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My friend and colleague, Peter Walsh, the editor of Gardening & Outdoor Living stopped by yesterday to offer ideas on how I might enhance our small urban terrace. Much to my surprise, he suggested that I build a little tuteur. It wasn’t so much that I could have a tuteur (he knew I’d been thinking about this kind of garden structure just days ago—see my post from 7/7), it was that I should have a tuteur. You see one of the plants on my terrace is an unwieldly flowering jasmine, given to me by a friend for my birthday a couple of years ago. “That plant wants something to climb on,” Peter told me. “If you built a small tuteur from bamboo stakes bound at the top with wire or raffia, the plant would grow all over it in no time.”
So a tiny tuteur I will make. And I may add a trellis of some kind, too, which Peter also recommended and which I also have been wanting to create. Because I have a motley bunch of plants in terra-cotta containers on the concrete floor, Peter also suggested raising them up on a tiered French plant stand like the one from Smith & Hawken shown here. The advantage of this kind of planter is that its light leggy construction will keep our compact terrace from feeling crowded while giving the plants more access to the sun. Alternatively, he proposed crafting a single planter box and placing the various plants inside to unify the collection and keep the appearance of the small terrace clean. The
photo above from a book he loaned me called Climbing Gardens by Joan Clifton (Firefly Books) illustrates the idea, though this terrace is about 10 times the size of ours. I’ll consider both options and talk to my husband about a plan (he has strong opinions about the terrace—and nothing will happen there without his whole-hearted consent). Thanks for the good ideas, Peter. That was just the kind of curb appeal advice I needed.