Location: West Village, New York City
Type of space:Urban Garden
Tell us about your outdoor project and how you enjoy it: These are the very beginning stages of my summer garden — a beautiful and cozy outdoor space adjacent to my apartment. So far my chief enjoyment has come from working in the dirt — I am a farm girl who somehow ended up in the big city — so one of my favorite parts about living where I do is the opportunity I have to go outside and water the plants, do a little weeding, or, best of all, turn over the compost! But I have also brought my living room chair outside to read, and have an outdoor dinner party planned for Tuesday. Those more elegant rewards also deserve a mention...
How did you create it? Last month my friends and I did a thorough clean-out — relocated the perennials, turned over the soil, cleaned out the debris that had drifted in over the winter, and made a decorative piece out of an old sink we found stashed in the corner. Since then, I've started adding things in small steps — every few weeks I've budgeted $30-$40 to spend on flowers at the farmer's market. (I figure this way, I'll have new things blooming all summer.) I try and browse the whole market before choosing my favorite few plants that will survive in the shade. Then I do my best to find eager help to assist me in the planting!
Recommended store, site, product or resource? I definitely recommend the folks at the Union Square farmer's market — most of the farmers are happy to help figure out the appropriate plants to survive in your particular space, and their prices are very inexpensive compared to other shops I've wandered into around the city. Last week (I went on a Wednesday) there were more plants than I'd ever seen before. Also, there's the side benefit of the option to purchase a Blueberry-Pomegranate Yogurt Drink from Ronnybrook Dairy Farm, which is a singularly delicious bonus to any planting day!
Unfortunately, my helper isn't up for hire, though she definitely added a significant quotient of joy to the occasion. I would certainly recommend doing your best to rope some neighborhood kids into your planting — they'll love it, and you will too!