Tips for Buying Outdoor Furniture

Slowly but surely, we’re starting to warm up here in Manhattan and throughout New York City. You can already picture yourself hosting guests for drinks and dinner parties outside. But before you get too far ahead of yourself, take a look at the outdoor furniture you currently have.

It goes without saying that you should first check that the pieces are in good shape. From there, you’ll probably want to evaluate the look and feel of your outdoor furniture. Here’s the thing: If you plan to spend a lot of the upcoming spring and summer on your outdoor space, wouldn’t it make sense to invest in some quality furniture?

Let’s take a look at some buying tips as you make this decision:

Take the weather into account

Whether you’ve lived in NYC for a year or a decade, you know Mother Nature throws just about everything at us at some point or another. So how exactly does weather come into play as you look to purchase outdoor furniture? Well, hot, dry conditions occasionally make wood splinter and crack. It’s also a good idea to come up with an alternative to wicker items, as they have a hard time withstanding constant exposure to moisture.

Measure your space

This is an especially important tip. Sure, your first thought may be to “guesstimate” the amount of space you have on your deck or patio and go from there. But the last thing you want to do is return items because they’re too big or small.

As you determine the measurements, be sure to leave enough space around the items to be able to walk comfortably. Avoid trying to force a piece of furniture into this area just because you might love how it looks in the store. It’s okay to opt for a bar or bistro table in place of a regular dining set.

Figure out where to put your furniture

This is when the real fun begins. Perhaps your outdoor space is partially exposed to the elements. On the other hand, maybe you have the benefit of an overhead covering. However your outdoor area is situated, you will need to take some time deciding where to place your furniture.

Think about comfort

Let’s take a step back for a moment. The reason you’re purchasing outdoor furniture in the first place is to relax and make your space more comfortable. With that in mind, remember to choose a quality fabric that’s going to last for years to come. Especially with lounges, rockers, and recliners, cheaper may not necessarily mean better.

Plan for storage space   

By this point, you’ve selected some weather-appropriate furniture that not only looks and feels good but also fits in your outdoor space. You’re good to go, right? Technically, there’s one other thing to account for — storage.

Especially in NYC, it’s imperative to provide storage for your outdoor furniture during the winter. Without reliable storage, you could be looking at purchasing new pieces of furniture every spring. Trust us when we say that will get expensive in a hurry!

Consult Our NYC Landscape Design Team

As you can see, buying outdoor furniture is easier said than done. That’s why we recommend teaming with a landscape design expert, such as Amber Freda, for your project.

It’s no secret why NYC residents have relied on Amber’s expertise over the years. As opposed to traditional lawn care or hardscaping companies, Amber has a real knack for landscape design. Part of what separates Amber from the competition is her ability to offer clients an aesthetic that feels like a seamless and natural extension of their homes.

Following an on-site consultation where Amber understands your vision and space, she gets right to work with the design phase. Whether your project entails decks, patios, pergolas, fences, or outdoor kitchens, Amber will show you how everything looks together before moving on to installation. Speaking of installation, our landscape design team installs all plants and planters ourselves, while our general contractors handle more of the custom features.

When it’s all said and done, you will have an incredible space for relaxing and entertaining.

You’d be amazed at how Amber Freda can completely transform your outdoor living space. Contact us today to schedule a consultation.

Questions to Ask Your Landscape Designer

You’ve decided to install a garden on your New York City property. Rather than turn it into a DIY project, you’ve decided to hire a landscape design expert. But with the number of so-called “experts” in the area, how do you avoid the mistake of giving your hard-money to someone who has no idea what they’re doing?

Here are some questions to ask a garden design professional before hiring them:

“What’s your experience in the industry?”

Let’s get the most obvious one out of the way first. If you’ve already done some initial research on local landscaping services, you know there are a bunch of them in NYC. Some focus on lawn care while others specialize in Xeriscaping.

Here’s the thing: There’s a huge difference between traditional landscaping and custom landscape design. While many of our competitors have extensive experience with lawn care or maintenance, very few understand the design aspect.

This is where Amber Freda Landscape Design comes into play. Amber, who started the business in 2004, has been there and done that in this ever-changing industry. For one thing, Amber is a regular instructor at both the New York and Brooklyn botanical gardens.

Aside from her teaching experience, Amber has also been a regular guest on the CBS New York Morning Show and featured in popular publications such as The New York Times, Better Homes & Gardens, HGTV, and the Associated Press, among others. On top of all that, her client list includes notables such as George Soros, Brett Icahn, and Joseph Edelman.

It’s safe to say that Amber’s experience speaks for itself.

“What’s your typical process for a project?”

Far too many landscaping companies take a “cookie-cutter” approach with their clients’ projects. What do we mean by this exactly? Well, instead of starting from scratch every time and catering to a client’s specific needs, a landscaper might throw a bunch of things together because they worked well with a previously completed project.

Simply put, this is the easy way out for landscapers. Rest assured, though, that we never take such an approach at Amber Freda Landscape Design. Our team understands that each project differs based on a client’s style, vision, and space.

Whether you’re interested in a particular planting scheme or more custom features such as decks, pergolas, and patios, Amber walks you through the entire design process. Once we finalize the plan, Amber can submit the drawings for board approval.

There’s no need to worry about a “one-size-fits-all” process with Amber Freda.

“Who handles the installation of my project?”

It’s common for larger landscaping companies to hand projects off to third-party installation crews. As a result, certain parts of a project are missed and the client is left unhappy.

At Amber Freda Landscape Design, our landscape design professional oversees the design and installation of every project. In terms of the installation, we install all of the plants and planters ourselves, while our experienced general contractor builds out other features according to our specifications. The result is a space that feels functional, seamless, and well-designed.

“What kind of work have you completed in the past?”

If a landscaper is at all hesitant to show work samples, your best bet is to move on to the next one on your list. With Amber, there’s no reason to be concerned about our portfolio. We’re so proud of our work that we feature several pages of landscape design photos on our site!

We’re well-versed with designs involving backyards, rooftops, communal spaces, terraces, rooftops, and other spaces in New York City. So if you have a vision, we can bring it to life.

“Do you offer ongoing maintenance services as well?”

Perhaps you don’t have the time to maintain a garden but still want to enjoy the beauty of a green space. Not a problem! Our landscape design team offers ongoing maintenance of your garden to help keep your plants healthy and thriving throughout the summer.

Be sure to ask us about maintenance tasks such as pruning, fertilizing, pest control, leaf cleanup, deadheading, and weeding. We are also New York City’s choice for custom drip irrigation systems and landscape lighting.

Contact Amber Freda to schedule a consultation.

Tips for Creating a Bee-Friendly Garden

It’s a chilly 30 degrees here in Manhattan as we write this post. Believe it or not, though, spring is just around the corner. It won’t be long until we’re outside tending to our gardens and enjoying the best of Mother Nature.

Of course, spring is the ideal time of year to add some beauty to your favorite outdoor living space. In this post, we will discuss how you can create a bee-friendly garden in New York City. It doesn’t matter if you have a large backyard garden or a small patio, either.

Here are five tips for creating a bee-friendly garden:

Make use of the space you have available

This holds true for any garden, but especially a bee-friendly one. If you’re fortunate enough to have a fairly large outdoor space, fill it with lots of flowers. Just remember to leave room for you and other visitors to walk and sit.

As you begin this process, design wide paths or walkways. Trust us when we say it’s easy to get caught up planting a bunch of flowers and wind up with a narrow path. Obviously, the purpose of creating a bee-friendly garden is to watch bees and butterflies do their thing. That said, always be mindful of a honey bee’s personal space.

Add a water feature or two

There’s no question that bees appreciate gardens with a water feature. Maybe you’re wondering, “Do I really need to get some elaborate thing just so the bees have a water source?” Frankly, a birdbath with pebbles around the edge to create a shallow drinking spot will suffice.

Those with a larger outdoor space to work with may want to consider a small water garden. Again, it all depends on the location. But don’t think that a water feature is absolutely required for a bee-friendly garden.

Protect the bees from potentially harmful chemicals

You can go above and beyond to create a bee-friendly garden, from picking the perfect flowers to adding an incredible water feature. Unfortunately, none of it matters if the bees are exposed to herbicides, pesticides, and other chemicals in the area.

Should you still feel the need to use these products, try to purchase the most harmless types. Read the products’ labels, follow directions, and use them sparingly. Consider asking a landscape designer if they have recommendations for non-chemical methods to control undesirable insects.

Opt for plants that bloom again and again

Wondering what plants will thrive in your bee-friendly garden? Here at Amber Freda Landscape Design, we tell clients to use a combination of plants placed directly in the soil and add potted annuals over time. Not only does a variety of plants look better, but it provides a continuous supply of pollen and nectar for bees.

So as you start brainstorming plants for the spring, give annuals some serious thought. Just know that many annuals are done by late summer.

Choose the best plants

Now that you know annuals and perennials tend to do best in bee-friendly gardens, decide which ones are ideal for your area. In New York City, you can’t go wrong with echinacea, cosmos, asters, sunflowers, cornflowers, borage, thyme, and zinnias. If you’d like to branch out from this group, know that the plants you end up choosing should grow well within our region’s temperature and rainfall range.

Let Our Landscape Designer Create Your Dream Garden

At Amber Freda Landscape Design, our team believes in creating beautiful, bee-friendly gardens. As opposed to traditional landscapers, we never operate under a “one-size-fits-all” or “cookie-cutter” approach. Amber will listen to what you have in mind, assess your location, and then go to work with the design.

When it comes to creating bee-friendly gardens, we never use harmful pesticides and fertilizers. By using only organic products, we hope to contribute to a healthier, more sustainable planet for bees and society as a whole.

Don’t just settle for an average landscape design service this spring as you begin your garden preparations. With Amber Freda, we will double-check that every project detail meets our high standards. Our ultimate goal is to create a space you will appreciate and use for years to come.

Contact Amber Freda Landscape Design today.

Debunking the Most Common Rooftop Garden Myths

You’ve probably heard it before — rooftop gardens are leaky, costly, and an absolute pain to maintain. We’re here to tell you that these are misconceptions and nothing more. Keep reading as we debunk some of the most common rooftop garden myths.

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Myth No. 1 – Rooftop gardens are just a fad

This actually couldn’t be further from the truth. As we explained in “The History of Rooftop Gardens,” these spaces were first developed in ancient Mesopotamia by the ziggurats. Today, such gardens remain popular throughout New York City, especially on the roofs of local libraries and metropolitan restaurants.

This type of urban garden continues to evolve despite being around for centuries. There’s no need to worry about installing a rooftop garden only see it go out of style a year later. Rest assured that these spaces are here to stay.

Myth No. 2 – Rooftop gardens cause structural problems and leakage

This might be the biggest myth of the bunch. Just because a complex is dealing with a leaky roof doesn’t mean it can be attributed to the recently installed rooftop garden. Keep in mind that the leakage has to do with the installation and design specifications of the structure itself. So do yourself a favor and double-check the integrity of your roof before moving forward with the garden installation.

Myth No. 3 – Rooftop gardens are costly to maintain

Here’s the thing: All rooftop gardens require irrigation initially while plant roots establish themselves. After some time, though, maintenance costs should become more reasonable. Here at Amber Freda Landscape Design, we are your one-stop shop for landscape design and maintenance. Please don’t hesitate to ask about pruning, fertilizing, pest control, leaf cleanup, weeding, and other ongoing maintenance tasks.

Myth No. 4 – Rooftop gardens aren’t worth the time and money to install

“What’s the return on investment of a rooftop garden?” We are asked this question quite often. While we can’t exactly guarantee that the addition of a green space will add to your property’s value, we are confident in saying that this project offers plenty of bang for your buck. A well-designed rooftop garden is one that serves as a natural extension of your living space.

Prospective buyers and property managers alike will certainly appreciate the aesthetic and functional appeal of a rooftop garden.

Myth No. 5 – Anyone can design and install a rooftop garden

Sure, you can try turning this into a DIY project to save money. But do you really want to spend potentially hours seeing that your design is in accordance with your building’s code? On top of that, are you comfortable selecting planting schemes, furniture layouts, and custom features without the assistance of a professional? We’re guessing you probably don’t have the time for all of this.

Maybe the best piece of advice we can give you in this post is to invest in an experienced landscape design company. Amber Freda has more than 15 years of industry experience and gives every client the attention they deserve.

Contact us today to get started with your rooftop garden design.

How Gardening Can Help Your Mental Health

In a previous blog post, we discussed why gardening is good for your health. Not only is gardening good exercise, but it also helps you eat healthier. These aren’t the only benefits of horticulture, though.

The fact is that tending to a garden helps us heal, overcome stress, and boost our overall well-being. Here are a few ways gardening can help your mental health, as referenced from Psychology Today:

It gives us a sense of responsibility

New York City residents sometimes feel disconnected from nature for extended periods of time. This is where having your own garden can be so beneficial. As you begin looking after plants, you start to develop more of an appreciation for nature. Plus, you can’t help but be proud of watching your plants grow and thrive.

It helps us relax and unwind

We’re willing to bet that you have a lot on your plate, from working a stressful job to taking care of your children and managing responsibilities in between. Needless to say, your “free time” is minimal. But you still need some sort of outlet that allows you to escape from other people once in a while.

Gardening goes a long way in terms of helping us relax. Even spending just a few minutes in your outdoor oasis can make a significant difference. Nothing beats smelling the flowers, listening to the leaves rustle, or watching a butterfly move from one part of your garden to the next.

It keeps us connected to other living things

We touched on this earlier but it’s worth discussing a bit more. As humans, we have a complex interdependence with nature that we don’t even realize impacts us in profound ways. When we no longer have that regular connection with the earth, a deficit is created in our brains.

Unfortunately, this is when conditions such as depression, anxiety, and insomnia can take hold. Here at Amber Freda Landscape Design, we are proud to create one-of-a-kind healing gardens for our clients. We often find that these green spaces are some of the most treasured in a region dominated by concrete and steel.

It allows us to feel in control

Raise your hand if you consider yourself a control freak. Try as you might, it’s impossible to control other people and situations as a whole. As an alternative, gardening can be an effective way to gain some semblance of control.

It reminds us to live in the present

Many of us struggle with reliving the past and worrying about what the future holds. In a way, gardening almost forces you to become more present. The next time you’re watering the garden or pulling weeds, pause and let yourself be aware of your senses.

Proven Landscape Design Services

Amber Freda is not your average landscaping expert. As opposed to the traditional “lawn care” or hardscaping contractor, Amber specializes in the design aspect. With more than a decade of experience and an eye for detail, you can count on her to create the garden of your dreams.

See for yourself how a green space can improve your mental health and overall well-being. Contact us today for landscape design in NYC.

How to Create an Urban Garden in 2019

Just because it’s winter doesn’t mean you can’t start planning your future garden. Maybe you’re thinking, “How am I going to have my own green space in New York City?” All it really takes is a vision, some independent research, and an experienced landscape design professional.

Let’s begin by discussing some of the top garden design trends in 2019.

  1. Vibrant colors – The most beautiful outdoor living spaces are usually bursting with color. If you’re putting the time and energy into an urban garden, we recommend avoiding monochromatic colors as much as possible. Keep in mind that the brighter this area, the more likely you and everyone else will enjoy it.

  2. A blend of interior and exterior – You want your garden to feel like a seamless and natural extension of your home. If you just sort of throw things together and hope it looks good in the end, chances are you’re going to be disappointed. So take a step back and visualize how this space will be used. Every design is different, whether you’re hoping to add an outdoor kitchen for hosting parties or a water feature for a healing garden.

  3. Fruits, vegetables, and herbs – Nothing beats planting your own fruits and vegetables. Keep in mind that many of your favorites grow with beautiful flowers and decorative plants, creating lush greenery and colorful accents. At Amber Freda Landscape Design, we can also recommend herbs to be used for making teas or baths that can soothe and heal your mind and body.

  4. Healing gardens – How do you feel about having a garden that’s not only beautiful but also includes a soulful component? It’s no surprise why healing gardens continue to increase in popularity and especially in New York City. Think about it for a moment — listening to the sound of leaves rustling, appreciating the smell of flowers, or even just watching a butterfly make its way around the garden. If you’ve been yearning for a greater connection with Mother Nature, planting a healing garden is a great place to start.

  5. Custom lighting – You’ve taken a smart, proactive approach to planning your garden. Everything, including any custom features, is built out in a way that feels well-designed. But you could use one more thing to serve as that ideal finishing touch. Here at Amber Freda Landscape Design, we recommend looking into custom lighting solutions for your urban oasis. A combination of overhead globe lighting, floodlights, and fence lighting allows you to enjoy your garden day or night.  

Now that you have a better idea of next year’s urban gardening trends, let’s zero in on those in our area. Here are some tips for installing a garden in NYC:

Reduce clutter

Not sure how you’re going to plant a garden in such a small space? Give yourself the most space possible by getting rid of any clutter. You can even limit the number of styles and finishes on features so the focus remains on the plants.

Maximize space

You want to take advantage of every inch of available space. At Amber Freda Landscape Design, we communicate with clients about the benefits of choosing several, larger pieces of furniture as opposed to many smaller ones. If you’re torn between two items, opt for comfort and functionality.

Understand your building requirements

It happens more than you think — someone installs an elaborate community or rooftop garden but is forced to take it all down because they didn’t clear with their building first. That’s why it’s important to know your basic building requirements ahead of time. Once you get the green light, you won’t have to worry about potential headaches down the road.

Figure out the utilities

Obviously, water and electricity are the most important for a garden. Are you planning to have a firepit or gas grill as well? In that case, a gas line is a must.

Hire a professional

Here’s the big one. Do you honestly have the time, energy, and knowledge to design and install an urban garden? If not, then it’s imperative to hire an experienced landscape design team.

Custom Landscaping Services

We pride ourselves on creating some of the most treasured green spaces on the planet. All it takes is one conversation with Amber to see her passion for bringing a client’s vision to life. Plus, in contrast to other landscaping companies, Amber oversees every step of the project from start to finish, answering any questions you may have.

For your convenience, we also offer ongoing maintenance of your garden in addition to design and installation. Don’t make the mistake of trusting just any contractor to handle your urban garden project. Turn to someone who values creativity, work ethic, transparency, and communication.

Contact our NYC landscaper today to schedule your initial consultation.

Happy Holidays From Amber Freda Landscape Design!

Can you believe that Christmas is less than a week away? Here at Amber Freda Landscape Design, we wish you and your loved ones a happy and safe holiday season. You may not think so now with the cold temperatures, but it won’t be long until you’re back outside enjoying your rooftop garden.

Amber Freda is not the typical landscaping contractor. For more than a decade, New York City residents have turned to Amber for custom landscape designs. She has a passion for providing high-end, detail-oriented services and giving clients the feeling of being in their own oasis.

Keep reading to learn more about Amber’s expertise and how she can transform your outdoor space in 2019.

Unrivaled Landscaping Knowledge

Too many NYC residents make the mistake of hiring just anyone for their landscaping project. It’s important to know that ongoing maintenance (mowing, watering, etc.) and landscape design are completely different. Rather than sift through countless maintenance teams, we recommend connecting with Amber, who continues to be regarded as one of the most knowledgeable professionals in this ever-growing industry.

Let’s go back to 2004 when Amber started her own business. She wanted to offer clients a design that felt like a natural and seamless extension of their homes. Never did she think to cut corners or rip people off with “cookie-cutter” or “one-size-fits-all” approaches.

Part of what makes Amber different is that she personally oversees the design of every project from start to finish. There’s no need to worry about speaking with her during the initial consultation and then disappearing. When you invest in Amber and her team, know that they will earn your business and truly go above and beyond.

It’s impossible to discuss garden design in NYC without at least mentioning Amber. For one thing, she is a regular instructor at both the New York and Brooklyn botanical gardens. Then there’s her impressive client list, which includes the likes of George Soros, Brett Icahn, Joseph Edelman, and Bobbi Brown.

Not only has Amber appeared as a guest expert on the CBS New York Morning Show, but she has been featured in major publications such as The New York Times, Better Homes & Gardens, Garden Design, HGTV, and New York Magazine. It’s safe to say you won’t find a more knowledgeable landscaper in the region.

Our Landscape Design Process

We value transparency and communication in every project, regardless of its scope. As aforementioned, Amber will walk you through each step of the process, answering any questions you may have. If any sort of issue comes up, you can expect her to fix it before continuing on with the rest of the project.

There are three key components to Amber’s design and installation services. Let’s take a closer look at them:

  1. On-site consultation – This is our opportunity to evaluate your style, vision, and site conditions. We will also make recommendations to fit your particular space. Ultimately, the on-site consultation is about understanding what’s most important to you with your landscaping and brainstorming how we can turn those ideas into a reality.

  2. Design – An alarming number of contractors spend minimal time on the design phase. That’s not how we do business, though. We offer comprehensive plan drawings that are completely ready to be submitted for approval. As you’ll see for yourself, this is the best way to see how everything looks together. Don’t forget to ask about custom features such as decks, patios, turf, pergolas, and outdoor kitchens.

  3. Installation – At this point, many landscape designers might outsource the installation to a random third-party contractor. At Amber Freda Landscape Design, we install all of the plants and planters ourselves while our general contractor builds out custom features according to our specifications. This level of attention to detail allows us to create a space that feels seamless and well-designed.

Landscape Lighting

Whether you’re interested in adding lighting for entertainment or ambiance purposes, Amber can point you in the right direction. We are comfortable with various lighting solutions, including low-voltage up-lighting in plants, floodlights, task lighting for outdoor kitchens, fence lighting, and more. There’s no question that the right lighting makes a huge difference within an urban oasis, so see what Amber recommends for your space.

Drip Irrigation

Maybe you’re wanting a garden but aren’t sure you have the time to water it on a regular basis. Not to worry, as our experienced team installs drip irrigation systems that help maximize your plants’ health and longevity in both the short-term and long-term. If you’re looking for an easy and inexpensive way to protect your garden, then be sure to ask us about drip irrigation systems.

Ongoing Maintenance

There are times when you just can’t get around to maintaining your garden. Fortunately, Amber Freda Landscape Design can help with this as well. From pruning and leaf cleanup to weeding and pest control, we have you covered.

As another holiday season comes to a close, start thinking about how great it would be to have a custom garden or green space. Contact Amber and schedule an initial consultation today!

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.

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.

Landscape Lighting Tips For Fall

You want to get the most out of your urban oasis this fall. But with less natural sunlight to work with, it can be difficult to spend much time outside. That’s why having the right landscape lighting is so important.

Here are some landscape lighting tips worth considering this time of year:

  1. Create a guided path – You obviously want to see where you’re walking at night. Our landscape design team recommends creating some sort of path with lights. Not only will this prevent any unwanted falls, but it enhances the overall ambiance of the space.
  2. Dim it down – Speaking of ambiance, now is the time to adjust your lighting systems. Consider switching up the brightness and adding frosted lenses. Another idea is to disconnect or remove some fixtures to soften the light. Don’t want your lighting highlighting the bare branches? Then lower the angle of the light so it illuminates the tree’s trunk instead.
  3. Make chilly nights warmer – Wondering how to create a warm environment with your lighting? Believe it or not, it’s actually easier than you might think. Start by adding uplighting and downlighting to the design. These elements alone can help you transform an outdoor entertaining space.
  4. Set a new timer schedule – Maybe you forgot to adjust your outdoor lighting timer after summer came to an end. Not a problem! The majority of timers are set to automatically turn on at dusk and off after a certain number of hours. Now that the days are becoming shorter, you will want to adjust your system accordingly. Ideally, you and your guests will never have to arrive at a dark space.
  5. Perform annual maintenance – This should be part of your autumn routine. So what exactly are you looking for? For one thing, inspect any exposed wire for damage. Other tasks include cleaning any accumulated debris from cabinet housing, replacing the battery, and adjusting fixtures. Taking the time to do all this not only sets you up nicely for fall but also the rest of the year and into next spring/summer.

Premier Landscape Design

New York City residents have relied on Amber Freda Landscape Design for more than a decade. We are here to help you get the most of your rooftop garden, regardless of the season. When it comes to lighting, our landscape designer can recommend various solutions.

This is where Amber sets herself apart from others in the industry. Unlike competitors who might take a ‘cookie-cutter’ or ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach, Amber creates a plan based on your space and needs. Rest assured that we have years of experience with the following lighting options:

  • Low-voltage up-lighting in plants
  • Overhead globe lighting in pergolas and over patios
  • High-voltage wall sconces
  • Floodlights
  • Task lighting for outdoor kitchens
  • Step light
  • Fence lighting

This fall, why not invest in a beautiful, functional rooftop or common space garden from Amber? There’s no question that the right designer makes a huge difference. Contact Amber Freda Landscape Design today.