Thursday, September 06, 2007

You...Make...Me...Feel... a na-tu-ral garden!

When we first moved into our apartment 2.5 years ago, I really looked forward to spending time in our rooftop garden. Three-quarters of the rooftop is made up of planted beds which I have spent the past 2.5 years "renovating" (pulling out dying stuff, planting new plants, and moving them around when I decide that I don't like their current location). Now that the "manicured" part of the garden has pretty much reached the point where there is not even one square inch of unused dirt, it is time to turn my attention to...the "black sheep" garden.

The whole backside of the rooftop is made up of what is called a "natural" garden. I'm sure that the original intent of this "green roof" was that it would be composed of native plants that would require minimal watering and care. However, ten years of neglect by previous tenants resulted in the garden becoming a tangle of weeds.

A couple of years ago, I hauled up a bunch of HEAVY bags of stones and created a little 10'x 10' area where Mrs. TBF and I could get our tans on. We've used it quite a bit, but we always felt that the area was a bit cramped. So...

Ladies and Gentlemen: Meet my latest work in progress... The first picture is from August 13th when things were still in the planning stages, and the next two pictures are from this morning.

I am expanding the "tanning nook" by spreading more landscape fabric and covering it with more stones (hope the architects anticipated the potential for extra weight on the roof when they designed the building). So far, as of this morning, I've hauled sixteen 25 kilo (55 lbs.) bags up to the roof. This is much harder than it sounds. First I have to load the bags onto a cart at the garden center, then I load them into the Jeep, then unload them out of the Jeep, carry them through three sets of doors from the Jeep to the elevator, unload them from the elevator, then carry them up a winding staircase to our rooftop, and finally around to the backside of the garden. As I see it, I probably have another fifteen to twenty bags to go.

Along with the stones, I'm also recreating the "natural" garden. The past two years have been spent painstakingly pulling out plants that I consider to be nuisance weeds while encouraging other plants to grow. To the plants that remain, I'm going to add plants (grasses and perennials) with the hopes of creating a prairie look. Fortunately, I have a couple of books about prairie plants to guide me.

No...of course I didn't ask for the landlord's permission!

...stay tuned!


Unknown said...

Looks like an interesting project. Now just hope you don't need to haul all of that rock away!

The Big Finn said...

Here's what I'll do if the landlord says I have to haul all of that rock away:

I just...won't.