O Sky Garden of Crown Heights…the toil was worth it.

This butterfly bushed, when transplanted from the backyard, went into such a state of shock it lost all leaves and appeared dead for months. Now its back in full bounty and doing its job.

After 3 years of mediocre results gardening in the north-facing, tree-shaded, mosquito breeding ground, old dog-fighting training area junkyard, huge 60×60 ft. (by NYC standards) area we call our backyard, I grudgingly moved plants and soil alike upstairs to the 5th story roof of my apartment building in Crown Heights.

Cape Gooseberries. I was introduced to these in Peru ” Aguaymantos” and loved them so much I smuggled some back not realizing I could grow them here.

Not without its trials and tribulations (melodramatic dust-ups with ex-tenant/friend gardeners about tool usage(!), squirrels eating my prized Japanese eggplants, too hot of temps for some veggies, super vigilance of watering duty, police presence on the roof doing illegal “vertical patrolling”, some theft of folding wood chairs, etc..) its been a boon to the plant growth.  Water is provided up from our kitchen sink via hose to a 55 gallon drum.  Pallets and wood are placed under the heaviest items to preserve the integrity of the roof.

Flowering succulent.

We have been harvesting loads of tomatoes, basil, cape gooseberries, squash and a beautiful, healthy tomatillo plant is just about ready to unleash forth its fruit for salsa verde.  The gardens bounty has been put to use in a tasty pesto chick pea salad, caprese salad and some delicious roasted Kale as well as providing tasty assistance on other numerous occasions.

Group planting of grasses.

And with the recent scoring of an outdoor table and chairs, large umbrellas providing much needed shade and solar powered strings of colored lights,  we have a damn cozy space to enjoy early outdoor breakfasts (before it starts baking) and take in the cool breezes blowing in around dusk.  BBQ’s and film nights to come.  A slideshow of more images is at the bottom of the post.

Baby cuke.

2 Comments Add yours

  1. billkristal says:

    What a beautiful bounty from one who saw it up close.

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