Archive for the ‘Spring 2010’ Category

Dogs in Tutus: Do You Plant Other Things With Your Trees?

I read somewhere that ringing a majestic tree with a base of flowering annuals is like forcing your dog wear frilly underwear or a tutu. Something like that. Now ever time I a ring of impatiens or begonias around the base of a tree, I laugh.

But, we do have flowers planted along with the few small trees that we have in our roof garden. We just have so many plants we want to grow and just a few containers. What do you think about flowers under potted trees?

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Would You Ever Make a Terrarium Table?

Our small, shared roof garden needs to fit people, a patio table and chairs, a few lounge chairs, two grills, and the occasional dog or two. And then there’s the plants! We’re running out of space for plants! While Sunset Magazine’s table-as-container-garden would create a special new space for plants, it is not so practical.

Umbrella planters are a more straight forward way to bring plants to the patio table.

Image: Sunset Magazine

Blue Notes: Vespa + Hydrangea

Cool blue container garden inspiration, fresh from the West Village.

I’m thinking about adding a hydrangea to our roof garden next year.

Glorious! Growing Morning Glories on a Roof Garden

Check out M & P’s stunning wall of morning glories. Last spring, they built their own trellis and trained the vines to grow up a roof garden wall covered with rust stains.

Here’s the same wall earlier in the season:

This is a great example of turning a challenge in your city garden space into a feature. The wall gives these vines some shelter from wind and full day sun.

For more pics of this Jersey City garden, check out my post from last summer. If you’re growing vines on your roof garden, please let me know and send some photos if you can!

Photos: M in Jersey City

You Must Visit Williamsburg’s Jungle Garden

Got out of work early on Friday and made a beeline to Brooklyn to check out the Jungle Garden store at 61 Kent Avenue (between N. 10th and N. 11th). Do you know another garden center that plays dance music?

The place has an approachable, energetic feeling. I was so ready to lay back in one of the vintage lounge chairs and cruise their huge variety of plants.  They have a smart collection of Brooklyn-friendly plants like succulents and roof garden friendly plants including grasses and the purple salvia I picked up.

Lupins need moist soil and protection from summer winds – so they aren’t a fit for our roof garden. Still, a stunning plant to go visit.

Good night, Moon Vine

The vision was a night garden, of sorts, with white flowers on the moon vine and in the hanging basket above. We wanted vines to soften the space. Instead, the moon vine got these spotted leaves and just looked sad. My mom think I over-watered it. I wonder if it was too windy or the pole got too hot.

I get weirdly sad about killing these plants, tearing them out before they are totally done. But our roof garden is a shared space for the entire building and I don’t want it looking un-cared-for. Flatbush Gardener tweeted to cheer me up: “I have no time to mourn all the plants I’ve killed!”

We replaced the moon vine with this stunning English ivy trained up a trellis from a flori$t in the West Village. We planted three geraniums with vinca vines at the base. The new planting — we’ll get some pix once it settles in a bit — feels a bit formal for our garden and rather Republican somehow. But R* and I both like geraniums, they remind us of his mum’s back garden in England. They also grow amazingly well in sun-soaked containers.

Rosemary, Begonia and Pelargonium Window Boxes at Hotel Delmano

There’s a lot to swoon over at Hotel Delmano in Williamsburg, Brooklyn: the cocktails, the yuppie snacks, and the steampunk smashed with speakeasy style of the place. Me? My favorite part was their window boxes.

They serve a drink here called the Granny Polite – white port mixed with fresh lemon and tonic.  Pelargonium and begonias, usually thought of as polite granny plants, are mixed up with mint and thyme for a fresh look. Skinny silvery rosemary leans out of the boxes, kind of like the hipster dudes walking past the sidewalk bar. (I haven’t seen a local Brooklyn source for Perlargonium geraniums; I might order some of these geraniums from Logee’s next year. Read more about scented geraniums on design*sponge.)

These creative plantings do an amazing job of echoing the mood of the bar. I’d like to ask the garden why they also included dalhias in these boxes. They stood out as the one off note to me.