Starting from scratch in a rooftop garden

Discussion in 'Small Space Gardening' started by Artemis, Mar 9, 2007.

  1. Artemis

    Artemis Member

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    Location:
    Vancouver, BC, Canada
    After almost 10 years one of the "containers" in our strata rooftop garden leaked so we had to excavate the entire area to repair the membrane. As a result all the plants were ripped out and I can't say that I'm unhappy because the developer had originally put in some of the cheapest, ugliest and unsuitable plants.

    So we get to start all over again which brings me to my questions regarding suggestions for trees, shrubs and groundcover.

    Some basic facts.

    1. We do have an irrigation system.
    2. Full sun with a south/southeast exposure.
    3. 28 floors up. Will have to carry anything up the last two flights of stairs as the elevator doesn't go to the roof.
    4. Downtown Vancouver.
    5. Container is 19" deep, 10' wide and about 40' long.
    6. Would prefer to have evergreens and annuals and would like to use some native plants.
    7. Very interested in rhododendrons as I understand they are shallow rooting.
    8. Trying to decide on a colour scheme of white and blues/purple or white and pinks.
    9. Hoping to extend the season of colour as long as possible (aren't we all?)

    I realize that building the garden will not be an instantaneous thing and that as time goes on I may be able to establish some ferns and hostas in the shade that is created from the trees and shrubs.

    What would you do if it was your garden?
     
  2. Daniel Mosquin

    Daniel Mosquin Paragon of Plants UBC Botanical Garden Forums Administrator Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    I don't have any expertise with this issue, but I do feel compelled to let you know that Judy Newton, former Education Coordinator at the garden, is giving a lecture on this topic at the end of March: Container Gardens / Small Spaces. I've seen Judy's balcony garden - quite a sight!
     
  3. Artemis

    Artemis Member

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    Thanks for that information Daniel and the ultra quick reply!

    I've marked it in my calendar just now and hope to clear a few things off my calendar to be able to attend. I was out at UBC yesterday to have a quick look at the garden and get inspired but was caught in the rain and will have to come back again to be able to take it all in. I'm looking forward to getting some things from the Shop in the Garden. The New Zealand clematis (I can't quite remember the tag) looked beautiful but I fear that clematis will not be one of my final options for this garden.

    We have three other separate gardens on two different floors and fortunately the plants there are for the most part more attractive and appropriate than the ones in the rooftop area. There are areas that could stand improvement though so once I tackle this project (and spend what little budget I have) those other areas will be getting my attention in the coming years.

    This is the area that I will be working with. And a view of one of the other areas.
     

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