Although the Battery Rooftop Gardener spends too much time in airplanes (and has been said to bear a passing resemblance to George Clooney), this post is not about the pitfalls of excessive (or obsessive, in the case of Clooney’s character), travel. This post is about looking at BRTG from up in the air:
In the photo above, taken by an accommodating helicopter pilot, the six “square-foot” beds and other vegetable growing areas sit at the north end of the garden (lower right above), facing south. The berry patch (blueberries to the right and raspberries and blackberries to the left) sit just south of the wooden yoga terrace. The orchard, and the herb “knot” to its south, separate the working north end from the more ornamental (but still food-centric) south end of the roof. The grapes vines had just climbed to the top of the pergola when this photo was taken (in June of 2011). The “secret” alpine garden sits at the top left of the photo.
They say that in real estate location is all, but farmers and gardeners know this to be the case for virtually anything that grows in soil. The roof at BRTG catches full morning and mid-day sun, but starts to lose afternoon sun due to the tower of solar panels to the west of the roof. It is surrounded on two sides by water, and not unduly crowded by other sun-stealing buildings:
Zooming out a bit, you can see the historic fire boat pier at the top left, Robert Wagner Park at the south-west tip of the Island, and, from south (top) to north (bottom), the Ritz Carlton Battery Park Hotel and condominium, 10 Little West, and then the Visionaire topped by BRTG. Seeing the proximity and “wrap” of the harbor and Hudson River, it is easier to understand the ameliorating effect of micro-climate discussed in my last blog.
And finally, zooming out to examine the site of the garden from further south in the harbor, you can see that it is but a tiny airborne echo of Battery Park, the great green prow of Manhattan Island: