Greener by Design is committed to giving back to the community. Check back often for photos, videos and descriptions of the community service work we have done.
This high-profile renovation project took up residence in an Upper East Side mansion, 163 East 63rd Street. The striking, neo-Federalist style residence was once owned by John Hay “Jock” Whitney and boasts unique historic details acquired during his travels abroad. Each of the 16 rooms in this four-story, 10,000-square-foot mansion delighted all who were able to see them.
Greener by Design designed and installed the garden design, titled Wu Wei. Wu Wei refers to the cultivation of a state of being in which our actions are quite effortlessly in alignment with the ebb and flow of the elemental cycles of the world. It is a kind of “going with the flow” that is characterized by great ease in which – without even trying – we’re able to respond perfectly to whatever situations arise.
This garden tied together qualities from the adjoining rooms and neighboring garden. Inspired by the hand painted Chinese wallpaper in the dining room, (shown below) this garden was an effortless blend of its surrounding elements, culminating in a clean modern aesthetic that is abstracted from Chinese garden design and philosophy.
We invited a group of kids from the Kips Bay Boys and Girls Club to come into the garden at the Decorator Show House, and learn about Haiku’s. Once they learned how to compose one, we asked that they write them on the pavers in the garden.
Richard took the morning to go to Colonial Elementary School, to teach the children in one of the third grade classes about the different layers of soil. The children were given a hand out displaying the layers of soil, and asked what they knew about each. They then created “mud cups” to visually depict the different layers. They learned about soil, and got a tasty snack in one fell swoop!
(Photos coming soon…)
How To Make a Mud Cup:
You will need:
A clear plastic cup for everyone participating ( you want to see the layers!)
Like mud, these can be messy. There is also no exact measurement of how much of everything goes into each cup, but below are some basic guide lines.
1. Smash up enough Oreos to create a layer at the bottom of all of the mud cups you are making. This layer represents the Bedrock found in soil.
2. Add a layer of Chocolate Pudding. 1-2 large spoonfuls, or so, depending on the size of your cups. This represents the Weather Rock Fragments, which has little to no plant or animal life
3. Add a layer of Vanilla Pudding. 1-2 large spoonfuls, or so, depending on the size of your cups. This layer represents the Subsoil, which is poor in humus, and rich in minerals.
4. Put down a layer of gummy worms. Use as many, or as little as you’d like. The gummy worms represent the Topsoil. This is often rich in humus and minerals.
5. Smother the top with Chocolate Syrup. This represents the Humus.
Ongoing material donations, and occasional classes taught by Richard Heller.