Our block…through the seasons

We love our home on Garfield Place in Park Slope, Brooklyn, but we won’t be calling it home much longer. Our landlords, who currently live upstairs, are expanding and moving into the parlor floor where we’ve been living for the last four years. While we will dearly miss this place, we’re also excited to move on and create a new home for ourselves. Knowing that we’ll be packing our boxes soon, I wanted to photo-document our apartment so we could always remember our first home together.

This is only the first of a few posts about our home on Garfield, and I think it makes sense to start at the entrance! For us, the “entrance” to our home is our block, our areaway, and our stoop.

We think we live on one of the prettiest blocks in the neighborhood. We certainly live on one of the most unique blocks since we can see the infamous Pink House from our front windows!

Our block is beautiful through the seasons, especially when it gets dusted with a light snow in late fall….

…or pounded with a heavy snow in the middle of winter! This what it looks like when we open the front door in the morning and nobody has left the house yet…no footprints in the snow.

The trees looks so peaceful and beautiful…

Walking down the block to Prospect Park to play in the winter wonderland!

And cleaning up so we can safely get to and from work, the grocery store, etc…

And then the snow melts and it’s time to plant something colorful to welcome spring.

I’ve written a post about gardening on our stoop before. Here are a few images our plantings from the summer of 2010.

During the warm weather months, we’ve enjoyed our stoop and areaway in many different ways…as a gathering spot after a baby shower we hosted…

and as home to a block party and “stoop” sale…

We have loved our block and our stoop…through the seasons!

Next time I’ll welcome you into our living room and dining room!

Gardening on the stoop

When you live in the City like we do, you’re lucky if you have a fire escape on which to grow a potted plant or two. We are BEYOND lucky to share an actual backyard (it’s small, but it’s dirt nonetheless!) and a front stoop with our neighbors. I’m the only gardener among the group, so I get free reign when it comes to garden design.

After half a summer of arriving home to stoop planters filled with dried dirt and weeds, I decided it was finally time to beautify the front of our home. I went for a color combination of pink and green, in part to pick up on the pepto-bismol pink paint job on the brownstone across the street.

This house is actually somewhat well-known in the neighborhood. I can tell fellow Park Slopers that I live near “the pink house” and they know exactly what I’m talking about. Occasionally, we see tourists posing for photographs on the stoop!

For the planters at the bottom of the stoop, I chose pink petunias – pretty, bright, and hardy. We also brightened things up with a rainbow pinwheel that spins in the breeze – we have a tradition of buying a new $1 pinwheel each year at the Park Slope street festival on Father’s Day in memorial to my husband’s Dad, who was a gardener and loved bright, shiny garden decorations. The petunias are doing great so far – I just pinch off the wilted flower heads every morning as I leave the house and they keep producing new blooms!

For the planter at the top near the front door, I chose something a little more showy and with more height. This tropical trio planting includes pink begonias which will do well in the north-facing, mostly-shaded space. The stoop gets lovely dappled light all morning but is completely shaded by our building in the afternoon.

Here’s what the entrance to our house looks like:

What do you think? Does it seem to be saying “Hello, please come on in?”