At long last it is feeling like spring in New York City! Been trying to think of a way to celebrate? Flowers on your front stoop is an easy, affordable gift to yourself and the neighborhood. My wife and partner Jane and I have been decorating our stoop with flowers since 2010.
In 2010, Jane first had the idea to decorate our stoop while she was walking by a florist display in Brooklyn Heights. We dared ourselves and promptly walked over to Chris, owner of Emmerich Greenhouses at the Farmer’s Market on Court Street in Brooklyn Heights and we bought 22 pots of mums. As soon as we started placing them up and down the stoop next to the rails, some neighbors warned us that they could be stolen. We hadn’t thought of that. So we simply tied the pots to the stoop railing with twine. To our surprise, not a single pot has ever been stolen. To our greater surprise, we started receiving heartfelt compliments from complete strangers! Men and women in equal numbers stopped to express their appreciation. A dog walker said she went out of her way each day to see our stoop, and tourists took many pictures in front of the flowers!
Best of all, an artist set up her oil painting easel across the street. She was obviously very talented. When we asked if she did this sort of painting for a living, she said no, that she hadn’t painted in 10 years. She said our display had inspired her to start painting again!
The cost is a small price to pay when the display brightens so many days. Our experience reminds me of a children’s book by a former longtime townhouse owner on West 94th Street, Peggy Mann, called The Street of the Flower Boxes. It’s a true story about how a gangland block was revitalized when residents started using flower boxes.
If you have time, give this a try – it’s an easy, affordable way to make a difference on your block, and your neighbors will love you. Emmerich Greenhouses even sells their flowers at the Upper West Side farmers market located at 78th Street and Columbus Avenues every Sunday!
– Dexter Guerrieri, Vandenberg Inc.