The Best Plants for an NYC Balcony

If you’re like us, you absolutely love calling New York City home. There are certainly times, though, when it’s difficult to step back from the hustle and bustle and just relax. That’s why we encourage people to create a green space of their own with beautiful, hardy plants.Here are some of the best plants for an NYC balcony or rooftop garden:

Marigolds – Just because winter is right around the corner doesn’t mean we can’t look ahead to warmer temperatures. If you’re looking for a flower that’s low-maintenance and bright, then be sure to consider marigolds for your urban oasis. Few balcony plants are better.

Chrysanthemums – It’s no secret why mums are grown almost everywhere in the world. Not only will they liven up your outdoor space, but mums also come in various colors. Plant them next spring and see for yourself why mums are the most popular flowers after roses.

Petunias – Who said that a small balcony or rooftop garden can’t have eye-popping color? Petunias are easy to grow and come in a variety of colors. Just remember that petunias require abundant fertilization and plenty of sun.

Impatiens – We are often asked which plants are best for shady balconies. Simply put, you can’t go wrong with impatiens. Know that impatiens need lots of fertilizer throughout the year.

Portulacas – Have you been searching for a low-maintenance flower that can thrive in even the tiniest spaces? Then be sure to put portulacas at the top of your list. These hardy flowers are certain to add a much-needed boost of color to any space.

Pansies – This is the ideal flower for growing in window boxes and pots. NYC residents and property managers alike appreciate the mild fragrance and unique look of pansies. Plus, they come in many colors and sizes.

Snapdragons – Nothing beats going out to your balcony or rooftop and watching the butterflies and hummingbirds. But did you know that snapdragons attract these beautiful creatures? You might not have thought so with their small flowers.

Ferns – No rooftop or balcony is complete without a few ferns. At Amber Freda Landscape Design, we like that most ferns are suitable to grow in containers. Plus, they add the perfect final touch to shady spaces.

Custom NYC Landscape Design

Now that you know which plants thrive on balcony and rooftop spaces, what’s the next step toward having an urban oasis of your own? We recommend reaching out to an experienced New York City garden designer. Amber Freda, our in-house custom landscaping professional, has you covered.

Amber will look at your space, listen to your vision, and then get to work with the design aspects. Unlike other companies that might hand off tasks to third-party contractors, Amber Freda Landscape Design does everything in-house. The best part, though, is that Amber oversees every part of the project.

Don’t settle for cookie-cutter landscape design services any longer. Contact us today to schedule an initial consultation and see what makes Amber the preferred garden designer in NYC.  

Mistakes to Avoid When Hiring a Landscape Design Expert

There’s probably a lot on your mind if you’re thinking about installing a garden in New York City. For example, can you have a green space on your rooftop, backyard, or terrace? On top of that, what utilities are required for a garden?

There’s no question that urban landscaping can breathe new life into a property. What many people fail to realize, though, is the importance of finding an experienced landscape design expert. The last thing you want to do is waste your time and money on someone who doesn’t actually understand the design aspect.

Here are some mistakes to avoid when hiring a local garden designer:

Choosing a “lawn care” or “maintenance” company  

Would you really trust a lawn service to handle an extensive landscape design project? We’re guessing not. While there are certainly landscaping companies that do quality work, few have a keen eye for design.

This is where Amber Freda Landscape Design comes into play. We pride ourselves on offering cohesive, fully integrated design plans that include various elements. Amber has the ability to situate everything in a way that feels like a natural extension of your home.

Failing to look at experience

We all have to start somewhere in our careers. That said, it’s probably not the best idea to hire an inexperienced landscaping team. Just one mistake could prove to be costly.

There’s no need to worry about experience with Amber Freda. For nearly 15 years, Amber has provided clients with high-end, detail-oriented landscaping services. Her project list consists of backyards, community gardens, contemporary gardens, patios, terraces, rooftop gardens, and more.

It’s safe to say that Amber has been there and done that in this ever-evolving industry.

Failing to look at credentials

Just because a contractor might have decades of experience doesn’t necessarily mean they’re the best choice. If possible, dig a little deeper and see if they’ve been recognized for their work and/or expertise. Such recognition not only proves their knowledge of the industry but also their passion.

You can feel comfortable knowing that Amber has been a staple in New York City’s garden design community. For one thing, she has taught a number of classes at the New York and Brooklyn botanical gardens. Amber has also been featured in The New York Times, the Associated Press, Better Homes & Gardens, HGTV, and other mainstream publications.

Failing to look at testimonials

This is a big one. A landscape design expert can rave all they want about their experience and services. Frankly, though, it means nothing if they can’t back it up with positive testimonials.

At Amber Freda Landscape Design, we have many client testimonials up on our homepage. Take it from Pamela K., who says “The fantastic thing about Amber is that she is that rare combination of artist and great business person. Amber creates the landscape of your dreams and at the same time is very professional.”

Hiring the contractor who offers the cheapest bid

“You get what you pay for.” That idea certainly applies to landscaping professionals. While it may be tempting to hire the company offering the lowest price, don’t forget about quality and long-term investment.

Don’t make the mistake of hiring just anyone to complete your landscape design work. Contact one of NYC’s best in Amber Freda.

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Concerns over Glyphosate in Cereal

Fun Fall Grilling Recipes

It’s hard to believe we’re nearly halfway through fall. While you might be turning your attention toward Thanksgiving preparations, why not think about what to cook on the grill this month? We can help you take advantage of the crisp weather with the following fall grilling recipes from Southern Living:

  1. Grilled Pork Chops with Apple-Bourbon Glaze – You can’t go wrong with pork chops any time of year, but especially during the autumn. As you might have guessed, the spicy and sweet apple-bourbon glaze is what really makes this dish stand out. Pair with your favorite seasonal salad, fresh fruit, and rice for a truly delicious meal.
  2. Rosemary Grilled Chicken Thighs – There’s a lot you can do with grilled chicken. For this recipe, add some rosemary and garlic marinade before placing the chicken on the grill. Once cooked to perfection, serve over creamy cheese grits with a side of sauteed garlic spinach. Your mouth is watering just thinking about this fall favorite!
  3. Portobello Mushroom Burgers with Carrot-Cabbage Slaw – Feeding a large group on game day? Burgers are always a great choice. Although these burgers are hearty, they are also, in fact, meatless. Top your portobellos with a colorful slaw or serve it on the side. Don’t be surprised if you find yourself making these burgers several times during football season.
  4. Grilled Apple Salad – Apples and cheddar go hand in hand this time of year. The recipe calls for pecan halves, gala apples, baby spinach, and extra-sharp white cheddar cheese. Best of all, this salad takes just 20 minutes to prepare and cook. The Grilled Apple Salad is versatile enough to make on a weeknight or for a special occasion.
  5. Grail Salad with Grilled Shrimp and Sweet Peppers – Nothing beats a healthy, delicious salad with grilled shrimp. You will need uncooked bulgur, medium-size raw shrimp, baby sweet peppers, green onions, and fresh lemon juice, among other ingredients. This grail salad takes about an hour to prepare and cook. Pro tip from MyRecipes: If you choose to use wooden skewers, submerge them in water for half an hour before adding the shrimp.

The Best Landscape Design

Fall barbecues start with an incredible outdoor kitchen. But you don’t want just any ‘cookie-cutter’ kitchen for your urban oasis. Rather, you want one that’s designed specifically to meet your needs and the needs of your guests.

This is where Amber Freda Landscape Design comes into play. We can easily design everything from planting schemes to custom features such as decks, fences, and, of course, outdoor kitchens. You can count on us to build out everything in a way that feels seamless, natural, and hassle-free.

At Amber Freda Landscape Design, Amber is involved in the entire process. Unlike other companies that hand off tasks to third-party contractors, our garden designer oversees every step from start to finish. You can feel comfortable knowing Amber will be there to ensure every detail meets her high standards.

Fall is one of the most beautiful times of the year. Get the most out of this season with an outdoor kitchen from Amber Freda Landscape Design.