Archive for the ‘Summer 2009’ Category

Daffodils Coming Up in our Tree Pit

Daffodils popping up in the Brownstone Brooklyn usually mean spring is here, but it is only January!

I expect we’ll have a couple big snow storms and a cold snap before spring. What will happen to the daffodils?


I’m Going Over The Top Italian!

I’m digging these zap of colors from these planters at HomeGoods in Chicago. Kinda fluorescent Tuscan or something?

Pipe Music to your Roof Garden?

Do you pump jams up to your roof garden? We talked about it for two summers, but never tackled the challenge.

This summer, we’ve been loving the wireless Jawbone Jambox on the roof. We send music to it wirelessly via Bluetooth from out iPhone.

I happened to see this display of white W Hotel looking outdoor speakers and these faux rock speakers of questionable taste this morning at Best Buy. It looks like this can be wirelessly connected to the Sonos system we’re trying to set up downstairs. Sonos is cool for synching the music through the whole place – from living room and kitchen up to the roof all controlled from an iPhone or iPad app.

I’m going to keep researching an outdoor sound system. Any advice?

My favorite song to listen to up there? Up on the Roof by Carole King, of course. Buena Vista Social Club also feels good up there.

Golden Chain tree!

This West Village tree just took my breath away as I crossed the corner. Isn’t it amazing? It gives me springy hope to do inspired small-space gardens too.

The helpful sign posted under it said, “I’m a Golden Chain tree.” And such a pretty one too!

Help: Plants for our stoop containers

We’re not just roof gardeners. We’re working on our co-op’s stoop and tree pit plantings too.

Last fall, we put these small evergreens in. Now I think we need a little something for under the trees. It will need to be small, sturdy, and pretty unobjectionable to all the neighbors. We’re going to water them, but it will probably only be one or two times a week.

I’m hoping you have some suggestions for us. Thanks!

Tulips in the Tree Pit, Brooklyn Style

Tree pit gardening is tough on my Brooklyn block. If the dog pee doesn’t get ya, the flower pickers might. Congratulations to this Brooklyn gardener for a beautiful springtime display.

Spring Inspiration: String Gardens

Such a stunning concept.

Yeah, yeah, I know. Unfortunately, this is not the most practical concept for a roof garden. Under the blazing August sun, you’d need to water these every five minutes. Still, this photos and the others on are perfect inspiration on a cold, gray morning in Brooklyn [discovered via Apartment Therapy].


The Hanging Basket Report: Better Luck Next Year


We went through two hanging baskets this summer. We had this pink, perfect mini-petunia in June. Once the petunia baked on our roof garden, we swapped it out for this yellow lantana. By the end of August, the lantana fell to the dry windy heat too. (A neighbor criticized us for growing lantana, a plant he considered a weed.)

We’re thinking about new ideas for the hanging basket/pole for next summer.

The plant in this picture, living on a light pole high above 34th Street, near the midtown Manhattan flagship Macy’s made me think more about our hanging basket problem. If a  hanging basket can make it there, seems like a hanging basket could make it anywhere. I wonder how often these pots are watered.

Finding Abundance Over Our Heads


This last cold day of September is feeling like the end of roof garden season to me. So I thought we’d take a look back to where our garden started. This is a photo I took of our roses and herbs that we planted in early in June for R*’s birthday. Back then I worried that these little plants looked ridiculous in those huge pots and I didn’t think they’d survive the summer.

Well, here’s how the same posts looked in the end of August:


I suppose I knew that our plants would grow, but I wasn’t expecting this lushness. While I was busy keeping my expectations low, our plants were tripling in size. Is this a small taste of what parenting is like? Watching something grow and being a part of it — that’s a little tiny miracle with lavender flowers — right up on our roof.

Now for the less ethereal part of this lesson: Herbs love growing on sunny roofs in Brooklyn. Plant lots. They will flourish and flavor your food all summer too.

The growing season is just about shot and we’re a little sad.

Garden Going In at Crosby Street Hotel


The “spacious leafy courtyard garden” is going in today at the Crosby Street Hotel. The taller metal pots seems to have been inspired by garbage cans, but I like them. Nice contrast between the rough carved wooden low planters and the cooler black metal.