Todd Haiman designs and builds gardens in Brooklyn neighborhoods such as Park Slope, Brooklyn Heights, Cobble Hill, Boerum Hill and Carroll Gardens.
In many of these brownstone garden homes, there is a small garden in front of the house and a larger area in the rear.
A frontyard garden can be thought of as entrance garden. Backyard gardens in Brooklyn are truly hidden enclaves.
There is a sense of security in these small backyard brooklyn garden designs. With three perimeter fences attached to the rear of a building, they are cloistered and secluded. The need for enclosure goes back to our most primitive instincts. In fact, medieval courtyard gardens face a similar dilemna as brooklyn gardens in that they are both inward focused.
THE GARDEN IS AN OUTDOOR ROOM, AN EXTENSION OF YOUR HOUSE
What is helpful in designing an outdoor space in Brooklyn is to have an in-between realm of indoor vs outdoor. This is a segment of the journey within your outdoor landscape. Much like a lobby is the entrance into a house, the outdoor space benefits from a greeting space.
“People need an ambiguous –in between realm.. a porch or veranda which they pass into, then they can drift naturally though the remainder of the outdoor space.” –A Pattern Langusage
Likewise, creating obstacles, half-walls, anything to create a sense of curiosity, surprise goes a long way to creating complexity within the small landscape.
CHALLENGES OF A GARDEN DESIGNER IN BROOKLYN (OR ANY URBAN NEIGHBORHOOD)
Garden designers in Brooklyn need to be very clever about using every inch of this treasured space. The biggest challenge in designing a small garden is overcoming the limited amount of space. Creativity with space is key in garden design. Essentially a garden designer’s main asset is his/her ability to understand and maximize space.
A small garden design is not an excuse to compromise on functionality and aesthetics. In the words of famous garden designer Russell Page who designed window boxes to large estates… “The art of composing a garden is a question first of selection and then of emphasis.”