Garden of the Day: Contained in the Slope

Got a garden space you want to share? Send us a note. And now, architect Ryan Enschede, responsible for the innovative restoration of this Kensington interior, has been having some fun atop his own roof.

When my wife and I began looking for a larger apartment a few years ago, we were lucky enough to find a space with a generous rooftop terrace. Although I had never shared my family’s gardening enthusiasm (I was the urban dweller) suddenly I was caring for a few inherited potted plants. The next year I decided to grow a few vegetables… and this year I grew a productive vegetable garden in containers. Looking ahead I hope to do more with our space along the same lines. We love to cook, and having fresh vegetables again, right from our own roof, is truly a joy. Because we are on the roof, all the plants are growing in an assortment of purchased and found containers using store-bought potting soil, augmented with fertilizer and compost and watered from a hose. Our space’s greatest asset is having all the sun we could want, but the wind can be intense and breaks and tips the plants. We have been working out the kinks of rooftop composting, and my long term goal is to develop as close to a closed loop as possible, utilizing collected rainwater and composted food scraps. I also hope to work out a watering system that requires less attention from me than the hose.

In looking around I continue to be amazed at how completely ignored the wonderful rooftop spaces of NYC are – they must be the city’s single greatest underutilized asset. I think there is great potential for these spaces, both for welcome relief from the pressure of the city as well as for growing quality food right where it will be eaten, and I hope this idea will continue to take off.

Click through for links to past Gardens of the Day posts.

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