Richard Heller has been hoisting trees and rooting around in dirt -- doing all manner of urban landscape work -- for over 30 years. A Certified Landscape Technician, he speaks with passion about putting the just-right kind of greenery in a backyard and on a rooftop or terrace. "It should reflect the architecture of the house, and complement it. We can do anything, but I love doing green roofs," he notes, speaking of the type of installations that are particularly ecologically friendly.
Heller has an aesthetic eye that was trained at Vassar "in countless courses in design theory, architecture, and art history." First, clients work with him by going to his office and looking at hundreds of pictures of gardens to give him a sense of what they like...then he takes over, figuring out what will work, what fits the budget, and what is practical for their spaces. The minimum design fee is $1,500 (labor and materials are extra), he has a staff of 30, and his company can even care for and service your garden once it's installed. 914-637-9870; www.greenerdesigns.com (This article originally appeared in the 7/06 issue of Manhattan Living.)