FLATBUSH — They've got some serious flower power in Flatbush.
For the fourth time in two decades, a residential block in the neighborhood was named the Greenest Block in Brooklyn by the Brooklyn Botanic Garden, the group announced.
East 25th Street, between Clarendon Road and Avenue D, took the annual green thumb prize, with its lush tree beds, colorful yards and overflowing window boxes, in an award ceremony on Tuesday.
The block has won the designation three times before in the contest’s 22-year history, most recently in 2011, the BBG said.
Winners are judged on their plant variety, use of color, street tree maintenance, resident participation and eco-friendliness, said the botanic garden’s president Scot Medbury.
“It’s a very competitive affair and it’s a tough thing to judge,” he said, adding that more than 150 blocks in 25 neighborhoods vied for this year's prize.
Echinacea, marigolds and caladium are popular flowers in gardens on East 25th Street in Flatbush. (Photo credit: DNAinfo/Rachel Holliday Smith)
Lots of people helped put East 25th Street over the top, including a group of a half a dozen retirees in the block’s gardening club who take it upon themselves to plant, water and weed many plots on the street.
The group even extended their efforts to the yard of a vacant house where pumpkins and tomatoes now grow.
“It takes a village to create love,” said Grace Henry, the block association’s president, who accepted the award on behalf of her neighbors.
“It takes the flowers to reflect what love is and, if you look at this block, you can see that it’s well-loved by some wonderful people.”
Phoebe Blake, one of East 25th Street's most avid gardeners, sits among her collection of antique urns where she grows coleus, one of her favorite plants. (Photo credit: DNAinfo/Rachel Holliday Smith)
Henry said the types of flowers and plants on the block are as diverse as the residents who live there, with a mix of native and non-native plantings. Echinacea, marigolds, black-eyed Susans and caladium are all favorites.
Two other Brooklyn blocks got bragging rights in the contest with second and third place awards going to Sterling Place between Flatbush and Seventh avenues in Park Slope and Lincoln Road between Bedford and Rogers avenues in Prospect-Lefferts Gardens.
The BBG also designated Fulton Street, between South Portland and South Oxford streets, the “greenest” commercial block in the borough.
(Photo credit: DNAinfo/Rachel Holliday Smith)