suggestions for plantings in NYC

Hi,
I just got an apartment in the heart of new york city with a yard that is about 20ft x 20ft in size. The backyard has been completely neglected and is overrun by weeds. I am wondering if anyone has any tips for plants I can start planting there beginning September 1st (my move in date) after I mow that jungle down.
I'd like to get some types that will survive a few months before the frost hits, and if they automatically re-bloom in the spring that would be terrific (I don't know what the garderning term is for that, perennials?). Thanks for any ideas,
Mark
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I'd look at the metropolitan museum of art. Check out the Japanese garden area I believe they have. Not been there but I'd guess a small garden can have large potential.
All bonsai with water and a few stones with a sculpture and borrowed scenery or and perhaps less.
http://csszengarden.com /
Bill Have much fun!
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S Jersey USA Zone 5 Shade
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You have a unique opportunity to give sanctuary to misplaced birds and other critters. How lucky that you have a garden in the city. I suggest you read "Noah's Garden" by Sara Stein to get some good ideas. Native plants are always best, so do a search on plants native to southern NY.
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Betsy
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"Front Yard Gardens: Growing More Than Grass" by Liz Primeau is a good book. It has gardens for different climates and sizes. I borrowed a copy form the library and am planning on buying it. You can plant Tulips, Daffodils, Crocus and Winter Aconite in the fall to bloom in the spring. Maybe someone else has a suggestion as to what other types of perennials you can plant this fall. Good Luck and Have fun, Marilyn

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Planting Suggestions http://mercury.ccil.org/~treeman/sub1.html
Pruning and such If you do not desire imposing extra injury to your tree - I highly suggest reading this book. And do not use wound dressing. Once you have read it you will be able to answer your own question. http://www.treedictionary.com/DICT2003/TPRUNING.html
You also would be wise to offer the tree other treatments that address their requirements. This book would help someone understand many treatments. http://www.treedictionary.com/DICT2003/MARBOR.html
Sincerely,
John A. Keslick, Jr. Beware of so-called TREE EXPERTS who do not understand TREE BIOLOGY! www.treedictionary.com
http://mercury.ccil.org/~treeman / Storms, fires, floods, earthquakes, and volcanic eruptions keep reminding us that we are not the boss. Some people will buy products they do not understand and not buy books that will give them understanding.
KICK RICK SANTORUM OUT IN 2006! Why? See his score card here http://capwiz.com/lcv/dbq/vote_info/?command=results&sort=District&lvl=C&bzip=&azip 380

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Are you some kind of idiot?
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Travis in Shoreline (just North of Seattle) Washington
USDA Zone 8
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Betsy


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What do you want your garden to look like? How do you want it to function? Is your aesthetic a zen-type garden, very minimalist, or do you want English cottage style, semi-wild and very mixed up. Or very formal, with topiaries and paths? Or knot gardens? Or... or... or... Do you want to do some food production in your garden? Or is it purely decorative? Can you build something (raised beds, paving, vertical wall, fountain), or must it stay much as it is now, but weeded? How much do you want to spend? How much do you want to work in it? Do you have an easy way to get water to the garden space, or are you going to be carrying it in pitchers and buckets? Do you want to attract butterflies? Birds? Do you want a garden that is at its best in the evening?
You've got some excellent gardening sources in the City of NY -- Brooklyn Botanic Garden, NY Botanical Garden for a couple of places to look for ideas and figure out what styles appeal to you.
My first thoughts, given that you're asking for color now, and that you'll probably want to sit out and enjoy the garden, would be to pave a very small section of it for a small table and a couple of chairs -- something like flagstones, perhaps with something like creeping thyme growing in the spaces between the flagstones.
I'd build raised beds around the periphery, and fill them with a mixture of columnar evergreens, vines like clematis, shrubs and small trees with colored leaves and interesting bark texture and roses. I'd also add spring and summer blooming hardy bulbs, and add annuals next spring for more color.
Then I'd build a slightly lower raised bed in front of that one, preferably with a curved "front" to it, and use that for a mixture of edible plants like tomatoes with fruits of various sizes and colors, peppers (ditto), decorative but edible lettuces, herbs like basil, thyme, sage, oregano, rosemary, parsley, and some perennials like rhubarb and asparagus -- again, I'd mix in annuals for more color. Finally, I'd add an interesting small specimen tree, some miniature or groundcover roses, a few pots of annuals, and maybe a small fountain with a recirculating pump.
All that will take money and time... less time to keep up if you mulch intensively and install drip irrigation. BUT -- is that something you can do? Something you want to do?
You're a new gardener, and you don't yet know if you're going to enjoy gardening as a hobby. What I just outlined is fairly intensive gardening in a small space, and is going to take a lot of upkeep and some good selection of plant materials -- you're not going to want to plant something that'll take up the entire space all by itself in a couple of years -- you'll want to go for something that remains fairly small and compact for most of your plants.
So what I'm going to suggest is that you consider something like "flowering cabbage" or "flowering kale" for fall planting, perhaps some pansies (I don't know how they'd do out there in a NY winter), and some spring bulbs in pots. That'll get you some color now and early next spring. In the meantime, you can start visiting some display gardens and writing down stuff you like and stuff you really hate, making some sketches, and getting the soil ready for planting -- my guess is it's going to be pretty compacted and acidic, and probably fairly nutrient-poor -- a soil test would be a good idea, as would starting a small worm bin to help you compost your kitchen garbage as soil amendment.
Then head for the library or bookstore. My favorite book for brand new gardeners is Rodale's Chemical Free Yard and Garden, by Anna Carr... especially the first few chapters on soil, water, plant selection, diseases. Read that first... it's kind of dull looking, but it has some really important information on working with your soil and conditions to make it much, much more successful. And head over to one of the garden catalog lists and sign up for some things that sound interesting/pretty/ useful. That'll get you some winter reading you can clip and circle and plot and plan with easily. You'll want to order some spring bulbs now -- daffodils and crocus are pretty easily grown in pots, and some tulips (drop me a note if you want an old faq I did on forcing bulbs for winter bloom.)
Next, I'd probably send you to the library for several sets of books... pick the ones that are interesting to you: the old Time-Life gardening set, with titles like "Trees", "Perennials", "Annuals"; a series of picture books by Roger Phillips and Martyn Rix ("Roses", "Shrubs", "Perennials", etc.); and a series of small books from Brooklyn Botanic Garden -- look in the shopping section of http://www.bbg.org for new titles, the older ones are also excellent and your library may have them cataloged as part of the Plants and Gardens series.
There is also a paperback from Fine Gardening called something like gardening in small spaces or plants in small spaces that may be of interest.
Anyhow, that'll get you started....
Let us know how you want to proceed, and we can probably help.
Kay
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My Toronto garden is bright with rudbeckia, echinacea and asters at the moment --- natiives, tough and easy on the watering.
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