We continue to be excited about rooftop gardening and the evolving rooftop living aesthetic. When CSG won the $25,000 First Prize in 2006 at Mayor Daley’s inaugural Garden In A City competition for our Rooftop Garden installation Reversing the Flow, we knew we were on our way. Today many elevated surfaces can be built out to create fantastic outdoor garden rooms and unique living spaces. A rooftop garden is both similar to, and quite different from, a traditional landscape garden. Conditions on rooftops, garage roofs, decks and terraces can be extreme, but with the proper design and selection of the rooftop components a surprising number of approaches are possible.
As pioneers in the rooftop garden design/build space, we’ve seen firsthand the incredible advances in both materials and methods to make creation of a rooftop garden easier than ever. Once the crucial roof-loading, access and permitting questions have been tackled, our work begins. New systems for installing natural stone and wood decking; built structures; mechanized shade structures and systems; drip irrigation and low-voltage landscape lighting; hardy native as well as exotic plantings; incredible furnishings, appliances and features; decorative elements too numerous to mention — all these elements come together to create a one-of-a-kind green space atop the city’s skyline.
We see the garden space as an outdoor room, an extension of the home, and consider it, in effect, an open-air room addition. An exciting new generation of materials, products, technologies and installation techniques for the garden allows us to create a flow between indoors and outdoors as never before. We have structured our company as a full-service urban garden design/build firm, and the most efficient use of our resources is on projects where an entire space needs re-making from the ground up, or involves new construction.
As with Rooftop Gardens, an urban landscape can be an incredible canvas on which to work. Frequently modest in scale, with limited accessibility, city gardens pose a unique set of challenges to the landscape designer and installers. But when the project is completed, and a small jewel of a garden is created, hidden away, we feel we have been successful in our work.