Thursday, November 27, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

Highrise gardening

This is Elsie Hossack on the terrace of her 25th-floor condo at the Kennedy House on JFK Boulevard. She has spectacular views of City Hall to the left, 30th Street Station on the right, Liberty Place in front, and so many other landmarks.

Highrise gardening

This is Elsie Hossack on the terrace of her 25th-floor condo at the Kennedy House on JFK Boulevard. She has spectacular views of City Hall to the left, 30th Street Station on the right, Liberty Place in front, and so many other landmarks.

I went to see Elsie's terrace, actually, to talk about highrise gardening - what plants can take the brutal sun, heat and wind. Before we even got into that, I had to sit down - away from the rail. My legs were turning to jelly, but not Elsie.

She stood right on the edge. Elsie's a brave woman - 82 years old, with a long business career behind her. Unable to keep still, she still works - as a volunteer - at the Kimmel Center several times a week.

We did talk about plants, finally. Elsie likes annuals - petunias, geraniums, marigolds, portulaca - in pots weighted down with soil. She has only a few indoor plants that she puts out for the summer.

Makes for a nice, light, colorful environment for reading the paper (we especially like that part) and drinking coffee in the morning, or having cocktails with friends in the evening. Daytime can be hot.

Mostly, Elsie enjoys all the lit-up buildings at night. And the stars. And the moon. Now that's a garden.

 

Virginia A. Smith Inquirer Staff Writer
About this blog
Ginny Smith, a Philadelphia native, joined the Inquirer at 1985. After stints as both reporter and editor in the city and suburbs, she’s been happily writing – and learning - about gardening full time since 2006. She’s won two silver medals of achievement from the national Garden Writers Association and in 2011, Bartram’s Garden honored her with its Green Exemplar award for her stories about “the region’s deeply rooted horticultural history, cultural attractions and bountiful gardens.” She plays in her own – mostly - bountiful garden in East Falls. Reach Virginia A. at vsmith@phillynews.com .

Virginia A. Smith Inquirer Staff Writer
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