Category Archives: Structure

The Rooftop Growing Guide

Since the 18th century the country’s heartland has sprouted a hardy crop of farmer philosophers. The 21st century Brooklyn-based example of this great American type is Annie Novak. Her new book, The Rooftop Growing Guide (Ten Speed Press, available February … Continue reading

Posted in Photos, Soil, Structure, Urban Agriculture and Food Policy, Vegetables, Wildlife | 1 Comment

The Snow Storm

The National Weather Service and New York Times have authoritatively harrumphed that the recent winter storm does not in fact have a name, “Nemo” having been chosen for ratings purposes by those for whom weather is mere entertainment.   As gardeners, … Continue reading

Posted in Cold Frame, Cooking and Eating, Kale, Photos, Seen From the Battery Rooftop Garden, Weather | 5 Comments


Your correspondent returned to lower Manhattan today, fearing that, like Icarus, he had dared to fly too high, to grow food where nature did not intend, and that he would find his presumption rewarded with a thorough smiting at the … Continue reading

Posted in Blueberries, Broccoli, Chard, Cold Frame, Fruit, Kale, Ornamental Trees, Photos, Weather | 13 Comments

Après le déluge

Plants on rooftop gardens are far more exposed to the elements than their ground-level cousins.   With Hurricane Irene heading directly for lower Manhattan, it was alarming to hear the experts explain that 75 mph winds at ground level translated to … Continue reading

Posted in Design, Failures, Malabar Spinach, Nectarines, Peaches, Photos, Roses, Structure, The Visionaire, Tomatoes, Weather | 4 Comments

Cold Frame Success

Although the cold frame was installed late (see previous post) and the first sowings of lettuce and spinach in January failed (see previous post), by late February my harvest of winter greens began in earnest.  A salad from March 1: … Continue reading

Posted in Cold Frame, Greens, Lettuce, Spinach, Weather | Leave a comment

Construction Progress Photos

Construction of the green roof commenced in early March and was largely complete by late-May.  See “The Team” page for names of the designers and contractors involved.  Here, in chronological order, are some photographs of construction progress: Below are the open-bottom … Continue reading

Posted in Construction Progress, Design, Fruit, Photos, Structure | Leave a comment

Extensive vs. Intensive

An “extensive” green roof is one with relatively thin soils, most typically 3-4″, and thus planted with a limited mixture of plant materials, mostly those that are extremely drought tolerant, such as sedums.  An “intensive” green roof is one with … Continue reading

Posted in Design, Soil, Structure | 2 Comments