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.

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.

7 Fall Drinks to Try on Your Rooftop Garden

In our latest post, we explained how to enjoy your rooftop garden this fall. One way, of course, is to relax with your favorite seasonal coffee. But who says you need to limit yourself to the pumpkin-spiced latte?

Here are some delicious fall cocktails you will definitely want to try, as referenced from MyDomaine:

  1. Honey Bourbon Apple Cider Cocktail – Bourbon and apple cider are certain to keep you warm throughout the season. The warming effect of the bourbon coupled with the sweet honey and cinnamon will allow you and your guests to spend more time enjoying the rooftop garden and less time inside.
  2. Spiced Persimmon Bourbon Old Fashioned – The Fuyu variety of persimmons does the heavy lifting in this cocktail. However, it’s everything else that makes the drink orange. So be sure to throw in some bourbon, sweet clementine juice, and a few dashes of bitters. Some people choose to top each glass with sprinkling water or ginger beer.
  3. Pumpkin Pie Bourbon Smash – What could possibly make a traditional bourbon smash even better? How about making it taste like a pumpkin pie? In addition to bourbon, you will also need pumpkin pie syrup, bourbon, and bitters.
  4. Smoky Harvest Apple Cider Margaritas – Rarely do we associate cool autumn weather with margaritas. You can buck that misconception, though, with this must-try drink. You will instantly note the mix of sweet apple cider with tequila. Feel free to coat your rim in salted cinnamon sugar as the perfect finishing touch.
  5. Vanilla Chai Tea White Russian – Trying to figure out which drink to serve after Thanksgiving dinner or another special occasion? You can’t go wrong with this spin on a classic White Russian. This creamy vodka drink is sweetened with chai tea syrup and Kahlua, making it another great choice for fall.
  6. Nitro Mocha Coffee Cocktail – We have to include at least one coffee-based drink. This cold brew is mixed with maple syrup, spiced rum, and a few dashes of orange bitters before being dusted with cocoa powder. You can always count on a few unseasonably warm days in the fall, and when we have them, enjoy with this coffee cocktail.     
  7. Apple Butter Old Fashioned – Stay warm and cozy with this combination of bourbon and apple butter. You will also need cider, lemon, orange bitters, and ginger beer. Best of all, this fall favorite is naturally sweet so you won’t have to add a syrup.

Consult Our Landscape Design Team

Wouldn’t it be nice to come home after a long day and just wind on your rooftop garden? At Amber Freda Landscape Design, we can turn that dream into a reality. Our New York City garden designer handles everything from initial design all the way through installation.

For your convenience, Amber also offers ongoing maintenance to keep your garden healthy and thriving year-round.  

Let our luxury landscaping team transform your space this fall. Contact us today to ask about a customized landscape plan.

How to Enjoy Your Rooftop Garden This Fall

Cooler temperatures are just around the corner here in New York City. But just because summer is over doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy all the pleasant days and evenings ahead. At Amber Freda Landscape Design, we want to help you get the most out of your rooftop garden.

Here are some ways to enjoy your rooftop garden this fall:

  1. Plan a coffee date – Fall and coffee go hand in hand. Be sure to check out our next post as we list some of our favorite seasonal beverages. Whether it’s a pumpkin-spiced latte, black coffee, tea, or something else, make sure your drink keeps you warm and toasty. This time of year, you can enjoy your rooftop garden at just about any time of day.
  2. Read a book – Between the stunning foliage and crisp air, fall provides the perfect book reading setting. Remember to bring a light jacket and, of course, your favorite coffee. Don’t be surprised if you check a number of books off your reading list by the end of fall.
  3. Have a barbecue – Does your rooftop garden have an outdoor kitchen? If so, why not plan a few barbecues this season? Frankly, nothing beats grilling up some crowd favorites just before the big game. If you’re looking for seasonal sides to pair with your entrees, then consider corn, squash, and other vegetables.
  4. Harvest your veggies – Speaking of vegetables, maybe you planted the likes of beans, beets, brussels sprouts, turnips, and/or lettuce late in the summer. If so, you may just have a bountiful fall harvest. Pro tip: Make these veggies an integral part of your autumn barbecues.
  5. Have some time to yourself – It’s easy to feel overwhelmed this time of year. Not only are the kids back at school, but chances are you’re starting to plan for the holidays. Plus, everyone gets wrapped up in the hustle and bustle of NYC at some point. This is where having your own rooftop garden can be beneficial. During times of heightened stress, head on up to your urban oasis and decompress. Even just a few minutes of meditation each day goes a long way.  

Custom Landscape Design

Amber Freda is not your typical landscape designer. Through the years, Amber has taught classes at both the New York and Brooklyn botanical gardens. Her client list includes George Soros, David Fauco, and Bobbi Brown, among others.

Amber’s passion is providing high-end, detail-oriented landscaping services. Whereas traditional ‘landscaping’ companies specialize in lawn care or xeriscaping, Amber does so much more. You can count on our landscape design team to truly capture your personality and style.

Maybe you envision your new space having a deck and pergola. On the other hand, maybe you want the focal point to be an outdoor kitchen. Whatever the case, Amber will make your garden feel like a natural and seamless extension of your home.

See what our NYC garden designer can do for you this fall. Reach out to us today.

Why Landscape Design is Important

Rarely do people associate custom landscaping with New York City. After all, in a land of concrete and steel, it’s easy to lose sight of Mother Nature. At Amber Freda Landscape Design, we are constantly reminding clients about the importance of green spaces.

Here are just a few reasons why the right landscape design matters:

It allows you to get in touch with nature

Think back to the last time you smelled a flower or listened to the sound of leaves rustling. Can’t remember? Unfortunately, a lot of NYC residents are unable to connect with nature on a regular basis.

This is where custom landscape design comes into play. We love nothing more than creating beautiful gardens that also include a much-needed healing component. Believe it or not, conditions such as depression, anxiety, and insomnia can be alleviated through a greater connection to the natural world.

It creates a setting for living

Wouldn’t it be nice to have an outdoor space that looks and feels livable? We certainly think so. Whether you want to create a rooftop garden, community deck, or something completely different, you can count on Amber to deliver.

An experienced landscaper has the ability to create a space that’s both comfortable and cozy. Frankly, it shouldn’t matter if there is minimal room. Imagine being able to walk just a few steps out of your residence to an urban oasis.

That dream can become a reality once you invest in high-end landscape design services.

It creates a more comfortable environment  

Tired of cramming guests into your tiny living room during get-togethers? A rooftop garden allows everyone to get outside and relax while taking in scenic views. Not to mention, a “green” space will make you feel more at home.

It achieves outdoor function

This ties back with the aforementioned point. There are countless outdoor and community areas in NYC that aren’t even being used. Yours doesn’t have to be one of them, though.

Our garden landscaping team recommends creating sitting areas as a first step. From there, you can set up an outdoor dining area or living area. Another thought is to add an outdoor kitchen.

Premier NYC Landscape Design

Just because it’s July doesn’t mean you can’t brainstorm an updated landscape plan for your space. At Amber Freda Landscape Design, we are here to help.

What exactly sets us apart from others in the industry? Well, in contrast to those who specialize in lawn care or hardscaping, we take a different approach to high-end landscaping. It won’t take long to realize that design is our bread and butter.

We are proud to offer cohesive, fully integrated design plans that include all of your desired elements. Once the project is completed, you will have a beautiful, functional space that feels like a natural extension of your home. It’s as simple as that.

Our team can’t emphasize enough the importance of quality landscape design. Let us maximize your outdoor space and bring your vision to life.

Contact us today to schedule a consultation.

Design Ideas for the Perfect Green Space

It’s officially gardening season. Maybe you don’t have much planting experience but want to create a green space of your own this year. Here’s the thing: just because you aren’t a professional doesn’t mean you can’t have a welcoming outdoor oasis. Here are five ideas to consider as you design your garden:

  1. Use pots to keep things simple – As is so often the case with life and gardening, less can be more. This is so true when thinking about pots for your garden. Granted, there are seemingly endless options to choose from. The last thing you want, though, is to have mismatched pots of different styles and sizes. Make it a point to group two or three pots of similar colors, materials, and size for uniformity. Of course, the pots shouldn’t distract from the view. Simplicity is key here.
  2. Buy small – Some plants provide privacy from nosy neighbors. Just keep in mind that it’s going to cost more for larger plants. Let’s look at an example. A plant in a one-gallon pot costs about $5. On the other hand, a five-gallon pot may be about $20. In several years, you won’t even notice a difference. That’s why it’s best to start out small, especially if you’re on a tight budget.
  3. Leave some empty space – Your first thought may be to pack your garden with as many plants as possible. This is a common mistake among inexperienced gardeners. Sure, those bare spots aren’t exactly attractive. Before you know it, though, the space will be full of beautiful flowers and whatever else you planted. Should you get ahead of yourself and ignore spacing recommendations, then you’ll likely be forced to pull out plants you paid for recently. Remember to be patient while gardening. It requires time to see the true fruits (or vegetables) of your labor.
  4. Think about comfort – Wouldn’t it be nice to enjoy quality time in your oasis? No, we’re not talking about the times you water and pull weeds. Imagine being able to step outside near your garden and relax with a cup of coffee. What about having a glass of wine with your significant other by the flowers? That’s why we recommend investing in quality outdoor furniture. It doesn’t have to be hard, splintery, or cold. Look for chairs with wide seats and sofas deep enough to sink into. Another pro tip? Arrange the seating area as if it were a living room.
  5. Focus on foliage – Many gardeners buy plants for their flowers alone. Here at Amber Freda Landscape Design, we recommend buying plants for their leaves. After all, aren’t you going to see the leaves for the majority of the year? Look closely at the texture, shape, and color.

High-End Landscape Design

Maybe you want a garden of your own but have no idea where to start. This is where hiring a custom landscaping team can make a huge difference. At Amber Freda Landscape Design in NYC, we design some of the most treasured green spaces on the planet. What makes us different is that we aren’t a traditional lawn care or hardscaping company. Rather, we offer cohesive, fully integrated designs that include everything from furniture and plants to planters and custom work.  

The success of what we do starts and ends with Amber. For more than a decade, she has provided high-end, detail-oriented landscape design services. Amber is a regular instructor at both the New York and Brooklyn botanical gardens. She’s been featured in major publications such as The New York Times, Better Homes & Gardens, and New York Magazine. It’s safe to say that some people in NYC consider Amber to be the best garden design expert in the region. In fact, her client list includes notables such as George Soros, Brett Icahn, and Joseph Edelman.

Should you decide to come to Amber for a landscape plan, don’t expect a cookie-cutter or one-size-fits-all approach. During the on-site consultation, she will evaluate the conditions and listen to what you have in mind. From there, Amber goes to work putting together all of the elements in a way that feels completely natural. By no means will our garden landscaping team throw things together and call it good.

Unlike other garden layout teams, Amber will never hand over projects to a sales representative or a third-party installation crew. You can count on Amber to be there every step of the way, making sure that even the smallest details are up to par with her high standards.

This year, leave your landscape design project in the hands of a professional. We have experience with healing gardens, rooftop gardens, community gardens, and so much more. See how Amber Freda can completely transform your space. Get in touch with us today to get started.  

DIY Lighting Tips for Your Urban Garden


It can be difficult to find the right garden lighting. Obviously, you don’t want something that’s completely over the top. However, it would be nice to add some ambiance to your garden and even spotlight a particular area. It’s important to know that there are some principles of good design for setting up your garden lighting. Here are some important tips to consider before you start purchasing lighting products:

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  1. Overhead is typically best – Remember that natural light almost always comes from above. Taking that into account, most of your exterior lighting should come from overhead. Whether you choose outdoor solar lights or electric garden lights, the higher the better.
  2. Use low wattage flood lights – Over the years, our NYC landscape design team has found that low wattage floodlights look best in and around gardens. Avoid any bulbs that are larger than 100 watts. It’s also smart to consider low-voltage lighting for your project.
  3. Use spotlights sparingly – It’s tempting to want to use a number of spotlights. Take our word, though, when we say that spotlights should be limited to accent lighting only. Do you want to feature a specific scene or point out an interesting landscaping detail? Then a spotlight would make sense.
  4. Pay attention to the maximum wattage bulb – A lot of people don’t realize that a smaller bulb will get the job done. Believe it or not, the majority of LED garden lights put out plenty of light and are energy-efficient. The last thing you want is to go with a bunch of larger bulbs and see your utilities bill skyrocket in the process.
  5. Be mindful of the location of the lights – It’s probably not a good idea to have your landscape lights shining directly into your eyes. What’s worse, though, is having them blind your neighbor. If you’re at all concerned about brightness, take a walk around the space while the lights are on and double-check. It doesn’t hurt, either, to chat with your neighbor about it.
  6. Use several smaller lights as opposed to one large unit – Maybe you have a large flower bed or another planting area in the garden. With a feature such as this, our custom landscaping team recommends a few smaller lights. This creates softly overlapping pools of light that are free of any sort of harsh glare in the center. While this might seem trivial, it can make a significant difference.
  7. Side lighting provides the best results – You may not achieve your desired look with front lighting. Most of the light in green spaces should come from the sides. By installing your lights on a side, you should be able to create a fun shadow effect. Don’t hesitate to experiment with back lighting for interesting silhouette effects.
  8. Know where you want the attention to be – Would you rather illuminate a comparatively solid object, such as a deck or patio, or a thin structure, such as a bare tree? We’re guessing the deck or patio. Avoid putting your landscape lights just anywhere.
  9. Select a focal point – Think about this for a moment: what exactly do you want to emphasize in your urban oasis? Whatever it is, point out its most attractive features with a spotlight or two. You can even have some light coming from an unusual angle.
  10. Take advantage of light-colored reflective surfaces – Do you have light-colored walls or fences around your garden? Be sure to put them to use in your lighting scheme! The reflective surfaces can extend the source of lighting by diffusing the rays over a wide area.

High-End NYC Landscaper

Now that you have some additional knowledge on landscape lighting, what’s the next step? Frankly, we recommend getting in touch with our NYC landscape design team. For years, Amber Freda has provided custom, detail-oriented landscaping services. Part of what separates Amber from a traditional garden design specialist is that she personally oversees the process from start to finish. So there’s no need to worry about your project being handed over to a sales representative or a third party crew. Should you choose to work with our garden landscaping team, you can expect the result to look and feel like a natural extension of your home.

Let’s get back to lighting for a moment. There’s no question that the best garden design features the right lighting. At Amber Freda Landscape Design, we will recommend a number of lighting solutions, including the following:

  • Low-voltage lighting in the plants
  • Overhead globe lighting in pergolas and over patios
  • High-voltage wall sconces
  • Task lighting for outdoor kitchens
  • Fence lighting
  • And more

If you’re looking to revamp your garden layout, then new lighting is a must. Amber Freda is ready to come up with a landscape plan that best fits your wants and needs. Get in touch with us today to schedule an initial consultation.    

Urban Gardening Tips for Spring


Recently in New York City, it’s looked a lot more like winter than spring. But warmer weather will return before we know it. Of course, this time of year is often associated with flowers and gardens. Granted, we live in a region that’s dominated by concrete and steel, making it somewhat difficult to have a garden of your own. The fact is that even if you don’t have a backyard, you can still add some much-needed greenery to your space. Here are some basic tips for urban gardening in Manhattan and throughout NYC:

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  1. Grow plants in containers – Space is limited in the city. However, that doesn’t mean you should give up on your dream of having a garden. You might want to consider growing plants in containers and hanging baskets as an alternative. This is ideal if all the space you really have is a porch, patio, or balcony.
  2. Give your plants the space they need – The last thing you want to do is force plants into a tiny space. We recommend using big enough containers so that your plants have enough room to grow and thrive. Be aware that some plants need a lot more soil than others.
  3. Invest in good potting soil – Most of us are looking to save money wherever possible. If you’re on a tight budget but still want to create a beautiful garden, be sure to purchase some high-quality potting soil. Maybe you’re thinking, “Why can’t I just use soil from the ground?” Here’s the thing: potting soil is much lighter, drains better, and is sterilized to kill weed seeds and diseases that could harm your plants. So don’t skimp on the soil.
  4. Get the right fertilizer – Keep in mind that not all fertilizers are the same. Our experienced garden design team recommends using a slow-release fertilizer in pellet form. Why this one in particular? Well, you will obviously need to water container plants frequently. Should you use a regular fertilizer, you run the risk of it washing right out of the soil. On the other hand, you can expect one application of slow-release fertilizer to last for several months.
  5. Water smartly – Overwatering is one of the most commonly made mistakes among beginning gardeners. The trick is to thoroughly soak the entire container each time you water. Remember to pour away any extra water that fills the saucer underneath the container. A plant that sits in excess water is likely to experience what’s called root rot. Interestingly, one of the more notable signs of root rot is wilting. So if you aren’t sure whether the wilting is from too much or too little water, gently pull the plant up out of its container. If you notice the roots are slimy and brown, then root rot is the culprit.
  6. Opt for plastic pots – A number of garden landscaping professionals suggest clay pots as opposed to plastic. Here at Amber Freda Landscape Design, we recommend plastic. Here’s why: plants in plastic usually dry out less quickly since the pots aren’t porous like clay ones. Try putting about five centimeters of an organic mulch on top of the soil in the container. Doing so reduces water evaporation from the soil.
  7. Give some thought to where to hang your baskets – Aesthetics are certainly an important part of gardening. That said, consider how you’re going to water the baskets when you go to hang them. For example, will you be forced to stand on a step stool? Make it a point to hang the baskets where it’s not going to be a complete hassle to water.

Premier NYC Landscaper

Now that you know a few basics of urban gardening, it’s time to get started. It goes without saying that landscaping in Manhattan is much different than other parts of the country. You probably don’t need to hire a traditional lawn care or hardscaping company. Rather, you need to hire a company that specializes in custom landscape design services. That’s exactly what we do here at Amber Freda Landscape Design. You can count on our garden design expert to walk you through the process, from initial consultation all the way through project completion.

Part of what separates Amber from other garden landscaping pros is that she will create an urban oasis based on your site and desires. Whereas other garden layout teams might settle for a “cookie-cutter” approach, you can count on Amber to deliver custom, high-end results. Once we’re finished, it’s our promise that you will have a space that looks and feels like a natural extension of your home.

Why settle for just any ordinary landscaper when you can collaborate with one whose client list includes George Soros, Brett Icahn, Joseph Edelman and other notables? See what our NYC landscape design professionals can do for you.

Get in touch with us today.  

Why Gardening is Good for Your Health

Take a moment to recap your typical day. You wake up early and probably go to work at an office somewhere. Aside from the occasional meeting, we’re willing to bet that you spend most of the day sitting at a desk. If you aren’t swamped with tasks, maybe you can get outside for a few minutes. Most days, though, you’re eating lunch at your desk. Then it’s time to go home. You cook dinner and spend a few hours catching up with family members. Maybe you watch an episode or two of your favorite show. Before going to bed, you scroll through your social media feed and catch up on emails. Of course, you plan to do it all again the next day.

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What’s missing here? Sure, you make it a priority to have work-life balance and enjoy time to yourself. But what about connecting with nature? As mentioned by Anne Harding of CNN, gardeners view their hobby as the perfect antidote to the modern world. From the time we wake up until the time we put our head on the pillow, we’re essentially lost in a digital world. That’s why the sensory experience of gardening is so important. James Jiler of Urban GreenWorks says that it “allows people to connect to this primal state.”

Let’s dive into some of the ways gardening can improve your overall health.

  1. It relieves stress – We can only take in so much from smartphones, tablets, and computers on a daily basis. The more we use these devices, the more irritable, error-prone, and stressed out we become. Experts recommend doing a self-check every once in a while. If you find yourself wanting to throw your computer out the window, consider going home that day and gardening for 30 minutes. Even just getting your hands dirty and pulling weeds for a while works wonders.
  2. It leads to better mental health – Approximately 350 million people worldwide suffer from symptoms of depression. Now, we’re not going to argue that gardening has the same effect as taking your regular depression medication. Think about this, though: Christopher Lowry, an assistant professor of integrative physiology at the University of Colorado, spent time injecting mice with a harmless bacteria commonly found in soil. What’s interesting is Lowry found that this bacteria increases the release and metabolism of serotonin in parts of the brain that control mood and cognitive function. Lowry argues that not having this bacteria throws our immune system completely out of whack. Consequently, this can lead to inflammation from heart disease, diabetes, and depression. When you reintroduce these bacteria with gardening, you can help alleviate some of that inflammation.
  3. It’s good exercise – Do you have trouble exercising the way you used to? Gardening is a great avenue for improving your fitness level. Granted, it’s unrealistic to compare gardening to lifting weights or running a marathon. However, gardening presents a number of low-impact exercise possibilities such as digging, planting, weeding, etc.
  4. It improves brain health – Taking from the same CNN article, “Some research suggests that the physical activity associated with gardening can help lower the risk of developing dementia.” It would certainly be nice if experts could guarantee that if you garden for a certain amount of time the rest of your life that you wouldn’t experience issues with brain health. That obviously isn’t the case. Just keep in mind that the sights, sounds, and smells of the garden are said to promote relaxation and reduce stress. Even something simple such as smelling a flower or listening to the leaves rustle can have a positive impact.
  5. It helps you eat healthier – Without a doubt, the food you grow yourself is the freshest food you can eat. Rather than settle for processed nonsense, you can treat yourself and the entire family to delicious fruits and vegetables. Of course, food seems to taste better from a home garden of your own.

About Our Healing Gardens

At Amber Freda Landscape Design, we are proud to specialize in healing gardens. We understand that, in a region dominated by concrete and steel, this space could be your lone connection to nature on a daily basis. A healing garden is more than just standard landscaping. It engages the senses through sight, touch, fragrance, and sound. Our garden design experts also create this urban oasis in a way that encourages interaction.

Clients appreciate Amber because she has a thoughtful, balanced approach to garden landscaping. Whereas other businesses take a “cookie-cutter” mentality with their landscape design services, she creates a landscape plan to fit your specific needs and wants.

We believe that you deserve the best garden design in town. Contact Amber Freda Landscape Design today for information regarding healing gardens, rooftop gardens, and other garden layout options.  

What You’ll Need for a Rooftop Garden

Few people put New York and gardens in the same sentence. While we certainly live in a beautiful place, it can be difficult to connect with nature. That’s why rooftop gardens are becoming more popular. Imagine just going up the stairs from your residence and unwinding after a long day at work. With the right supplies and design, a rooftop garden can provide the urban oasis you’ve wanted for years. Here’s how to get started with rooftop garden landscaping:

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  1. Containers – There is plenty of flexibility when it comes to containers. It’s up to you whether you want to splurge or be more frugal. Aside from aesthetics, be sure to account for the ideal size, weight, and material of your containers. Keep in mind that you will need containers large enough for the roots of whatever plants you choose. Then you have to consider what will happen to the pot when the weather heats up and when you go to water the plant.
  2. Soil – Although it’s often the most underappreciated part of the garden, the soil is undoubtedly the most important. Choosing the right soil to begin with usually means less maintenance for you down the road. Just be aware that the soils in containers should be replaced about once a year (during spring). Feel free to lift and repot or top dress the existing soil.
  3. Fertilizer – Even the best potting mixes can’t replace the benefits provided by a good fertilizer. You might be thinking about the countless fertilizers you recently saw at the home and garden store. How do you know which is best for your rooftop garden? If you can, go with a water-soluble fertilizer, as it’s the fastest way to get essential nutrients to your plants. Don’t hesitate to ask a local garden design team for their opinion.
  4. Plants – Now we’re getting to the fun part. Thankfully, you don’t have to be an expert gardener to plant something in a container. Aside from tall trees, the options are almost limitless. Herbs, vegetables, and smaller to mid-sized perennials make great plants for rooftop gardens.
  5. Tools – This is where you can save quite a bit of money compared to those buying tools for a traditional ground level garden. Depending on how many plants you have, prepare to do a decent amount of scooping and filling. In addition to a trowel and soil scoop, you may want to also invest in a small tarp. A good pair of pruners doesn’t hurt, either.

High-End Landscape Design

If you want a rooftop garden for your space but just don’t have the time and/or energy to get started, then turn to the professionals at Amber Freda Landscape Design. Amber is the premier source for garden landscaping in Manhattan and throughout New York City. What makes Amber different is that she is there for clients every step of the way. Never will she simply hand off work to a third party crew. When you first contact Amber, she immediately goes to work creating your customized landscape plan.                    

With more than a decade of industry experience, Amber is the right choice for any luxury landscaping project in the area. Check out our landscape design services and get in touch with Amber today.