Some days I think I have the best job in the world, others...not so much. This past month in NYC has been brutal (in case you didn't know) and I've usually restricted myself to half days on the rooftops, where the sun and heat are unrelenting. Despite my 70 SPF, I haven't been this brown since before we knew the sun was bad for us.
So where does a gardener seek shade and solace on a hot August day? In a brownstone backyard garden, of course.
Light is probably the most important variable when choosing plants for your location. Most people with shade gardens complain about not being able to grow enough flowers or vegetables or herbs, but there are times when I crave the relative serenity of a shade garden. True, Caladium and Impatiens aren't the most novel combination around, but they please me, and provide plenty of color in a low-light situation. So what if I can't grow roses, I can have climbing hydrangea. Not enough light for ornamental grasses? Use hostas instead.
The fence here was replaced last December, in a careless way that convinced me I'd loose several trees. In fact, I did not, and the climbing hydrangea and Schizophragma are once again climbing the heights.
And one bonus you rarely find in a rooftop garden: a little extra space in the back. I use it as a coleus nursery. Whenever I prune (at least once a month) I stick the cuttings in the back of the garden to fill in with some extra color.
Please forgive the date stamps. I've been fiddling around with camera settings and I'm mortified to see that I left the date stamp on. It has since been remedied.