Brooklyn Bear's Carlton Avenue Garden, Fort Greene, Green With Envy Tour, II.10

The Green With Envy Tour II at the Brooklyn Bear's Carlton Avenue Garden in Fort Greene, Brooklyn.
Green With Envy Tour

The final stop on the Green With Envy Tour II was the Carlton Avenue site of the Brooklyn Bear's Gardens.

Check the links below for photos from the other stops on both Tours I and II. And watch for announcements for the next Green With Envy Tour, which I'll post on this blog.

Street Entrance

This garden had the most-developed and luxuriantly planted streetscape of any community garden I've seen. This has a big impact even when the garden is closed.

Approaching the garden from the north, the first thing you notice is the three story mural painted on the side wall of the adjacent building.
Brooklyn Bear's Carlton Avenue Garden

Here's a closer look.
3-Story Mural

As you get closer, the streetside planters demand your attention.
Brooklyn Bear's Carlton Avenue Garden

In the planter to the left of the entrance are the silver-white flowering bracts of mountain-mint, Pycnanthemum muticum. I recognized it because I grow the same species in my backyard native plant garden. In this garden as well as my own, at this time of year they are swarming with multiple species of bees, flies, and wasps, all important pollinators of food crops.
Entrance Plantings

Opposite, to the right of the entrance, is another planter with a different design. Asymmetrical plantings like these entrance planters maximize the massing possible with a given plant palette. The greater variety of plants provide for longer, and more varied, blooms. All of these are strategies to attract both plant pollinators and insect predators close to the garden's growing areas.
Entrance Planting

Every garden has a "garden is open" sign. This one includes several imperatives.

More ornamental plantings, including several mature trees, lie inside the fence.
Brooklyn Bear's Carlton Avenue Garden
Ornamental Plantings

Common Areas

The garden is built on a slope. The raised beds form terraces built into the hillside. This photo is the best I got to show this. I'd like to see this garden in the winter.

The picnic area, which appears in the opening photo, is part of the gathering area at the low side of the garden.
Green With Envy Tour
Green With Envy Tour


The mandatory composting area. This triple-bin arrangement was the most common. These weathered bins are still on the job. Signs moved from bin to bin let gardeners and visitors know where to add fresh material, and where they can obtain compost for use in their beds.
Compost Bins




Achillea and Fly


Related Content

Flickr photo set

Green With Envy Tour II
Pacific Street Bear's Garden, Park Slope, Green With Envy Tour, II.1
St. Mark's Avenue Community Garden, Prospect Heights, Green With Envy Tour, II.2
Prospect Heights Community Farm, Prospect Heights, Green With Envy Tour, II.3
Hollenback Community Garden, Clinton Hill, Green With Envy Tour, II.5
Classon FulGate Block Association Garden, Green With Envy Tour, II.6
Clifton Place Block Association Community Garden, Green With Envy Tour, II.7
The Greene Garden, Fort Greene, Green With Envy Tour, II.9

Brooklyn Bear's Garden, Park Slope, Green With Envy Tour, I.1
Hoyt Street Garden, Boerum Hill, Green With Envy Tour, I.2
Wyckoff-Bond Community Garden, Boerum Hill, Green With Envy Tour, I.3
David Foulke Memorial Garden, Boerum Hill, Green With Envy Tour, I.4
Warren-St Marks Community Garden, Park Slope, Green With Envy, I.5
Baltic Street Community Garden, Park Slope, Green With Envy Tour, I.6
Lincoln-Berkeley Community Garden, Park Slope, Green With Envy Tour, I.7
Gardens of Union, Park Slope, Green With Envy Tour, I.8
Green With Envy, Tour One, Final Stops 9 and 10


Anonymous said...

Chris, you wrote that the garden is in Prospect Heights. It is in Fort Greene (!!!)...


Anonymous said...

You might want to mention that the Carlton Avenue Bears Garden is one of the three gardens (along with Green Acres and Hollenback) that compost the massive amount of stuff the community now drops off at the Fort Greene Saturday Green Market, thus eliminating it from the municpal waste stream and creating rich compost which stays put in Brooklyn.

We will be rebuilding the bins this coming two weekends.

Xris (Flatbush Gardener) said...


What are the shared boundaries of Fort Greene and Prospect Heights?

Anonymous said...

Fort Greene and Prospect Heights are divided by Atlantic Avenue. The Fort Greene Landmark District does not run all the way to Atlantic but it is understood that the Fort Greene Neighborhood is bounded by Vanderbilt Avenue on the east, Atlantic Avenue on the south, the Navy Yards on the north and Flatbush on the west side...though BAM wants to claim that the BAM Historic District takes up what is generally accepted as being the western edge of Fort Greene.

Prospect Heights is much bigger than FG. It starts as a wedge where Atlantic Avenue and Flatbush cross on its western tip. It fans out and up to Grand Army Plaza and is bounded by Eastern Parkway. Again, Atlantic Avenue demarcates the northern border of PH while the eastern side melds with Crown Heights. I guess one can say that the Brooklyn Museum is essentially in Prospect Heights.

Many Prospect Heights gardens were on the first weekend of the tour while the Fort Greene and Clinton Hill gardens were on the second weekend of the tour.

Nice shots.

Anonymous said...

You didn't point out that the Carlton Garden harvests rain water...Did you take photos of the 1000 gallon cistern?

Anyway, though we hook up to the hydrant on weekends, we do rely on the cistern during the week and especially when the weather turns cooler and we don't need to do a lot of heavy watering, can just manage with the cistern which is less work to access compared to hooking the hoses up to the hydrant across the street.

Some summers since the arrival of the cistern we relied heavily on it to the point it would be emptied of all 1000 gallons of water.

If we had to, by systemically filling the "rain barrels" around the garden exclusively with water from the cistern so that the cistern would never reach full capacity and would always have room during each and every storm to take up the rainwater, we might be able to survive without every hooking up to the hydrant. Of course, this would necessitate mulching all the planted areas with straw, etc. which we do not currently do unfortunately due to lack of material.

Thanks for the exposure.

Anonymous said...

I was misremembering...The part two of the tour hit the PH's gardens before heading to Clinton Hill and FG.
The Part One of the tour visited to gardens on the other side of Flatbush from PH and FG.

Anonymous said...

Where you astutely mention the extended bloom time, can you add in that the New York State asters in the Welcome Beds will bloom in the fall and will also help bees and wasps store food for the winter with some goldenrod and phlox thrown in for good measure.

Xris (Flatbush Gardener) said...

Wow, the Brownstoner effect! Thanks to each of you for filling in and fleshing out. I don't pretend to be providing complete coverage here, just what I saw during the brief times I saw each garden.

I knew the Hollenback Garden took material from the Fort Greene Park Greenmarket. I didn't know the other two gardens do, as well. Is there any write-up of the program that I can link to?

I'm not familiar with Green Acres. It would be a multi-year project just to try and visit all the community gardens in Brooklyn!

I don't have any photos of the cistern. I can't recall seeing it. If I had, I probably would have taken photos of it, as I did at two of the other gardens on Tour II. Do you have any photos of it I can link to?

I like the term "Welcome Beds!" I love the late-blooming fall asters. I have some in my backyard garden of native plants. I have a species goldenrod in the front yard, though I forget which one.

anitasyv said...

Wish I knew about this tour! We just moved to the area where "Prospect Heights melds with Crown Heights" to a garden apartment - basically an empty lot! So we're starting a garden, and starting a garden blog. As beginning gardeners, and beginning bloggers, we'd love any advice and input from this community! http://soilicious.wordpress.com/