Text and photographs are © by Ellen Spector Platt & Ellen Zachos, all rights reserved.

Monday, December 14, 2009


Herein a totally biased judging of my seven favorite roofs. There is but one highly opinionated judge, ESP. Six roofs are listed in no particular order but the winner of the Big Apple Roof Award is last.

Above, Ann K. shows year after year how you can grow gorgeous roses in containers on an East-facing balcony and back them up with a few small trees, like this coral bark maple.

Walking The High Line, Manhattan's newest and most fabulous park, allows roof peepers like me to admire this installation by Robert Isabell, the late floral designer.

Another view from The High Line makes me wonder why none of these rooftop gardeners have invited me over for tea and to admire their gardens.

I went for the milkshake; I stayed to admire the roof of the Shake Shack in Madison Square Park. Still don't know if it was planted or just grew. Just part of my work day.

Central Park and the New York City skyline facing South, as seen from the Metropolitan Museum roof garden. The view often outshines the artwork being displayed on the roof.

The Philadelphia Water Dept. installed this display of a greenroof at the Philadelphia Flower Show to inspire rooftop plantings that minimize water run-off. They offered lots of handouts to help gardeners do the same. Yes, I know, Philadelphia is not New York but I told you I was the only judge for the Roof Awards, and I'm from Philadelphia and love the Flower Show and what the Water Company did here.

And the grand winner of the Big Apple Roof Award 2009 is the greenroof at the visitors center at the Queens Botanical Garden. It has a great variety of plants, a small weather station, and a path to lead you through the garden. It's just one of the features that helped this building receive a platinum LEED award for ecological construction.


Shady Gardener said...

What fun! With a post like this, certainly you'll be receiving invitations for tea this next Summer! :-) I loved the impatiens? along the roof edge of the one building. It reminds me of a "lady's hat." Now, if the second story were accentuated somehow... ha.

Ellen Spector Platt said...

Shady,I like my tea black, with lemon no sugar.

Ellen Zachos said...

I think the Shake Shack roof is planted because at their upper west side location they have one of those vertical gardens on the wall. Clearly someone at Shake Shack is into horticulture. And their burgers are fantastic!

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