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City Walk

Brooklyn through the eyes of Tula

City Walk

Words by Georgie Sinclair

Photos by Katharina Poblotzki

It’s not the first time we’ve met New York-based plant lovers Christan and Ivan. Between them, they make up the brains and the energy behind Tula, one of the world’s only plant stores on wheels. In it, they roam around town selling plants and planters and specialist tips for free. It is late summer when we meet for the second time, and they’re taking us on an evening stroll through the bustling district of New York’s Williamsburg, pointing out their favourite green nooks as they go. From thistle-plants to Leopard Lilies, Christan and Ivan prove there is much to discover on the streets of Brooklyn, you only need to pay a bit of attention. So join us on the tour, and tune into their carefully curated Spotify playlist as you go.    

We begin in McGlorick Park. “There is a sense when entering this park that you are being transported to another time and place. McGglorick Park is lined with London planetrees (Platanus × acerifolia). These towering trees are known to be survivors of the harsh air and land conditions of a city environment. They create shade for people and sanctuaries for the animals.”

“The Leopard lily (lilium paradalinum) is one of those whimsical creations of nature. The bulbs are said to have been used for culinary purposes by many Native American tribes.”

As we reach the East Williamsburg stretch, we find ourselves on a quiet side street close to McCarren Park. “In the autumn, residents in this neighbourhood will spend every morning sweeping up fallen leaves.”

And finally, we reach the affectionately named ‘Tula Turf’ in Williamsburg. These days empty lots are rare to find in Williamsburg but, “we found an empty lot where Tula pop-up has been stationed for the months of September and October. We’d love to grow a garden instead of it being sold to another developer for apartments – only time will tell what happens.”

“The space came with two abandoned shipping containers that sit parallel to each other. We’ve used them for the pop-up as well as for growing. It’s quite a raw space, but we like it that way. The bamboo and weeds have taken over since we first found the space in late spring.”


Lovely stuff. Thank you both!

Want to know more about Tula? Read our full interview with them here.