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Posts Tagged ‘Rooftops’

Brook Lawn Farm Market, Outbuildings

Forgive me for diverging from my focus on urban gardens and rooftops, but I must share some photos from my visit to Pennsylvania this past weekend. It does in fact tie into the work I do here in New York City. My parents own and operate Brook Lawn Farm Market in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. The farm was started by my grandparents who purchased the land in the heart of Lancaster when they were married.

Click here for more info: http://agmap.psu.edu/Businesses/1218  They grow the best peaches and sweet corn in Lancaster. The farm is strictly produce, and is the reason I participated in 4-H as a youngster.

For the past two years I transported fall pumpkins, gourds and decorations from Brook Lawn into NYC to jazz up my client’s gardens in Autumn. The fall colors and textures really enhance the gardens at a time of year when they start to look drab. This is also an excellent way to bring interest into shady backyards which cannot support the typical mums or other fall annuals which still need sunlight to look good. While I was in Lancaster this weekend, I snapped some shots of baby pumpkins and gourds. It is amazing to watch them forming on the vines as the blossoms fade. Brook Lawn saves the seeds of the best gourds and pumpkins every year and have established an amazing collection of things you cannot find anywhere else.  

Blossoms on Pumpkin Plants

Jeffrey Erb Hunting for Pumpkins

Baby Gourd

Baby Snake Gourd, Will Grow to 3' Long

       

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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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