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Photo by Colleen McMahon via Flickr

Designing an urban garden presents unique challenges. Small spaces mean that every plant has to really count.

Yards surrounded by tall buildings and trees are often shadier than their suburban counterparts. Rooftops and decks can be windy and dry.

There’s precious little advice out there specifically geared to garden design for an urban space, so we asked four of our Brooklyn garden experts for their best tips for urban gardeners.


Photo by Shelby Bell via Flickr

So you’ve decided to turn that unfinished backyard into an urban oasis come spring. But how do you know which plants will thrive in our climate and put on a big show in a small city space?

Brownstoner asked three local garden professionals — James Stephenson of Artist Garden, Katherine Aul of Staghorn, and Jacob Hawvermale of Urban Roots — which plants are best for Brooklyn gardens.

Here are the top nine shrubs, trees and perennials these pros prefer. They will add color, texture and interest all year long.