New York Roof Gardens: Wonderful!

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New York Roof Gardens

By Bubbles
October 31, 2011

Gordon Hawkins' Brooklyn roof garden is well known in gardening website circles. He frequently posts photos of his exotic and eclectic collection of brugmansias, passifloras, clerodendrons, and more. The source of many brugmansia collections has been his generous free cuttings in late fall each year. Gordon also freely shares his clever directions for building planters and patio furniture from foam insulation boards.

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Name: Lin
Florida (Zone 9b)
Region: United States of America Morning Glories Region: Florida Houseplants Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
Garden Procrastinator Birds Butterflies Bee Lover Hummingbirder Container Gardener
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plantladylin
Oct 30, 2011 6:41 PM CST
Bubbles: Thank you so much for this wonderful tour of Gordon's amazing garden. I've never visited New York and I've always imagined it as lots of cement, traffic and noise but these photo's show that Gordon has the best of both worlds, a country setting with beautiful views of the city, a tranquil getaway, your very own secret garden ... on a rooftop, I love it!

~ Eat, Sleep .... Play in the dirt ~
Name: Sandi
Austin, Tx (Zone 8b)
Texas Gardening
Forum moderator Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Ideas: Master Level Plant Identifier Master Gardener: Texas
Region: Texas Tropicals Plumerias Ferns Greenhouse Garden Art
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Bubbles
Oct 30, 2011 9:20 PM CST
Lin, I took so many photos that I finally made myself stop and just enjoy the garden before the light was gone. When it got dark, we couldn't believe how beautiful the NYC skyline could be. Thank you for your kind words.
Name: Gordon
Brooklyn , New York
Charter ATP Member Miniature Gardening Container Gardener Region: United States of America Butterflies Garden Art
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GordonHawk
Oct 30, 2011 9:28 PM CST
yes... ditto from me/// I surely appreciate the wonderful feed back...
Name: Charleen
Barnesville, Ga. Zone 7b-8 (Zone 8a)
Walk in Peace / I'm Charley's Mom.
Miniature Gardening Mules Tip Photographer I sent a postcard to Randy! I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Plant Lover: Loves 'em all!
Charter ATP Member Garden Ideas: Level 2 Seller of Garden Stuff Butterflies Birds Region: Georgia
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Ridesredmule
Oct 31, 2011 6:58 AM CST
Ooooooo, what a fantastic trip you had. I know it was exciting to have an adventure like that. Then to see Gordon and his fantastic gardens.
Loved the articles and the fantastic pictures. Would have love to tasted of the Raspberry ice.
Way to go Sandi and Gordon....Thank you for the beautiful trip.
Name: Sandi
Austin, Tx (Zone 8b)
Texas Gardening
Forum moderator Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Ideas: Master Level Plant Identifier Master Gardener: Texas
Region: Texas Tropicals Plumerias Ferns Greenhouse Garden Art
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Bubbles
Oct 31, 2011 7:03 AM CST
Charleen, it was the highlight of our trip to NYC. Thanks for coming along on the tour!
Name: Charleen
Barnesville, Ga. Zone 7b-8 (Zone 8a)
Walk in Peace / I'm Charley's Mom.
Miniature Gardening Mules Tip Photographer I sent a postcard to Randy! I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Plant Lover: Loves 'em all!
Charter ATP Member Garden Ideas: Level 2 Seller of Garden Stuff Butterflies Birds Region: Georgia
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Ridesredmule
Oct 31, 2011 7:04 AM CST
I know you were excited, I sure would have been. I loved the tour.
Name: Ann ~Heat zn 9, Sunset
North Fl. (Zone 8b)
Garden Sages Native Plants and Wildflowers Xeriscape Organic Gardener I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Ideas: Master Level
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flaflwrgrl
Oct 31, 2011 5:47 PM CST
Sandi, thank you so much for a breathtaking tour --- all the way around! Well done!

Gordon, Talk about working miracles with difficult spaces! Sheesh! When I see something like that I know I'm looking at a dyed in the wool, honest to goodness, plant loving, addicted to gardening gardener. You have made an oasis in the middle of the melee. Stunning. And then to top it all off you are the consummate host. I can tell by Sandi's writing that you made it all look easy --- that's the sign of a truly artful host.

Thank you both for a lovely & entertaining respite.
I am a strong believer in the simple fact is that what matters in this life is how we treat others. I think that's what living is all about. Not what I've done in my life but how I've treated others.
~~ Sharon Brown ~~



Name: Sandi
Austin, Tx (Zone 8b)
Texas Gardening
Forum moderator Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Ideas: Master Level Plant Identifier Master Gardener: Texas
Region: Texas Tropicals Plumerias Ferns Greenhouse Garden Art
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Bubbles
Oct 31, 2011 5:54 PM CST
Thanks Ann, as gardeners, we know he is a master at placement of plants. All of the plants were so healthy. After our drought here in Texas, I was so appreciative of the beauty of Gordon's roof garden.
Name: Gordon
Brooklyn , New York
Charter ATP Member Miniature Gardening Container Gardener Region: United States of America Butterflies Garden Art
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GordonHawk
Oct 31, 2011 8:44 PM CST
Sandi...I love you as Big Bird.... bet you won an award also... there's a great placement formula I adhear to ... put them right next to one another... and have them fight for space... it builds character... it's like a big cage fight... everyone goes in together... and the strongest/most adaptive work out
Ann... well... you got it all about right... all I do is put them in there together ... and water and feed... restrain... develop... free them from pests... and irritating factors... make sure they get the right amount of sun.. food ..addatives.. shield them from the unpleasintries of life... carry bags of soil and places for them to grow... up 4 flights on my back/// they do the rest themselves...
I just tend God's Garden
[Last edited by GordonHawk - Oct 31, 2011 3:45 PM (+)]
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Name: Sandi
Austin, Tx (Zone 8b)
Texas Gardening
Forum moderator Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Ideas: Master Level Plant Identifier Master Gardener: Texas
Region: Texas Tropicals Plumerias Ferns Greenhouse Garden Art
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Bubbles
Oct 31, 2011 9:04 PM CST
You're much too modest.
Name: Gordon
Brooklyn , New York
Charter ATP Member Miniature Gardening Container Gardener Region: United States of America Butterflies Garden Art
Tropicals Plumerias Roses Ponds Birds Plant and/or Seed Trader
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GordonHawk
Oct 31, 2011 9:54 PM CST
Oh..It's just my Delta lineage...Similarly... one should not thank someone for the gift of a plant... as it flys in the face of to whom you should be giving thanks to for the plant.. and everything else ..
better to say something like ... you'll try your best to have it grow up beautiful and strong.. what can I give to you...
Name: June or Nancy-June o
Dover AFB, Delaware (Zone 7a)
Charter ATP Member I sent a postcard to Randy! Garden Art Roses Region: United States of America Container Gardener
Tropicals Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Hummingbirder Birds Orchids Region: Texas
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JuneBug
Nov 1, 2011 1:04 AM CST
Such beauty in such a seemingly hostile and usually barren space! I think of rooftops as dirty, windy, dangerous places that are scalding hot in summer and equally horrid in winter, but you have proved that to be false! I have followed your postings about furniture building and planter making and I have learned a lot from you. Thanks Big Grin
Name: Gordon
Brooklyn , New York
Charter ATP Member Miniature Gardening Container Gardener Region: United States of America Butterflies Garden Art
Tropicals Plumerias Roses Ponds Birds Plant and/or Seed Trader
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GordonHawk
Nov 1, 2011 6:13 AM CST
NO ..June.. your perception is exactly right... on most scores... it's no more dirty than the ground.. just there's no dirt usually for it to blend with... but everything else is correct... ..
I figure I'm in zone ...4 - 14...
scalding hot in the summer... definately... I measured roof temps this past summer at 165* F... pretty hot for most things... hince the carpet and the lawn to help smooth this over.. and once I get a full canopy of plants.. that helps alot also... the breeze blowing off the 165 * rubber membrane is as hot as the sorocco winds blowing off the desert.. blasting...
equally horrid in winter.. everything freezes solid... but the worst part here for the plants.. is the late winter sun warms things up quickly on the roof// reflective heat off the roof.. sun baking the sides of the thin planters.. [ go foam ] to get the juices flowing.. only to have them freeze up solid agaain in the night.. rupturing any plant cell that has taken up the water.. internal hemorage
windy,, surely it is windy here.. nothing taller about to block it some.. like many rooftops.. and the lower winds have to speed up to make it over the buildings..
gad the foam has been a helpful thought for you to have... it's so helpful to me to keep things in the temperature it was before the weather effects I have...
Name: Brenda
Dolores, Colorado
Charter ATP Member Cat Lover Dog Lover Enjoys or suffers cold winters Garden Art Hummingbirder
Region: United States of America Ponds Region: Colorado
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bsavage
Nov 3, 2011 1:32 AM CST
Just beautiful, Gordon! I have so many questions! What do you do with the plants for the winter? How do you protect them from the heat in the summer? What about water runoff from watering? And what is this about building planters from foam? Is there a link or a tutorial somewhere? (See, I said I had a lot of questions, LOL!). Thank you so much for the tour, Sandi, and Gordon... thank you for amazing inspiration!
Name: Gordon
Brooklyn , New York
Charter ATP Member Miniature Gardening Container Gardener Region: United States of America Butterflies Garden Art
Tropicals Plumerias Roses Ponds Birds Plant and/or Seed Trader
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GordonHawk
Nov 3, 2011 6:43 AM CST
Thanks Brenda... as far as overwintering... ...at the end of the article there.s a messgae thread ...
" what a treat " there's a bit there..... it's near this thread you posted to.. and some pictures I posted as a reply... that deals with over wintering...no there's not a tutorial really on making foam planters...yet... by me... but I've gone into a bit of detail on it in starting about page 6 of the container thread here ..Styrofoam troughs.. and going on over pages after
The thread "Styrofoam Troughs" in Containers forum
but the first pages are great also using foam shipping boxes for containers... and turning them into stone looking planters.. they not onl minimise the heat in the summer... but keep planters insulated through the sunny late winter... so they don't try to break dormantcy too early.. and get damaged .. in that late winter sun on the roof as it heats up..
OH.. whater run off... I don't understand the question... it's all on the roof... it's made to get wet...the lawn used to reuse the run off.. and ferts... but now it's up slightly on a green roof system that has water running underneath it... and now have to water it seperatly.. a bit more..
[Last edited by GordonHawk - Nov 3, 2011 6:47 AM (+)]
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Name: Brenda
Dolores, Colorado
Charter ATP Member Cat Lover Dog Lover Enjoys or suffers cold winters Garden Art Hummingbirder
Region: United States of America Ponds Region: Colorado
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bsavage
Nov 4, 2011 2:33 AM CST
Thanks, Gordon! It is amazing, your roof garden. I'll check your links!

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