Urban Green

Last night, watching a Law & Order re-run, I had a sudden epiphany — if Television can be believed, the flat roof of a big-city building is

  1. an immensely unattractive place, dark, with a high probability of rain or snow
  2. almost certain to hold a psychotic serial killer, wild-eyed and poised to drop an adorable child off the edge…

sedum plants But have you noticed, no crime scenes are ever set on a rooftop with a garden?

Ah, but just yesterday morning, I read a newspaper story about the uncounted number of “small-time criminals” who secretly keep honeybees on urban rooftops and in suburban backyards, fearlessly flouting all manner of good-intentioned by-laws meant to discourage the encroachment of Nature into the concrete jungle.

(Apparently, urban areas are a surprisingly good home for honeybees, because of the long season of varied bloom, sources of pollen and nectar, to be found in window boxes, balcony container gardens, bits of waste land, city parks, and of course roof gardens.)

A third rooftop-garden item was my stumbling discovery this morning of G-Sky, a company in British Columbia (Canada) that has come up with a thin and lightweight alternative to the traditional rooftop garden growing system.

Now, gardens may go where no garden has gone before!

An intriguing option is the Green Wall — a vertical version of groundcover plantings.

I have a vague memory of seeing a “living wall” installed in the atrium of an office building somewhere, a few years back, but it had some kind of a waterfall incorporated into it and was, of course, suitable only for an indoor location.

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