Posts Tagged ‘rooftop garden’

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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Attention all real estate agents, homeowners and investors looking to sell a property with outdoor space… check out this video as we transform a rooftop garden in preparation to list the property for sale.

Outdoor spaces often get the short end of the stick  when it comes to staging and it’s a missed opportunity to maximize the appeal of the property. Jeffrey talks about staging this rooftop garden on Manhattan’s Upper West Side and gives pointers on design items to consider to successfully show off a garden or patio.

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Stained Glass Effect of Canna Lily

One of the most rewarding things I experience as a landscape designer is the element of surprise brought on by the growth and change of plants. I always visualize what a garden is going to look like while I am designing it, and most of the time the end result matches my vision. Sunlight, however, is one variable that significantly impacts the end result yet is not entirely in my control. Sunlight brings life to gardens in many ways beyond photosynthesis. The way that certain tree silhouettes drape themselves across patios, or grass shadows dance across a wall can be mesmerizing.

Sunlight Makes This Canna Glow on a Rooftop Garden

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Gardens can only be as successful as the amount of effort and care that is put into maintaining them. We installed planters and plantings for a lovely couple renting an apartment in the West Village in the beginning of July. Under the tutelage of Jeffrey, the clients set out to care for the plants themselves. Since they are renting the space and there is no hose bib or external water source, the only cost effective option was to hand water the plants. As you can see from the pictures snapped in September, they are doing a phenomenal job. This terrace which once used to feature more dead plants than alive has been revitalized. Now it’s a place to snuggle on a warm autumn evening or gather with friends for an after work drink.

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Midtown Rooftop Garden Featuring Sweeping NYC Views

This rooftop garden was planted just in time for the fourth of July. With sweeping views from the Empire State Building all the way to the Hudson River, this rooftop has full light and wind exposure. Featuring lots of grasses, small deciduous trees and sun-loving perennials, we can’t wait to see this garden grow in!

Mixed Bar Height and Regular Height Dining Tables Allow for Different Seating Options

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Now that Memorial Day has come and gone, hitting the beach on the weekends is fair game. However, if you have a rooftop garden as inviting as this one, there is no need to trek all the way to the shore to get your summer tan. Since I started this week by picking on NJ, I will balance it out by sharing some before and after pictures from one of our recent projects in Jersey City. This huge 1500 square foot terrace has full sun and wind exposures. Because the space is so large, all of the furniture they had was lost in the space. This former do-it-yourself terrace needed a little assistance which is where we came in.

Terrace Before We Arrived

With careful rearranging, a thorough cleaning and new plantings, the transformation on this terrace is quite remarkable. The multi-stem trees we
added at 6-8′ tall brought a sense of drama and height to the space. We spaced them across the terrace to define the separate dining and lounge areas. The trees essentially form the corners of outdoor “rooms” and help the furniture placement to make sense. Smaller planters with perennial plantings will grow and fill in during the rest of the season. Even though this is only the first stage of work, the changes we did made a huge impact in the space.

View Across Terrace With Multi-stem Trees


View From Dining Area to Lounge Area


View of Terrace With New Layout and Trees


If you want to transform your terrace, here are a few quick tips for do-it-yourself enthusiasts:

1. Make sure all of your planters have adequate drainage.

2. Don’t shy away from adding large plants to a large terrace, or a small terrace.

3. Get rid of anything on your terrace that doesn’t add to the overall effect including cracked planters, old furniture and anything that rusts!

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I passed this tree pit on Madison Avenue and love the classic idea of the Boxwood around the edge of the planting bed. The English garden undertones contrasts  well with the harsh concrete sidewalks. We are installing a similar planting on a rooftop garden in May.

Until then, enjoy this springtime tree pit planting also on the upper east side. Lots of color and flowers are mixed together to give this tree pit a breath of life. Did you know that tree grates are no longer legal in NYC? Plants are a much better alternative.

A Mix of Spring Flowers Gives this Tree Pit New Life

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