baby toes

Cactus and succulents are usually always looking nice - always clean, never wilting or dropping leaves but when you get a nice big flower out of one it's all the more satisfying - eventhough the blooms usually only last a day. A friend on the west coast just sent me this picture of this Baby Toes cactus.


Raubsville Inn

This is the coolest vacant waterfront property I've ever seen. It's called the Raubsville Inn located right on the Delaware River on the PA side. I had drinks there once when it was still open, sippin some beers, listening to the crickets as the water goes by - it is really amazing AND it's for sale. I found a price for $699,000 but I'd bet it's negotiable since the place has been flooded twice in the last 3 years and I think its been on the market for over a year. In my dream world I would like someone (i know) to buy this and turn it into an amazing restaurant and inn similar to the Depuy Canal house upstate http://www.depuycanalhouse.net/
Any takers?

This weeks garden Q&A in the NYT

Moss added to Times atrium

I thought after I saw the windows facing the birch tree's in the NYT building had been blocked from the street that something really bad had happened inside the atrium. But I was wrong, you can walk inside the main lobby and see that they added the 2 toned moss to the birch field. It actually doesnt look soooo bad. The moss is mostly dead but I kind of like this cartoon style landscape around the dead birches. Clearer photo's coming soon...



Some people lost their minds the other day on Brownstoner about this before and after landscape job in brooklyn. It's a nice clean design with some gravel, birches and boxwoods - with a center wooden walkway and what looks to be a water feature running on the left. The initial comments about the space were pure aesthetic and then all of a sudden it becomes a "is it safe for my kid to play in that?" war!! It's entertaining and devastating evidence that many young white home-owning professionals in brooklyn have lost all sense reality. http://www.brownstoner.com/brownstoner/archives/2007/12/third_bond_week_1.php

ice is nice but snow is better

yesterdays storm was disappointing but at least some of us were brave enough to enter its fury: http://www.nypost.com/seven/12142007/news/regionalnews/star_mom_weathers_ny_storm_886957.htm


a store for "hydro herb" growing

So if you're in NY check out NYC HYDRO at 495 9th ave @ 38th st. for all your lamps, vermiculite and fertilizers with psychedelic labels. The dude that works there and is a part owner says it's for people who want to grow "herbs". Check it out while it lasts http://nychydro.com/


This Hoya thats been in a greenhouse at work and its been producing some really awesome pink and burgundy foliage either because it's really happy or completely stressed. I know every Hoya lover waits for a flower...this might be the lucky one for us.


Jim Harrison video clip

things to ward off winter depression: Episode 1, Meatballs

I already love cooking and eating but Jim Harrison makes me want to do it more. In his non-fiction, "The Raw and the Cooked" he supplies us with one recipe at the end of the book. I haven't made it yet, but I bet my cats life on it that it's good.

"certain Gucci-Pucci-Armani Italians have told me that they have never eaten spaghetti and meatballs. Tuscans look down on the Calabrese and the Neopolitans in the same way New Yorkers regards poor white southerners. These Cerruti aristocrats tell me that the dish is an American perversion of Italian cuisine, to which I always reply, "I don't give a shit." Their tiny, pointy shoes cause them life long discomfort and you can't eat a largish meatball with pursed, dry lips. I should also mention that I make a bollito misto, and that I have often shaved Italian white truffles onto my morning oatmeal. But then let's not be nasty. It's better to meditate on the dark freight of power and grace that spaghetti and meatballs can offer your life.


Pour a liberal amount of good olive oil in the bottom of the baking pan. Halve a dozen or so tomatoes and place them in the pan. Sprinkle them liberally with chopped garlic, fresh basil, and thyme. Cook for about an hour at 325 F. Chop this roughly and you have your sauce.


1 pound ground chuck or veal
2 beaten eggs
5 cloves garlic
1/4 cup parsley
3 or 4 anchovy fillets, preferably salt-packed
Ample extra virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
1/2 cup to 1 cup freshly made bread crumbs

Saute the garlic, finely chopped, in olive oil until translucent. Add the anchovies and let melt, then add the parsely and wilt; let cool. Mix the meat with the eggs. Add the cooked garlic, anchovies, parsley, salt and pepper, and bread crumbs. Form your meatballs, but not too large or they will crack. Brown in olive oil, then cook slowly. Mix in your roasted tomato sauce."


"i want to live on an abstract plane"

It's not abstract but it is a pretty amazing photo that I stole from the bbc. This might be obvious, but those are not shadow marks but snow on the ground. pretty sweet!


It's a few days old...but here's the Times review of the Times building!!



list of things to look forward to in the spring (#1: Morels and Wild Leeks)

Now, this is all new and amazing to me; I've been reading alot of Jim Harrison over the past year or so and have completely lost my mind over him and he has definitely become a favorite. Many of his stories are based in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan and Harrison (being the raging gourmand that he is) will often reference food ideas and recipes, such as quail stuffed with leeks and sweetbreads (one of his favorites), or the one that I most recently noticed in The Summer He Didn't Die, the hunting and picking of morels and wild leeks for a dinner. I did a little research and found that the wild leeks are especially spicy and are found in early spring April/May from Appalachia to Canada (I'm guessing zones 1-8) and are probably amazing in so many dinners...pasta, game birds, lamb, yum! The leek seem fairly easy to locate and hunt, but the morel involves a guide book or person before you randomly hunt. I am also beginning to think that Michigan might be a special place for this, but if you're local and feeling inspired, this link has some useful connects of mycological/fungi clubs in the general tri-state area: http://thegreatmorel.com/info.html


the Times atrium

So this is the squared off atrium between 41st and 40th St. in new Times building (between 8th and 7th ave) which can be seen and accessed from the main lobby area. I've been curious about this because the company I work for bid on this initial atrium project and also because I happened to walk by this giant ugly building more than any other giant ugly building in my life...so it's hard not to wonder about it. The tree's inside this little atrium are 50-60' tall Birches, and I happened to walk by on the crane installation day and they were looking alright, but I've taken on look on several other occasions and I would put money on the idea that 90% of the tree's are kaput. This is not the best photo - so I encourage you to walk by it if you're ever in the area, because this project sucks and it's kind of fun to watch this idea fail within this eyesore. The landscape architect is Hank White and it's $1million+ project and it does look really nice on paper and there are some very fancy selling points when you look at the details (http://www.hmwhitesa.com/html2004/index.html ) ANNND I know this is only the beginning weeks of install but judging by the rest of the building (meh) I look forward to seeing what the critics have to say.


what i realized while lunching with martha

Actually, I wasn't really lunching with Martha, just her minions. I mean they were nice people and all but my interview for the Associate Garden Editor position wasn't exactly the dream job I was hoping it could be. Before walking in there, I always had a more than normal amount of respect for Martha mostly because I think her insider trading charges were ridiculous and she's built a "Mass Class" empire out of the wonderful things in life; like cooking, traveling, gardening. It's nice to find a lady in the big city who you can exchange recipes with... and I also think she's done a good job keeping respect from everyone at the table as far as demographic - especially in the city. Anyway, after sitting with a script reading HR woman I then met with the editor of the gardening dept. He's nice enough, polite, non-intimidating but the things that come out of his mouth were so so boring. "there are no interesting gardens in the south" " we like to do our shoots in New England and in San Fransisco where the sophisticated horticulture lives" "we can't shoot or write about any gardens in the south because it was all created out of function not aesthetic" ...... How boring and sad. So as he is talking I am realizing how inappropriate it was for me to think that I would fit in well at this place and gets me thinking about how many amazing places I forget to photograph or mean to write about which is why I am making it my Fulltime Nighttime project to share all information on gardening topics in urban and non-urban areas. Which is why I'm back in sticking my toe in the blog water, which is very crowded but ... whatever. Sharing gardening practice should not only be about aesthetic - it is also about trading practical information. I know for a fact that I will learn more from someone who has needed to garden as a way to live than from someone who feels the need to to write and photograph an article about Begonia's - although i love unique varieties of Begonia's, to talk about it with a bunch of upper class - suburban white people sitting around in a white room with Martha logo's everywhere seems like a guaranteed descent into depression. Opinions on taste and aesthetic are so boring from trained professionals...am i right? Sorry for the long rant - just something that happened to me today.

leave my little pecker alone

So this is pretty awesome...I started winterizing our garden (in brooklyn NYC.. might i remind you) and this amazing and fast little guy was doing some tree inspection about 3 feet away from me for about 5 minutes! He was all business and call me an old lady, but it was certainly a highlight of my week. More winterizing info to come on the barerooting exerperiment of my banana tree....



i've already sent this out to most people i know but this is going to continue to blow my mind... this is a museum in Paris - Quai Branley and a really cheesy french botanist, Patrick Blanc has totally mastered the tropical hydroponics by coating buildings with a pvc facing then adding a sponge synthetic material on top of that. The irrigation runs between those two materials and the plants are plugged into the sponge to create something as lovely and amazing as the photo to the left. Check out http://www.verticalgardenpatrickblanc.com/

electric prune

I'm not sure what variety this is, but this little plum tree lives in Astoria and I am beginning to think it is really special for two reasons; one is that it has been fruiting like this for well over a month and two, I've never ever seen a plum anywhere in this city and with such abundant fruit! I was given samples to eat but never had a chance to taste but I bet this lead soil infused fruit tastes really amazing right now.
I'm not sure if greeks or serbs are the owners...but whoever is taking care of it is going to have some amazing fruit to cook with.


This is why I love creeping jenny...

The lime green cascading plant is called Creeping Jenny or Lysimachia and it is by far the coolest perennial ground cover I've ever worked with in the ground and in containers. If you want trailing; underplant it in containers and if you want a dense groundcover plant it in a part-shade environment and sit back and wait to be impressed. This photo is about one months worth of growth from a garden I put together.