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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

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  • Reply Mona Thompson September 2, 2011 at 11:42 am

    What a lovely roof top garden, and some great tips too. I’m going to try more succulents next season. Have a great holiday weekend. Mona

  • Reply quintessence September 2, 2011 at 2:21 pm

    Such clever ideas for recycled containers! So pretty, reasonable and earth friendly! I especially like the silver coffee can with the hydrangea! Wishing you a “powerful” weekend!!

  • Reply Kate from Party Resources September 2, 2011 at 5:55 pm

    I love these images. Have a great holiday weekend and I hope you finally have power! xx

  • Reply stitchfork September 2, 2011 at 11:20 pm

    Very clever and pretty! And no fear of the deer devouring it all on the rooftop! Have a great holiday weekend!
    xo Cathy

  • Reply Barbara September 3, 2011 at 12:17 pm

    I am definitely no green thumb, but this was very inspiring! I’m going to try some of these out this winter, especially the soda can idea, but with herbs. It’d be a great way to create an indoor garden I could use during snow time.

  • Reply Faith Boggio September 3, 2011 at 3:37 pm

    Any tips on turning a brown thumb green!

  • Reply Kathysue September 3, 2011 at 4:16 pm

    Love this post and Ernesto has a green thumb, that is for sure. I have a potatoe vine just like the first image and it is like a, “Jack and the Beanstalk Plant” Love it!!! I agree with Ernesto I love the color and texture of foliage and when mixed right it is stunning and his groupings are stunning indeed. I hope you have a wonderful long weekend, Enjoy!! xo Kathysue

  • Reply Georgica Pond September 4, 2011 at 11:31 pm

    Beautiful, practical and inspiring – will try some of these this year now that spring has sprung. Thanks for the tip.

  • Reply pve September 5, 2011 at 4:09 am

    Everybody named Ernesto seems to be clever as they are marvelous.
    Hope your power was restored.

  • Reply pve September 5, 2011 at 4:10 am

    clever cans with blossoms…need to note this for my next party.

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