We are artists and devoted amateur gardeners. We both grew up in Florida and, for over 20 years, have lived and worked in New York City in the visual arts, arts education, fashion design and retailing space. With Gardenheir, we bring our experiences to what might be the largest and most diverse art and fashion show there is: the garden.


Gardenheir started humbly with some word play, sounding like a variation of “gardener,” “garden air,” “garden error,” “garden hare.” There was something evocative in the thought of someone inheriting a garden that stuck with us. We also knew right away that there are some complications in the name - the highfalutin, entitled, aristocratic associations. Though we can’t help being seduced by the images of illustrious garden estates, what interests us is more simple: the passing of time through the hands of a gardener, who becomes a steward to the land and its previous inhabitants, and who carries on and reenvisions gardening traditions. Gardenheir.

Long live the garden.

Christopher Crawford (left) and Alan Calpe


In January 2016 we drove about 3 hours outside of New York City to look at a cedar shake bungalow on a wooded 4-acre parcel in Windham, an upstate town in the Catskills. Though modest, it was larger than our small NYC apartment and had an adorable guest house that the owner used as winter house to keep the heating costs down. Windham is a ski town --Windham can get very cold.

Like many New Yorkers, having this respite from the city and settling into a slowing of time, the surrounding nature, felt lucky, and we bought the house. Our minds immediately ran wild with the art we could create in the guest house, the meals we would cook for friends in the kitchen, and the romance of snowcapped holidays. Our beloved dogs would experience being dogs in a completely different way and we would create our first garden.

By gardening standards this plot is not ideal. Most of the land is heavily wooded and level ground is hard to come by. Although it’s south-facing, the soil is compacted, heavy clay, and dense with rocks. Voracious deer are frequent visitors. A garden would be tough work.

Not to mention, we were not gardeners.

  • SPRING 2017

  • FALL 2017

  • WINTER 2017

As we settled into more pressing house renovations, cleared the brittle forest to invite new light and mountain views, and excavated a pond, there was also panic that we had now created a barren landscape. Some days it felt like an exciting gift full of possibility but most days, it felt overwhelming… and even irresponsible.

We decided to plant some things in the would-be garden. We started with the usual Pinterest suspects: English lavender, lots of roses and evergreen shrubs—most of which we’ve since killed along with the cheap tools we broke along the way. It was a disaster, but these early lessons and the very act of gardening was profound. We devoured as much as we could learn, reading piles of garden texts, binging on all the UK gardening television programs, visiting established gardens, talking to other enthusiastic gardeners, and of course, spending countless hours in our own garden.

Today our garden is still young, but already feels more sympathetically attuned to the actual landscape and the wildlife we inherited. While still a mystery, our garden pursuits are beginning to feel like a series of successes. Some for their beauty and some for the learning they provide every day.

We created Gardenheir out of our genuine love of gardening. Like our gardens, we know well that the project will change and grow over time. And we hope you’ll take part.

-Alan Calpe & Christopher Crawford, Founders