Urban Gardening & Ecology

Q&A with Onika Abraham

Onika Abraham

As a New York City kid in the 1980s, Onika Abraham saw nature incorporated into the urban environment in all sorts of ways—the community gardens in her neighborhood, her mother’s terrace garden, and the stream at BBG where she caught tadpoles. Today she is the director of Farm School NYC and a passionate advocate for

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Is a Potted Christmas Tree a Good Idea?

Potted Christmas Trees

Around this time of year, city sidewalks are packed with Christmas tree options, including potted spruces and other evergreens. At first glance, a live potted tree seems like the most sustainable solution for anyone with the garden space to accommodate a conifer. The only trouble is that the holiday season doesn’t

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From the Street…Tough Natives for Tender Tree Beds

Butterfly weed

Brilliant orange butterfly weed, cheery black-eyed Susans, and frilly coralbells are native New Yorkers strong enough to survive—and even thrive—in the challenging environment of a city tree bed. The first job of any tree bed is to provide a home for an oxygen-producing street tree. As such it should be clean, well

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Gardening Resilience

GreenSpace's Rain Garden

A pioneering community garden is taking root in Gowanus. Twenty years ago, GreenSpace on Fourth was a dream: A group of neighbors wanted to transform a parcel of city-owned land on Fourth Avenue between Sackett and Union into an oasis of urban resiliency. At last—with the support of the DEP, Community Board 6, GreenThumb,

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Bridging a Year with GreenBridge

Mark Fisher

As I write this, I am entering my second growing season as director of GreenBridge. What better time to reflect on the ways in which this year has been a season of growth for me? For most of my career, I’ve had the good fortune of working at BBG in various capacities: gardener, teacher, and administrator. And for nearly

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Weed of the Month: Ragweed

Common Ragweed and a Beetle

Anyone with fall allergies—like me—should learn to spot the worst villain of all superweeds: ragweed! The main cause of hay fever, this annual beast can produce one billion grains of pollen per plant. Ragweed pollen causes familiar allergy symptoms like sneezing and watery eyes, and to make matters worse, it can also

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