Out like a lamb? The Parks Department just removed a diseased Linden from the front sidewalk, and a new tree is on order. The squirrels have been feasting on emerging flower shoots in my Brooklyn Backyard and they seem quite pleased with their handiwork (grrrr). Spring’s warmth and flowers can’t get here soon enough so I’ve been living vicariously through other sources that I’m sharing in this week’s post:
• Artist Sally Mara Sturman’s new illustration for YogaCity NYC captures the beauty of spring. Recently, Sturman left the familiarity of Brooklyn for a few weeks in sunnier, warmer California—the influence is showing in her newest watercolors. Now back home, she also custom paints ceramic pieces and works at Blue Moon Fish at the Greenmarkets in NYC. Find Sally’s work at her Etsy Shop.
1 • Ditmas Park Many creative types work several gigs at once; so does Sycamore. A bar, a flowershop, and an event space in one location seems to work for everyone and keeps the space active all day. Stems Architectural Florist hangs there everyday and offers flowers as well as plants—a recent post states that cuttings for fig trees from Flatbush Fig Farm are available for purchase. How Brooklyn is that? Check the site for scheduled music and brew events.
2 • Red Hook Saipua, a family-owned business focusing on small-batch olive oil soap and seasonal flowers and plants is definitely a do-what-you-love enterprise for all involved. Founder Susan Ryhanen retired from 30 years of teaching and started tinkering in her basement with handmade olive oil soap—Saipua on Van Dyke Street is the storefront result of her love of flowers and soap. Daughter Sarah is a co-owner of the shop and creates breathtaking floral arrangements. On Saturday, March 30, Saipua will have a houseplant sale, offering unusual varieties of ferns, begonias, succulents and free growing advice. Profits will go to The Farm at Worlds End, the flower farm that Sarah runs upstate, to fund the purchase of a tractor.
3 • Park Slope Long time Slopers, as well as newcomers, know that a visit to Zuzu’s Petals is always a blast of color and fragrance. Owner Fonda is the ultimate flowergirl with helpful plant advice and recommendations. What I respect most about Zuzu’s Petals is the dedication of this local business to the neighborhood, along with the beautiful dog that’s always there to greet customers. It’s the ideal example of shopping small in the neighborhood. And you know what the name means?
Two sites of note
1 • Brooklyn Visual Heritage is an online compilation of several picture collections from Pratt, Brooklyn Historical Society, Brooklyn Museum and The Brooklyn Public Library. A keyword search for spring turned up plenty of images of the Brooklyn Dodgers and Ralph Branca. This image took a little more effort to find; it’s from the 1952 Brooklyn Eagle and is captioned “girl in a garden with magnolia at Brooklyn Botanic Garden.” Explore to find fun, retro, relevant images of familiar Brooklyn places.
2 • A Way to Garden.com is author, editor Margaret Roach’s site for “horticultural how-to and woo-woo.” Roach’s weekly newsletter links to tidbits and resources that gardeners at any level will find useful, entertaining and attractive. I learned this week about alternatives to planting impatiens in a shade garden; a mildew-type fungus affected plants in 35 states last year. Roach’s writing is humorous yet straight-forward—she answers questions promptly and provides knowledgeable resources on a lot of different topics. Other sites may get a quick browse depending on my interest, but this one gets read.
By the time this posts, maybe we will be able to stash the winter coats away. Here’s a reminder, however, that April weather can be fickle:
Pansies, from my Brooklyn Backyard, April 8, 2003.
Joy Makon curates Brooklyn Artisan’s Craft & Design coverage and creates the weekly Best of Brooklyn lists. Send items for listings to email@example.com