Archive for the ‘Summer 2010’ Category

Soho Roof Garden with Swimming Pool and Fruit Trees

Check out this ninth floor 2,500 square foot roof garden escape on Broome St. I toured this garden last July and am so excited to share the photos.

Read more the Soho roof garden this city is threatening to pull down on The New York Times. Here’s a slide show of some of my photos:

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

NYC Roof Garden MeetUp Gathers Tomorrow Night

I can’t make the NYC Roof Garden Meetup tomorrow night, but maybe you can go and tell me all about it? Here’s the details.

Flavor Paper’s Modern Meadow

I usually think of wild, dense plantings as looking oldy-worldy, but check out this punchy modern Brooklyn roof garden.  This garden is part of Flavor Paper’s new live-work space. Head to New York magazine for more (via Apartment Therapy).

David and Esme’s Bushwick Roof Garden

Fest your eyes on Esme and David’s amazing Bushwick, Brooklyn roof garden and visit their Flickr page to get the full tour. This is their first year as roof gardeners.

They live on the top floor of their building and run a hose up from their kitchen sink to water.  They use self-watering containers and built a wind barrier with plastic trellises from home depot and some pallets scavenged from a warehouse. This tall red flower is a Mexican Sunflower.

They are experimenting with a small part of the roof area, since the landlord is concerned about the weight and water damage. They are hoping to get more space to grow next summer.

Here’s the very ambitious list of all they are growing up there:
Morning Glories
Black-eyed Susans
Teddy Bear Sunflowers
Mexican Sunflowers
Corn (Esme reports: “not looking so hot – it was our most ambitious crop!”)
Serrano Peppers
Thyme, Basil, Oregano, Parsley, dill

I can’t wait to learn more about how the sunflowers are doing. I never even dared attempt growing them. And our rooftop moonvine met an early death, so I’m interested to hear how they are keeping them happy too.

Photos: Esme and David

Roof Report: Sneaking Up in Moscow, Fires in NYC

“A youth subculture that has taken shape around this low-slung city. Its adherents are called roofers, and they delight in gaining access to Moscow’s buildings not for criminal intent, but to scamper up to the roofs to gape at the surrounding landscape,” reports the NY Times.

The Times also reports on two roof deck fires in New York City: one caused by improper use of electrical wires, the other by smoking materials. “Recreational wooden decks could become dangerous tinder if not properly installed and maintained.” Be careful up there!

Our Roof Garden Daylilies Disappointed

We were excited for our daylilies in early June, but they were a let down this year. The flowers had a washed out look and were messy. I think it produced fewer flowers this year.

We weren’t too happy with this plant last year either. Maybe we’ll have to kick it out?

Our Sempervivum Is Blooming

In early June, our sempervivum — also called a houseleek or hen and chicks — seemed sleepy. We were told the sempervivium is excellent plant for a New York City roof garden — enduring the intense heat, the freezes and thaws of winter and the wind without complaint.

I realized last week that this plant was definitely up to something.

Now our sempervivium is blooming. I have to admit I almost threw this plant out this spring. I couldn’t really tell if it was alive or not. It was the pet rock our roof garden — just taking up space, space that I could use for flowers or something more showy. Now, after reading the sempervivums chapter in Joe Eck and Wayne Winterrowd’s excellent Our Life in Gardens, I am fascinated by our pot of “semps.” Turns out that these plants have a long history of growing on roofs. “In the ninth century, Charlemagne … issued an edict that sempervivums were to be established on every house roof,” says Our Life in Gardens (here’s a sample in Google Books).

I didn’t know why these plants were also called Houseleeks until I read Out Life in Gardens: “houseleek was also a pun, since the most decayed roofs of houses both supported the plants best and could be presumed to leak.” Leek, leak, get it?

“After flowering, the plant dies, usually leaving many offsets it has produced during its life,” says Wikipedia’s houseleek entry. With that in mind, I chopped off thee chicks. I’m trying to establish a new hen and chicks colony in the dry difficult conditions of the containers on our apartment buildings front stoop.