Landscaping Brooklyn – Townhouse Roof Garden

This Brooklyn Heights townhouse features a bluestone deck, a 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. 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. The plants are watered using an automated drip irrigation system. The plantings are illuminated at night with an automated lighting system that runs through all the planters.

Pro Tips:

If planting a roof garden seems daunting, here are a few tips to help get you on your way to creating an urban paradise:


Before starting a garden, check with the building management to see about building codes and weight limits.


Containers should be lightweight and portable, resist cracking in freezing weather, and hold enough soil to minimize the drying effects of wind and sun.


In the heat of summer, plants exposed to a full day of sun and wind may need constant watering and can easily burn to a crisp if forgotten about for even one day.

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