Eric, In reading your last letter (Frosty Nights and Tropical Warmth), I left 2014 feeling good and with a smile on my face and I agree with you regarding Plinth et al. and how far it has come. We have encountered a lot of interesting people and opportunities since starting this project and I hope this year will be just as good, with more interviews and projects in the works already. We seem to be off to a good start though and I am eager to hear about and see images of your trip to Taiwan, a place I have never been but always dreamed of traveling to. The change in weather, food and people must have been a welcome change from the freezing cold temperatures of Pennsylvania. But while you were off exploring beautiful places, I was having an adventure of my own. Somewhere between the 25th of December and the 1st of January, I changed apartments in Madrid and I will never think, again in my life, that this is an appropriate time of year to change houses... My biggest concern with moving had to do with my plants and it pleases me to say that no plant was left behind and there was only one broken pot of Sansevieria cylindrica upon arrival, now safely replanted and recovering.
There was not enough space (or light) for all of my plants in the last apartment but I am ecstatic about having a larger terrace at my new place. My mind is already racing with ideas and my sketchbook has become active again. Of course I decided it is a must to grow some of the standard Mediterranean fare, such as a fig tree, a lemon tree, rosemary and Punica granatum. In my mind the terrace is already running out of space with all the other things I will acquire at the nurseries too as the list in my notebook grows much longer each time I step outside to ponder ideas.
The terrace (with attached apartment) is on the 10th floor, the highest I've ever lived, and it has unobstructed views over the city towards the Sierra mountains, which are currently snow capped. Seeing this view is like having one foot in the city and one foot in the countryside, which works well for me. While there is not much to see out there on the terrace yet, except for green tips of emerging bulbs in containers, I did find a gecko living on the terrace, whom I am now trying to over winter with some of my plants in a protected spot, my first official pet. Seeing the city from this vantage point up high puts it into perspective for me how different things were when I arrived a little over a year ago. Never did I think I would be in this situation, living among palms and working in a flower shop, and speaking spanish, but it is a treat, a real pleasure now that I have adjusted. Spain and I are an odd pair but one that works, similar to this combination of cyperus and Colorado blue spruce I recently saw in a courtyard garden. I just might try this one out on the terrace too.... Speak soon my friend. - J