Posts Tagged ‘watering’

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:
Moonflowers
Morning Glories
Black-eyed Susans
Teddy Bear Sunflowers
Mexican Sunflowers
Eggplant
Strawberries
Corn (Esme reports: “not looking so hot – it was our most ambitious crop!”)
Tomatoes
Cucumbers
Serrano Peppers
Thyme, Basil, Oregano, Parsley, dill
Nasturtiums

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

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How Do You Get A Water Supply Up To A Roof Garden?

Check out this great question:

We’ve been thinking about gardening on the roof for awhile now, but haven’t moved forward – I think because I was thinking “too grand”.  Looking at photos on this site, I see it’s as simple as putting some pots on the roof.  However, aside from carrying cans of water up there, how does one deal with getting a water supply to the roof? I have visions of a garden hose running up the side of the house to the roof.  Is this feasible?

Thanks for any suggestions.

Priscilla

Pricilla,

Thanks for your message. The first consideration for all roof gardens — from a grouping of containers to a grand landscape — is the water.  The water supply will dictate what plants you select and how large a garden you can have.

Last year, we didn’t have a water supply on the roof. That meant R* and I had to carry four watering cans up three flights of stairs nearly every night in the summer, sometimes twice a day. We focused on growing plants that could do without too much water, including drought-resistant grasses, sedum, lantana, and woody Mediterranean herbs like sage and lavender.

This summer, we now have access to a hose on our roof. This easier access to water allows us add some trees and tender vines. We’re still heavy on the drought-tolerant plants. That gives us peace of mind, knowing one hot day won’t destroy our roof garden.

Since you mentioned that you’re looking for options beyond the watering can and the hose, you could try to find an adapter to connect your kitchen sink to a garden hose and then run a hose out your window and up to your roof garden. Seems perilous, but roof gardening often requires some eccentric behavior.

Finally, you’re so right: roof and balcony gardens do not have to be elaborate and expensive to be beautiful and fun! I hope you’ll send some pictures of your garden in process.

Lee Valley Sale, or Why I Bought a $72 Watering Can

hawswateringcan

Lee Valley is running free shipping sale through this weekend. Good thing too — our nasty neighbor has decided that we cannot use the hose on the roof anymore, so we ordered another large Haws’ watering can.

Without access to the hose, we’ve been making double and triple trips down to our apartment to fill up our watering cans and take them too the roof. I like to think that this is keeping us fit and making sure we don’t waste a drop of water.

Now $72 is a lot to pay for a watering can!! But when you’re taking two trips up and down three flights of stairs trying not to splash water on the co-op carpet, you might as well treat yourself. We’ve also found that the rose — aka watering can nozzle — helps to direct water to our containers, where as the plastic Home Depot cans drip and spill. Plus we’re starting to fall for the romance of hardworking, beautiful British gardening tools.

We’ll let you know if we’ve completely lost it or if the $72 Haws fetches water 10 times better than the $7 Home Depot plastic job.

Want to see where the Haws obsession started and learn more about their company? Here’s my first post about Haws.