Erratic weather patterns have made the starts and ends of seasons less predictable; but for those who can’t wait to welcome the green goddess, spring is eternally just around the corner. Growing season will soon be upon us, and with it the need to ready New York City’s hidden Edens, rooftop gardens, welcoming front lawns and backyard sanctuaries. Whether you’re a weekend do-it-yourselfer or would rather hire someone else to get their hands dirty, choosing the right gardening center is essential. These five gems have been greening New York City for years and are worth the extra time it may take you to get there.
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David Shannon Florist & Nursery
3380 Fort Hamilton Parkway
Brooklyn, NY 11218
From cabbage and kale to mums and shrubs, David Shannon Florist & Nursery has everything you need to fill your floral beds and ace your most intricate landscaping requirements. Family owned and operated for over 40 years, this Brooklyn gem is a florist, nursery and greenhouse rolled into one. It may be sandwiched between automotive repair shops and junk yards, but don’t be deceived by the modest exterior. Inside, Shannon’s has the look and feel of a modest botanical garden.
Urban Garden Center
1640 Park Ave.
New York, NY 10035
Once considered off the grid, Urban Garden Center is the go-to garden supplier to most of Manhattan and half of the Bronx, supplying everything you could possibly need for rooftop gardening, urban landscaping, public spaces and private backyards. Residential and commercial irrigation systems, lighting and lobby design are tried-and-true specialties.
Chelsea Garden Center
87 Havemeyer St.
Brooklyn, NY 11211
Known for creativity and flair, the highly knowledgeable staffs at both Chelsea Garden Center locations diagnose plant maladies onsite and are highly trained at small-space landscaping design. Statues, fountains, birdbaths and a vast selection of planters are available.
Jamali Floral & Garden Supplies, Inc.
149 W. 28th St.
New York, NY 10001
From elegant to earthy, Jamali Floral stocks garden accessories — from baskets to Buddhas — to fit every budget and taste level. Garden supplies including fertilizer, stones, floral tools and preserved, natural Spanish moss can be found here. Garden lanterns and candles for special occasions and holidays are also a specialty.
2402 Victory Blvd.
Staten Island, NY 10314
Housing the largest retail nursery in New York, Wiesner Bros. features eight acres of nursery stock, including mature and hard-to-find plants, shrubs and trees. Horticultural products include tropical and indigenous varieties. Highly knowledgeable pros well known for landscaping architecture, this Staten Island institution has been family owned and operated for close to 90 years.
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Corey Whelan is a freelance writer in New York. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.