Francine Gardner, owner of New York's Intérieurs, shows our writer Katie Mendelson how a few inspired finds can turn a city rooftop into an urban oasis.
Nothing beats the flavor of a thick walled sweet pepper grilled to perfection. When fully ripe, red bell peppers are sweet enough to eat out of hand, and when grilled they become the highlight of the meal. When home grown, peak of sweetness occurs when green bells mature to bright red. Pick them at the last minute to maintain flavor on the grill. When blackened by fire they are bright, beautiful and tasty.
“Elixir of fruit juice, crushed root, and golden honey date back to the dawn of time and far beyond the written word,” noted Charles H. Baker Jr., author of the esteemed 1939 volume The Gentleman's Companion. And indeed, it can be argued that virtually all cocktails stem from ingredients pulled in some manner from the earth, be it the julep (whose name, according to the above title, comes from the “Persian gulab, or Arab julab, meaning rose water”) or the fresh strawberry juice-infused La Fraise d'Amour.
Nowadays, people call any flat spot with a bit of structure a garden room. But it takes a whole lot more than a sense of enclosure to bring a room to life — a sense of purpose is needed, too. Landscape designer Jon Carloftis explains, “We should put as much thought into outdoor spaces as we do into interior ones: An allée, for instance, can be a great entry hall; a hammock in a shady grove deliberately invites restful solitude. I designed this room for clients who like to party.”
With the heat in full swing, summer is the perfect time for outdoor entertaining. We've been working hard on our latest digital Look Book, which is a free and easy-to-read online magazine that focuses on one gardening topic.