It was a brownstone in Brooklyn.  They had four floors including a basement and a full vegetable and flower garden.  It wasn’t without work, however, and the house and gardens were maintained meticulously with a fine tooth comb.

Hydrangeas, a favorite since his youth. . . long summers spent in Maine, littered the place.  Peonies were everywhere as well, drooping under the weight of their heavy blooms.  Rhodesian heather, weeping pines, Japanese maples, morning glory (a weed he deemed acceptable after watching them bloom), and moon flower were favorites (he loved the blooms at night).  He could be found in the garden most days counting the buds on the hydrangeas and calling out to his friends the number.  They lived in the garden, too, and all became quite educated on planting after summers of trial and error.

In the June, pumpkins were planted for the fall.  Usually grey in color so as not to distract from the flowers.  They would be cut and passed to friends.

At Christmas, window boxes where installed with miniature pines and holy covered in lights.  The boxes were designed 5 months in advance, a prototype made first.  Once approved, duplicates were made.  They were never identical, however, he insisted they look natural, a bit over grown, a little messy.

Tulips arrived in April.  Hundreds.  Of all colors, though pink dominated the mix.  He enjoyed them but was always impatient.  They announced the approaching spring and he could never wait for the them to go away so he could get started on the annuals.  He would cut them all to get rid of them, the interior of the house draped in tulips for a week, nowhere to put them all so they were banished to buckets on the floor.

Leave a Comment: