the call I didn’t want to make

I have started losing sleep about the shows.  And some would say “it’s about time!”   We just scored some fabulous windows from Serious Solutions to run across the front and back of the stone and green wall Penthouse we are putting on our rooftop.  Brent was half-way through building it when dawned on me that the size and number of windows he had asked for would make THE PENTHOUSE WAS WAY TOO BIG!  It would not fit with all the other really cool things that were being built, sent or created.   Now, if this garden was for a client I would simply make adjustments, cut something and give some plausible explanation as to why we were making changes.  But, you’ve got to understand,  

all the 18 or so contributers to this amazing adventure are now fully vested in this Green Garden.  What could I possibly cut,  the sprouting log, chicken- wire coffee tables, or some  of the succulents for the roof  that have been lovingly forced in T & L Nurseries hothouse in all those wonderful Green Grids from Weston Solution.  NO, NO none of it can go.  It is going to all be so great.  Nothing can be cut.


The only answer, call Brent and tell him he has cut 5 feet off the the entire structure.  I knew he had just spent the last few nights building this thing to perfection.  It was 11:30pm New York time and I was pretty sure he would be working in his studio near Seattle.  But I really did not want to do this. This is the landscape contractor that I talk more than anyone I live or work with.  The man who has already cut yards of steel and welded large chunks into 70 separate planter.  The man who has already built a 900 square foot platform that could fold up after Seattle, be trucked to San Francisco and fit together like a puzzle for that show a month later.  This is not the best time to say “are you working off the old plan or the new one?”  

I made the call,  and of course he’s working late, he had already had a sinking feeling based on the email I had sent questioning the size of windows compared to the size of the penthouse.  But, they sure make ‘em different in In Seattle.  He took it great, said it must have been his mistake, though I’m not so sure.  We spent another hour on the phone and worked out a compromise where nothing would have to be cut.

Brent Bissell is a GEM.  I asked if he would move to New York and work with me forever.  He just laughed and  I just left it at that.  



This article was posted in Garden Shows, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Follow comments with the RSS feed for this post. Both comments and trackbacks are closed.


  1. Posted January 17, 2009 at 1:24 am | Permalink

    I am so excited to see you have a blog. To me that means your site will be updated more regularly so maybe we will get to see a little more of your work!! thank you. You have been an inspiration to me.

  2. Fern Girl
    Posted January 17, 2009 at 2:15 pm | Permalink

    Fun to read about your trials and tribulations. I wish I could go to Seattle and see the result myself. I’m sure you will have great pictures as your sight is filled with them. Seems like there are lots more since last I looked. Keep em coming.

  3. rebecca
    Posted January 17, 2009 at 4:57 pm | Permalink

    I’m excited and perplexed by the blogging process just as I once was by gardening…thanks for watching me grow. I promise Fern we will have great photos….Garden Design is going to be shooting it and they know how to make everything look good. And as for the website, yes we have really been working on it lately and have put over a thousand new photos on just to keep you inspired Karlene.