Tag Archives: Garden

Hocus Crocus!

Holy Springtime, Batman! Its that time of year! Tonight everyone is supposed to set all of their clocks forward an hour to be in line with daylight savings time. Why the planet adheres to this antiquated practice of messing with time (and circadian rhythms) is beside me, however not to be outdone, Mother Nature sent some of her finest blooms up early for all of us to enjoy.

If your know the signs of Spring, there are two flowers to look for: Crocuses and Forsythia. The latter is hard to come by in New York, but there were crocuses aplenty in my old garden in Midtown. They peeked their brightly colored heads out from underneath the fall leaves in little flurries of spring color.

The Daffodils decided to join in on the party, and trumpeted the coming arrival of the vernal equinox with a splash of goldenrod and cream. Their skinny leaves fluttered in the breeze.

I made a new friend in the garden named Jamie, and he has been a resident of Hell’s Kitchen for decades. He told me about his ritual of recording the passing seasons through photos in the garden. We agreed that our little, gated slice of heaven was a perfect timekeeper for the seasons.


A ring of Tulips slowly began to unfurl their velvety bezier curve leaves in the shade of the giant Tulip Magnolia tree in the center of the garden. The bees have not woken up from their slumber yet, so it is only these hearty perennials who have arrived without their presence.


Together, these tiny flowers have set the seasonal clock in motion with their Springtime festival of color and light. The year began a few months ago, but it is now that 2012 really comes to life. The colorful clarion call of the Crocus banishes the winter, and brings an end to the bitter cold.

Spring is here. Finally.

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May’s Showers Brought Some Flowers

This spring has been an odd one. For one, the groundhog lied, and spring didn’t start to appear until maybe just a couple weeks ago. Two, all the plants and trees were so pent up over the elongated winter, that they decided to have a massive pollen extravaganza that would cripple the entire city for a week. Seriously, buying TWO big boxes of tissue in one week is a little extra, even for me with my horrible allergies.

Also, this spring has either been rather windy, rainy, and chilly. Ideally, you think there is a gradual buildup of sunlight and warmth for spring, in anticipation of the coming summer, but no, in New York we have had a seasonal tug of war going on. Winter just wont go home!

Alas, it rained heavily for the faux apocalypse we had yesterday (more photos from that coming tomorrow) and all the flowers in the garden glistened with the spring rain like some sort of perfume commercial.

If there is one thing that makes flowers look even better than their own divine designs, it is some water droplets. Be it dew drops or rain drops on their foliage, it just makes them look more alive than they already are. The symbiosis between the earthen plants and the rain from the sky is the perfect mix of elements. The visual show they put on during and after a rainstorm is quite moving, especially when you race to take photos and not soak your camera.

Imagine me in the garden trying to take photos with one hand and hold an umbrella with the other. Yeah, it didn’t quite work, so my camera and I were a little soppy at the end of my shoot, but the results were well worth the sogginess. Thank goodness for camera weather sealing!

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Twilight Tulips

I went for a walk very early the other morning and saw something special in the garden through the iron fence: tulips that seemed to glow faintly in the dim light.

Usually, tulips, crocuses, and forsythia as the heralds of the spring and the sun light. Some moonlight still appeared to linger on the flower petals as they waited for the sun to rise.

I had to be still to take photos of them in the early light and be careful to capture their beauty as it was. The grain on the images is almost velvety.

The air was cool and slightly most. Little birds warbled and chattered early songs and we all waited for the sun to rise.


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First Little Flowers from the Garden

I was a bit of  a recluse this winter in terms of getting out and taking photos because it was always so damn bitter cold. This was my third winter here in New York, and it seemed like it was definitely the coldest.

Despite the winter still having a hold on our newfound spring, little crocuses, irises, and tulips have been popping their heads up in the garden down the street from me. They are the little heralds of the coming sunshine.

Their presence means that the weather is going to get warmer, and that we can soon bask in the sun as they do. Their bright colors cheer you up on the last few chilly days, and remind you that there is a cycle to all that is.

There is magic in the first flowers of spring.

Enjoy these little flowers and look forward to seeing many more as the weather begins to warm up. These should hold you over for now…

Until then, just keep your head up, and your gloves on. Maybe your shoes too.

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A Glorious, Glowing Labor Day Weekend

Labor Day weekend is all about resting and recharging, but with the world’s greatest weather sitting on top of the world’s greatest city for an entire weekend, how can you sit inside? Bollocks.

Hurricane Earl approached the state Friday evening and the sky was starting to look a bit cloudy, but nothing ever got nasty. I am the type of person that likes a good storm, so I asked for a key to the roof from my super, and he begrudgingly agreed. Apparently, no one is supposed to be up there after our fourth of July festivities. Womp.

Luckily, we are on good terms and he let me borrow the key long enough to make my way to the roof and take some fantastic photos with Chris and the pigeons. We had to be careful because its not really set up for lounging or even walking around up there. The views are quite stunning so I think if the roof goes un-renovated, that would be a complete waste. I’m definitely getting some lawn chairs to put up there.

We invited some friends over and had a small shindig and danced the night away. You know I can’t hold my camera with a wineglass, so I apologize for the lapse in photos for that event.

Saturday was the most golden day I had ever been given. The weather after the “storm” was absolutely amazing. There was a slight cool breeze that permeated the city, and there were a few lazy clouds overhead. I spent some time in the Lower East Side with Juan and had a grand time. Where there weren’t clouds, there were leaves from trees above to filter down some dappled sunlight. Hearing the birds chirp and woosh by as I walked down Rivington was divine. I topped off the afternoon with cupcakes from Sugar Sweet Sunshine, a prompt trip to the gym to burn off said cupcakes, and a visit to Mike, my barber. In short, I shone like the Sun King Himself. Bless you Louis XIV.

On Sunday, there was no brunch planned, but just as with the day before, we were given a golden afternoon. Chris Hickson and I spent time in the garden and made a new friend, Jane, who plants most everything in there. She knows everything about everything to do with plants.

She showed us the most wondrous plant, called an elephant ear, which was taller than I am. It has giant emerald leaves and sturdy stalks. Since it is a tropical plant, Jane said that she is going to dig it up for the winter, and that both Chris and I can have a piece of it to keep! Huzzah!

There was plenty of life in the garden today aside from greenery and humans. The bee house was abuzz with the sounds of its many minions, and all of them seemed quite happy about the sunshine we were blessed with.

Even the butterflies came out to play (and pose) on their namesake butterfly bush.

After absorbing the purest oxygen in the city there for a while, we went to the Brazil Day festival on Sixth Avenue. None of us got the memo for dress code there, as we were all in bright red, in a sea of green and yellow shirts. Ooops.

Some people didn’t even bother with shirts though. Oh, you City Gym Boys, you get me every time.

When we were finished with the celebration (tired of trying to understand Portuguese) we made our way to Juniors for a slice of cheesecake, and then to Pier 84 by my place. Something about the water was more sparkly than usual. I ended up taking a short nap on a bench there while the Chrises talked to their boos on the phone. The guy in the photo above was my inspiration for a nap. It was a little disorienting to wake up and see nothing but blue sky, but in a good way.

After I woke up, I saw this woman with her dog and got life for a moment. Get into her and LIVE.

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