Doctor ordered to tear down “mountain” roof garden in Beijing


Once you start roof gardening, it is hard to know when to stop. We’ve added a Japanese maple this summer and can always find room for a few more annual, but a whole mountain?! Fascinating.

Read the whole story and see more photos on NBC News.


Vines and Ferns in a Bright Red Windowbox

Color and texture working together in this early summer window box in the West Village, NYC.

Adding A Vine To Our Roof Garden


The Brooklyn Botantic Garden Plant Sale kicks-off tonight. Our roof garden is now almost full, so we won’t be hauling as many plants home this year. Still we will have our eyes open for a couple of less-common plants — special plants we can’t easily find at a local garden center or farmer’s market — that will solve specific problems in our garden. This summer, one of our goals is hiding the chimney in our garden with a lush vine crawling up a trellis. While our neighbors have had luck with a wisteria, we’re thinking about either a honeysuckle or a climbing hydrangea.

Matthew’s blogged about how great his climbing hydrangea grows and a couple of garden center sales people have told us that honeysuckle has what it takes to grow fast in a harsh, city environment.

For more roof garden plant ideas, check out Better Homes & Gardens list of 15 Best Plants for Rooftop Gardening.

Good Erdle Modular Planter – Sale at


The Elliot is an eye-catching modern, handmade planter sold exclusively at for $149 plus shipping. It would work well as a centerpiece planter for a patio table, with the pots surrounding your patio umbrella. Unfortunately, these pots do not have holes in the bottom of them. (Gardeners of the world, let’s UNITE and ask manufactures to make us planters with holes in the bottom!)

Would you put a sofa in your roof garden?

This Catalina sofa looks like an indoor piece, but is designed for water drainage with Sunbrella fabric and mildew resistant foam. Total urban outdoor indulgence on sale for $2699.00 at Crate & Barrel.

Cooler Totes at Land’s End


We renovated our kitchen this fall. We added a big ice maker right at the foot of the stairs to our roof garden. Even if we have margaritas for a dozen guests or serve beer by the case (or kegger!), we shouldn’t run out of ice.

What we haven’t figured out how to get the ice up to the roof yet. Traditional coolers seem bulky and hard to store, so I’ve got my eye on these cooler totes from Land’s End. Today it is on sale for $35.60. The garden tote is part of the sale too. 

Our new Adirondack chairs

We’re off to Philadelphia for the Flower Show on Saturday. We consider it the start of our roof gardening season.

This photo shows the Loll Adirondack chairs I gave RP for Christmas. They are so sturdy and even have their own beer bottle openers in the arms. I can’t wait to kick back there and watch the roses.

Ready to Buy a Roof Garden Of Your Own?

Here’s two properties with inspiring terraces available in beautiful Brownstone Brooklyn. Both are within walking distance of the Brooklyn Botanic Garden.



First up is this one bedroom in Crown Heights with a 248 square foot private terrace.


If you’re ready to park your plants someplace posh, check out this two bedroom in a new building in Park Slope. With over 1,000 square feet stretched across two terraces, there’s almost as much private outdoor space as indoor space.

Tropical Urn in the Traditional Park Slope

Tropical plants seem to be trending this summer. I like this single plant arrangement in front of a Brooklyn brownstone.

Mantis in the Mallow

We bought this tall unwieldy mallow at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden plant sale. It was covered in over the top pink flowers and had that wild English garden look we love. We hauled it back to our roof garden, not knowing what to expect.

It has been blooming every couple of weeks all summer, disguising an ugly chimney. I just found out it has also become the home of this preying mantis!

We’ve had many more critters this summer. I didn’t like the ants crawling down into then kitchen in the spring, and we don’t like the crunchy huge black flying bugs that come out with the sun comes down and the wine comes out, but we’ve mostly had bees and butterflies, even bats and dragon flies.