August 24, 2008
Urban Gardens, Part 1 – Fire Escape Garden

This summer, I rented a car several times for various excursions, for business and pleasure. I visited the Berkshires twice, went all the way to northern Ohio, and drove across Long Island to Shelter Island. Each time I drove somewhere, I would inevitably come upon a garden center or farm selling flowering plants, and I would stop and select a new plant friend to take home.

In the Berkshires, there was this huge, amazing garden center and greenhouse. I got two different little flowery plants there – each with different size buds in different shades of purple. In Ohio, I stopped at a local garden store close to my parents house and found a huge petunia plant, in yet another shade of purple. Driving back from Shelter Island, I found this amazing farm where they sold all kinds of organic produce, and there I bought a pot of sunflowers, ready to bloom.

Over the summer, I added all of these friends to my fire escape, where I had decided to keep a few other plants I had accumulated in Brooklyn. It began to look like a country summer’s day outside my city window! They say that living things vibrate at a different rate from non-living, and that, on some level, we are able to consciously perceive this. I will say, that whenever I look out at all of the beautiful flowers and leaves reaching towards the sky from outside my window, I am brightened, energized. There is perfection in nature. And it’s perfectly effortless.

It’s this perfect, natural, effortless energy that I get to see each time I pass by my living room window – and I have found it incredibly inspiring! It makes me more attune to the weather (when it rains, the plants don’t need as much water, and on hot days, they need extra), and has me thinking about the change of seasons (most of the plants only last one year!). In just a glance, I am reminded of nature’s cycles, long and short, and how we are always growing and changing – in different ways, at different paces – constantly, and without effort. (Or sometimes WITH effort – but my plants remind me that it isn’t necessary to strain.)

I love my little fire escape garden.

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