I started a website in 2005 to promote my new book. It has since morphed into a collection of practical information to share with you.

Although raised next to a woods and learning how to plant flowers by my grandmother, Nanny, and first neighbor, Aunt Evelyn, in suburban northeast New Jersey, my real passion for gardening began when I moved to Manhattan's Hell's Kitchen community between the Hudson River and Times Square in 1988. I married into it and after unpacking in a 4th-story walk-up rental, I ventured around the neighborhood and was so excited to find a community garden just a few blocks west. A woman named Mallory was on her knees laying bricks in a path who paused to say, "If you come and help, you could get on the list for a garden plot."

That was it. I was hooked and was soon assigned a 4 x 6 garden plot then headed straight to the 5th Avenue Library to look up how to get started on gardening. Finding nothing, I researched farm techniques and experimented and that's why I decided to write Garden Your City.

Published in 2005 after 16 years of urban gardening experience, this book was written for people who think gardening is difficult. It's really not! It is a practical "how-to" with can-do ideas on where you can plant! Really. Gardening opportunities are everywhere.  

It's an enjoyable read but the bookstores and gift shops in botanical gardens were expecting a paperback and a lower price point while the publisher insisted on a hardcover.  The launch party at SoHo's Smith & Hawkins, book signings in New York and Chicago and national radio interviews were wonderful and well-received but..after I moved a hour north up the Hudson River to a 2-acre house in the woods on an historic dirt road in Garrison, I made the decision to purchase the remaining inventory. So, the day after President Obama was elected in 2008, the signed contract arrived that the rights were reverted to me from the publisher, Taylor Trade Publishing, a division of Rowman & Littlefield. Until mid-2015, sold on Amazon.com.

See CONTACT US if you are interested in obtaining a signed copy or to have one personalized as a gift. As a volunteer gardener for over 25 years, if you tell me about your public beautification project or community garden start-up, I'd be glad to offer you a discount. 

For five consecutive years I was invited to lecture at The PHILADELPHIA International FLOWER Show and have spoken in bookstores, conventions, on live television, and at government, corporate, and civic events and for garden clubs and at historic homes.  Now, happily unmarried and enjoying a smaller home and gardens in Hyde Park, NY I dissolved my herb farm and garden installation business, Tarn Farm LLC and have returned to writing.


Old ISBN:1-58979-169-X  1. Urban Gardening     2. Gardening     3. Container  gardening        
Since ISBN's don't transfer, a new one was purchased. Registered under  ISBN 978-0-615-26976-4 - in Bowker's Books in Print.
Hardcover, 232 pages, color photographs, and 50 illustrations by talented artist, gardener, and dear friend, Paula Brinkman.

The simple act of planting a seed creates more than a zinnia or tomato plant. You will not only enjoy a flower's scent or savor a tomato, you'll 
be improving your quality-of-life and benefiting your home, your community, the environment, wildlife, and yourself.

This website reflects my volunteer and professional experiences, places, people, ideas, gardens, products, clients, and information that I hope will enrich your gardens and your life.            

Yours Sincerely,

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    Acknowledgements with Thanks

    Table of Contents

    Foreward: Craig Tufts, Chief Naturalist, National Wildlife Federation


    Introduction: Adrian Benepe, Commissioner,City of New York, Parks & Recreation

PART I: Why Garden Your City?

PART II: The Elements of Success

1.  Discovering Your Gardening Spaces

2. Your Garden's Sun, Zone, Wind & Microclimates

3.  Plan. Then plan again.

4.  Water, Soil & Staying Organic

5.  Basic Supplies for You & Your Plants

6.  What to Plant: Local Hunting & Mail Order

7.  Vegetables a.k.a. Urban Farming

8.  Seed Starting, Sowing, and Planting

9.  Weeding, Deadheading & Avoiding Thinning Trauma

10. Nature's Way - Compost & Wildlife

PART III: Places to Grow

11. Window Box, Fire Escape, and Balcony Gardens

12. Terraces & Roofs

13. Sidewalk & Entrance Magic

14. The Rare Backyard Garden

15. Street Trees - The Urban Forest

16. Adopt a Tree, Highway, Median & More

17. Community Gardening

18. Gardening on Public Land

 PART IV: City Gardening Resources

19. Sources, Websites, Catalogs & City Parks Departments

20. A Case Study: Garrit Stryker's Garden

Garden Journal - Notes & Sketches

Reading List & Bibliography


Garden Your City is for those who want to, but don't think they have a place to garden, for those that have their own private space to grow but have no clue how to start, and for individuals and groups who want to beautify their building, park, community, or city by gardening.

‚ÄčBarbara Hobens