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Gardens NYC: Green Retreat

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A landscape designer's backyard oasis in Williamsburg.

In New York City, hidden among the cement and concrete, there lie pockets of plantlife, carefully nurtured by denizens of the city. In the SHFT series Gardens NYC, we give some shine to these gardens and the people who grow them. In this episode, we pay a visit to landscape designer Jamie Hardy's backyard oasis in Williamsburg, where peas, peonies, and tomatoes thrive in the Brooklyn air. ...read more

Gardens NYC: Patrick's Place

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Urban gardening comes up from underground.

There's nothing new about urban gardening. The Romans grew food on rooftops. Schoolyards and vacant lots have hosted veggie plots for centuries. So today's city agriculture explosion is really just a reclamation of our heritage. And nowhere is it more prevalent than Brooklyn, where Patrick Nagel (no, not that Patrick Nagel) gets his green thumb dirty every day. Born and raised near Detroit,......read more

Gardens NYC: Creative Living

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Garden as canvas.

Ten years ago, when artist Greg Van de Hey felt the creative impulse, he'd make a painting. But now, with two young kids, there just isn't enough time to make art. That's where his garden comes in. Whether it's building a rain barrel, making a grapevine trellis, or making wine, the young dad can always find a garden project that satiates his creative drive. It all plays into......read more

Gardens NYC: Let It Grow

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On a Brooklyn rooftop, Justin Vernon joins the shift.

For Justin Vernon, there's more to gardening than growing plants. His rooftop garden, one of the many cropping up on the Brooklyn skyline, is part of a broader shift in environmental consciousness. The moment he started thinking of the planet as a living entity, Justin couldn't wait to get some seeds and get down to business. Now, with the Gaia philosophy informing his approach, Justin raises......read more

Gardens NYC: Melting Pot

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George Iliopoulos's garden thrives in Staten Island

Growing up on a farm in Greece, New York restauranteur George Iliopoulos learned a thing or two about growing food. At 12, he hopped on a ship and headed to America. He finally settled in Staten Island, where his garden now produces plenty of fresh veggies for his family's table. But it wasn't always easy; despite his understanding of farming, things didn't always grow like he thought they......read more

Gardens NYC: It All Ties In

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A '60s flower child and native Brooklynite shows off his gawwden

If you were in New York City in the late '60s, you may have come across a longhaired Stephen Rutsky out in the streets with his hippy brethren, advocating for social and political change. These days, you're more likely to find him among the abundant greenery of his Park Slope garden, where he practices a quieter, more personal form eco-activism... by growing plants. From beans for his table to......read more

Gardens NYC: Peter's Place

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Sowing seeds on a Brooklyn rooftop

Native New Yorker Peter Manerva comes by his love of gardening honestly. His parents were into plants, and when he was a kid, instead of building forts out of sheets and couch cushions, he would create his own little jungle worlds from all the plantlife around the house. That childhood interest in greenery blossomed into an adult obsession. Peter was kind enough to show us around his spectacular......read more

Gardens NYC: Isa's Oasis

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Isa Brito's herbal elixirs spring from the healing plants in her Williamsburg garden.

Our good friend Isa Brito is the herbalist behind Isa's Restoratives, a line of wildcrafted, organic concoctions that we fully endorse (hot tip: try the Blue Chamomile Face Cream ). In this episode of Gardens NYC, we explore the Williamsburg garden where the lives of Isa's tinctures begin. But healing plants aren't the garden's only residents; Isa is down with weeds as well.......read more

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