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Not-Very-Green Acre: The Lazy Lady’s Garden Tour

By Nancy McKeon

EVEN NEW YORK gets dressed up for spring. Having said that, in my slightly-less-than-primo slice of Manhattan’s Upper East Side, results can be, well, let’s just say varied.

Large rental complexes seem to splurge on lavish sprays of tulips, no doubt trying to justify those $6,000 rents. Tucked among  the tulips are the azaleas awaiting their moment to be noticed.

Some co-op buildings, where residents are essentially spending their own money, can have a little less pride of ownership and a little more awareness of their pocketbook.

Commercial buildings are just as varied in their public personas. Some dutifully plant something even on the side street, where their own worker bees won’t even see the results. One small building on First Avenue just above 72nd went all out, putting its faith in a crowd of bulbs that paid off, at least for us passers-by, in a surge of brilliant red and yellow and hope.

Here are a few of the sights from the East River all the way over to Second Avenue, about as far as I go in this Covid climate.

Three cheers for the small apartment building on First Avenue that knew we all needed a jolt of cheer. / MyLittleBird photo.


Two blocks away, a somewhat subtler take. This tree box doesn’t seem to belong to anyone—it and its mate don’t front a building, they just stand in the middle of the sidewalk. Props to whoever decided they needed looking after! / MyLittleBird photo.


This mélange—ombré, perhaps—may be a bit too subtle. But a sophisticated effort nonetheless. / MyLittleBird photo.


A bit sparse but proof that in Nature all colors go with one another. / MyLittleBird photo.


Glenwood Management has three enormous rental “communities” in the immediate vicinity of 72nd Street and York Avenue. A two-bedroom apartment can cost you $6,000 a month, but you get a lot of tulips and azaleas for the price. / MyLittleBird photo.


The Lycée Français de New York executed a rather feminine tree box, a bright note on a fairly scabby side street. / MyLittleBird photo.


Sigh. Didn’t anyone tell the florists who service my building that pansies come in colors other than this rather funereal purple? / MyLittleBird photo.


Nonetheless, this brave little “volunteer” made it all the way out of the planter and onto the cobblestone park next to the building. / MyLittleBird photo.


And then, New York being New York, there’s the Korean-family greengrocer on the next corner, source of dogwood branches (shown), plus magnolias, cherry blossoms, forsythias, pussywillows, depending on the week, and fragrant white Asiatic lilies (far right) all the time. (Not to mention semolina bread and Diet Coke.) / MyLittleBird photo.

One thought on “Not-Very-Green Acre: The Lazy Lady’s Garden Tour

  1. Nancy G says:

    LOVE all the spring flowers. After the horrid year we’ve just been through, the color and life are so welcome.

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