“I’ve always been interested in gardening and art,” recalls Scott Zimmer, owner of Zimmer Gardens in Kingston, New York. “I remember how much I enjoyed walking through my grandfather’s garden with him as a child, doing something as simple as counting the scallions he had planted.”
Fast forward a few years, still very young, Zimmer saw Picasso’s “Three Musicians” for the first time at MoMA, and “I literally stopped in my tracks and got tingles down my spine. I knew then that I wanted to be an artist.”
Now, he intertwines both interests in the design, installation and maintenance of small gardens and property styling, enhancing his practical experience and artistic talent with degrees in architecture (Pratt Institute) and ceramics (SUNY New Paltz), as well as study at the Garden Design Certificate Program at the New York Botanical Gardens.
Always happy to share ideas about gardening, he notes that, “Part of my job is to educate. Container plantings have really taken off and are one of the most satisfying forms of instant, garden gratification. They’re easy to do, don’t take long to make and grow lush and full in just one season. They’re also a great way to satisfy one’s desire to be close to nature; it’s just the dirt, the plants and you!”
The possibilities for container plantings are vast. It all depends on your individual style and where the container will be placed. Everything from old, rubber boots to wire baskets lined with coco fibers, ceramic urns to metal buckets can be employed as containers, while some of the current plant trends include:
- Plantings that sustain wildlife and act as pollinators
- Mixing edibles and flowers or planting edibles only
- Combining perennials with annuals for constant color and interest
- A variety of colors or various tones of one color
In addition to commissioned jobs throughout the Hudson Valley and Manhattan, Zimmer offers hands-on coaching sessions where neophytes work alongside him. He also conducts demonstrations at fairs and garden clubs. For Zimmer, it’s more than just a job. “The act of creation reminds us of being alive, so important with our increasingly technology-driven lives.”
Photography via Matthew Petricone
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