Sunday, July 3, 2011

From the Ashes

From what looks like an abandoned blog, I will now attempt a resurrection with a couple of catch-up posts. 

Since I last posted, a lot of things have happened:  Audrey and I have been going back and forth as to whether we will stay at this apartment; our neighbor has put up a beautiful deck; we have grown more comfortable in our lifestyles in BK; and most importantly, the garden has grown significantly. 

I will not attempt to keep track of finances any longer, just let it be known that there was not any more spent on this garden than a few seedlings, some dirt, and maybe a trellis. 

This segment of the "catch-up series" will be intermediary and pretty much after the fact (in other words, these pics were taken in the middle of May).
Vegetables! (buttercrunch, brussel sprouts, cucumber, and okra)

The flowers: gladiolus, freesias, tulips, and wildflowers

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Seeds and Plants

Wow, it's a been over a week since my last post.  I've made some headway since then.  For starters, I took another trip over to Lowe's and spent $21.59.  I made the decision to go with some plants from a nursery and some seeds for the garden, so I shopped accordingly at the store.  Here are some of the plants I bought...

Buttercrunch, brussel sprouts, and strawberries.

Also I bought some seeds and some seed starting soil.  I used an egg carton to germinate them:

Tomato, sweet pepper, and cucumber (cucumbers I will sow right into the planter) When these grow in, it'll be a much fuller garden.  I transferred the plants I got:

The cucumbers and peppers will also go into this planter; my little vegetable garden.

I planted the strawberries into the old box I found the other day:

So all and all, the garden is starting to come together now.  I had a minor fiasco, which is that the construction workers who are working on my neighbors rooftop deck broke one of her clay pots, so they decided to take my box and use it to put the broken remnants in it.  A friend of Audrey and mine pilfered it back for us late a couple of nights ago.  It seems that they took the box again!!!  It's one of the more ridiculous things I've seen of late.  Oh well; I'm going to confront them about it if I see them.  The project is beginning to start looking like the framework for a garden, and I'm happy about that:

Audrey had the idea of putting a little trellis against the brick wall and growing some vines on there; either some ivy, some beans, or some grapes.  I think this would look beautiful, so we will try to make it happen!

So to recap...

Assets allocated: 
  • Plants: brussel sprouts, buttercrunch, strawberries
  • Seeds: cucumber, tomato, pepper
Things accomplished:
  • Planted all the seeds in egg cartons 
  • Transferred all the plants into the planters
  • Developed a better sense of what the layout will be on the roof
Amount Spent
  • $21.59
Total amount spent so far
  • $61.99

Monday, April 4, 2011

A Long Walk in the Dark


To catchup from my last post, I need to mention that I was walking around the neighborhood a few days ago when I spotted this beaten up, but very interesting looking crate...

I'm slowly adding to my collection of planters!

I've been wanting to go to our neighborhood Lowe's on 10th st and 2nd av to check out their garden section, and I finally got a chance to check it out tonight.  I took my granny cart because I knew they had better prices on soil, and I wanted to stock up.

I was very much inspired by my trip up there, and it gave me a vision for how the garden is going to pan out.  I saw some little strawberry, tomato, lettuce, and broccoli plants that I knew I wanted to incorporate.  I filled my granny cart with two 25 pound bags of soil, which were $15.20 for two  (twice the soil I got before at half the price).   It was at this point, with my granny cart holding 50 pounds of soil, that I realized two things: 1) I can't take public transportation home.  2) I can't take any of the plants today.  So I ended up trekking all of 20-25 blocks with fifty pounds of soil in tow.  The cart nearly toppled over itself at one point, but I was able to save it.  It was great exercise and a lot of fun to bring it home.  Bringing the bags up four flights and onto the roof was the toughest part though.  I loaded up all the planters I had left with my soil, and they are ready to be planted!  I have a fairly good idea as to what I want to plant now...

So in a couple days I'll make another, less arduous trek to Lowe's.

So to recap...

Assets allocated today: 
  • A very weathered crate (the other day)
  • 2 bags of soil (totaling at 4 cubic feet) 
Things accomplished:
  • Filled all of the remaining planters with soil 
  • Developed a good idea of what I want to plant in the remaining planters
Amount Spent today:
  • $15.20
Total amount spent so far
  • $40.40

Monday, March 28, 2011

Some Bulbs


I have yet to post my new find of dresser drawers, so here is a pic:

It's amazing what people will throw away in Park Slope.  I work at the Whole Foods in Manhattan, and I picked up some bulbs there on sale for $3.45.  I bought some gladiolus and some freesias.

 My mom was telling me that a lot of people make the mistake of planting these root side up, sprout side down, making the germination a lot harder to surface.  I took one of the dresser drawers, filled it with soil, and placed the freesia bulbs about five inches deep into the soil. 

I'm out of soil at the moment, and I should probably wait on any more planting, as the weather here is still pretty cold.

So to recap...

Assets allocated today: 
  • Gladiolus and Freesia bulbs
Things accomplished:
  • Bought and planted the Freesia bulbs in one of the dresser drawers 
  • Re-hammered the wine case (as the nails were coming out and warping the wood)
Amount Spent today:
  • $3.45 
Total amount spent so far
  • $25.20

Friday, March 25, 2011

The Overzealous Gardener

      For anyone who didn't notice, we had a crazy snow, hail, and sleet storm a couple of days ago which, I am sure obliterated those little sunflower seeds.  All is not lost, as that planter can be resown, but I'll just have to be more patient and wait for the remnants of winter to pass.
     One a happier note, I was walking home from work tonight when I realized, it's big trash night tonight!  I decided to go for a little walk in the night, just down St Johns, down seventh, over and down lincoln, and back around.  I was looking for more planters.  I found a few interesting things including a nice table on our street, none of the items usable for my purposes though.  On the way back home, going across 7th ave I spotted for the first time what I had been looking for since I started my walks:  a dresser on the curb.  I grabbed the two drawers and walked them home!  Bringing them onto the roof tonight felt almost magical; taking these items that were tossed aside and turning them into something useful and (hopefully) even beautiful, like a bird assembling his nest.

So to recap...

Assets allocated today: 
  • two dresser drawers! (to use as planters)

Things accomplished:
  • managed to destroy the sunflower seeds  : (
  • put the shelves on the roof

Total amount spent so far
  • $21.75

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Sunflower Seeds

       Today was the most gorgeous day outside.  Audrey is working in the morning, but I don't need to go in until three, so I went out for a walk to do some more garbage picking.  I found a couple of things that would have been all right to use, except that they were in too much disrepair.  One was a wicker basket with "strawberries" written on the front, but the bottom of the wicker work was completely torn up.  So it was an uneventful day for new finds.
       I decided to go up on the roof and try to plant something.  Everytime I go up on the roof it seems that our neighbor's dog, Ciao Bella, has a small fit.  Oh well.  I brought my camera along to take some pictures as well. 

Here is a picture of yesterday's finds:

 Here is one of the roof space we'll be working with:

        We went to visit my parents in Syracuse a couple of weeks ago.  While we were there we went to the Saint Patrick's Day parade, and there was an environmental association handing out sunflower seeds.  As these are the only seeds that I currently have in my possesion, I have decided to plant these before going out to buy others.  I did a little bit of reading about sunflowers.  During their adolescent phase they love to turn their heads eastward to catch the sun as it rises.  I chose my box, and positioned it where it could see the eastern sky the best.  I think the box may be a bit small, and I may have overplanted it a bit, but I wanted to make sure I had some growth.  The seeds were planted 1/8" from the surface.  This is the planted box:

Now I just need to find something to label the plants with!

So to recap...

Assets allocated today: 
  • nada

Things accomplished:
  • Took some pictures
  • Got the sunflower seeds planted facing the East

Total amount spent so far
  • $21.75

Monday, March 21, 2011

The Beginning!


My fiance Audrey and I moved in to our apartment back in September 2010.  We live a cozy (meaning small) apartment in beautiful Park Slope.  We are in love with the neighborhood, and are even getting used to the close quarters.  However, we feel the need to have some space that we can stretch out, cultivate, show off to our friends, and call our own. 
         Our rooftop has a beautiful manhattan view, and we have already shared some of our most memorable experiences in our few trips up there.  There are two in particular, one happening on New Year's Eve...  we had a couple of friends over to watch the fireworks on the roof, because I had heard that they were shooting some off near Grand Army Plaza (about five blocks from our house).  We brought our instruments and a bottle of wine on the roof; our friend Evan playing the guitar, his girlfriend the accordian, and myself the trombone.  We did not anticipate at all that we would have a good sized audience of half sober people atop the other rooves.  We played, and counted down to the new year,  and then fireworks shot up in either direction (to our surprise).  Some were right in front of us, and others were illuminating Lady Liberty across the river.  We played Auld Lang Syne in trio, appearing very bohemian to the applauding audience. 
The second and most memorable experience was in November, when I proposed to Audrey at sunset.
         Audrey was the one who had the wonderful idea to take this roof and make it our own; a guerrilla gardening of sorts.  Immediately my mind went racing.  Two rules to start off with: 1) We've gotta make sure everything is secured down. 2) Everything we get up there has to fit through the 2' x 3' ladder opening.                    
        Our budget?  As close to zero as possible.  This will be DIY, pick off the street, use unusual things as planters, and it will be a whole lot of fun.  Let me take a moment to mention that we are NOT experienced gardeners, although it does run in the family.  We will make mistakes, but we will persevere!  This being said, our budget will mainly go to soil, the physical plants or seeds (we're not sure which route we're going with this, probably both) and whatever tools we deem necessary.
         So today, March 21st, was a garbage picking day.  This is an all too simple profession in Park Slope.  I went out searching in the afternoon and within thirty minutes I had found a small bookcase (laid on its back will become a planter) and a wooden case which used to hold wine, and more recently held charcoal briquets and ash.  I plan on spray painting the bookcase yellow.  Add those finds to an aquarium we picked yesterday (I hope we can see the roots when they grow in!), and we have enough to start a little bit of planting.  I went to True Value with my granny cart and picked up two big bags of potting soil, putting us back $21.75.  In this way I'm going to keep a log of how much we spend over the entire process.  I'm also going to try to up a couple of pictures of the finds and the roof!

So to recap...

Assets allocated today: 
  • bookcase planter
  • wooden wine case
  • 2x bags of soil
Things accomplished:
  • Basically just got all the stuff on the roof (the bookcase barely fit)
  • Started a blog about it!
Amount Spent today:
  • $21.75

Total amount spent so far
  • $21.75   :  )