Urban Gardening & Ecology
Every year around midsummer, a yellow-green shoot emerges in the same spot near the Children’s Garden sign. When its stem thickens and turns red over the next few weeks, I know that our beloved pokeweed (Phytolacca americana) is back! By this time of year, this herbaceous perennial resembles a small tree—some years it
A favorite in wildflower bouquets, Queen Anne’s lace (Daucus carota) comes into bloom in the heat of late summer. You’ll see its delicate white flowers atop three-foot stems on roadsides and in empty lots, rising above the trash and tangle of other weedy plants around it. This drought-tolerant member of the parsley
From the overflowing window boxes of Bay Ridge to the patchwork of urban farms in East New York, gardening in Brooklyn means tradition, therapy, discipline, beauty, and can-do resilience. But when the second spring since Sandy came this year, many gardeners in coastal Brooklyn did not see the buds and blooms they were used
Young gardeners learn best by doing, and street trees could use their help! Here are some tree-rific tips to get started: Prep: Scout your tree bed for anything hazardous that should first be removed by you. Dress the part: It’s dirty work, so think fashion for scarecrows—gloves and old clothes. De-trash: Together,
A regular in lawns and along paths, broadleaf plantain (Plantago major) is a weed you’ll see plenty of now and for the rest of the summer. Even among weeds, it’s incredibly persistent. Mow it, step on it, weed-whack it, and this tough perennial will return, thanks to its low-growing habit and regenerative crown.
Leafing out in silvery-green abundance, mugwort (Artemisia vulgaris) appears in vacant lots and at roadsides and park edges around this time of year. This hardy member of the aster family thrives in these disturbed areas and easily withstands attempts to yank it out. Thanks to its extensive system of rhizomes, or