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Posts Tagged ‘Jeffrey Erb’

In the seven years I’ve lived in New York City, this is by far the worst winter I have ever seen. The snow is relentless and is clearly overstaying its welcome. While stuck inside today I am sorting through spring plantings from past seasons. If you have spring fever like me, it’s never too early to treat your symptoms and begin planning your first seasonal planting of the year. Check out these ideas and tips to create a fresh look once warmer weather rolls around!

Hellebore, Heather, Pansies and Grape Hyacinth Create a Sophisticated Spring Planting

Hellebore, Heather, Pansies and Grape Hyacinth Create a Sophisticated Spring Planting

Restrain Your Color Palette to Create an Understated Spring Planting

Restrain Your Color Palette to Create an Understated Spring Planting

Instead of using every available color in your planting try picking one or two hues and stick with them. We used Heather and Hellebore in the above planting as neutrals to balance out the yellow and purple in the Pansies (Viola x wittrockiana) and Grape Hyacinth (Muscari). I feel plantings that have flower colors of the same value or saturation are more pleasing than those of high contrast. The more contrast there is between light and dark colors the more attention the planting draws. More often than not I prefer plantings that are easy on the eye, not ones that scream “look at me!”

Torenia and Pansies Grace this NYC Rooftop Garden

Torenia and Pansies Grace this NYC Rooftop Garden

Spring Planting with Flowers at Different Heights Draws Your Eye Through the Garden

Spring Planting with Flowers at Different Heights Draws Your Eye Through the Garden

In spring, when deciduous trees and shrubs are just beginning to leaf out and the landscape is just waking up, a spring planting can add a ton of visual interest. Use plantings of different heights, or in planters of different heights to draw your eye through the landscape. Your eye will follow the spots of color and if repeated throughout a garden, the color will create movement in an otherwise dull space.

Transitional Late Spring Early Summer Planting with Caladium and Columbine

Transitional Late Spring Early Summer Planting with Caladium and Columbine

Classic White Hydrangeas, a Simple Spring Planting

Classic White Hydrangeas, a Simple Spring Planting

If in doubt, keep your planting simple. White Hydrangeas create a very clean and soothing look for spring. However, it’s my job as a landscape designer to create unique planting combinations. Don’t be afraid to use perennials in a planter for a seasonal planting. You can always replant the perennials into a planting bed once the display is changed out. Columbine (Aquilegia), Caladiums and Alyssum were combined to create a muted look for this late spring/early summer transitional planting. The texture of the broad heart-shaped Caladium leaves against the tiny white flowing flowers of the Alyssum is divine.

I hope some of these pictures help you look past the current blizzard and start dreaming of spring. There is no better cure for spring fever than planning your garden and picking out plants that inspire you!

Current blog avatar          Remodeling and Home Design

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A Lightweight Deck Solution is Removable Should the Renter Decide to Move

A Lightweight Deck Solution is Removable Should the Renter Decide to Move

This renter wanted to take advantage of killer financial district and Wall Street views…. and I don’t blame them. With a terrace like this, you want to be able to use every square inch! We added lightweight fiberglass planters with specimen Japanese Maples for height.

 
Specimen Japanese Maples add Height to This Garden

Specimen Japanese Maples add Height to This Garden

A lightweight decking solution was installed over the existing concrete pavers. That goes for the synthetic lawn as well. Should the renter decide to move, they get to take their deck and  grass with them (if they so choose).

Killer Views of Wall Street and the Financial District as Seen from this Terrace Garden

Killer Views of Wall Street and the Financial District as Seen from this Terrace Garden

The renter added their funky flare with bold furniture pieces and textiles. Low voltage lighting sets the mood at night, and creates a fabulous place to soak in the scenery.

Current blog avatar          Remodeling and Home Design

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Jeffrey gives a garden quick tip to take your lighting to the next level. Enhance lighting that you already have by adding another level of fixtures. Learn how to add more glow to your garden by placing lights strategically.

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A Soho Roof Garden with Custom Pergola

Jeffrey Erb Landscape Design was busy creating wonderful gardens in 2012. However, some of them are only going to be in full bloom for the first time this season and we can’t wait to share them with you. Until the plants are in full leaf, we thought we would give you a sneak peek of some of our newest gardens.

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Tiered Planters Offer Multiple Levels of Vegetation in Soho

This Soho rooftop now features a custom pergola to escape from the hot summer sunshine. Custom tiered planters offer two levels of flowering vegetation. We utilized the method of color blocking to create groupings of perennials within a set range of colors.

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A Retaining Wall Doubles as a Planting Bed and Sitting Ledge

A chic backyard in Greenwich Village has been completely gut renovated. New bluestone pavers, a retaining wall and custom decking give the space a whole new feel. Our plantings will be highlighted by a low voltage lighting system.

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The Gut Renovated Garden is Ready for Planting, Vines will Cover the Trellis

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Custom Planters Fit into the Corner of this Midtown Penthouse

Midtown Manhattan never looked better than from the roof of this private penthouse. Custom fiberglass planters anchor the edge of a deck which sits above a luxurious rooftop lawn. We installed over 250 square feet of live sod on this rooftop. The four-legged resident of the house is thrilled!

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Over 250 Square Feet of Live Sod in Midtown Manhattan

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Jeffrey  presents a quick tip for your garden and shows some simple flooring options to easily disguise concrete pavers. Flooring can make an outdoor space feel inviting and complete. Altering flooring materials throughout a garden can also help to break up a large area into smaller more intimate “rooms.” Let us know what you’ve done with your concrete pavers or patio flooring!

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Planters at Grace Plaza at Night

Yesterday evening I walked by Grace Plaza located at 43rd street and 6th Avenue in the heart of midtown Manhattan. Though the renovations on this plaza were completed several months ago, this is the first time I saw the space at night. My first impression was skewed by the overwhelming abundance of light fixtures present. I’ve written on the positive effects of uplighting in a garden, but Grace Plaza has up, down and all around lighting.

Accent Lighting Under Metal Benches

I applaud the plaza design from Moed de Armas & Shannon Architects which is quite restrained and classy. The benches and integrated granite seating work well with the overall layout. Even the STK Steakhouse blends into the architecture of the space. Each large granite planter has integrated lights pointing towards the paving as well as uplights focused on the trees. Each tree has additional downlights attached to the branches which act as spotlights. I found that more than a few of the downlights are poorly positioned and shine in your face as you walk by. That is a big no-no for me in garden design. Lighting should enhance elements of a garden, not blind you.

Additional Uplights and Granite Benches With Integrated Lighting

I take into account that the positioning of the downlights may be a maintenance issue, but it’s important nonetheless. It seems almost every bench, wall, handrail and feature of the plaza has some kind of integrated lighting. Make no mistake that the detailing is very well done, it’s just the overall effect that I wish was adjusted. Perhaps in summer when there is more greenery the lighting will seem more toned down. Stay tuned for an update come May.

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This plaza serves as an entry to the stately 48 story building at 1633 Broadway. Located in the heart of the theater district, Paramount Plaza gets tons of foot traffic which is all the more reason for my disappointment when I saw their fall planting.

Paramount Plaza Looking East Towards Broadway

One large Chrysanthemum was plunked in the middle of each planter. The plantings don’t have any imagination or whimsy and because of the intermixed colors it looks like an afterthought.  There are so many better options for fall annuals and foliage displays that Chrysanthemums are obsolete from a design perspective.

Paramount Plaza Fall Plantings

This planting was a missed opportunity to wow visitors and draw attention to Paramount Plaza’s real estate. The planters are screaming for something with height to match the scale of the surrounding street trees. What if they used Pennisetum rubrum for its tall deep red leaves, or even ‘Purple Majesty’ Ornamental Millet. That would set the stage for a whole new classy feel with lots of contrast in height and color.

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28th Street is bursting with new plant life. Known as the floral district, I commonly refer to this stretch between 6th and 7th Avenue as the plant street. The sidewalks are lined with vegetative anomalies all year long. Just the other day I made a trip to plant street and was delighted to find the entire city block had the sweet smell of Hyacinth. If you don’t have time to make it to the New York Botanical Garden’s Orchid show just take 5 minutes to walk this street and you’ll have your fix.

28th Street Looking Towards 6th Avenue

The Floral District in Manhattan

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St. Patrick’s day should be a gardener’s favorite holiday. What’s not to love about
a day of feasting, indulging and celebrating all things green? In honor of this
once religious holiday, I am celebrating one of my favorite annnual plants.
Moluccella laevis, known more commonly as Bells of Ireland, is a fantastic
addition to any garden.

The spikey flowers easily reach 24″ tall in full bloom. Modified lime green
calyxes line the stem of the flower stalk and add a striking texture to flower
beds. The flowers can be used for cut arrangements both fresh and dry.

Sow your seeds for Bells of Ireland now and transplant them outside in late April.
Though they won’t be ringing, you can celebrate St. Patty’s Day with these
Bells of Ireland all summer long. They bloom profusely mid to late summer. Find seeds here: http://www.burpee.com/

Bells of Ireland Add Great Texture in the Garden

Bells of Ireland Make Excellent Cut Flowers

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Two levels of gardens compose the inner space between 54th and 53rd Street at Griffin Court. There is a lawn for dogs, covered pergolas for lounging or dining, lighting, mounded planting beds with grasses and everything you could hope for in a courtyard. The building was constructed in such a way that this garden has a decent amount of space and light which are very hard things to find in New York City. Walking in the courtyard felt very comfortable. It’s very easy to visualize spending time there. Everything about the garden makes it feel like a success, but I found a glitch from the view above.

The overall effect of the garden from the upper level apartments was boring. It felt artificial and stagnant. The view from the apartments facing this interior courtyard left me longing for a view to the street and real NYC sights and sounds. From an aerial perspective the space looks very contrived and has a textbook-design kind of feel. Landscape elements are spaced in such a way as to diverge and reconnect in a very structured manner. In fact, it feels too structured. If certain elements were more organic and free flowing, the garden would be more effective.

This garden needs more time to grow in since it was recently planted (it appears this was done the end of summer in 2010). Perhaps when the plants mature, the rigidity of the courtyard will fade. For me, having a view of a garden should be mesmerizing and take your mind to another world free of cell phones, emails and responsibilities.

The building on a whole was really well done. According to local real estate agents, Alchemy  Properties (the developer) completed construction of over 20 residential buildings and do quality work. I can attest that the layouts of the apartments and fixtures were very nice and well worth seeing. Small things like windows and murals in the hallways make it stand out from other buildings where developers have short-ended the halls making them dark and cramped. Read more about Griffiin Court here: http://www.griffincourtcondo.com

Also check out their facebook page for more images of the space: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Griffin-Court-Condo/103487993030031?v=info

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