11 Great NYC Garden Storage Ideas

small-manhattan-patio

Living in New York City has its advantages – great restaurants, exciting night life, and proximity to virtually any activity under the sun. One down side of city life is the lack of space. Most city apartments have little outdoor space, so if you like to garden and you live in the city, you need to be creative. Here are 11 ways to get a fantastic, organized garden out of a small space.

1. Gutter Garden

Purchase several 5’ lengths of exterior gutters from a big box store. Attach them to your wall at varying heights and fill with potting soil and plants. Gutter gardens are a great way to have greenery, and keep your plants tight against the wall so they don’t take up too much of your space. Grow a different variety of plant in each gutter to keep things organized.

Adding a trellis with climbing vines is a great way to add lush greenery to your outdoor space.

Adding a trellis with climbing vines is a great way to add lush greenery to your outdoor space.

2. Flower Box Ladder

Get two pieces of wood, approximately eight inches wide by five or six feet long. Attach several rectangular flower boxes to the pieces of wood to create the look of a ladder that will eventually lean up against the side of your home. Fill the flower boxes with soil and add in herbs, vegetables, or flowers.

3. Pallet Garden

Lay a pallet flat and nail landscaping paper on one large side, as well as all four short sides. Turn the pallet over, and pack the pallet completely full of soil. Start planting, while making sure things are tightly packed. Leave it horizontal for two weeks while you water it. Then, stand it up on its end and you have a fantastic pallet garden.

4. Trellis

Take your garden vertical by adding a trellis to your potted plants. Climbing vines and flowers will beautify your outdoor space and brighten even the smallest space.

5. Raised Garden Bed

Purchase or make a raised garden bed that fits easily within your space. Perfect for growing fresh vegetables, or herbs, raised garden beds are a great way to grow the food you love without losing too much of your precious space.

Use shelving to stack an assortment of your favorite potted plants for a splash of color in a small space.

Use shelving to stack an assortment of your favorite potted plants for a splash of color in a small space.

6. Shelf Garden

Hang shelves, keeping each shelf only a foot or two above another, until the shelves cover the entire wall. Fill the shelves with terra cotta pots full of your favorite garden varieties. Group plants of similar heights for a more organized look.

7. A-Frame Trellis

Use an A-frame trellis to grow the plants you want using only a fraction of the square footage. Cucumbers, pole beans, tomatoes, and squash all grow very well on A-frame trellises. You can even grow pumpkins (with strong supports, of course).

8. Staircase Planter

Create a staircase planter. Use 1”x8” boards to construct square frames of varying depths. Placed them on top of each other, biggest to smallest. Fill with soil and plants. The staircase effect gives you several different layers in which to plant, creating a garden that is not only functional, but beautiful. These layers also serve as great dividers for plants that don’t grow well together.

9. Ready-made Planters

Purchase ready-made planters and plant stands that are specially designed for people with minimal space.

Even a small balcony can be transformed into a peaceful retreat with the addition of the right plants.

Even a small balcony can be transformed into a peaceful retreat with the addition of the right plants.

10. Container Fruit Trees

Many fruit trees of the dwarf variety are perfectly suited to container growing. Choose from a variety of trees to add variety and interest to your outdoor space.

11. Rent a Storage Unit

Last, but not least, consider renting a small self-storage unit. I rented a closet-sized unit from www.imperialselfstorage.com, which has convenient locations in the City. This makes it easy to stash my extra gardening tools, pots, soil, and even bulbs out of the way during the off-season when I’m using them less frequently. Having a storage unit in NYC has been an incredible space saver.

A beautiful, organized garden is a great addition to any patio. No matter how much outdoor space you have for your garden, make the most of it by taking your garden vertical. Vertical gardens beautify your space and make it feel cozy and inviting, not to mention the free produce and herbs that will be yours to enjoy!

 

Moving to a New Apartment? Top Tips for Moving Plants

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When moving your belongings to a new apartment, the safe transportation of houseplants can be just as tricky as packing a set of china dinner plates. Whether you’ve received one as a special gift or have watched one grow throughout several years, it can be tough to throw away or leave behind a beloved plant member. Recently, I had a friend ask me tips for moving some of her plants from New Jersey to her new home in Atlanta. To be honest, I don’t have a ton of experience with transplanting plants, aside from the few that I moved across towns between apartments. So, I did some research and came up with some helpful guidelines for my friend. For those of you who are relocating and looking to take your leafy friends with you, here are some top tips to ensure a smooth moving process with houseplants or even transplants from your outdoor garden.

Make Sure Your Plants Will Survive

If you’re moving across the country, or between two very different climates, like my friend Gretchen, you’ll want to first consider what plants will survive and thrive in their new home. For example, if you’re moving from Florida to Maine, probably best to leave behind your citrus trees. After their first Maine winter, those puppies will be toast! If you’re in doubt, consult a climate map to see which zone your new home is in. Then, look up which zones your favorite plants grow in, and make sure their new home will be a good match for them.

Find the Right Transportation for a Long Distance Move

Depending on where you are moving, you may have to transport your plants on your own. Most interstate moving companies will not transport plants or have a limit on how many miles they can move with a plant in tow. I called nationwide interstate movers, Great Guys Moving (find on about.me and Twitter), to find out more about why this was the case.  They mentioned that some states have tricky regulations to navigate regarding which plants were allowed to cross state lines (see more below). Additionally, they shared that plants are on their non-allowables list due to their perishable nature. In the case of a cross country move that takes 2-3 weeks, without sunlight or water, most plants would die. Some companies will transport plants if you’re moving within a certain radius, so before assuming it’s a no, call and ask! If you’re moving to a new country, you might even have to ship your plants through a postal service or another costly service.

Know the Regulations

When considering an out-of-state move, make sure that your plants can be transported over state lines, even if you’re the one driving. There are a surprising number of plants that aren’t allowed in all 50 states, and officials may even want to inspect your plants before you cross over a state line. By reading the laws and regulations enforced by the National Plant Board, you’ll be better prepared with the procedures before you make a move.

Plan your move ahead of time so that you can take all of your leafy friends safely with you!

Plan your move ahead of time so that you can take all of your leafy friends safely with you!

Prepare the Plants

Start preparing your plants for the move by using the checklist below:

  • Remove plants from their containers if the pots are fragile or heavy.
  • Trim the newer growth of large plants to make them easier to handle (do not cut ferns, cacti, or succulents).
  • Inspect the plants for pests and apply pesticides if needed.
  • Water the plants two days before the move, making sure not to overwater.

Transport the Plants Safely

The best way to move plants is by transporting them in your car, as the temperature can be controlled and has access to fresh air (unlike most moving trucks). If the weather is hot or cold, protect your plants with paper bags or newspaper and make sure not to place them in the trunk or direct sunlight. You can also safeguard their soil by adding sphagnum moss to the top layer. Cardboard boxes that are punched with holes make perfect plant containers, especially when coated with balled up newspaper or bubble wrap and can be placed on the floor of a car or moving van.

Unpack your plants immediately after arriving at your new destination. Put them back in their old pots as soon as possible and give the soil a small amount of water. Some plants may find the moving process traumatic, so be sure to provide tender loving care for the next few days.

The 5 Best NYC Gardens You Have to Visit

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Although most of New York City is a sprawling concrete jungle, there are still plenty of natural green sanctuaries dotting the metropolis. You just need to know where to look! If you’re searching for that perfect garden oasis amidst the chaos of crowded NYC streets, we’ve got you covered. Our list below showcases 5 of the most serene and beautiful gardens that are located in the bustling Big Apple.

1. New York Botanical Garden

The New York Botanical Garden is undoubtedly the most popular garden in NYC and is usually a hot spot for tourists to visit. If you’ve never been to NYC before, you owe it to yourself to check out this gorgeous 250-acre green space, where you’ll find 50 unique gardens that include wetland trails, flower exhibits, waterfalls, rivers, and an impressive indoor rain forest. The botanical garden also hosts many art galleries and exhibitions, so be sure to check out the calendar to see what exciting event is happening when you’re in town.

2. The Church of St. Luke in the Fields

This magnificent city garden is located in Greenwich Village within the grounds of The Church of Saint Luke. The gardens are more than two-thirds of an acre wide, with many walking paths and large lawns to marvel and relax in. In addition to the green space and wide selection of flowers and trees, visitors will delight in watching the many migrating birds and butterflies. There have been over 100 species of birds and 24 types of moths and butterflies recorded in the garden’s history

Bird watchers will love the many birds that live within the Fields grounds.

Bird watchers will love the many birds that live within the Fields grounds.

3. Bartow-Pell Historic Mansion and Garden

For history buffs, the Bartow-Pell Historic Mansion and Garden is perfect for learning about the history of 19th-century life within the Bronx. There’s a decidedly British feel to the mansion’s garden which was created with deliberate neoclassical design in mind. The grounds here contain the Terrace Garden, the Herb Garden, and plenty of walking trails with benches to sit on. With many flowers surrounding the estate, plant life includes hydrangeas, trumpet vines, wildflowers and more. You’ll also find local rabbits, birds, and even turkeys as you stroll through the forests and along the paths.

4. Fort Tryon Park

The Fort Tryon Park was designed by the famous landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted Jr., who was contracted to do the work by John D. Rockefeller Jr. himself in 1927. The park was gifted to the city of New York in 1931 and residents and visitors alike have enjoyed the retreat ever since. There are over eight miles of winding pathways to choose from in this lovely forest area with about 500 different varieties of plants, shrubs, and trees. Dog lovers are especially fond of Fort Tryon’s dog-friendly policy; humans and dogs alike can enjoy long nature walks in the middle of the city. Visitors can also stop at the Cloisters, which houses a wide array of medieval artwork.

Fort Tyron Park is the perfect place for scenic walks that are dog-friendly.

Fort Tyron Park is the perfect place for scenic walks that are dog-friendly.

5. Greenacre Park

This intimate urban park tucked into a corner of Sutton Place provides a welcome reprieve from the hustle and bustle of Manhattan. With a modern terrace that opens to a forest of trees and an impressive waterfall, this garden is a true oasis tucked within the busy city. The soothing sounds of the waterfall drown out all noise from the surrounding streets and provides the ideal spot for reading a book and finding some zen. The garden is also perfect for bringing a picnic lunch or dinner and enjoying outdoor time with friends and family.

The Top 7 Plants to Grow in Your NYC Apartment

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If you’re looking to breathe some much-needed life into your New York City apartment, we’ve got just the greenery for you! The following plants are the best for providing natural beauty within your living space without demanding a ton of time and attention. And in some cases, they can even add spice to some of your meals! Take a look below.

1. ZZ plant

The zamioculcas zamiifolia is a difficult name to pronounce but it’s one of the world’s easiest plants to grow indoors. This herbaceous East African native is similar to the Peace Lily plant, with wide, glossy dark green leaves. Office and apartment-dwellers love the ZZ plant because it thrives in low light and can handle being watered as few as six times a year!

2. Mint

If you want to add a fresh zing to your recipes without having to leave your apartment, try this vigorous perennial herb. A typical mint plant grows serrated leaves that have a powerful sweet aroma. It prefers light in the morning, shade in the afternoon, and a moist environment all the time, which makes it perfect for a bathroom windowsill.

Bright green mint leaves add a pop of color to a room.

Bright green mint leaves add a pop of color to a room.

3. Cilantro

From stalk to seed, every inch of this annual cool-season herb is edible. It also doesn’t take up much space, as cilantro likes getting cozy with other herbs in a deep clay or plastic container. With morning sun and minimal water, the plant will sprout green leaves and small pale flowers. You can harvest the leaves when the cilantro plant is about 6 inches tall.

4. Snake Plant

The snake plant gets its name from long, yellow-edged leaves that look like snakes, which grow upright in dense clusters. Their sharp tips have also earned them the nickname “mother-in-law’s tongues”. The snake plant’s leaves retain a lot of water and readily adapt to different lighting around an apartment. Treat your snake plant with some plant food twice a year in the spring and summer months, and you’re all set!

5. Lucky Bamboo

Prized for its feng shui design qualities, lucky bamboo is surprisingly simple to grow indoors as it favors indirect light. Give your baby bamboo plant 1 to 3 inches of water in which to set its roots. Once the roots grow, keep them submerged in water as well, changing the water out every 2-4 weeks. Try to use bottled water, as lucky bamboo is sensitive to the chemicals in tap water. Warm and humid conditions will keep the plant’s tips alive and healthy.

Succulents are easy to care for and perfect for small spaces.

Succulents are easy to care for and perfect for small spaces.

6. Succulent

They’re small, cute, come in interesting shapes, and flourish even when neglected. What more could you ask for? When choosing a succulent plant, it’s best to go with one that’s green, as they tend to do better indoors than purple or orange colored succulents. And ensure that your succulents have ample breathing room and plenty of sunshine. (An apartment with an east-facing window is succulent heaven!)

7. Oregano

With an oregano plant on your windowsill, you’ll have delicious seasoning for your meals all year long. The herb is also known for its soothing qualities and has the power to fight off acne and a number of infections. Be sure to plant oregano in full sunlight or under fluorescent lights to strengthen the flavor. It loves well-drained soil, so you’ll only need to water it when the soil has gone completely dry.