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Mackenzie Younger
 
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2017 Installments

Rooftop Display Garden

Prospect Park, Brooklyn 


Street Tree Garden

Prospect Park, Brooklyn 

 
2016 Installments 

Children's Garden

Cobble Hill, Brooklyn

 

 

Intro

When neighbors collaborate, great things happen! The children's garden is a union of two backyards and families with the singular goal of enriching the lives of their children. Native NY Gardens took this opportunity to create a space where the families can grow their own food, have fun in their playhouse, and be surrounded by the beauty of native flora. 

Play house & vegetable Beds

An open-air play house and two vegetable beds are major components to this garden. They where designed to promote outdoor activities, imaginative games and introduce their children to the practice of growing food. 

 

emphasis on Nature

We love to see nature enrich the lives of children and watch children embrace nature as a source of inspiration. That is why we carefully selected plants that would attract pollinators all season long, sustaining local populations. We also installed bird houses, hand painted by the children for our feathered friends, but more importantly as a gesture to welcome wildlife to the garden and creatively celebrate the larger community of living species.

Rain Garden

A rain garden adjacent to the playhouse collects runoff and provides a dense habitat for visiting wildlife.  Perennials such as Joe-pye Weed, Marsh Mallow and New York Iron Weed will grow to tower over the children in an exciting and fun way!

 

Wild Edibles

Along with having vegetable beds for rotational crops (leafy greens, root vegetables and herbs) we planted an array of wild edibles. Wild edibles are great because children love to forage, and parents love it when eating healthy becomes fun! In this garden alone, there are High Bush Blueberries, Strawberries, Blackberries, Raspberries, Beach Plums, Elderberries and several rare but glorious Paw Paw trees.  

 

 

BEFORE

BEFORE

AFTER

AFTER

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MONIQUE PÉAN TERRACE

Soho, NY

 

INTRO

This summer Native NY Gardens collaborated with design firm Charlap Hyman and Herrero to transform an unrealized Soho terrace into a garden for renowned jewelry designer Monique Pean. Consisting entirely of dark-leaf native plants, Monique's Terrace is truly unique. We selected many of the plants based on their drought tolerance and ability to withstand extreme conditions. Using an ecological design approach, Native NY Gardens has been able to manage the site without an irrigation system. Monique's Terrace has received attention by press such as Surface Magazine which featured the garden in it's September 2016 edition. 

Here, it’s a drought-resistant garden, so it’s sustainable and doesn’t require significant irrigation, which would be harmful for the environment. The plants are all native to New York. We worked with Mackenzie Younger, who runs a landscape architecture and botany firm, to identify local black plants for the garden.
— Surface Magazine Interview with Monique Péan
BEFORE 

BEFORE 

AFTER

AFTER

Moss Garden Fort Greene, Brooklyn  


Spring time highlights 

Foam flower 

Foam flower 

Wild Stonecrop 

Wild Stonecrop 

Woodland phlox

Woodland phlox

 

Backyard Meadow Bed-stuy, Brooklyn

 

Fort Greene Park

Brooklyn, NY

 
Mural Project

Mural Project

Mackenzie Younger, founder of Native NY Gardens, moved to Fort Greene, Brooklyn in 2015, where he fell in love with the neighborhoods park. Fascinated by it's history and old growth trees, Mackenzie provided free tree tours in Fort Greene Park every Saturday which got the attention of the park's staff and the Fort Greene Conservancy. They quickly learned about his work as an artist and invited Mackenzie to lead a mural project with staff from the neighboring Brooklyn Hospital.

After the mural, Fort Greene Park became aware of Mackenzie's work as a landscaper with Native NY Gardens. Concerned about the lack of native flowering perennials in the park, Mackenzie proposed a pollinator garden which the director David Barker suggested could take place along the the park's tennis court. Representatives of the park shared an interest in diversifying the landscape and using native plants to benefit wildlife, creating a perfect opportunity for a collaboration. 

Native NY Gardens curated site, amended the soil and sourced all the large plant material for the project, along with plugs selected by the park's director from Greenbelt Native Plant Conservancy. With the help from staff, grounds supervisor Eric Thomann and local volunteers, Native NY Gardens and Fort Greene Park installed  220 individual plants and over 500 plugs in 10' x 120' flower bed. Come to the park and see what we did! 

 

Site Preparation

Site Preparation

Site Installation

Site Installation

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Instant success 

From the moment the plants arrived local pollinators could not keep away! People were in awe by how effective native plants were at attracting bees and butterflies, most of which they'd never seen in the park before. 

Not only are the pollinators happy but the people are happy too! A sense of community ownership was built around the garden and over night an unrealized site was transformed into a beloved destination. 

Long lasting impact

Like all of our projects, we plan for year round interest and wildlife benefits. 

Long-lived perennials provide nectar, shelter and food for caterpillars and other herbivores. Large swaths of 'power house' bloomers like Anise Hyssop support impressive populations of Bumble Bees and draw in Honey Bees from miles away. Massive displays of color attract butterflies and dense foliage of grasses, and perennials provide cover for migratory birds who then feed on the abundant insect populations. 

 

 

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Backyard Oasis

Downtown, Brooklyn 

 

INTRO

With the support of an open minded home owner Native NY Gardens took a typical Brooklyn backyard (with a play house that the children had outgrown and a lawn in disrepair) and transformed it into an oasis! Over 15 varieties of native trees and shrubs, 30 varieties of herbaceous plants, grasses, aquatic species and moss took root in the garden, giving it a botanical garden type of feel. 

Water

What would an oasis be without water? (Well not an Oasis at all). For this project Native NY Gardens designed a pond that utilizes aquatic plants as natural water cleaners.  Balance of natural systems is vital to any healthy pond preventing algae blooms and repelling misquote larvae. In time we will introduce misquote fish, frogs and turtles to further balance this aquatic habitat.   

Plant Diversity

Plant diversity is key for any ecosystem, fruitful oasis or diatomic garden. By understanding how plants function in an ecosystem we can maximize their impact on bees, butterflies, birds and of course, people! Diversity is beautiful and an amazing asset to own. 

I have called this principle, by which each slight variation, if useful, is preserved, by the term of Natural Selection.
— Charles Darwin

Spring highlights

More portfolio pieces coming soon!