Tag Archives: urban gardens

The Art of Curbing

There are a million way to kindly tell people: “Keep your dog away from my tree!”  Here are some of New York City’s finest Curb Your Dog signs:

Simple and kind curb your dog signs is a great way to go

Simple & kind is a great option for a curb your pet sign…







Or a goofy dog inside a flower curb your dog sign, as shown on Bleeker Street.

Or a goofy dog inside a flower curb your dog sign, as shown on Bleeker Street.

Curb your dog signs NYC

Flattery will get you everywhere.







An abundance of flowers make for a natural deterrent to protect urban trees

An abundance of flowers surrounding the urban tree & tree guard make for a natural deterrent.


Curb your Dog Signs do not need to be fancy.

Curb Your Dog Signs do not need to be fancy.




Sometimes simple hand-made Curb your pets tree guard notes have the greatest impact. "Out of the mouths of babes!"

Sometimes simple hand-made notes have the greatest impact. “Out of the mouths of babes!”

And, of course, there’s always Curb Allure’s classic tree guard Curb Your Dog Signs!

And, of course, there’s always Curb Allure’s classic tree guard Curb Your Dog sign!







It really doesn’t matter how you show your urban tree love and protect city street trees. Just get the word out: “Please Curb Your Dogs!”










Resolving to Build A Better Community in 2013

Five Ways to Improve Your Neighborhood Urban Trees in 2013

January is the month for improvement. This year, rather than vowing –once again— to lose weight, save money, or get organized— why not think outwardly? Resolve to improve your NYC community instead by improving your neighborhood urban trees in 2013.

Trees and gardens are vital to the health of a neighborhood. At Curb Allure, we’re delighted to report that tree guards are becoming an important part of this equation. Just look at this recent Wall Street Journal article, Myrtle Avenue Dresses Up Its Trees, which highlights artistic tree guards. However, aside from installing tree box guards around your block, there are several others way to get involved. Here are five new ideas:

1. Mulch Your Christmas Tree. Many cities and towns offer programs to mulch your old trees for fertilizer or other gardening purposes. Each January in New York City, the Parks & Recreation department holds its annual Mulchfest throughout the five boroughs. This year’s event starts this Saturday, January 12. If your community does not offer such a program, try adding some of your old Christmas tree branches to your tree pits. Not only will they protect the tree, but the smell will be Resolving to Improve Your Neighborhood Urban Trees in 2013 | Curb Allure Blogheavenly!

2. Curb Your Dog. Believe it or not, dog waste is NOT fertilizer. According to the New York Times, acid in dog urine eats away at bark, stripping the tree’s natural defense system. And you can just imagine how that urine corrodes metal tree guards. Rather than letting your dog relieve himself in a tree pit, “curb” him  —actually bring him to the curb of the street to urinate.

 3. Learn How to Care for Your Urban Trees in 2013.  Pruning trees properly takes a little bit of knowledge. Trees New York offers Citizens Pruner, a five session program that legally trains people to prune the city’s street trees. Call your local parks department for similar classes.  If none are available, several useful websites are available with step-by-step directions, such as the International Society of Arborculture’s Trees Are Good website. (FYI, this site is a treasure trove of tree knowledge).

 4. Join A Block Association. Whenever you walk down a particularly lovely street, there is usually a block association behind it. Not only are these neighborhood organizations a great way to get involved in street beautification projects, but offer a fantastic opportunity to get to know your neighbors. Start with saving your Manhattan trees with tree pit fences. Beauty and friends. What can be better than that? If your block does not have an association, start one today.

 5. Fund Spring Planting. If you live in a building, now is the time to approach management for a planting allowance. Most buildings will gladly allocate money to beautify their grounds –particularly if eager tenants (like you) agree to do the planting and maintenance. And to make sure these trees and plants flourish, protect them with tree box fences to keep them safe from the elements

Enacting just one of these changes in your community will feel spectacular. Maybe better than losing five pounds.





Planting Spring Bulbs

November 9, 2012

Planting Spring Bulbs by Curb Allure BlogIn the wake of Hurricane Sandy, spring flowers are probably the last thing on your mind. October & November have been dominated by clearing out fallen trees and dead leaves; not nurturing daffodils and tulips. Yet now –just before winter’s first frost— is exactly the moment to begin planting spring bulbs inside tree guards in New York City and beyond. It’s also nice to think of sunnier days to come.

This is the fun part. Bulbs planted in the fall will be a welcome sign of spring in late March or early April. Spring flowering bulbs are the relief we need from winter doldrums. Remember the uplifting impact spotting tulips can have on you?

Choose your spring flowering bulbs carefully and you can enjoy spring flowers for five months straight from February all the way to June. Enclose your bulbs with metal tree guards to protect them all year round. Here’s how to get started:

What Bulbs Should I Buy?

  • Tulip bulbs can be planted quite late, even during a December mild spell. It is worth experimenting with several varieties.
  • Winter-hardy annual seeds that germinate become dormant and revive with the first spring sunrays to produce much earlier and stronger spring flowers than those that will be sown next spring.
  • Smaller bulbs like muscari and crocus are a good choice inside your tree guard because they are planted in the top 2-3” of soil and do not disturb the tree roots. Here are some other options for tree-friendly spring bulbs.

  • Allium
  • Crocus
  • Daffodils
  • Hyacinths
  • Irises
  • Narcissus
  • Tulips
  • Geraniums


How Do I Plant Them?

  • Plant between four and six bulbs per square feet. The rule is actually four daffodils per square foot, but you can bend it a bit to keep your tree pits looking full.
  • Keep in mind that bulbs should be planted one foot away from tree trunk.Stick to planting bulbs around trees with established root systems.
  • Dig holes between 6” and 8” deep for larger bulbs, and 3” to 4” for smaller ones.
  • Make sure the bulbs and surrounding trees are protected with tree box guards. Tree box guards add style and protection to your bulbs and trees. Are you worried that pets will ruin your hard work and beautiful plants? Add accessories such as Urine Shields or Pet Reminder Signs to insure your bulbs make it through the winter!
  • As for laying out how your flowers will grow, be creative!  Many people like to make patterns of flowers, such as muscari or hyacinths at the edges, short- or medium-length tulips/daffodils next and the taller tulips/daffodils in the rear.
  • Purchasing bulbs annually gets a bit pricey. You can also add a splash of color to your tree pits by adding Curb Allure planters that fasten to the top of your metal tree guard. Remember: planters are a spring project, as their flowers are more susceptible to cold and frost.
  • If you simply do not have time to plant bulbs, consider calling local professionals such as Urban Garden Center in Manhattan. While garden centers may not advertise such services, they are ready, willing and able to help out.
  • Plant a variety of bulbs and keep a journal of your experiments as a reminder of successes. Each year, your tree pit fence garden is bound to get better and better.