I grew up at the beach where gardens were limited to what the sand and salt air would not destroy. Amazing plants could handle this harsh environment where Nor’easters blew with frequency and hurricane force winds were expected. The plants I grew up with were coastal and hearty, the Goldenrod, Juniper, Sycamore and London Plane, Yucca, Black and Loblolly Pine, English Ivy, Willows, Forsythia and of course Bamboo. These colored my view of landscape palettes as I went through college in Rhode Island which was also coastal but with a big difference, glacial deposits gave it a rich soil profile right up to the very edge of the beach. Here massive Elms and other countryside landscape material grew in unexpected tolerance of the salty winds. So, my palette grew. Then I moved to Los Angeles after graduation and worked with Andy Lipkis and his team at Tree People(please make a hyper link https://www.treepeople.org) to plant a million trees. My palette grew again; this time to include drought tolerant materials that could handle very little rain or water. Most of the street trees or hillside plantings were not tended after being planted so they were on their own to survive with what nature provided.
When I moved back toNew York City my familiar landscape palette came rushing back to the forefront, but this time with a twist. In the urban environment where streets and rooftops are solid materials that block water from penetrating the earth, getting soil to roots was similar to the obstacle in Los Angeles: how to keep plantings alive in an environment that is harsh and not friendly to plants. We’re talking non-native species. Natives thrive while the decorative and cultivated plant species require far more care, maintenance and water. Similarly, the garden elements that go with the plantings such as benches, planters, pergolas and accessories such as furniture, fire pits and spas require great consideration in order for them to create a space, be enjoyed and not blow away or deteriorate untimely. These are the considerations of the Rooftop Garden. We’ve put together a 1-minute video of how a rooftop garden is planned and installed. Now this may not be what you’d call a garden, because everyone has their own definition based on where they live and what they like a garden for. This particular client’s desires for a rooftop garden are what you’ll see here. No matter what the intended outcome for a garden on a rooftop, the process will be similar. Please feel free to get in touch so we can help you get your dream rooftop garden!