Big Picture: An elevated oasis

November 8, 2018 -  By
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Location: New York City
Company: John Mini Distinctive Landscapes

Located in Manhattan, this residential building’s outdoor space included overgrown and failing plantings. The client looked to transform it into a well-manicured park for residents.

The terrace lacks direct sunlight as it’s located on the northeast corner of the block and surrounded by 30-plus-story buildings. The John Mini team installed shade-loving blue fescue around the perimeter. The plantings started as spaced-out rows, and over time, more plantings were added.

The design team incorporated Siberian spruce and river birch trees, as well as pops of color from rudbeckias and floral plantings. During the initial season, the crew pruned back the canopies and created archways through the trees. An herb wall was also installed, featuring 16 different herbs.

The project earned John Mini Distinctive Landscapes a 2017 Grand Award from the National Association of Landscape Professionals’ Awards of Excellence program.

Manhattan's building design (Photo: John Mini Distinctive Landscapes)

Photo: John Mini Distinctive Landscapes

The luxury Manhattan building’s design prioritized delivering green space to its residents in a neighborhood with limited park experiences.

Layers of greenery (Photo: John Mini Distinctive Landscapes)

Photo: John Mini Distinctive Landscapes

Vibrant layers of green, laced with seasonal woodland color references envelop visitors walking the circular path around the garden.

Sunken lounge (Photo: John Mini Distinctive Landscapes)

Photo: John Mini Distinctive Landscapes

This sunken lounge is a go-to for terrace regulars, now that the formerly diseased trees have been replaced.

Yin/yang planting (Photo: John Mini Distinctive Landscapes)

Photo: John Mini Distinctive Landscapes

This yin/yang planting is simultaneously soothing and stimulating to the senses. A buffer of refreshing green bands balance the warm glowing tones of the grasses.

Plant materials around garden (Photo: John Mini Distinctive Landscapes)

Photo: John Mini Distinctive Landscapes

The careful selection of plant materials enlarges the garden, making this private spot one of many cherished by residents.

Roof of building (Photo: John Mini Distinctive Landscapes)

Photo: John Mini Distinctive Landscapes

Similar materials used elsewhere on the roof create a cohesive green signature for the building while offering a variety of garden experiences.

Iconic daisy (Photo: John Mini Distinctive Landscapes)

Photo: John Mini Distinctive Landscapes

Rudbeckias’ iconic daisy silhouette is a universal crowd pleaser in the building and infuses the green layers with gold.

Terrace locations (Photo: John Mini Distinctive Landscapes)

Photo: John Mini Distinctive Landscapes

Terrace locations were selected by the building for private retreats, anchored with splashes of color in the designed arrangements. Each arrangement reflects the site’s attributes and the shown composition, called the Maui sunset bowl, is bathed in Hudson sunset hues each evening.

"Fire" bowl (Photo: John Mini Distinctive Landscapes)

Photo: John Mini Distinctive Landscapes

The “fire” bowl in the foreground conquers Manhattan code’s opposition to fire pits, with an unexpected interpretation of a fire with firestyx pencil cactus and landscape glass in red and amber tones.

Archways through trees (Photo: John Mini Distinctive Landscapes)

Photo: John Mini Distinctive Landscapes

During the initial season, the John Mini Distinctive Landscapes team pruned back the canopies and created archways through the trees.

Lush plantings (Photo: John Mini Distinctive Landscapes)

Photo: John Mini Distinctive Landscapes

These lush plantings have created a favorite spot for residents to commune.

Landscape plan (Photo: John Mini Distinctive Landscapes)

Photo: John Mini Distinctive Landscapes

The lush garden offers the soothing effects of a walk in the woods with just a glance in any direction delivering a woodland portal in midtown Manhattan.

This article is tagged with and posted in 1118, Big Picture, Current Issue

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