Monday, May 14, 2012

Completed Backyard Renovation Including a Beautiful Foreverlawn

Who loves a beautifully designed and installed Asian inspired yard renovation? Well, everyone does . . .  and here is a picture to prove it!

Celebrating their newly renovated yard & ForeverLawn installed by New York Plantings Garden Design
Demo is never pretty! 
The crew at New York Plantings Garden Design really enjoyed this “full-service” backyard project – from demolition to completely renovated living space, we used our vast experience and skills to upgrade this New York City backyard to a place for family and friends to enjoy for years to come.
First we cleared the yard and our professional masonry crew laid a beautiful bluestone patio.
Bluestone is a wonderful option for patios
Professional design plans on beautiful IPE fence
We added irrigation for the new plants and continued the renovation with a wonderful custom IPE hardwood slat fence. I have to say, I consider IPE to be one of the best hardwoods for most outdoor construction projects. To learn more about this quality product click here.

We also added low voltage garden and landscape lighting, which supports our “go green” philosophy of garden and landscape design. We added custom built planter boxes and an array of colorful foliage around the property.

We installed a beautiful artificial turf called “forever lawn.” Made by DuPont, this synthetic grass really does have the “unmatched realism” they talk about on their website. After working with it, it was still hard for me to believe it wasn’t real grass when I stood back to get an overall view of the finished rear yard project. If you’re interested in installing this low maintenance, long lasting synthetic grass, you can contact Todd Nappi, owner of New York Plantings Garden Design (347)558-7051.
Left side beautiful ForeverLawn/Right side natural grass

ForeverLawn stays green & beautiful year round for inviting outdoor living.
Image courtesy of

Once again we’ve proven that New York Plantings Garden Design is a true full-service Garden, Carpentry, Irrigation, Lighting and Landscape Company. We currently work for homeowners, corporate real estate management companies, garden and landscape designers, landscape architects and anyone whose goal is a professionally designed, installed and expertly maintained garden, deck, patio, rooftop, lawn or other outdoor living space. Contact us for all your garden and landscaping needs.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Materials Used by New York Plantings: IPE Hardwood Lumber

Ipe (pronounced: Eee-pay) is a Brazilian hardwood that has become popular in the past decade and is a common material used by New York Plantings in their landscape structures including their custom planter boxes for both commercial and residential properties. The durability of this wood is hard to ignore for builders, especially landscape professionals who are looking for a strong, long-lasting building material.

Ipe is so dense some people say it has the strength of steel. It can last 25+ years outdoors without being treated. It is 100% natural and it resists surface scratches. Sounds great, right? Well, it is also mold, fire weather and pest-resistant. With these properties, it’s easy to see why it has become so popular!

Known by many names throughout the world* this wood is most commonly used for outdoor furniture, decks, gazebos, pergolas, planter boxes, structures for garden walls, and fencing. Ipe wood products contain no added harmful chemicals, so it is safe around people, pets and water.

Ipe hardwood is typically a reddish brown color that can also include a olive tinge with some light and dark striping, sometimes exhibiting a look similar to a dark to olive-brown tinged teak wood. The grain can have quite a bit of variation.

Ipe lumber can be difficult to work with, so it is not ideal for the “weekend (do-it-yourself) warrior.” Since the wood is so strong it is often necessary to pre-drill holes and it easily blunts cutting edges on the tools used to cut it and carpenters need to be prepared to go through a lot of drill bits! It may be a little difficult to work with, but the durability, beauty, smooth sanded finish, and no splintering feature of this hardwood makes this material ideal for any professional outdoor build.

New York Plantings is now pleased to offer the design, construction and installation of custom planter boxes in the New York area. Previously available only to New York Plantings Garden Design customers, we will now provide this service to anyone in need of these durable, attractive and useful planters. Call us at 347-558-7051 for custom planters and all your garden design and landscape needs.

*(Brazilian walnut, Brazilian hardwood, ironwood, Amapa, cortex, Guayacan, Flor Amarillo, Greenheart, Madera negra, Tahuari, Lapacho negro, Poui, Bethabarra, Tajibo, Mataverde, Tabebuia, cumaru (Dipterix odorata) and jarrah (Eucalyptus marginata). In France, it is known as bois ipe.)

Thursday, May 3, 2012

New York Plantings - Planter Boxes & Container Gardens

Container gardens and planter boxes are wonderful additions to any urban garden. They can be both decorative and allow for ease-of-use planting on terraces, rooftops, patios and decks. These days there are plenty of different styles and colors of containers to meet any design aesthetic, but when considering which containers to buy, it’s also important to choose containers that are sturdy and will not crack or break after only a season or two.

Cheap plastic or thin terra cotta planters may work as a quick and inexpensive answer to your last minute planting dilemma, but they will most likely crack or break when exposed to the sun or extreme weather (sometimes even with the weight of the dirt and plants they were meant to contain!), so what you thought was a bargain may end up costing you in damaged plants, time dealing with a dirty mess on your patio, the effort of replanting and the cost of a replacement container of a higher quality after your costly “lesson learned.”

Thicker terra cotta, measuring at least ½” to 1” thick is a better choice as well as outdoor quality glazed pots, fiberglass, metal and concrete blends. All of these options reduce the possibility of the containers cracking or breaking. When purchasing any of these pots make sure to check each pot for signs of the kind of damage that would accompany each specific material including: hairline cracks, improperly joined seams, warping, dents or rust. Beyond the construction of the containers, drainage holes need to be considered. All dirt-rooted plants need drainage. Making a drainage hole in the pot may be necessary to prevent overwatering and root rot. It is also necessary to fill the bottom of your planter with approximately 1” of pebbles to keep your plants healthy and the drainage holes clear of dirt.

These are great options for scattering a few decorative plants around a deck or terrace, but what about planting on a larger scale? Often terraces, patios and rooftops can accommodate larger-scale planting beds that can add the drama of a stunning visual feature. Also, the health benefits from air-filtering plants can help you save energy and can even be a source of fresh vegetables for the dinner table!

It is this need for larger planters that first motivated Todd Nappi of New York Plantings Garden Design to start designing and building custom planters for his New York area customers. “Designing and building our own custom planters frees us to be more creative in our design plans. We no longer have to work around the sizes and shapes of planters available in retail stores. Especially working in the city where space is at a premium, being able to customize the planters to our customer’s individual area allows us to take advantage of all the space available to us and adds a deeper level of customization.”

We make the boxes from IPE hardwood, one of the strongest woods on the planet, lasting more than 25 years outdoors without treatment. Some compare its strength to that of steel! All boxes come lined with marine grade ¾” plywood and then epdm for durability and design versatility.

Take a look around the city and you will probably see some of the planters built by our carpenters at New York Plantings Garden Design & Landscape Construction. Our work can be seen on balconies, rooftop gardens, under pergolas, on terraces, holding climbing vines for vertical walls, restaurant fronts as well as custom indoor planters. Some of our favorites? Cube-style and rectangular planters that add drama and wonderful functionality! Of course, we’d be happy to deliver and install retail provided containers and planters too. Custom building planters just adds another option to your design possibilities.

For more information about New York City landscape designer Todd Nappi and his company New York Plantings Garden Design, including photos of the urban retreats he designs, can be found on his website. And to learn more about Todd’s approach to landscaping, images of projects and other helpful gardening tips and info you can also visit his blog.