Tag Archive for Landscape Design New York


—Backyard Landscape Renovation in Queens, NY—


Queens BackyardA petite backyard in Queens was in dire need of a new look, smarter use of limited space, and more structurally-sound construction. The shared garage had a sagging roof, crumbling walls, and a ugly block facade. While there were some overgrown trees on the property the backyard was very drab and lacking any real greenery. The stoop to the raised porch was lopsided and the canopy covering the porch was in desperate need of updating. The clients were interested in outdoor cooking and entertaining for small groups, using the space at night, and greening and softening the edges of the yard to provide an attractive border and privacy from the alleyway behind and the neighbors.


Queens BackyardThe garage became a harrowing task to rectify, as asbestos was discovered in the rooftop materials, and it being a shared structure, cooperation with the neighbors was mandatory. Permits were obtained, the asbestos was taken care of by an environmental firm and the garage was demolished and carted away.

The large arborvitae at the rear of the yard had to be removed, due to their encroaching size and the light that they blocked from the space. The Japanese maple was kept however, for it was healthy and its curvy truck provided an interesting effect against the fencing. New plantings were adding into every corner and edge of the backyard – a raised bed against the house hosts an array of perennials and ferns, a small bed opposite the kitchen island has vines which will grow along the new fence and soften that narrow pathway, a second bed along that fence and at the rear of the yard provides evergreen interest and privacy from the alley behind, finally tiny little beds at the base of the 4 iron trellis posts contain ivy which will grow up and over the structure throughout the year to offer shade and seasonal interest.

Queens Backyard Renovation

Queens Backyard RenovationThe stoop, landing, and steps to the basement received all new materials. Stucco risers with blue stone treads create an elegant entry from the garden into the house, along with stucco cheek walls with bluestone cap stones. Step lights were installed into each so they can be easily navigated at night and add to the ambiance of the space. The stoop canopy was replaced with a natural cedar railing and overhead structure covered by an opaque corrugated fiberglass roof that allows light to penetrate the previously dark sitting area on the landing.



While entertaining, the clients can utilize the outdoor kitchen island which was designed to host a grill, refrigerator, storage, and bar seating, as well as provide ample serving space. It was important to the clients that the “grillmaster” be allowed to share in the occasion, so the dining area was placed next to the island and they are able to converse with those seated at the dining table and at the bar seamlessly. The dining area is demarcated by a prefabricated iron trellis in which custom lighting has been hung to illuminate the table well into the evening.

Queens Backyard Renovation


Drastic changes to the small backyard have made a world of difference and the space is almost unrecognizable from what it used to be! One of the interesting facts about this project is that eco-friendly materials were used on many elements…the pavers in the dining area are permeable to reduce surface run-off, the concrete used for foundations and walkways was a special eco-friendly mix, and all of the landscape lighting is low-voltage and LED which will consume very little energy.

In the end, the project provided the homeowners with exactly what they envisioned…a larger space with all the amenities they hoped to include in their outdoor “lounge”. This project recently was awarded a SILVER design award in the MINISCAPE division (spaces <2,000 sf) at the LINLA 2013 Landscape Design/Build Environmental Enhancement Awards.

Queens Backyard Renovation




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2013 “Landscaper of the Year” Finalist

1 of 12 Companies recognized by Total Landscape Care Magazine

2013 Landscaper of the Year Finalist

2013 Landscaper of the Year Finalist

A great honor and achievement

I was extremely honored on behalf of kokobo greenscapes to be included in this wonderful program. To be considered as a finalist amongst over 2,500 nominated firms throughout the USA was truly wonderful for our company and a testament to our continuous drive to offer our clients the highest quality of service, knowledge, product, and of course unique, awe inspiring designs to enhance their outdoor spaces. I had the pleasure of meeting a wonderful group of finalists on the cruise to the Bahamas last November and forged some wonderful friendships while learning a lot about the other finalist’s businesses and projects.
-Michael Madrash, Principal Designer

How it Works to be chosen:

“Every year, the Total Landscape Care editors choose the top 12 landscapers from across the country to be honored in our Landscaper of the Year program, presented by Case Construction Equipment. Some factors that affect our decision are the landscapers’ portfolio of work, services offered, business techniques, community involvement and what sets them apart from others in the industry.” Companies entering in this competition must submit a list of client references.

The chosen finalists are each featured in a full-length magazine article, along with photos of their projects. They also join Total Landscape Care staff on an all-expense-paid cruise to the Bahamas hosted by Case Construction Equipment where they can network with other landscapers, enjoy nightly gala events and relax on the sandy beaches.

Beside client references and photos of finished work, companies can submit photos and information about their facilities and employees, copies of company literature, training manuals or promotional campaigns, or anything else that convey the caliber of ones company to the Total Landscape Care editors.

Once the 12 finalist are picked, an editor visits each company, to see the personal side of the business. Last autumn, we at kokobo had a nice lunch including Michael’s homemade tomato soup on “our rooftop lunchroom” with an editor from TLC. He made it a point to visit with each of the designers as well as Michael and other key staff! After lunch, he and Michael were off to more site visits in NYC – both in progress and finished projects.

2013 Landscaper of the Year Finalist

2013 Landscaper of the Year Finalist

All at kokobo are very pleased to be honored by this selection and will continue our hard work to please our present and future clients.


Green Roof Tax Incentive

In June of 2008, New York Legislature passed a new bill that is offering tax abatements to building owners who install green rooftops. In doing so, the state hopes to encourage the adoption of green roofs by taking “green” one step further. Not only will buildings receive tax credits based on these newly passed incentives, they will also benefit from the other economic savings that green roofs provide.

Under this law, building owners in New York City who install green roofs on at least 50% of available rooftop space can apply for a one year property tax credit of up to $100,000. The credit would be equal to $4.50 per square foot of roof area that is planted with vegetation, or approximately 25% of the typical costs associated with the materials, labor, installation and design of the green roof.

green roofs

We know we have to protect the environment, and the number one contributor to global warming, in terms of pollution, is not emissions from automobiles, as many people think – it is buildings. Green roofs significantly reduce a building’s carbon footprint. – Assemblyman Ruben Diaz, Jr.

Green rooftops can save New York City residents more than $5 million in energy cooling costs, cut greenhouse gas emissions and reduce overflows of raw sewage by easing pressure on the city’s overburdened sewer system, which will help to achieve swimmable and fishable waterways in neighborhoods throughout New York City. – Larry Levine, Natural Resources Defense Council

Greenwall Design Idea


greenwalls by kokobo greenscapes

kokobo greenscapes continuously provides our clients with the highest quality in plant materials, craftsmanship, design experience, horticultural and construction knowledge, as well as superb service while incorporating a safe and fun environment for our clients and staff alike. Our services include complete Interior and Exterior Design/Build, Landscape Maintenance, Custom Carpentry and Stonework, Plant Rentals, and Holiday Decorations.