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Just because it’s a festive weekend- here’s a few ideas for your garden. Enjoy the Fourth!

Erbology

Let’s face it, there are plenty of white and red flowering plant options for the garden, but if you look hard enough you can find some blue flowers as well. And no, I’m not talking about pansies. Try these three plants in your garden to make the festive feel of the 4th of July last throughout the season.

Blue Flowers of Campanula ‘Blue Clips’ Grow 6-9″ Tall

1. Campanula carpatica ‘Blue Clips’      Commonly referred to as Bellflower, Campanula provides a striking blue flower 3″ wide in the shape of a little bell. Campanula is hardy in zones 3-7 and prefers sun, though it is not tolerant of hot and dry conditions. Flowers appear from late spring through early summer. Blue Clips is a short cultivar growing only 6-9″ tall in a mounding form which makes it perfect for a spot front and center in the garden.

Caryopteris ‘Longwood Blue’…

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Now that Valentine’s Day has passed and February is half over, you may want to start focusing attention on your landscaping plans for the rapidly-approaching 2016 season. Just about any designer will tell you that your outdoor space should be an extension if your interior living space. But that’s easier said than done. If you don’t already have a patio, deck or feature that delineates a specific functional area (think pool/ shed/ raised planting garden), it can be difficult to carve out romantic areas that make you want to stop and enjoy the intimate atmosphere a beautiful landscape can provide. Here are 3 easy ways to bring more romance to your garden design:

Jeffrey Erb NYC Backyard Planting Design

  1. Keep lighting indirect and in unexpected places. Nothing ruins the mood more than having a beam of light shining directly in your eyes. Use lighting to accent walls, highlight textures of fencing and graze across sculptures. Never underestimate the power of shadows in a garden.
  2. Even in large spaces, find niches or carve out places that feel enclosed. Instead of building a stone patio in the middle of the lawn, add a buffer hedge around it or a small ornamental tree to anchor the corner of the patio. Think about the “floor”, “walls” and “overhead” plane that make up your outdoor patio room. This is a tip from landscape design 101. If you haven’t signed up yet- join my class at the New York Botanical Garden this spring or summer 
  3. Subtle transitions in materials or plant palettes go a long way in creating soft visual effects in the landscape. Bold contrasting colors and patterns may make great content for an editorial photo shoot, but the reality of day to day living calls for design that can stand the test of time. Use color blocking to group like colors together. A neutral background in the garden allows for focal points to be added and edited over time.

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2015 was a whirlwind of a season. With a long harsh winter, we had a lot of catching up to do to keep existing gardens looking great. Jeffrey Erb Landscape Design created and installed some fantastic new rooftop and terrace gardens which never made it to our website. Here’s a look back at the 2015 season as we are gearing up for 2016.  Don’t be afraid to be bold this season. Don’t get stuck thinking about trends as you design your space. Always be true to your surroundings, the architecture, the lines and the preexisting site elements that you cannot change. 

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Winter storm “Juno” is throwing down a white blanket of snow across the northeast. Nothing cures winter blues like shopping for your garden. I’m sharing some of my favorite garden accessories for the spring. Grab a cup of tea, bundle up in a blanket and let’s go shopping!

Brass Lanterns from Terrain Jeffrey Erb

Brass Lanterns From Terrain Set the Right Mood

 

Brass is the new black! These brass lanterns from Terrain hit just the right note. Classic style is updated with a sleek metallic finish. So what if brass showed up everywhere in 2014…it isn’t going anywhere! The style of this lantern allows it to fit into many garden settings and it’s not a run of the mill lantern!  Purchase here

New York Botanical Garden Gloves

The Perfect Garden Gloves from NYBG

 

If the Glove Fits… A chef wouldn’t prepare his finest meal with dull knives and an artist’s painting would suffer from use of inferior brushes. So it’s only natural that a gardener needs a perfect pair of garden gloves in their tool bag. Kill two birds with one stone and pick up a pair of these gloves from the New York Botanical Garden. Not only are you supporting a fantastic garden in New York City, your hands will also thank you for this one. Purchase here

Restoration hardware tall zinc finials

Sexy Zinc Finials Available at Restoration Hardware

 

Something Missing? At 63″ tall, this piece available for purchase at Restoration Hardware adds a visual punch to an outdoor garden or patio. It’s the perfect object to fill a blank space in need of a focal point. Put it somewhere unexpected to create a sense of surprise in the garden. It could be partially hidden by a plant, or around the corner from a wall….get creative! As the Zinc weathers, the patina will only add to the piece.

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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!

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Jackson Heights is a semi-finalist in the NYC Curbed Cup and we need your vote today! We have gorgeous preserved gardens in our community which are unique to Queens and to the city.

CLICK TO VOTE HERE

I am attaching some photos from the 2013 Jackson Heights Garden Tour Here. Show your support and give us a vote! Happy New Year.

http://ny.curbed.com/archives/2013/12/30/curbed_cup_final_four_14_jackson_heights_v_15_st_george.php#more

Jackson Heights Coop Gardens Private Tour in June 2013

Jackson Heights Coop Gardens Private Tour in June 2013

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Current blog avatar          Remodeling and Home Design