is this considered garden therapy?

May 12th, 2011 | Posted by Jill in garden - (6 Comments)

I know, I know. I said last week I’d be sharing my plans for the front garden, but I haven’t quite gotten around to it yet. For shame! Between trips for work, a flight home to surprise my mom for Mother’s Day, and one excited kitten who still needs a home, I couldn’t get it done.

But that doesn’t mean I don’t cringe every time I walk out my front door and see this:

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And that photo was taken almost a month ago! Imagine monster weeds everywhere and me, looking away in shame as my eyesore of a front “garden” sticks out like a sore thumb next to the beautiful purple irises and roses next door. The view from the street is not much better:

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Weeds, weeds, and more weeds. Plus a giant stump that’s being (poorly) hidden by last year’s spent chrysanthemums and this year’s new growth. Ugh.

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We did spend time last week pulling weeds, but it mostly gave us a chance to speculate more about the weird feature of the garden that trumps all the broken glass, petrified chicken bones, crowbar, knife, and other miscellaneous trash that’s been dumped over the years. What we’re really perplexed by is the metal sheeting that’s found throughout. Is it ancient landscaping liner? A trap door to a secret underground passage? We will never know until we start digging it out…

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On a more positive note, I’m in love with these stamped vintage bricks from ARCHER which once edged the entire area. We don’t yet have a plan to re-use them but I definitely want to incorporate them into the garden. Does anyone know anything about this brickmaker? I found this reference to C. & G. A. Archer, a company from Haverstraw, NY that used to make bricks around the turn of the century:

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Yes, there’s a ton to do to make this into a useable space that looks halfway decent, but I am excited to tackle this project – hopefully before it starts getting too hot. Though I plan to share an actual design soon, the idea is pretty simple: I can’t wait to grow herbs, tomatoes, lettuce, and other veggies in pots on the stoop and along the concrete path nearest to the house. We already have window boxes which will be filled with more herbs and flowers, too. And I’ve pinned plenty of garden ideas and inspiration over at Pinterest, so it’s just a matter of turning them into reality!

Beyond the edibles, my plan isn’t quite solid yet, but I’d love to include some tall grasses, native plants we fell in love with at the Botanic Garden sale, and more fragrant herbs like lavender de Provence and sage. Oh, and it’s no secret I’m in love with the idea of having a Brooklyn fig tree in the yard. Maybe someday?

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For the last several weeks, we’ve been watching our front garden fill up with dandelions and thorny weeds and creeping ivy. In past years, Zach and I have had a blast planting container gardens on our fire escape (and making boatloads of fresh summery pesto), but this project is much more daunting for new gardeners like us. We’re super excited!

Over the next few days, I hope to share our tentative plans for the front garden. Hopefully we’ll be able to upgrade it from an eyesore to a multi-functioning space for our herbs, veggies, and a few flowers to brighten the urban landscape! This weekend, we got a kick start on the herb-and-veggie portion of the plan. Can’t wait for those sweet peas and hot peppers to start blooming!

Now: off to the Brooklyn Botanic Garden for their annual plant sale!

blossoms and a little amaryllis cheer

March 24th, 2011 | Posted by Jill in garden - (1 Comments)

Speaking of spring, in the past two days the little amaryllis bulbs my parents brought me on their recent trip to Brooklyn have come into full bloom — even if they’re dreadfully late to the party! A cheap thrill, yes, but they always bring a smile to my face no matter what time of year!

Hot Tip: Magic is currently on display in the greenhouse of the C.V. Starr Bonsai Museum at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden. Over the weekend, I stumbled across the beautiful collection of bonsai displaying their amazing fall foliage in brilliant reds, oranges, and yellows. Breathtaking and awe-inspiring. Definitely recommended!

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