In the Garden
When Schiller’s Liquor Bar opened in New York, there were a couple of great things about it. They served three levels of house wine; cheap, decent and good. And, or so the waitress told me, certain items on the menu were priced to encourage you to do what, the proprietor, Keith McNally, thought was the right thing. A double espresso was cheaper than a single and a cheeseburger cheaper than its cheese-free alternative. I have no idea if this was true or if their menus had just been printed incorrectly as these were early days, but I choose to believe it was true. Several years ago, Pascal and I took a cooking course at Daylesford Organic where they did exactly the same thing.
After 7 hours of cooking we were given a tour around the farm in Gloucestershire and a parting gift of 6 small salad plants. We weren’t allowed to just turn up and leave and either cook what we learned or not, we were now made to choose whether or not we were going to plant these little guys or throw them out. So off to the Burford Garden Company we went to procure accommodation for our new plants. It turns out that was not to be the last fortune we would spend at said garden center but too date its our party favour with the heftiest liabilities. That summer we grew our salad in the window box, enjoying every second of it and yearning for a little more space to plant one maybe two tomatoes.
They say that, “with great power comes great responsibility.” It seems the same can also be said for a great roof terrace. Given the success of our window box, we were looking for a place that had everything we wanted and had outdoor space. What we got was a roof terrace the size of our previous apartment, complete with a greenhouse.
This is my fourth year of planting and I have learned some but not nearly as much as I should have. The first year I planted almost entirely from seed which is a remarkably rewarding experience as you can’t imagine that anything will ever actually come of it but now it’s a combination of seeds and plugs. Like most else, I order my plants off of internet, weeks, if not months in advance so its always exciting when its actually time to plant out the tomatoes. It’s a time of year I get excited about and I hope you do too. Plant just one tomato plant or a couple of salad plants. If you want tips just ask.