Skyscraper Gardening

Pear Tree

Pear Tree

It hasn’t been a great summer as far as the weather goes, but it seems like the pear tree on my terrace doesn’t mind.  The pears are growing big and fat and the ones at the top of the tree  have a beautiful red blush.  I’m not sure what variety of pear it is.  The tree was here when we moved in and it just gets bigger and more fruitful every year.  They are still a couple of weeks away from being ripe, but I know that if this year’s crop is like last year’s, they will all ripen at the same moment.  When that happens, we’ll have lots of fresh pears and pear tarts and I plan to make a batch of pear conserve like I did last year.  I froze it in small batches and we enjoyed it all winter.

Blueberries in Bloom

Blueberries in Bloom

The blueberries came in big and fat and juicy in late June and July, but they did not have a lot of flavor.  Still, I enjoyed going out every morning and picking a cupful for breakfast.  I ordered two more blueberry bushes this spring to add to the two I already had, but they won’t bear fruit this year.  Blueberries don’t seem to mind the harsh winters and hot dry summers we get on the 20th floor.  They are also gorgeous plants and very decorative.  The bright green leaves turn bright red in the fall and last all winter.

I plan to make blueberry jam again this summer, but I will have to rely on berries from the Greenmarket.  I’ll post the recipe when I make it.

First Tomato!

First Tomato!

Here it is!  My first tomato of the season.  It’s really tiny, about the size of a quarter size right now. But we got a late start this year and, of course, there is the weather.  Just the sight of it makes me happy.  I have visions of homegrown tomato sandwiches like those my friend Miriam Rubin wrote about last year in the Pittsburgh Post Gazette.  www.post-gazette.com/pg/08255/911041-34.stm

Basil from Palermo

Basil from Palermo

The basil is thriving.  I picked the seeds that these plants come from off the tops of a huge plant I came across growing in the garden of a baronessa in Palermo.  Lucky I came along when I did!  Those plants would just have gone to seed if I had not nipped off the tops and tucked them into a pocket pack of tissues to dry.  The seeds really like living the high life here in Manhattan!

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    • Michele Scicolone