Monday, August 30, 2010

Concrete De Rigueur

Its East Flatbush but really it could be almost anywear in Crooklyn. It could be a brownstone in Park Slope . They all got these teeny-tiny front yards and in many cases they are layed with concrete . This is the concrete of old too. Back then pouring to code meant  every home got a 20" slab. You havn't lived until you've tryed to remove even a portion of that . All this is to say is there is no shame in raising the bed instead, especially if you end up with something this awesome.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Dwarf Boxwood - Alien Messages??

I think I finally figured out why 'Green Gem' boxwood is so popular. This spindly little dwarf cultivar is the number one seller in the greater NYC area. The answer is in Dyker Heights in Southwest Brooklyn. One of many Brooklyn neighborhoods Jay Z doesn't rap about.  The houses are monsters. The yards are, well, come on, there ARE yards! In fact this yard was so big they landscaped a portion into a message for Aliens. As the owner explained ...'This symbol encourages them to don't even stop for gas, keep flying.'

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Hot Pink Hibiscus

Im not at all ready for summer to end. Its happening though. A couple days free of the humidity and we feel like we're on the West coast . The Universe makes the transition days and nights so pleasent we can pretend winter isn't behind them gusty winds of change. So this pic is to me, all summer,  -a Hibiscus painted on the spur of the moment by my incredably talented girlfriend - Lindsey. Its one of several she did one afternoon at the beach not long ago. Been begging her to frame and present it and more like it. Maybe this will help.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Gilligans' Island

So if you walked onto Pier 41 in the last 3 years during the summer months you've seen this.  'Gilligans' Island' was created as part of a series of display gardens I made for Liberty Sunset GC in Red Hook. This one was at the rear entrance, off VanDyke. At the time the 'garden center' was actually a 10,000 sf  lot filled with junk. As it happened I had brought in 25 yards of sand to help with drainage. The boat was on its' way to the dump when the proverbial lightbulb moment struck and i interupted. Working quickly before anyone could object, I hopped in the nearest Bobcat, picked up the biggest boulder i could, and manipulated it into place. Then I raced back and forth scooping bucket fulls of sand around the massive rock. Finally, I went back to the lot and this time  picked up the boat. As soon as I set the bow ontop of the boulder, all the naysayers and weird looks subsided. At that point I think everyone saw the possiblity. We had access to a arsenal of tropicals, 25 ft Yuccas, etc. -Not exactly a group of plants indigineous to NYC! I pulled out as many as I could get Sandor to part with. More about Sandor another time.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Music Videos for Gardeners

So this is a screen grab from the first of a series of vids I'm making for Edible Brooklyn.

Gettiing beyond RED mulch.

I had seen blue mulch before at wholesale landscape supply places. Once i saw a hug bin of it. Now that RED MULCH is accepted as a normal application  i guess there is no limit. I look forward to ORANGE and YELLOW mulch. And duh,....what about GREEN MULCH?? Seems so obvious.  Nature  has yet to produce these vibrant colors. A bold touch like the one pictured in this Crown Hts tree pit can electrifies an entire neighborhood!

Monday, August 16, 2010

These boots were made for Lobelia

Found these in a planter box in front of store front at Henry and State Streets....I admit to having owned boots that were so perpetually covered in dirt it seems plausable that one day they might suddenly have 'sprouted'.  It never occured to me to take the pre-emptive gardening tack.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Mr. Fancy Pants sez...

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

A Flat Surface Does Not a Garden Make

A flat surface is a farm. The difference between Suzy Homemaker’s flower bed and The Fancy Pants landscape designer dude has a lot to do with elevation and grade changes. For example, when we look at nature and call it beautiful, what we are seeing are grade and elevation changes in the ground plane. Similarly we are seeing changes with plant material. We’re also seeing formal vs. “wild” landscape elements. If the scenery is too far in one direction or another, generally we don’t like it, and prefer a mix of the wild and the formal landscape. Presumptious? Yeah pretty much.

Jenny & Martin's Roof

We just finished this Boerem Hill rooftop garden for Jenny & Martin. We decided to have the upper level focus on ornamentals and made sure there was room for EATING! The Cleome (in foreground) haven't bloomed yet in this pic from early June...

She's watering the neighbors' trees!

Once again this year I did a stint at The Brooklyn Botanic Gardens, working as a first round judge
for their 'Greenest Block in Brooklyn' contest. Its the ultimate garden tour . For 2 weeks me, another Judge, and our driver looked at the 220 blocks that entered this year from all corners of Brooklyn. Brooklyn is HUGE of course and I have to say , REALLY missunderstood. Sure there are some desolate areas, even dead zones, but there are also vast stretches with huge stately homes and big yards that are landscaped to the 9's. So many neighborhoods, each with a character all its own. A big 'D' style of diversity. Take East Flatbush for example. Lots of ornate shiney metal gates and chrome window bars. Lots of orange brick row houses. And lots of people who really take pride in all of it . Like this woman. She's tiny, she's elderly, she has medical probs, its 95 degrees out...and she's watering all the street trees on her block. Fuckin' A! Thats a gardener!