science barge, yonkers, ny, design squish blog

science barge, new york, yonkers, design squish blog

The Science Barge located in Yonkers, NY is a prototype, sustainable urban farm and environmental education center. It is the only fully functioning demonstration of renewable energy supporting sustainable food production in New York City. The Science Barge grows tomatoes, cucumbers, and lettuce with zero net carbon emissions, zero chemical pesticides, and zero runoff.

science barge, new york, yonkers, design squish blog

the science barge, ny, design squish blog


September 24, 2013


design squish blog, architecture and nature

concrete planters, design squish blog

flowers on steps, design squish blog

August 29, 2013


design squish blog

design squish blog

design squish blog

Rue de Meaux Housing is a low income social housing project. “Architect Renzo Piano teamed up with Desvigne and Dalnoky to design an amazing courtyard space for their project in Paris.  A modular architectural design establishes a background for the small forest of birch trees.  The thin birch canopy creates a diaphanous lighting condition while still obstructing views across the courtyard, thereby providing the inhabitants access to both privacy and light.” -


December 13, 2012


spring flowers, tulip, ditmas park, design squish blog

spring flowers, tulip, ditmas park, design squish blog

spring flowers, tulip, ditmas park, design squish blog

spring flowers, tulip, ditmas park, design squish blog

pink tulips, design squish blog

Spring flowers in Ditmas Park, Brooklyn.

April 15, 2012


overgrown garden design, design squish blog

overgrown garden design, design squish blog

Above: Overgrown wild garden aesthetic. Design by Plant Architects

February 03, 2012


poppies, flowers,  design squish blog

Fresh poppy seeds - delicious! Beautiful photography by Inmost Light

poppy flower, design squish blog

inmost light, design squish blog

Above:  Inmost Light

June 08, 2011


overgrown , design squish blog

Green streets in my neighborhood Moscow, Russia(Москва, район Ленинского проспекта и ул. Обручева).  One thing I miss about growing up during Communism - the overgrowth.  Photograph by Dmitriy Chistoprudov.

March 29, 2011


reusing old windows, frames, design squish blog

upcycling old windows into greenhouse, design squish blog

I found these beautiful greenhouses made from upcycled old windows on HAUTE NATURE. I recently have seen a bunch of gorgeous old windows in the garbage. ...

October 29, 2010


design squish blog

design squish blog

design squish blog

design squish blog

‘Whatever’ flower pots are a terracotta pots by brooklyn designer Jason Miller. The pots are made out of clay but are inspired by plastic bottles, metal cans or coffee cups people often use when they do not have a regular flower pot at hand.

October 14, 2010


topiary car, contradiction, america, u.s, design squish blog


September 28, 2010


design squish blog

This is wild strawberry or Woodland Strawberry (Fragaria Vesca)  growing in Brooklyn backyard. Mmmmm!

Wild strawberry is not like a regular strawberry at all. It has a different taste and smell.  It smells like forest. Red, juicy and fragrant wild strawberries are false fruits Berries are seeds hidden in a juicy pulp. Examples of berries - blueberry, cranberry, tomato and watermelon. The seeds of the wild strawberry sit on the surface of this false fruit that functions as a bait for the animals, who eat the seeds and help spread the seeds with their droppings.  Wild strawberries are so delicious and aromatic because they wants us to eat them (yes yes!), ha-ha!
Wild strawberries usually are found near trails, young forests and forest openings.

There is so much can be said about this amazing fruit. 

wild strawberries,gardening, design squish blog

wild strawberries, gardening, design squish blog


June 11, 2009


horticultural society of new york, design squish blog

design squish blog

design squish blog

The Horticultural Society of New York is awesome.  The Horticultural society of New York makes New York city better through horticultural programs, library resources and exhibitions. Below are some photos of the exhibitions held in HSNY:

sustainable fashion at HSNY, design squish blog

Above: Sustainable fashion Show - Bodkin-  Eviana Hartman uses recycled tire rubber as buttons, boiled carob dyes, bamboo/organic cotton, organic wool,  recycled polyester fleece.

design squish blog
Above: The Artificial Kingdom - art exhibition by Rowena Dring and Jude Miller

design squish blog
Above: Awesome indoor green wall at HSNY


design squish blog

design squish blog

design squish blog

Patrick Blanc is a contemporary garden designer from France who basically “invented” the concept of a vertical garden.  What Patrick did is invent a hydroponic structure on which plants can easily grow vertically without any soil.  Essentially plants need water and minerals dissolved in it.  Many plants in the wild grow on vertical surfaces - rocks and cliffs. Many plants have the root ability to grow without any soil as long as there is sunlight, minerals and water.  Being soil-less, vertical gardens are very light and thus easy to implement on any wall.  Metal frame is installed that supports two layers of polyamide felt . These layers mimic cliff-growing mosses and support the roots of many plants. A network of pipes provides a nutrient solution containing dissolved minerals.  The roots of the plants take up the nutrients they need, and excess water is collected at the bottom of the wall by a gutter before being re-injected into the network of pipes.
In towns there are a lot more vertical free spaces than horizontal ,  Blanc says.  I wish to see many of them turned into a garden. 


May 30, 2009


design squish blog

design squish blog

design squish blog

design squish blog

Royal Botanic Garden in Edinburgh was founded in 1670 as a physic garden to grow medicinal plants.  Nearly 34,000 plants are grown at the Botanic Garden in Edinburgh and its three smaller offshoots located in other parts of Scotland.  These represent nearly 17,000 different species from all over the world, or about 7% of all known plant species.  I was surprised to see so many species of plants at the same time!

May 29, 2009


design squish blog

design squish blog

Kusamono and shitakusa are a potted collection of plants. Plants used are typically moss, grass, lichen, small mountain flowers and plants, bonsai trees, bamboo, or bulbs, that may be arranged to heighten the beauty or reflect a certain season.  Usually a collection is displayed separately in special pots, driftwood, or even stones. Photos from beautiful blogs: Shitakusamono and Happy Hearts at Home.

April 22, 2009


design squish blog

design squish blog

Love the idea!!

April 21, 2009


first flowers in Ditmas Park, Brooklyn

first flowers in Ditmas Park, Brooklyn

first after snow flowers in Ditmas Park, Brooklyn

first flowers after snow in Brooklyn

So it snowed a lot a couple of days ago in Brooklyn. Then, it became increasingly warm, snow melted and these first white flowers appeared. Photos are taken in Ditmas Park, Brooklyn.


March 15, 2009


Manny Howard wrote a story which I read in New York Times called My Empire of Dirt in which he describes how he attepted to live off the land of his own backyard in the city of New York for one month. 
He made a plan of where and what kind of vegetables and greens he will plant and what kind of animals he will grow in his 800 square feet backyard:

A cucumbers, cantaloupes, peppers, heirloom tomatoes.
B Rabbit feed, chicken feed, six rabbit hutches, a slaughter station, a refrigerator, and four egg-laying coops.
C 1.Tomatoes, beets, celery, yellow squash, purple eggplant, a fig tree. 2 Collard greens, cucumbers, and callaloo. 3 Cabbage, eggplant, rhubarb, leeks, garlic, onions, fennel, rosemary, thyme, and mint. 4 Corn, broad beans, basil, bok choy, and parsley.
D A duck coop, a duck pond, and two wayward rabbit hutches.
E A high-rise high-capacity chicken coop.
F The potato crop: a raised bed technically known as a “drill.”


Whatever came out of this project you can read here:  My Empire of Dirt.  I am going to ruin it for you: it did not end well.  To live off the land one needs a much bigger backyard, maybe not in the city and maybe more the size of a real farm. Also, one needs to know well how to take care of plants well.  I think to grow additional food for your meal, like tomatoes, strawberries,peas or chives is good in the city, but not a whole meal. Chicken are also possible to grow in the city but for such clustered city like New York, maybe quails since they are smaller?


January 01, 2009


american persimmonplant american persimmon

  The Persimmon originated in China and is cultivated in different parts of the world.  It turns out that the American Persimmon variety s native to the eastern United States.  Apparently it grows from New England to Florida, Texas, Oklahoma, and Kansas. The tree has been cultivated for its fruit and wood since prehistoric times by Native Americans, although American Persimmon is still fairly common wild in some areas. Although, in many regions the species is becoming scarce these days.  NatureServe lists Diospyros virginiana (American Persimmon) as Critically-Imperiled in Connecticut and Iowa, and Imperiled in New York. Officially the species is listed as Threatened in New Jersey and of Special Concern in Connecticut.
See distribution map.
I suggest planting a persimmon tree. 

November 20, 2008


moss as home plantimage

This is a large terranium that has slow growing moss and tiny ceramic mushrooms in it. The mushrooms are crafted by Mudpuppy. These mushrooms are adorable!
  Terranium requires very little care, just leave it in a room with bright indirect sunlight. Water every 2-3 weeks and whatever you do don’t over water! This little jar will take care of itself. - MadebyMavis  I never thought of growing moss as an inside plant but now that I think of it is a great idea. I love moss.  It is nice to find large flat beds of moss on the forest floor and take a nap on.  I heard you can put moss in the freezer and nothing will happen to it - you can replant it whenever you want.

November 18, 2008


caravay, design squish blog

caravay, design squish blog

Caraway is a biennial plant native to western Asia, Europe and Northern Africa. Caravay grows on meadows, field edges, dry valleys, floodland meadows as well as weed around house dwellings. Seed-resembling fruits are usually used as a spice in breads, especially rye bread. Although rye flour is naturally more dense than wheat flour, there is a theory that seeded rye bread is even more dense because the limonene from the caraway fruits has yeast-killing properties.  Caraway is also used in liquors, casseroles, curry and other foods.

caravay, design squish blog

April 12, 2006