Posts Tagged ‘Courtyard Garden NYC’

Newly Replanted Bed in the Courtyard of Hartley House

After hurricane Irene downed four mature trees at Hartley House last season, the courtyard was in desperate need of new plantings. Jeffrey Erb Landscape Design volunteered to provide a full design for the courtyard in an effort to reclaim the space and fill the void the trees left behind.

A Close-up Shot of the East Bed

Though the courtyard benefits from gracious donations of annual flowers on a yearly basis, we knew that it needed more this year to make an impact in the space. Alan Klein headed a garden committee to coordinate the replanting of the largest planting bed in the courtyard.

A Mixture of Deciduous and Evergreen Shrubs Were Used in the Planting Bed

After the committee raised enough funds for the installation of an automatic irrigation system, Jeffrey Erb Landscape Design donated additional labor and assisted in obtaining plant materials to make the funds stretch to cover the full installation of the planting bed. The plantings, installed just after July 4th, feature perennial flowers, shrubs and vines which will continue growing year after year. Just a small portion in the front of the planting bed was reserved as a place for annual flowers.

Hydrangea ‘Little Lamb’ is a Showstopper Along the North Bed

We want to thank family, friends and neighbors who donated to this cause. We couldn’t be more proud to play a role in helping a community center which makes a difference in the lives of so many families in Hell’s Kitchen. We will continue to donate time to care for the plants and hope to raise additional funds to continue greening the courtyard at Hartley House in the future.

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The Entry Garden at 201 West 70th Street, NYC

201 West 70th Street is unique because the entrance for the building is off of the street and through a courtyard. The courtyard is planted very nicely and there is a private garden for the building adjacent to the entry area. Trees are planted into semi-submerged steel boxes that act as frames throughout the garden beds. I actually like this idea a lot, and the design was executed nicely.

Which does not belong in this planting: Magnolias, Pachysandra or Electrical Outlets?

….That is until I walked further down the sidewalk and noticed these electrical outlets sticking out of each steel frame. It doesn’t seem to make any sense to have them there and that is one detail that shouldn’t have been overlooked. I like the design but I can’t let that one slide. I know that sometimes as a designer, we can’t always control these things, but there has got to be another solution to help disquise them!

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The Impala, nestled in the middle of East 76th Street, has a secret that needs to be shared. It has a stunning courtyard. This luxury condo building was designed by Michael Graves. Betula nigra ‘Heritage’ (River Birch) trees soaring over 30′ tall fill the entire courtyard and are remarkably full.

Aerial View of the Impala Courtyard by Michael Graves

Bronze antelope sculptures provide interesting and quite unusual focal points throughout the space. The patio and walkways provide enough room to stroll comfortably around the courtyard while the central water fountain provides a tranquil sight in the warm season. In complete contrast to Griffin Court, the view from the apartments facing this courtyard transport you to another world. While taking in this view I quickly forgot I was in New York City.

Courtyard View Complete With Bronze Sculptures

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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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