Landscape design team Harrison Green masters the art of Gotham gardening


Jacobs was their first customer. The Harrisons, not yet married, met him when they were employed at the same company in New York, where Jacqueline and Damien had each landed a few years after school. (She studied landscape architecture at Penn State, he at the University of New South Wales, her native Australia.) In the fall of 2012, shortly after this company inserted its last leaves into the landscape. from Jacobs, Hurricane Sandy turned it into a wading pond. When he revisited it the following spring, he brought in the Harrisons, who had married and started their own business. It was a fortuitous moment for everyone.

The Tribeca patio is framed by Japanese snow trees, flagship hydrangeas, and boxwood, among other plantings.

Photo by Nicholas Calcott.

One of the couple’s motivations for going solo, says Damien, was to bridge the communication gap between landscapers and their clients. Observing the way interior designers worked, they wondered why their own relationships couldn’t be so “intimate and thoughtful”. Providing design / build services allows them to cultivate confidence and maintain control over the bottom line. Interior designers are now among their biggest fans. “They are extremely talented, but also wonderfully open to the ideas of the less green,” says Monique Gibson, whose East Village yard is now a leafy extension of her living room.

Behind such feats lie logistics unique to city gardens, from calculating soil weight for roof beds to obtaining crane permits to hoist a sub-zero boxwood into position. Jacqueline oversees installation and maintenance, while Damien runs the design studio. It counts classic Italian gardens – structured, functional, predominantly green – as influences, as well as the urban garden culture of Australia.

Until fairly recently, the Harrisons were aimed at clients like themselves: high-performing New Yorkers. That is starting to change, but the couple insist that they will never turn their backs on their Gotham friends like Neville, Jacobs’ bull terrier. “Neville is a respectful guy,” Jacqueline says. “He’s just a great canine client.”


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