Gardening On My Rooftop….6 Months Later

– Posted in: Garden Design

I originally wrote about Starting Over in the context of creating a new rooftop garden this past spring in Tel Aviv. At that time, I had a few containers, views of others rooftops, some pretty hefty rain storms, and a desire to design a private haven.

Photos on March 10, 2011 017

Photos on March 10, 2011 012

Back then, I promised that I would keep you posted on the garden’s progress.

Now I understand why most folks with terraces in Israel have a limited amount of containers; and practically all have irrigation systems. When I mentioned my watering dilemma, Pam of Digging, who is  a seasoned Texas gardener (and magnificent photographer and landscape designer), suggested that I use succulents and a drip irrigation system. Well, no one has ever said that common sense is one of my strongest character traits. I watered those frigging containers  every morning before the sun was in ‘full shine”over my rooftop for most of the day. Pam, you were 100% correct. Never again will I hand water! Drip irrigation is next on my list of things to do.

Rooftop Garden on 80611 001

To give you some perspective, here are a few facts about the space. I have 2 sliding doors leading from my living room (called a salon in this neck of the woods) onto an approximately 30’ x 15’ area; not bad for a rooftop in a densely populated city. My front view looks straight onto my neighbors’ terraces across the street; which means no privacy…yet.

The photo below is the left hand side of the space. From that vantage point, there are no buildings abutting mine. Rather, I have what I have learned to think of as a lovely view (OK….so I’m not facing the Mediterranean Sea). It offers me a sense of space, distance, height, greenery, and the rooftops of older Tel Aviv buildings.

Rooftop Garden on 80611 006








P1050009 P1050005

In the spirit of full disclosure, below is a photo of the table up against a bare wall.  That area has served as my storage and work area. When Susan Morrison and Rebecca Sweet, the authors of Garden Up: Smart Vertical Gardening for Small and Large Spaces,  get their eyes on this wall, I’m sure they’ll have plenty of suggestions on how to transform it into an eye catching space.

I’ve  been a big fan of  the work of California landscape designer Nancy Goslee Power for a long time. Thanks to Noel Kingsbury’s new book, Garden Designers At Home, I was able to ‘visit’ Nancy’s personal garden. She has artfully created a charming respite in a small space. What grabbed me most was her use of color on her walls;  ochre, a soft green, and royal blue.  Painted stucco walls; a great idea that will work well in my garden.

That’s it for now. I just signed a long term lease on the apt. this past week….so it will free me up to move forward in implementing more ideas. If you want to help me in designing the rooftop, start imagining.  In a future post, ‘You Design It’, you’ll be able to do just that. ….


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Fran Sorin

Fran Sorin

Fran is the author of the highly-acclaimed book, Digging Deep: Unearthing Your Creative Roots Through Gardening, which Andrew Weil, M.D., recommends as "a profound and inspiring book."  

A graduate of the University of Chicago with Honors in Psychology, she is also a gardening and creativity expert, coach, inspirational speaker, CBS radio news gardening correspondent, and Huffington Post Contributor.

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Fran Sorin
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