Posts Tagged ‘irrigation’

As you may remember, I started both Morning Glory and Moonflower vines from seed this year to grow along the railing of my balcony. An earlier post titled “Night and Day” captured the beautiful deep purple Morning Glory blooms as well as my remorse for the lack of action from the Moonflowers.

Moonflower Opening at Dusk

As the Morning Glory blooms began to fade with the cooler fall weather, the Moonflowers were brought to life by the full moon and this amazing flower burst into full bloom. As the name suggests, the Moonflower blooms at night. Each flower is about 8″ in diameter and the hue is delicate white.  They have an intoxicating rich fragrance that permeates the evening air. This aromatic spectacle is short-lived since the flowers last through the night and drop the next morning.

The fragrant bloom at night.

Even though the planter was large, the limited soil space of a container most likely stunted the growth of the vines over the course of the summer. It is important to keep up with watering  if you don’t have an irrigation system. The constant flux of moisture and drought can severely hinder plant growth. Witnessing this one flower definitely made up for months of nursing the seedlings and daily watering all summer long. Gardening takes patience but the rewards can be magical.

A Single Moon Flower Glows at Night


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Smokebush Pushes New Bloom in August

It’s true. Plants growing on the tops of concrete covered rooftops in the sweltering heat island of Manhattan appreciate a little dihydrogen monoxide every now and again. One of my client’s in midtown west inherited a terrace full of a hodge podge of planters from the previous unit owner. Phase one of making the space his own was to make the existing plants happy. The addition of a fully automatic irrigation system turned his terrace into a brand new place.

Rooftop gardens need watered every day. They don’t take holidays off, and they certainly don’t rest on Sundays. If you don’t have an irrigation system, consider adding one as a smart investment. Multiply the number of years you intend to keep your roof garden by 250 (days of growing season) and then muliply that by the value of your own time. I think you’ll see that it makes sense to get it.

Just one month after installation, I already saw huge changes in the plants which were previously hand watered. Even this Cotinus pushed out a new bloom in August which normally would have emerged in June. I would say we are heading in the right direction.


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