The Q at Parkside

(for those for whom the Parkside Q is their hometrain)

News and Nonsense from the Brooklyn neighborhood of Lefferts and environs, or more specifically a neighborhood once known as Melrose Park. Sometimes called Lefferts Gardens. Or Prospect-Lefferts Gardens. Or PLG. Or North Flatbush. Or Caledonia (west of Ocean). Or West Pigtown. Across From Park Slope. Under Crown Heights. Near Drummer's Grove. The Side of the Park With the McDonalds. Jackie Robinson Town. Home of Lefferts Manor. West Wingate. Near Kings County Hospital. Or if you're coming from the airport in taxi, maybe just Flatbush is best.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Know Thy Neighbor - Johnny "Greenman" McBride

In the second of my 98,643 part series "Know Thy Neighbor," I bring you a man, husband and father who might come in handy if you're looking to upscale your garden, yard or stoop. Meet Johnny McBride, and he's a good guy to know.

A former resident of Connecticut, Queens and Park Slope (all 3 won't be held against him), Johnny first made a name for himself as a chef in CT. When he met the beguiling lady of his dreams (now Mrs. Greenman), he threw caution to the wind and followed her down to the big city, where he quickly landed a kickin' gig and cooked for the stars. Something in the kitchen just never quite felt right, so with typical McBride pluck and gumption he radically changed careers (at the ripe old age of 30). He'd always loved plants and the outdoors, so he decided to take some classes at the Botanic Garden and learn from the roots up (as they say in the profession). He landed a job as a horticulturalist/landscaper with the City can see his handiwork at our very own Prospect Park Zoo. (Two of his before and afters below).

After he and Mrs. McB had a beautiful baby girl just last year, he STILL found time to ramp up his business - Greenman Gardening. I checked out some "before and afters," as well as some drawings. The guy is good...has a real 6th sense for this stuff. While personally I prefer to fail on my own, I highly recommend him for jobs big and small, since he's as comfortable building whole gardens and walls and water features as dropping by some holiday wreaths and doing plant recommendations and deliveries.

And how did the Q at Parkside become his "HOMETRAIN?" Easy. 450 square feet didn't cut it for a family of three (more to come?), and a rental became available on Clarkson - a floor-thru w/garden. His sweet Portuguese water dog Fischer loved this side of the park anyway, so it was really a no-brainer. Plus, by acting as super for his four-story brownstone, he gets a few bucks off the rent.

Just like my previous profilee, life hasn't always been a bed of roses for this gardener, and there's been grief and struggle like the rest of us. But I'm better for knowing him, and I'll bet you would be too. Give him a holler at:, or call 917-647-2223.

And yeah, now that the cat's outa the bag, I'll be happy to recommend your services too...if I can verify that you're good! If the Q is your hometrain and you've got services to sell, I'm happy to post about it in the form of a profile. - Clarkson



Anonymous said...


Vin - Hartford, CT said...

Greenman helps bring the beauty out! Love it!! Well-written article, too :)