the patio. Apparently our yard has also been blessed with a number of tiny red earthworms—earthworms are great for compost—so I dropped a couple in the bin last weekend to give them something new to chew on. (If they don’t like what they find, they can crawl back out through the bottom.) I’m so glad to be able to put our garbage to good use, and I can’t wait to put the finished compost on my flower bed: there’s no better fertilizer, I’ve heard.
Do you compost?
in Where to Go? | Add your comment »
Winter always seems to overstay its welcome, but this year I’ve got a new reason to look forward to spring: after years of apartment living, I recently moved into a small house in Red Hook, Brooklyn, which means, among other things, that I now have my own little yard. There wasn’t much growing when we moved in last December, but I just poked my head outside and noticed a couple of—tulips, it looks like, and some kind of thick grass?—pushing their heads above ground.
I don’t have much of a green thumb, but I can’t wait to see what else pops up, and do a little planting of my own. I’m going to start small, and practical: raspberries to cover up some of portions of the fence, tomatoes, herbs, maybe a lily or two (I love lilies). Then, if all goes well, I’ll branch out next year into some more adventurous options. We’ll see.
Do you have a garden? What do you grow?