Monday, May 31, 2010

Driving Through Harriman State Park

I was driving through Harriman State park the other day, fomenting against the awful presence of thousands of Japanese barberries and was impressed with how certain native species have held their own despite barberries disturbingly close by.

One image shows barberries in the middle and broom (Cytisus scopariu
s), another happy invasive, in the distance. But a little further along the road was this wonderful slope of hayscented fern (Dennstaedtia punctilobula),so comfortable amidst
rocks at the edge of the woods, one of the barberry's favorite sites. Black huckleberry (Gaylussacia baccata) and Sweet fern (Comptonia peregrina)
are frequently seen along the road, close to stands of barberry, yet somehow resistant to being pushed out. And huge standing trunks of dead hemlock are there to remind us that this tree was a giant of Eastern forests. It was touching to see seedlings starting their lives at the feet of one such giant.

The showiest native in Harriman, to my mind, is Mountain laurel (Kalmia latifolia). It was just starting to bloom, and if you drive through the park in early June you'll be able to enjoy all the shades of the species - white, pink, deep pink, and almost red. In honor of the day (May 30, 2009) when Marni Horwitz became Marni Majorelle, I offer a last close up of this favorite of hers, Kalmia latifolia, taken in Seth's garden in Brooklyn, and looking like some fantastic candy. Bravo to Alive Structures, Eric and Marni!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Field Trip!

Hello everyone! Just wanted to introduce myself and to say how happy I am to be the newest member of Alive Structures. This is officially my first blog EVER and I look forward to many many more. This past weekend I was visiting our nation's capital and the weather and people couldn't have been better. First stop was the United States Botanic Garden. The National Garden, in particular, showcases plants native to New Jersey south to North Carolina in their Regional Garden.

Definitely stop by here if you are in the DC area and then stop in at the National Museum of the American Indian if you get hungry, best food ever. You will NOT be disappointed!

For more info about the garden and its sustainability practices go here.

And just for irony. . . here was a green roof right on top of the exxon across my friend's gym!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Strange May

(Symbol for Cold Front)

Cold May. I'm sorry to have been MIA from the blogosphere for several weeks-I wish I could say it's because I've been planting so many green roofs, but it's really because I've had a horrible on going cold. Anyway, I'm going to make up for it by overloading readers with random pieces of information, events, and pretty pictures.

Some things that have happened in the past few weeks are Wildflower Week where we gave tours all weekend (May 1-2) of the green roof we installed 3 years ago in the East Village, The Wild Project Theater. We had beautiful weather. Here are some pictures of the roof and it's visitors:

For those of you that missed Wildflower Week don't miss it next year! It's a great opportunity to learn about the beautiful wildlife not too far from home. And the opening party at Environmental Furniture rocks.

Then there was the Brooklyn Designs Show, which showcased many of the innovative young designers in our wonderful borough. Seeing all the cool furniture made me really want to have a house to put it in. There were some designers from our very own office building (33 Flatbush)
Rock Paper Robot which had a display of a contracting and expanding chandelier and a levitating table!

Then we started selling our papercrete planters at the Bklyn Flea and did pretty well, as many people bought gifts for their moms. We're also starting to sell our latest product Mannahatta-in-a-Box. There are some pictures of the reclaimed wood planters than contain an assortment of native wildflowers on the last blog I posted. For those of you not familiar with the Mannahatta Project check it out: We're also selling gorgeous native plants sans planters that would be hard to find anywhere else in the city. Especially at the low price we're selling them for! So, come to Bklyn Flea on Saturdays to find us!

Last but not least, we have a new addition to Alive Structures! Dary Thach-who's awesome.

Some events coming up:
Urban Green is now accepting proposals in conjunction with the Urban Green Expo 2010 theme: Pushing the Envelope.

The Cooper-Hewitt Museum is having it's National Design Triennial Exhibit on view starting May 14.

Also, we'll be setting up an Educational Table at The Union Sq. Green Market on Friday, May 29th, so come check us out! We're going to be showcasing green roof models and discussing their benefits as well as presenting beautiful native plants focusing on the edible ones like Blueberry and Blackberry Shrubs-my two favorites.

See you soon and in warmer weather!