We're keeping notes, and I hope to share what we learn as we go along, but as I said earlier, I thought it might be good to start by showing you what we inherited from the previous owners, and then add future posts about our additions and modifications, our ongoing challenges, any solutions we find -- and probably far too many posts with pretty pictures.
First, you'll get an idea of why ours is a Rooftop Garden, but also of why it isn't, quite. As you can see, ours is one of several units that top a middle, low-rise section of two taller buildings, so that while our Terrace has some advantages of a rooftop -- we can grow tall trees! Check out our neighbour's magnolia across that low glass wall -- it doesn't have to cope with stark exposure to weather.
But of course it's not easy getting trees up to a rooftop garden so we were thrilled that the previous owners decided to leave us theirs. We love the attention-getting red of the ornamental maple in the photo below.
Between the two maples, although my photos don't really show it, is the indigenous snowberry bush. I'm still debating this one's continued presence, although it provides a nice continuity with the woodland portion of our previous garden, where it grew wild and, in fact, I regularly had to remind it of its place. In a container, of course, that's not a problem, and the birds really seem to appreciate the dense cover it provides for them to hide themselves in. I also know the birds will appreciate its berries in the fall, so I'm going to wait at least a year before making any decision to give it away.
I won't bother showing you the forsythia again, but while it's not terribly exciting now that it's finished blooming, it nonetheless does yeoman service as a tall column of green in one corner of the garden. Directly opposite, the Magnolia Stellata, also finished blooming, does the same. (and to the left of it, you'll see that we've followed the previous owner's example and are growing some cherry tomato plants. In the pot below those, I'm hoping to see sweet peas blooming soon.
article about City of Vancouver's annual tree sale and the effort to regrow the city's arboreal canopy. There were some concerns this year, apparently, with the lack of trees for balcony and rooftop growers (which have been available in other years of the program) -- and these concerns will be addressed through a rebate for trees bought at nurseries and through smaller trees once again available at future CofV tree sales. What I found interesting in the article was the acknowledgement that what we grow on our balconies does contribute in significant ways to our urban environment specifically, but also to the environment overall. Certainly, we've been impressed and surprised here to see how many birds stop by here regularly, what a variety of species the city does host. (More on our urban birding in future posts.)
To continue the cataloguing of the plants we were left, here's a hydrangea that I wish we'd trimmed in the fall (they bloom on old wood, and even though this one's blossoms are too, too pink for me, I'm loathe to have to miss the flowers entirely, so pruning will happen in the fall).
Speaking of hostas, one delight of rooftop terrace gardening is the complete absence of slugs (so far, at least. I suppose I should quickly knock on wood, shouldn't I?
Nearby, there's another rose, a climber, pink, if I remember from the week or two we were here last fall, but I don't remember any fragrance. If it's pretty enough, it can stay, but I have to admit that I don't really understand the point of roses that don't smell. . .
If it ever, ever warms up, cherry tomatoes and sweet peas. I'm keeping my fingers crossed....
But that's another post. . . .