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Urban Gardens 51 Stories

During the first eight months Erica Taggart and Cory Eicher lived in their Brooklyn Heights, New York City, home, their backyard experienced the homeowner’s equivalent of Newton’s first law: A neglected yard will remain unused until acted on by an external force. So the couple hired landscape designer Sean Lewis and...
Pretty Trees for Patios, Paths and Other Tight Spots
People have grown trees in their gardens since ancient times. But as gardens become smaller and more valuable as outdoor living spaces, is there still room for a tree? I know from living with the smallest of garden spaces that whether or not to plant...
Once a Barren Rooftop, Now a Serene City Getaway
A lush garden isn’t out of reach in the heart of New York City. Landscape designer Todd Haiman turned a barren rooftop into a serene escape, complete with a dining and grilling area, a daybed, an outdoor shower and plants galore. Careful planning made...
Now Approaching the Emerald City
Greening the city doesn’t appear to be waning anytime soon. San Francisco is continuing to transform parking spaces into parks and provide tax incentives for urban agriculture. Chicago is planning to sell city-owned abandoned lots to residents for $1...
Big Foliage for Small Spaces
An exceptional garden is one that embraces and celebrates the unexpected. This can be a challenge in the smaller, more urban gardens that are becoming the norm for many of us. One way to inject unexpected interest into your small space is by introducing...
16 Ways to Get More From Your Small Backyard
Big cities have a lot going for them, but spacious backyards aren’t one of them. Designers in high-density places like San Francisco and New York have long dealt with getting homeowners the most bang for their buck when it comes to their compact homes,...
11 Japanese Maples for Breathtaking Color and Form
The mere sight of a well-grown Japanese maple evokes mental images of tranquility and mysticism unlike any other plant. These versatile trees are equally at home in the courtyards of a weathered Japanese temple and a contemporary urban high-rise. With...
From Concrete ‘Jail Yard’ to Lush Escape in Brooklyn
The homeowners of a two-story apartment in Brooklyn’s Prospect Heights neighborhood wanted a backyard retreat that was calm and inviting. But that was a tall order, considering the concrete jungle that existed behind the newly constructed dwelling....
How to Help Your Town’s Beneficial Birds and Bugs
Urban Hedgerow, an art and ecological collaborative in San Francisco, has been planting wild habitats in the city landscape since 2009. In addition to raising public awareness of and creating discussion about the importance of the beneficial bugs and...
Grow a Kitchen Garden in 16 Square Feet
With just a patch of soil and sunlight, you can create a mini kitchen garden. It won’t feed your family for the summer, but it can make your meals more interesting, and perhaps get kids interested in growing food or at least help them understand where...
Give Your Compact Patio Some Major Style
Even if your outdoor space is smaller than average, it is possible to create a stylish, welcoming outdoor room you’ll love to spend time in. From creating privacy and adding mood lighting to choosing furniture you love, we hope you will find an idea...
Stars and Myths Inspire a Contemporary London Garden
For many gardens the design starts with a problem. The client and designer work through the problem, which the new garden then solves. This garden in London’s Crouch End began with the stars and Antoni Gaudí. Instead of focusing...
Nightfall Brings a Dutch Urban Garden to Life
Nighttime transforms the landscape. Though we’re drawn to it, dusk usually signals that it’s time to go inside for the night. But in this backyard retreat, it’s at night when the garden comes alive — subtle movements are heard and seen, white...
A Mom, a Garden and a Gift for the Neighbors
I normally hope to inspire readers to try new things in the garden, but this before-and-after project comes with a story that I hope will encourage you to start a garden wherever you are in life, with or without home ownership. Whether it's on your...
Container Garden Basics: How and When to Water Potted Plants
“How often do I need to water?” is usually the first question I get from clients after finishing their container gardens. It’s an important question, and the simple, honest answer is that you should water as often as the plant requires. But determining...
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