Brooklyn Heights Townhouse: A Sunny Rooftop Garden

Rooftop Garden, Brooklyn, Amber Freda

This Brooklyn Heights townhouse features a bluestone deck, custom bench with built-in lighting, and ipe planter boxes. This sunny, cheerful roof garden is more exposed to the elements and windier than most ground-level gardens, so we picked a hardy sun-loving mix of junipers, crape myrtles, roses, and flowering perennials that would do well here. When choosing plants for a roof garden, I like to think about the types of plants that do well on mountains — conifers are an excellent choice for rooftops because they tolerate wind and sun and they aren’t top-heavy, so they won’t get blown over in a strong wind like a lollipop-shaped deciduous tree would. The plants are watered using an automated drip irrigation system. The plantings are illuminated at night with an automated low-voltage up-lighting system that runs through all the planters.