Posts Tagged ‘flowers’

Best Roof Garden Plants: Miscanthus sinensis Cabaret


Miscanthus sinensis Cabaret wins the most valuable player award in our Brooklyn roof garden. As first year roof gardeners, we didn’t want to sink a lot of money on trees. We were also worried that trees might be too heavy for the roof or need too much water.So we’re using this grass to play a tree like role.

This large pots of a tall grass anchor the corners of our garden space, similar to what a tree would do. Earlier this season the Miscanthus sinensis Cabaret grass was a gracious background for perennials and some sedum. Now it is anchoring the corner with our petunias and geraniums.

This Miscanthus sinensis Cabaret doesn’t mind being whipped around by the wind and it makes a great sound as it shimmies in the wind. It’s our version of a wind chime. Also, this variegated grass has been most tolerant of roof garden’s extreme weather: the super rainy June and steamy July days haven’t bothered this plant. A few blades get brown and we trim them out in a quick monthly haircut.

We bought this beachy grass at the Liberty Sunset Garden Center after hearing that it wouldn’t need too much water and  it is “great for containers.” It has more than doubled in height since we bought it and is now about five feet tall. It is supposed to “send up coppery pink flower plumes in fall.” Something to look forward to.

We’re planning to overwinter this plant right on the roof. Come spring, we’ll cut off last years growth and fertilize it. We haven’t decided if we’ll try to split it into two 16″ pots or leave it as is. We want to do all we can to make sure this grass is with us again next summer.

More on Miscanthus sinensis Cabaret:
Grasses With Attitude – This Old House

Our Favorite Brownstone Stoop Container Garden


We finally snapped a picture of my favorite Brooklyn brownstone stoop gardens this afternoon.

This brownstone planter is simple — just two plants — and elegant. The plants take advantage of their location; passers buy look up into the grass and little blue flowers. If this planting was viewed at ground level, the little flowers might get lost, but here their lacy best can be appreciated at eye level. The plants manage to show off the container without making the container the star.

Unlike some containers that peek and then loose their appeal, this planter has looked great since spring. It breaks the “thriller, spiller, filler rule” with much success. Does anyone recognize the plants in this container?

For another great container garden in the same neighborhood, check out this Brooklyn window box overflowing with petunias.

Butterfly Stops By Our Lantana


My mom visited us this weekend and got the chance to check out our roof garden. Mom noticed this butterfly enjoying our lantana hanging basket and we snapped a quick picture.

Early this summer, butterflies enjoyed our sedum. Since then, butterflies have become regulars at our roof garden and we’re hoping to plant more next year to attract them. This Butterfly’s Delight collection looks great for bringing on the butterflies.

The lantana has worked well as a hanging basket. It takes a beating from the wind and more than full sun conditions and barely wilts, thought it does require daily watering.

Roof Garden Plant: Daylilies


We planted a pot of daylilies in our Brooklyn roof garden at the recommendation of the helpful team over at Liberty Sunset Garden Center. In the spring and early summer, the lilies gave us a big punch of green. And the daylily started flowering during the first week in July, just as our Ameria maritima and a few other perennials stopped flowering.It was great to have the daylily bursting into flower for our 4th of July party.

Each flower doesn’t last long (hence the “day” part of the name!), but the plant keeps pushing out more flowers.

The daylily is presenting a few problems too. When it rains, the dead flowers from the daylilly fall off and get stuck to the roof surface. The flowers aren’t as attractive as we were hoping. Did all the June rain do something to the flowers? Or should we experiment with putting it in an even sunnier spot next summer? Or is it just that this particular variety (we can’t find the tag from this plant so we don’t know the exact name of it) doesn’t produce especially beautiful flowers?

By the way, daylilies are also grown in the roof garden on Chicago’s City Hall. And here’s the daylily collection at White Flower Farm. We’re wondering if other rooftop and container gardeners have any daylily advice for us.

Brooklyn Apartment Window Box


Happy Monday! We walk past these window boxes every morning on the way to work and wanted to share them this morning.

These Brooklyn window boxes hold piles of petunias, a bleeding heart bush, and some pansies peaking out too. We’re inspired by how big these window boxes are and by how much dimension they have.


These window boxes prove that there’s always space to grow something. Check out more of my window box posts here. If you don’t have a back yard, how about a roof, a stoop, a tiny tree pit, or a window sill like this one.

How Can We Make This Pole Look Better?


Our roof garden sits in the center of our roof. Our chairs stare out directly at this rusty exhaust pole. We hung a lantana there and strung up solar lights, but we want to do more. We need your help . . .  what else can we do to make this pipe look better?

We aren’t able to paint the pole or sit pots at the base.  Any solution needs to hang from the pole. This is a windy, full sun spot, so the plants need to be tough.

Do you have some suggestions?

Our Roof Garden Rose is Blooming


I gave two heirloom rose bushes to R* for his birthday — Yesterday and Cottage Garden from The heirloom roses are small when they arrive. We chose these roses bushes because  “own root” plants don’t get transplant shock and are more able to adjust to the rooftop conditions.

The roses have only been in their containers for a month and one already has a single bloom.

To allow for growth, we planted the tiny rose bushes in 16″ pots and co-planted the roses with herbs.  We picked sea-side varieties that should be adjusted to the windy conditions.

We didn’t plan the color scheme, but the orange-y rose sure looks great with the verigated sage and dark purple basil. As the roses grow, we trim back the herbs.

Slightly Strawberry Looks Simply Sickly


We planted our pink and green container last week. While the white verbena is flourishing, the two Anisodontea Slightly Strawberry plants look sick. Leaves are curling and turning yellow. Any advice?

Best Roof Garden Plants: Armeria maritima ‘Duesseldorf Pride’

Armeria maritima

We have an Ameria maritima ‘Duesseldorf Pride’ growing in a small container up on our roof garden. It looks like a mound of grass. The green is nice, but quiet. Easy to miss when it isn’t flowering.

But . . . look at that same grassy mound a few days … and there’s stems with bright pink flowers boing-ing around like antlers. We were just up on the roof watering and found two new flowers. We swear those weren’t there on Friday. We been researching more about this plant tonight, and we read that the game may be over — it stops blooming in late June to early July, so it sounds like the show may be over for this year.

We bought our Armeria maritima, also called “sea pinks”, at Liberty Sunset Nursery, Red Hook, Brooklyn. The guy working there said the plant would work well since it can tolerate the wind and pollution on an urban roof garden.

Next year, we need to grow something in the middle of the table. I think we should transplant the Armeria maritima to an umbrella planter. It seems like if we sat around our patio table long enough we could just about watch the flowers pop up.


I found out sea pinks are also grown on the roof garden at the Ballard branch of the Seattle Public Library.

Images: SD State, HydrotechUSA

M and P’s Jersey City Roof Garden with Tomatoes and Koi


Take a look around the Jersey City roof garden M & P share with their dog Caruso. There’s a couple of firsts here: we’ve never seen roof garden tomato plants this huge . . . and we’ve never seen a rooftop water garden before.


M’s morning glory vines are climbing a rope trellis he made. See how the vines will cover the rust stains dripping down the roof!


“The tomatoes got HUGE then waterlogged but i think they were saved. The watermelons are doing well too,” says M. They covered up their tomato plants with garbage bags to protect them from these record breaking June rains.




M and P, thanks for these amazing roof garden photos.

Ready for even more roof garden photos? Check out the Wonder on Willow Street in Brooklyn. And for more roof gardening pets, click over to Nico the cat.

Images: M in Jersey City