Perhaps Not the Most Elegant Garden

Our apartment, though very plain, has a terrific view and could be pretty snazzy if someone with plenty of cash and better taste than the US Government decorated it. In this very neighborhood, there are tons of home decor stores with sleek, modern furniture in the windows. But, well, you know how it is. Scratched-up Drexel, covered with whatever I can throw over it to hide it.

The same goes for the terrace. If a rich Austrian lived here, they would probably put big pots of shrubbery on the terrace to improve the view, along with an elegant little wrought iron café table. They might even pay someone to clean the picture windows.

But, I live here, and like most renters, and I am not inclined to spend a fortune on things I can’t take with me. And, I have a cat, requiring a quick and dirty solution to discourage him from walking on the roof, seven stories up.

So, my terrace is decorated with cheap plastic Home Depot pots (lighter in the HHE than terra cotta) and whatever else I could scrounge up to plant in, including plastic bags. With an improvised chicken wire fence  to deter the cat. It’s Nashville on the Danube, folks!

Spring seems to have finally arrived, after winter so interminable even the Viennese were getting pretty grumpy about it. Daffodils and forsythia have just popped out in the park across the street. So, it’s time to plant!

I’ve moved nearly all the pots up to the roof (see cat, above) and topped them off with a bit of compost and extra gardening soil. Last week, I planted spinach, chard, and lettuce, all of which are supposed to be winter-hardy. Some of those seeds have already sprouted. Plus sage and parsley. And “Katzengrass” for the cats (it’s a thing here–lots of apartment kitties).

Today, I experimentally planted a few bush beans, thinking maybe in full sun on the warm metal roof they could do OK this early. If not, they are easy to replant. And in another experiment, planted a few basil seeds under little greenhouses made of recycled strawberry containers. We shall see.

Later, I’m going to plant zucchini, and see if I can find some “Tumbling Tom” cherry tomatoes to grow upside down in a couple of pots. And, of course, I will plant some turnip greens once I can get the seeds. A girl needs her greens, after all.

It may not be an elegant terrace, but it works for me.

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