Posts Tagged ‘roof garden’

Elegant East Village Roof Garden

Looking for inspiration? Check out this New York City roof garden on Remodelista. This custom built fountain — created to serve as a bench too — is my favorite part.


How To Start A Simple Roof Garden

Roof gardens can quickly become complex and expensive. Some people will talk about irrigation systems, fancy furniture, changes to the roof structure, plus plants. Start simple, I say. Make sure your roof can support the weight. Then put some containers up there. (And like you see in this photo – splurge on a sturdy, large umbrella!)

Many new roof gardeners are hunting for advice on how to start. This short article could be a great starting place for your roof garden.

image: Sunset Magazine

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

Tips On Buying An Apartment With Outdor Space

They New York Times tell us: “For those who want their own place in the sun, apartments with private patios, terraces, balconies and roof decks are to be found all over the city. But the supply is, like summer itself, on the short side, and brokers say that buyers should expect to pay a premium.” For advice on what it takes to get illusive outdoor space, read the full article.

Here’s the listing for this one bedroom with a roof garden in Chelsea.

Images: NY Times (top), Corcoran (lower)

Loll Designs Sale @ Gilt Home

We’d love to upgrade our roof garden furniture. We’d swap out the plastic Adirondacks a la Target to these beauties from Loll. They are on sale until tomorrow night at Gilt Home: $365, marked down from $520. Loll’s outdoor garden furniture is made in the USA from 100% recycled plastic.

Trying to Save Our Sempervivum: Succulent Garden

There were amazing sempervivums and sedums at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden plant sale. I decided I could create one a succulent dish gardens inspired by a Deborah Lee Baldwin’s new book: Succulent Container Gardens.

Unfortunately, I didn’t have any of the other items I needed when I bought the plants.  It took me two weeks to get a  low terra cotta bowl, fast-draining succulent potting soil, and a bag of little rocks.

I went to put the stunning Sempervivum ‘Baronesse’ (hens and chicks), grown by Glover Perennials in Cutchogue, NY,  into the pot and I saw a few little flies and smelled rot. Oh no! This perfect plant with cobweb rosettes and red highlights was rotting from underneath! It was too wet and not getting enough light. I feel guilty for not being a better parent to these perfect plants.

I removed the rotting leaves, popped it in the pot with some spindly sedum (also in need of more hot sun!) and placed it a sunny and isolated spot on our roof. I don’t want the few flies to spread to my other pots! I hope a few days baking in the sun can nurse this plant back. I’d like to use it as the centerpiece for the patio table on our roof garden.

Creating a Full-Sun Hanging Basket for Our Brooklyn Roof Garden

The hanging basket on our roof garden faces some big challenges. The hanging basket has to be able to withstand strong gusts of wind and direct, drying sunlight for most of the day. Last summer we went through three different hanging baskets. The lantana performed the best, so we knew we’d make lantna the center of this summer’s hanging basket.

I ordered the three plants from White Flower Farm for our hanging basket last night, working from the thriller, filler, spiller model.

For the thriller I chose Phlox intensia in white. We try to put white flowers in almost every pot, since white flowers are visible late into the night, when we often visit our roof garden. “Even when the heat made other plants start to flag, this Phlox performed admirably. Lovely in window boxes against a dark background,” say the pros at White Flower Farm.

I don’t think the Lantana is precisely a filler; last summer our Lantana was thrilling with the flowers blazing, unwilling in the sun and wind while attracting butterflies. Still, I am counting on the Lantan to fill up this pot all summer long; so let’s call it a filler. I’ve usually seen yellow Lantana, often called “ham and eggs”, sold locally. I decided to try something a bit less common – this purple and white Lantana montevidensis Lavender Swirl. Lantna is one of the best roof garden plants we’ve tried.

Finally, the spiller. Our hanging basket is hung high up on an air vent pole, so I wanted a spiller that would thrive in full sun and grow Rapunzel style to hide the ugly pole. I picked Dichondra argentea Silver Falls because it grows fast and it “[e]njoys sun and drought. Unique.” I don’t think portulaca would trail this long.

We’re planting this in a self-watering hanging basket.

What do you think? Will this hanging basket survive the summer on our roof?

Images: White Flower Farm

Roof Garden: Vines By Design

Our big goal for the roof garden this summer is to make it more lush and enclosed feeling. Less pots on a tarmac, more slice of drough-tolerant Eden in Brooklyn — something like that.

At the start of the season, we added three small trees for structure. Today’s project is to add some vines, inspired by how O2B’s Brooklyn roof garden uses vines to create a sense of abundance and energy.

We’re experimenting with two different vine projects:

#1 We’re planting Old Spice Sweet Peas (Lathrus odoratus), a sweet smelling Mediterranean native, and Black Eyes Susan vine a.k.a. Lemon Star (Thunbergia alata) in a small terra cotta window box. We hope it will grow up a trellis we bought online from Terrain.

#2 We were admiring a huge moon vine at the Phillips Farms stands at the Grand Army Plaza Greenmarket this morning. Just as I was asking R* if he thought it could endure the heat of the roof, a woman walked by and said she had grown it on her roof garden. She loved seeing the large white flowers at night. We decided to spring for the $15 plant and try to run it up the ugly pole at the front of our garden. The vision is big white flowers obscuring an ugly plumbing pole, framing our Manhattan view. We shall see. (This great description of a fragrant twilight roof garden with moon vine gives us hope.)

Neither of these vine projects were too expensive. So for about $25, we’re testing out three vines. Let’s see what we learn. Any advice as we get started?

Urban Farming From New York City to London

There’s an urban farming trend alert in the T Style magazine this weekend (click View Full Magazine, jump to page 19). I like this photo, but learned more from a similarly themed urban roof gardening piece in the Financial Times. The FT piece also introduced me to the excellent London Terrace Garden blog.