Sunday, December 9, 2007

fall tree bed gardens in the west village

Many tree beds in the west village have been planted with cabbages (Brassica oleracea), a hardy, decorative plant, that is not bothered by frost. People tend to prefer the purple variety, as shown below. I'm not sure if dogs have any preference, but I'm guessing the tenders of this tree bed are hoping that dogs do not like purple. Dog droppings can create pollution for trees, as well as unpleasant surprises for pedestrians, so any way to encourage people to curb their dogs is a good. Tree pit grates are a tried and true solution for keeping dogs away from most of the tree pit. Probably a little creative signage as shown below also helps.

White cabbages can also be beautiful, and evocative of the snow that is to come.

Tree pits where plants have been removed, can still display the colors of the season by collecting fallen leaves.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Street Tree Gardens Blog is Born

Winter is setting in around NYC streets, and most of the tree pits are filled with fallen leaves, planted with cabbages, or simply weeded and left empty. It is a sad time to begin writing about street tree garden pits, as they close up shop for the year, and yet, some tree pits already have bulbs in them, tucked neatly underground, dreaming of spring.

I'm beginning this blog to write about tree pit gardens, if they can be called that. These small, exposed squares of soil, sandwiched between parked cars and garbage cans, abused by dogs, peds, bikes, and kids: it is amazing that anything will grow in them at all! I'm starting this blog to chronicle what IS able to grow in and around street tree pits, and the stories of the gardeners that cultivate these tiny, yet frequently visited gardens.

If anyone out there has some street tree garden stories or pictures to share the successes, failures, or other misadventures in street tree plantings, please send them in. Like the bulbs nestled next to the roots of the city's street trees, I too am dreaming of spring.