Category Archives: decor

124 Merton Street, a Boutique Office Building, Yields Bountiful Crops and Inspiration for Artist/Chef Vivian Reiss

Most office buildings are cloistered away from nature, let alone agriculture. One exception is the Toronto’s www.124merton.com  a boutique office building, whose bounteous crops reap benefits for the tenants both local and international. Owner, artist, designer and chef, Vivian Reiss has been … Continue reading

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“It’s a Long Long Time From May to December”

         “Maypole” Columnar Apple Tree in Bloom on the Rooftop Garden 124 Merton Street in May 2011            The song , “It’s a long, long time from May to December”, chronicles the stages of love, womanhood and relationships. In retrospect the “Malus Maypole’s” journey … Continue reading

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“To V. or not to V.” The 3rd Act

The invitation to my birthday party read,               ”To v. or not to v.?” That is the question. Come to a birthday party to celebrate my birth, rebirth and the birth of William Shakespeare. I’ll supply the Elizabethan feast, please supply … Continue reading

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Getting to The Root of the Matter, How Deep Are Your Roots?

If you think; ” a new broom sweeps clean,” is a refreshing adage, you have no idea of how the concept of getting to the root of my garden’s suffocation and plague is rejuvenating. After all, a new broom is only sweeping away … Continue reading

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Tomato Panic or Red Alert [or yellow, purple, white, pink or maybe, striped alert]

Last week I had a tomato panic. I found out that Doris Giardino, who grew my beautiful heritage tomato seedlings for my www.124merton.com rooftop garden, was not growing them again this year. What would become of the annual tomato tasting? … Continue reading

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Sow to Sew

 Last year my boulevard garden yielded, as far as I know, 100% of Canada’s cotton crop. Continuing my quest to  live off the land in the city and grow “wearables” not just edibles, it was time to plant this year’s … Continue reading

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Toronto Star Article “Artist in Residence: Vivian Reiss”

New article on me in the Toronto Star.  http://www.thestar.com/article/932594–artist-in-residence-vivian-reiss Artist in Residence: Vivian Reiss – thestar.com Outside, it is your standard, upscale red brick Annex house. Inside, it could be the domicile of the love child of Scheherazade and Salvador … Continue reading

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Ground Provisions, St. John US VI

Buying groceries at the local supermarket named Starfish, I was also perusing the aisles for local fare. The only thing I came up with were basketful’s of tubers; tania, local sweet potatoes and yams. They were positioned in baskets next to several varieties of  potatoes. … Continue reading

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Banana Bird

   I am on the furthest eastward point of St. John US VI in a beautiful rented villa open to the sea and air on all sides. The only discordant part of the gorgeous setting and decor are the fake indoor plants that … Continue reading

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The Birthday; A Delight At Any Age

Touring Hungary, several years ago, I had to laugh as we passed Lake Balaton. Even being used to flowery Hungarian exaggerations, the fact that Hungary is a landlocked nation, and that Lake Balaton is the largest lake in central Europe, Balaton, didn’t seem to be “the … Continue reading

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Happy Chanukah, the latke mobile menorah

 Years ago, I went to a garage sale and loaded a cardboard box with old kitchen gadgets, pots, pans and even an old oil tin from the basement of the sale.  When I arrived home, I noticed that the muffin tin … Continue reading

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Bull’s Blood Beets

I planted several varieties of beets in my garden including, “Golden, Early Wonder, Flat of Egypt and Chioggio.” They range from the lovely pale anemic beet, “Albino”, to the “Bull’s Blood” beet that bleeds a healthy iron red from the moment I cut the … Continue reading

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On the Boulevard: My Front Chard

One of the most beautiful, healthy and delicious parts of my garden is my “front chard”. It grows  between the sidewalk and the road on a patch about  140 square feet ,which is about the size of a large Tokyo apartment or … Continue reading

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Summer Squash: Sunshine

In the third quarter of July, I noticed a little empty space in the garden leading to the house. It was a stubborn piece of earth. In that spot, I had tried several times to germinate watermelon seeds and seeds from particularly … Continue reading

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Too many tomatoes? Let’s play ketchup

The rays of the late afternoon sun are lengthening and what seemed impossible two months earlier is now a reality; there are too many tomatoes to eat and too little time to enjoy them. There has to be a way … Continue reading

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“Living in Full Color” in Today’s Toronto Star by Vanessa Lu

  Living in full colour On a tree-lined street in the Annex, passersby are struck by giant corn stalks, just part of a whimsical, colourful garden that’s the brainchild of artist Vivian Reiss. You can view this story at: http://www.thestar.com/yourcitymycity/article/856689–living-in-full-colour  … Continue reading

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When the Garden Was Just a Twinkle in the Elephant’s Eye

 In the post of August 29th, I was struggling to measure the broom corn with a ten foot pole. I needed a fifteen foot pole to touch the tops of the corn. In this photo if you look at the tiny … Continue reading

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In my garden:The corn is definately higher than an elephant’s eye

The front yard and boulevard have become a destination garden for many. Among the streams of admirer’s yesterday an elderly couple remarked, “Your corn is higher than an elephant’s eye.” Behold the scientific study in my garden.

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Clockwork orange

orange in the garden,caro rich tomatoes,carrots,orange stemmed chard,nasturtiums and marigolds  Like clockwork, a year to the day, since our last year’s tomato tasting, Corey Mintz shows up at my door to borrow a cup of tomatoes. He was bearing my … Continue reading

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A toast to the tomato: tomato tasting, part 3

This is the recipe I created after last year’s tomato tasting . I used cinnamon bread because the taste of cinnamon and basil are reminiscent of each other. Cinnamon French Toast topped with Tomato Salad Make a tomato salad following “The Remains of … Continue reading

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Tomato tasting: Part 4; Goddess Salad

Ariel and Rachel have been  friends since they met at Frosh week at university. The two would sit at my kitchen island as I fed them delicacies that I had just cooked. Rachel would sometimes refer to me as “The Chocolate Goddess.”I think … Continue reading

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Tomato tasting : This Clint Eastwood is a dud not a dude

 The invitation read There are many words to describe the taste of wines, but we invite you to conquer new frontiers with words to describe the taste of Tomatoes. You are invited to attend our Tomato Tasting where we will … Continue reading

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Corn-servation

 Buying supplies for my rooftop garden, I had an after thought.” Why not try growing corn in the planters? I am sure it will look beautiful and rustic.” I picked up a cell pack of corn seedlings and headed up to the garden … Continue reading

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There will be cotton

Today, I noticed our cotton is growing fat bolls. When they burst we will have cotton. Cotton has been cultivated for 7,000 years, but is this a first for Canada?

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And sandwich

The favorite sandwich of my youth, hardly requires a recipe. Slice a tomato. Spread one side of a slice of rye bread, and yes, it must be rye, with mayonnaise. Top with tomato slices and another piece of rye bread. … Continue reading

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