Garden Photo of the Day

Native Landscape in the City

Wildflowers grow in Brooklyn

Pink bracts of Monarda punctata and the red spires of cardinal flower (Lobelia cardinalis)

Today, garden designers Michael and George are sharing a landscape they created.

We are a small garden design company ( located in Brooklyn, New York, endeavoring to get more people to plant sustainable, primarily native plant landscapes. The photos below are from a project we installed two years ago and is now thriving and buzzing with pollinators.

“I want the landscape around the house to look like it did before houses were built here.” This was the directive of our client in Victorian Flatbush, and we happily accepted the challenge. In addition to having only native plants, the project’s other requirements were privacy along the street, as the property has one of the only in-ground pools in Brooklyn, and a designated area for growing fruit and vegetables, as the client is an avid cook. Our design includes three berms for privacy and a dizzying number of local species—77 in total. The client is thrilled with the results, especially since it presents a unique departure from the formal, suburban-style gardens in the neighborhood.

Brooklyn garden full of lush gardeningIt’s hard to believe this is in Brooklyn, New York! Such a lush, natural-looking landscape.

A selection of low-growing native plantsA selection of low-growing native plants makes a tapestry of different textures and shades of green.

Pink bracts of Monarda punctat and the red spires of cardinal flowerPink bracts of Monarda punctata (Zones 4–9) and the red spires of cardinal flower (Lobelia cardinalis, Zones 3–9) fill this part of the garden with color.

The paths wind through the rich plantings.

rose bush in a containerA rose bush in a container has finished flowering, but is following up with showy orange rose hips.

Steps from the house take you straight into the beauty of this garden.Steps from the house take you straight into the beauty of this garden.

Evergreen shrubsEvergreen shrubs help screen out the views of the city to create a peaceful, green oasis.

View of the flower-filled garden from above.This is a flower-filled garden.

wide diversity of native plantsThe wide diversity of native plants makes this garden a great habitat for pollinators and other wildlife.

View Comments


  1. runfortheroses 02/10/2022

    Great design, guys! I really like your use of cardinal flower here. Very cool

  2. User avater
    treasuresmom 02/10/2022

    Oh, my, how lovely~

  3. PattyLouise 02/10/2022


  4. gardendevas 02/10/2022

    Oh, well done, Michael and George! What a lush oasis, for nature and humans alike.

  5. sagebird52 02/10/2022

    Absolutely wonderful. Pollinators delight !

  6. User avater
    simplesue 02/10/2022

    The garden is so natural looking and full of happy plants all mingling together in a nice composition!
    I love seeing the photos of the big city buildings and cars in the background of the garden...because suddenly you realize you really are actually right in the city- and not out in a country meadow...I love what you've accomplished here- a little nature sanctuary for wildlife and people within the bustling city.
    Cities would be better places if everyone replaced a good bit of their grass as you two have done here.
    Oh and such a darling house and porch!

  7. User avater
    cynthia2020 02/10/2022

    Michael and George - I think your design is stunning. The Lobelia cardinalis obviously really pops. I love the soft-looking clumps of grasses or sedges near the steppingstones, too.

  8. garden1953 02/10/2022


  9. btucker9675 02/10/2022

    This is a fabulous garden - kudos to you both for creating this stunning oasis in the city. Also for showcasing that there ARE gardeners in NYC, even just in pots on balconies and porches... to say nothing of that little plot of land called Central Park!! : )

  10. User avater
    bdowen 02/10/2022

    I wonder how often people wander into your front yard, thinking that such a beautiful garden must be a public space! Or come hoping to get information about how to transform their own space.

  11. user-7037040 02/10/2022

    Stunning garden design! I am so happy you used native plants, and that city dwellers (and viewers here) can appreciate their beauty and the added dimension of pollinator and bird activity that is so often missing in the typical hosta/hakone grass/sterile non-native shrub landscaping.

  12. aNJgardener 02/18/2022

    I love the look. I just wonder how much soil enrichment or remediation is required to pull off something this lush in an urban environment.

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