It never seems to matter how deep into the thick of winter we are. The moment a warm, sunny day arrives, even as the faintest flash of light on an otherwise cold, foreboding horizon, the garden inquiries come flooding in.
And the general tone of the inquiries?
It seems that everyone blessed with an outdoor oasis in the midst of the concrete jungle experiences the same sequence of emotions.
1) Absolute Elation at having secured rare yet game-changing private outdoor space in NYC
2) A sense of desperation and overwhelming anxiety once they realize they have no idea what to do with the space, be it a blank slate or an overgrown mess
In the making of a backyard garden in Greenpoint, Brooklyn
Stone path, wooden gazebo, and bistro lights to accent the wild-like garden
Whether you have space for a backyard patio or a container garden on your rooftop or balcony, before scheduling a garden consultation, I recommend the following course of action:
A modern and minimal rooftop terrace with a Mediterranean vibe
1) Before even considering design, book a spring clean up. That way you can see the forest through the trees, as it were
2) Once the space is all cleaned up, approach it as you would any new space, namely, ask yourself what its purpose will be and how it will be used. Will it simply be a place of tranquility you would like to view from the other side of your kitchen window? Or would you like to venture out into it? Dine outside? Entertain outside, or have a play area for your kids?
3) What are your priorities? Is there an eyesore somewhere you would like to cover with vines and greenery? Would you like to create immediate privacy?
4) What is your garden aesthetic? Even if you know nothing about plants, ask yourself whether you like things leafy and wild, structured and architectural, or somewhere between the two. What is the aesthetic of your home’s interior, and to what extend would you like to carry that look outdoors? Would you like to close the space up for intimacy and privacy, or open it up for a feeling of expansiveness and views?
5) Lastly, what sort of commitment can you make to garden maintenance, whether you hire someone else or take it on yourself? Be aware that there is no such thing as garden that requires no maintenance. But perhaps you can ask your designer for something low-maintenance if that is what makes the most sense for you.
For those of you DIYers out there who are not sure where to start, contact us for more information about our new Green Thumb Service being offered!
A “living centerpiece” adds a beautiful touch to an outdoor table, and it can last the whole season!
This might all feel like a lot to wrap your head around now, but it’s early still, and really, planning an urban garden is no different than planning an indoor space. I always approach gardens the way I approach any interiors I am hired to do floral décor for. Determine first how the space will be used. The rest of the plan will follow!
As for those of you not blessed with an outdoor space – there is still Spring hope for you yet and I will make the same recommendations to you. Get to cleaning and organizing. And once it is all put together, treat yourself to a vase full of flowering branches. If you bring new life in addition to fresh air into your homes– you will feel as though you’ve welcomed spring!