Thursday, March 3, 2011

Dreaming in Green

Central Park Spring 2010

Spring is taunting us here. One day it's 11 degrees celsius, the next it plummets back to minus 1.  The birds sing one morning then bury their head under their wing the second morning. The snow has melted in the parks but still lingers around the fountains and ponds. I feel like the back of winter has broken, but spring is far from rearing its colorful head.

And so it is that I dream of lush green in all its form; deep green grass weighed down with dew drops, the high definition green of new sprouting leaves and every shade in between. It is a color that we aussies yearn for because it is is so rare these days unless you live in the tropics. And yet it is such a part of the East Coast landscape. Which brings me to some great garden books about this area.

The first is the magnificent Gardens of the Hudson Valley. Its pages are filled with the grandiose formal gardens of the area as well as smaller, less constrained creations. Collectively they convey "the grace and grandeur of the Hudson River landscape".

Next up is the Hamptons. There are a few that take you behind the manicured hedges to swoon over the lush lawns, seaside vistas and pool perfection.

And while we are in the Hamptons, one of my favorite ever garden designers here has to be Miranda Brooks. There is a softness and a femininity to her landscaping while still being ordered. Her use of grasses is perfect for a beach setting and sometimes her design hand is so 'light' it looks like there has been no design at all. Here are some examples of her gardens in the Hamptons.

And believe it or not, this wonderful concrete metropolis called Manhattan does sprout green in summer. From rooftop gardens to back yard gardens, from Central Park to the Botanical Gardens, there is an endless display of lushness and fertility. Bring on spring!

images: (1) mine, (2) luxist, (3-8) gross and daley garden photo, (9-10) amazon, (11) vogue) (12-17) miranda brooks (18) new york times, (19) new york daily photo (20-22) mine

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