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Posts Tagged ‘Manhattan’

Jay Gould’s Gothic revival home, Lyndhurst, is perched along the eastern hillside of the Hudson river in Irvington New York. Crafted of Limestone, the interiors feature walls and ceilings painted in faux finishes that resemble marble, tiles and rich woodwork. This style of decor was considered lavish at the time.

Jay Gould's Lyndhurst Mansion on the Hudson River

Mr. Gould was a man of great fortune as evidenced by his privately chartered boat he would ride from this weekend home to and from Manhattan. Though he was despised by many and survived attempted murders, he did have the vision to create a phenomenal glass house on his property along with a magnificent rose garden which is still cared for. The other formal gardens once enjoyed by the neighbors and friends  of the Gould family are no longer in existence.

The Gould Children's Playhouse Sits at the Bottom of the Hill By the Hudson

Today the grounds around this mansion are not well cared for. Though it claims to have specimen trees, as I strolled through the property I wanted to call up my arborist for an emergency visit. The home’s name comes from the Linden trees (Tilia cordata) which are dotted around the property.

The Remains of a Fountain in the Once Glorious Glasshouse

The glass house was manufactured by Lord and Burnham company of Irvington, NY and is dated to 1881. The extravagant structure featured 14 separate rooms for palms, grape vines, orchids and other tropical plant collections. Cared for by a staff of 15 full time gardeners, the cast and wrought iron glass house was a symbol of decadence.

The Gould Family Rose Garden at Lyndhurst

Roses Trained on Arches Form a Circular Pattern

The Gould’s rose garden is nice to see, but is not worth visiting for the property alone. I recommend visiting on a nice afternoon in May and then going next door to visit Washington Irving’s beautiful cottage, Sunnyside. The contrast in taste and style of the home and grounds is fascinating. Read more about Lyndhurst here.

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Spending this week on rooftop gardens around Manhattan has been glorious. I am savoring every second of this blissful spring weather. All too soon it will be hot with 100% humidity and we will be longing for cooler weather. Enjoy this rooftop shot of new leaves on Cornus alba.

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Gramercy Park is one of those beautiful areas of Manhattan that remains mostly unchanged. Lined with historic buildings from bygone eras, the charm and peace one feels while strolling around this block is unforgettable. Bulbs and spring flowers line the sidewalks and planting beds inside this stunning private park. Only residents on the park who pay an annual fee are granted access to enjoy this jewel of a garden. Here are a few shots snapped from the street. The design is simple and consists of central lawns and gravel paths with Boxwood hedges and seasonal flower beds.

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  The Highline has quickly become a hotspot on the west side of Manhattan. With an array of native plant species and juxtaposition of old and new, this park provides a unique perspective of the industrial edge of the city. Section two, scheduled to open in spring of 2011 has a lot of amazing features including a grass lawn over 23rd street, more wildflower meadows and an elevated walkway that will give you the feeling of floating through the trees planted below. The coolest part of the Highline, in my opinion, is that it is a seamless example of a green roof installation. Green roofs can be aesthetically pleasing and functional while still being an environmentally conscious design solution. Watch the video and have a sneak peek at section 2 at the link below:

http://www.thehighline.org/blog/2010/12/22/help-the-high-line-open-section-2?e-news122210-construction

I attached some pictures from our private tour of the unfinished highline at 34th Street (section 3) this fall. This section is still not owned by the organization. It really gives perspective for how much they transformed the tracks.

       

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Jeffrey Erb Landscape Design was recently featured in a DNA Manhattan Local News article. Tara Kyle wrote a fantastic story capturing the fun fall decorations we did for a client in Chelsea. Read the story here:

http://www.dnainfo.com/20101025/chelsea-hells-kitchen/hells-kitchen-landscape-designer-brings-farmland-roots-manhattan-rooftops/slideshow

Also, for everyone who can access WGAL news in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, there will be another story on our work featured on the 6PM news this Friday, November 19. I will certainly post a link to their website if they make it available online.

       

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We did a gorgeous pumpkin installation this past week on a rooftop garden in Chelsea, Manhattan. The fall decorations were hand selected and delivered from Brooklawn Farm Market in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. To keep the display unique, we used a subtle color palette with lots of whites, creams, yellows, greens and soft oranges as opposed to the common carving pumpkins.

Arranging the Pumpkins On the Terrace

This is a great way to add a punch, and I mean PUNCH of color and texture to gardens at this time of year. The empty spaces left by seasonal annuals and tender perennials can quickly be filled with pumpkins and gourds. Fairytale pumpkins anchor this display, and my new favorite is the Yugoslavian finger pumpkin which is the white one with little finger-like shapes all around the bottom side of it. It is so sculptural, and is looks like a modern piece of art. We used the small white jack-b-little pumpkins to create a “decorative mulch” in the planter boxes. Enjoy the pictures.

Clusters of Pumpkins Make a Big Impact

Muhlenbergia capillaris Grass Adds Texture and Movement to the Display

Jack-B-Little Pumpkins Serve as a “Decorative Mulch” in this Planter

Colors and Textures used in the Display

Overhead of View of Display Terrace

       

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Smokebush Pushes New Bloom in August

It’s true. Plants growing on the tops of concrete covered rooftops in the sweltering heat island of Manhattan appreciate a little dihydrogen monoxide every now and again. One of my client’s in midtown west inherited a terrace full of a hodge podge of planters from the previous unit owner. Phase one of making the space his own was to make the existing plants happy. The addition of a fully automatic irrigation system turned his terrace into a brand new place.

Rooftop gardens need watered every day. They don’t take holidays off, and they certainly don’t rest on Sundays. If you don’t have an irrigation system, consider adding one as a smart investment. Multiply the number of years you intend to keep your roof garden by 250 (days of growing season) and then muliply that by the value of your own time. I think you’ll see that it makes sense to get it.

Just one month after installation, I already saw huge changes in the plants which were previously hand watered. Even this Cotinus pushed out a new bloom in August which normally would have emerged in June. I would say we are heading in the right direction.

       

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