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Posts Tagged ‘4-H’

Jeffrey's Childhood Garden Created for a 4-H Project

When I think about 2012 I am excited by a lineup of fantastic projects. I look forward to tackling new design challenges and creating even better gardens. I never miss the opportunity to reflect on how lucky I am to do what I do. I love my work and I love sharing it with others. From my humble first backyard bed my father built, to a magnificent Manhattan penthouse terrace, the gratification I get from completing a well planned garden is always rewarding.

Planting a Knot Garden with Germander

From a very young age I spent summers working in gardens behind our house. It all started in a 10′ x 10′ raised planting bed which I cared for as part of my local 4-H program. No education can replace the experiences I had watching my Castor Bean (Ricinus communis) prosper, or clipping my Germander (Teucrium chamaedrys) into a small hedge. It is the knowledge I gained from years of gardening that brought me to the place I am at today.

Planting Annuals While Volunteering at a Local Park

I now realize that my fingernails will perpetually have soil underneath them and my farmer’s tan will always grace the back of my neck. They are merely visual reminders of my passion for plants and landscape design. I wish you a happy, healthy and prosperous New Year. Life is too short to do something that doesn’t make you happy. Once you know what that is, don’t let it go!

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Brook Lawn Farm Market, Outbuildings

Forgive me for diverging from my focus on urban gardens and rooftops, but I must share some photos from my visit to Pennsylvania this past weekend. It does in fact tie into the work I do here in New York City. My parents own and operate Brook Lawn Farm Market in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. The farm was started by my grandparents who purchased the land in the heart of Lancaster when they were married.

Click here for more info: http://agmap.psu.edu/Businesses/1218  They grow the best peaches and sweet corn in Lancaster. The farm is strictly produce, and is the reason I participated in 4-H as a youngster.

For the past two years I transported fall pumpkins, gourds and decorations from Brook Lawn into NYC to jazz up my client’s gardens in Autumn. The fall colors and textures really enhance the gardens at a time of year when they start to look drab. This is also an excellent way to bring interest into shady backyards which cannot support the typical mums or other fall annuals which still need sunlight to look good. While I was in Lancaster this weekend, I snapped some shots of baby pumpkins and gourds. It is amazing to watch them forming on the vines as the blossoms fade. Brook Lawn saves the seeds of the best gourds and pumpkins every year and have established an amazing collection of things you cannot find anywhere else.  

Blossoms on Pumpkin Plants

Jeffrey Erb Hunting for Pumpkins

Baby Gourd

Baby Snake Gourd, Will Grow to 3' Long

       

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