The World’s Most Inspiring City Block?

There is jubilation on Lincoln Road in the normally quiet neighborhood of Lefferts Gardens: The block between Bedford and Rogers Avenues has for the second time been named the Greenest Block in the Brooklyn Botanic Garden’s annual contest earlier this summer.

Beating out 173 competitors in three rounds of rigorous judging, the block is blessed both with extra wide sidewalks, which contain generous gardening beds, and with community spirit. Longtime residents, many in multi-generational households, offer new arrivals gardening tutelage.

Here are some of colorful photographs Jeanne Rostaing took for Gardenista.

Above: Many residents are Caribbean transplants, and their plants reflect their sunny homelands.

Above: Tolonda Tolbert, president of the block association, once again led her neighbors to victory, just as she did in 2009. The block is big. There are 80 houses; a record 75 took part this year. Three years ago, only 60 houses joined in. Ms. Tolbert, who has lived on Lincoln Road for 10 years, credits a campaign of almost relentless friendliness for the jump in participation.

Above: Flowers are everywhere, and their colors are bold. It’s unexpected under the big old shade trees.

Above: Chartreuse planters with red and orange zinnias, burgundy-striped cannas, shocking pink hibiscus flowers as big as platters and huge elephant ears… the tropics are alive and well in Brooklyn this summer.

Above: In accepting the Greenest Block prize, Tolonda Tolbert thanked everyone who not only beautified their own properties but also lent a hand in the gardens of elderly neighbors and those away on vacation.

Gardens provide such inspiration. To see more amazing outdoor spaces, visit Gardenista’s posts A Modern Shaker Garden and Cottesbrooke Gardeners’ Fair.


Kathy Perez
Kathy Johnson5 years ago

just wow. but edible plants are good too!

Past Member
Past Member 5 years ago

It takes one person to get it started. When I had a house and started planting in the front yard it did inspire my neighbors.

Jos� Mar�

Nice. Very beautiful

Joan Mcallister
5 years ago

Nice to see neighbours working together like this.

Teresa Wlosowicz
Teresa W5 years ago


Lilly Roder
Lilly Roder5 years ago

really beautiful

Dot A.
Dot A5 years ago

Wonderful! Such a lush bountiful image, where anyone can feel the healing power of beauty and life's colors flowing ~ Thank you for sharing this ideal picture to inspire others!

Mary L.
Mary L5 years ago


Nils Lunde
PlsNoMessage se5 years ago

Very nice

Edgar Zuim
Edgar Z5 years ago

Interesting and very beautiful. Gardening is good for our eyes and our minds, in the jungle of stone and concrete in which we live.