Dear Design Wild Friends & Loved Ones,
This weekend, as our northern hemisphere tilts away from the sun, we arrive at the autumn equinox. This may be a time of preparation for the oncoming cold but I’m pretty sure it's also the very best season in NYC. Autumn in New York may be a song or a cliché, but it is also SO true! The air is crisp, the leaves are turning, the sky still so blue, and the humidity of summer gone. The city is bursting with art, theater, and culture; everyone back from their summer breaks, ready to dig into life!
In the plant world, it is a time to prepare for winter as well as a time of glory. Not only the unreal colors of the leaves (nature is just SO f-ing cool), but the flowers are fading in favor of fruiting bodies and seedpods. Plants are putting forth their fruit and genetics for the coming season. The harvest arrives with our Farmer's Markets bursting at the seams with greens, squash, potatoes, pears, apples, and abundance. All is glory with a side of decay… and I love it!
As the Jewish New Year also comes to a close this week, we take time to reflect on the past with deep gratitude, find space for celebration and a moment to just sit with it all.
Below you will find some highlights of the summer, as well as an upcoming fall project we’re excited about. Now that fall has arrived, take long walks through the city, smell the leaves turning, share meals with loved ones and take a moment to sit with it and breathe into your year.
WHAT WE'RE UP TO
De Witt Clinton Park Community Vision
This autumn, Design Wild is thrilled to be facilitating a Community Visioning Process for Dewitt Clinton Park, hosted and sponsored by CHDC. Dewitt Clinton, located on the northwest corner of the Hell's Kitchen neighborhood here in Manhattan, is the largest park in the district, well loved and with a rich history (you think Urban Ag is cool now? How about a female-run urban ag program farming with children in the early 1900s! There are photos.) The community is embarking on a process to create a unified vision for the future of Dewitt Clinton Park. Do you live, work or hang out in the Hell's Kitchen neighborhood? If you do, we'd love you to join us at several upcoming events for the park. There will be fun and activities and always food. You can also tell us what you love and what you'd like to see more of by filling out a survey here. Visit our website to learn more.
FRIENDS IN HIGH PLACES
On a scorching hot day in July, far above a busy Tribeca street, Design Wild installed one of our favorite residential gardens of the summer. This multi-terrace garden brings three uniquely tailored green spaces to our clients' newly renovated home. First, a dynamic and overflowing kitchen terrace garden sparkles with everything from herb-filled window boxes, to a flowering understory and large shrubs. The second terrace is a sensory-filled, planted border to compliment a child's play space. The third garden is a bedroom terrace where a subtle plant palette creates a calming atmosphere. Check out before and after photos of this transformation on our website.
A WILD COLLABORATION
Design Wild was thrilled to collaborate with one of our dearest entrepreneur friends, Craftspring, in bringing to life the backyard of their new store and collaborative pop-up and coworking space, Atelier Canal. This awesome space is due to open this week in Gowanus, Brooklyn, and will house a magical Craftspring store, all sorts of cool entrepreneurs, events and more! Design Wild designed and installed a garden in the building's backyard, greening and softening the funky industrial vibe. We had an amazing crew including Design Wild staff and Craftspring staff (and family). Together we transformed a tiny space full of trash into a lush and peaceful courtyard. Watch the video and visit our website to read more about the project and see lots more photos of the amazing transformation!
SHIT WE LOVE
In these current times, there is an even greater need to stay AWAKE, INSPIRED and JOYFUL. We are paying special attention to people, places, and work that lift our spirits and we wanted to share some of them with you. Here are just a few of many:
Need a vacation from the city, something to soothe the soul? How about somewhere lush, romantic and beautiful with views? If you can't make it to the Mediterranean, how about the Bronx? Visit Wave Hill because every time I go, I'm blown away by just how magnificent this garden is. Definitely one of New York City's most beautiful spots. Its sweeping views of the Hudson River and the Palisades are life-changing, the garden is a plant-nerd's dream, and you really must visit the trees! The trees here, one after the other, are grand and ancient and I can feel the ancestors in them.
Feeling lifted and proud of the continually brilliant Derek Fordjour. His paintings breathe life back into us during these current political/spiritual times. In the past we've always enjoyed our time tree hunting, moving large quantities of soil and full-size trees into museums and talking magic into spaces of art (read more about these adventures on our website) with Fordjour. Derek is a "New York-based artist of Ghanian heritage who creates vibrant scenes that subtly addresses topics of systemic inequality, race, and aspirations, particularly in the context of American identity," or so says the Whitney Museum! His work is exquisite, remarkable and we couldn't be more proud. Read more about his upcoming project with the Whitney, and go see his work.
Behind every great garden is a... trusty driver! Ever wonder how our hundreds of plants get from their cushy rural nursery homes to the mean streets of NYC? Without our trusted plant delivery driver, Lakhveer Singh, we would have no Design Wild gardens. Originally from India, Singh has called Long Island home for the last 20 years. When he's not working, Singh is focused on doing good in the world, cooking and eating delicious organic Indian food, and staying positive. If you're ever able to catch his radiant smile, it's sure to improve your day. We are so grateful for all his work, positive energy and generous spirit.
Take our online survey and get involved in Dewitt Clinton Park Community Visioning Project If you live, work or play in the Hell's Kitchen neighborhood, join us! We'll be kicking off the process with a fun day in the park on September 29, and holding a Community Design event on October 17 - we hope to see you there. In the meantime fill out an online survey here and tell us online how you love Dewitt Clinton park with #lovedewittclintonpark