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city gardens

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Up On The Roof

Plants Bloom in NYC

Plants Bloom in NYC

You never know who you’ll meet at the NY Gift Show – retailers, designers, press, event planners, personal shoppers…  you get the gist.  Since standing at a booth all day can be a chore, we love the opportunity to get to know the fascinating entrepreneurs who are keeping our economy going.  One such person is Ernesto Lopez, the charming founder of The Oak Leaf, a company that specializes in container gardens and fresh flower bouquets.

An Oasis for All

An Oasis for All

After twelve years in fashion, Ernesto returned to his passion for gardening, putting to use his green thumb acquired at an early age while helping his grandfather tend to his flowers and vegetables.  Now he runs a successful business that nurtures his love for color and texture.  “Landscaping is like visually merchandising a collection only with flowers.  I pay close attention to sharp color stories, textures, seasonal items and shapes when I put a garden or bouquet together.”

Clematis in Hell's Kitchen

Clematis in Hell's Kitchen

Given that Ernesto can make anything grow anywhere, we asked him to share some pictures of a roof-top garden he designed with sustainability in mind.  Here are some of his favorite tips:

1.  Transform soda cans into planters and attach them to a trellis – perfect for small flowers like impatiens and begonias

"Can" Planters

"Can" Planters

2.  Use a coffee can for a fresh floral bouquet and use bright colors like white and yellow to play off the silver of the canister

Blooms in a Can

Blooms in a Can

3.  A wine crate makes a perfect planter for an herb garden and it gives the planting a vintage feel

Herbs in a Crate

Herbs in a Crate

4.  Line a root cage (usually discarded after a tree or shrub has been planted) with coco fiber and use as a hanging planter

Hanging Around

Hanging Around

5.  Take wooden palettes and create different heights for a potted garden

Palette Rise to the Occasion

Palettes Rise to the Occasion

We’re so inspired to put some of these great tips to work, even if we have to wait until next spring!  For more how-to’s and tips, visit The Oak Leaf’s Facebook page!

Photos via Ernesto Lopez