In New York City, private outdoor space is a coveted amenity. We drool over sky high gardens and turn green with envy when we see a gorgeous leafy terrace. But such elaborate green spaces are rarely seen by everyday New Yorkers. But thanks to LeFrak’s high-end client list and Amon’s connections (she is active on the committees of the Guggenheim Museum and MoMA), we’ve received an invitation to these secluded oases. They did not divulge which gardens belong to whom, but the did reveal that makeup mogul Evelyn Lauder, fashion designer Lisa Perry, and the former home of Oona Chaplin all made the cut.
Published by Rizzoli New York, the book features dozens of different garden styles. They jaw-dropping spaces range from English cottage gardens and sculpture terraces to Japanese rock gardens and flowering woven arches. The Japanese garden is by far of our favorites. The lush greenery, bamboo structures, and trickling water completely transform the space into a serene escape that looks like it could be nestled in the mountains. Another favorite is the grassy roof with a gorgeous stone tower that over looks Central Park.
The gardening ideas are endless. Planting different sized greenery in pots is perfect for balconies or terraces, and the book reveals that trees can thrive in pots, a bonus considering the shade they provide. But even without trees, shade can be achieved. Beautiful wooden pergolas are the perfect structures for sky high gardens because you can plant vines like grapes or wisteria that will grow over the arch and create a natural shaded space. Taller structures and potted trees also act as fences to create privacy. Bamboo is another great natural fence since it grows tall and fast. It’s obvious that many of the garden also fill their planters with herbs like rosemary and lavender. Perhaps basil coriander are not as aesthetically pleasing, but they are practical and tasty.
The beautiful designs were created by some of the leading landscape architects and designers. Adele Mitchell, Ken Smith Architects, Greensleeves Gardens, the Brooklyn-based Studio Gerard, Gresham Lang Gardens, Paula Hayes, Miguel Pons Landscaping, LLC, and more.
When it comes to real estate and architecture, New Yorkers tend to have vouyeuristic tendencies. We want to see inside the newest green apartment building, and we want the know which Fifth Avenue mansion has the wildest interior designs. With tens of thousands of buildings in this great city, how can you blame us? For green design lovers and architecture oglers, Rooftop Gardens is a book that can’t be missed.
All images © Norman McGrath, Rooftop Gardens, Rizzoli New York 2011