Roof Gardening


There is a huge amount of rain bearing down on Tasmania, so today I got the ladder out and climbed onto the roof to clean out the gutters. I had forgotten how much fun it is on the roof. We used to sit up here to watch the fireworks at New Years. While I was up high I took photos of the garden. Everything looks more interesting from the roof. Birds must enjoy their topographical view of the world.

I planted out many tiny seedlings this last week. All the brassicas, lots of lettuces, radishes, and all kinds of greens, from mustard greens to wombok, to silverbeet. So many tiny plants. But wait, there's more! On a tarpaulin on the dining room floor I have all the tomatoes, distressingly few capsicums, which really didn't want to germinate, a million basil plants, and a whole lot of cucumbers, pumpkins, zucchinis and beans just starting to sprout. I'll plant all these out next week when the risk of frost is hopefully over. It was minus one (30F) last week, so I hope I am not being too precipitous..

Here is the other side of the garden, with the flourishing apricot tree. It is all still a wild jungle, which I love. To me it feels like a forest with a clearing in the middle for growing vegies. I would like to change up the forest to include more fruit trees and less giant acanthus plants in the year ahead. Also, the other side of the yard has waist high alkanet, grass, and the odd potato plant which I would also like to convert to food forest I bet the neighbours would also appreciate more trees and less giant weeds.

Ok, so this is where I realised that the best place to prune the tops of the nectarine trees would be from the kitchen roof. I must remember this.

I faithfully sprayed the nectarine trees with copper sulphate over the winter, and there is only a little curly leaf showing, and that is mostly right up here at the top where it is hard to spray. Another brain wave. Get up on the roof to spray the nectarine trees. Gosh, I'm brilliant! I wonder how much other gardening I can do from the rooftops? There really is a lot of space and sun up there. I could have a roof garden.. I mean, I just pulled multiple weeds out of the gutters, with extensive root runs. I could just replant the gutters with zucchini and broccoli instead of weeds..

So here is the rain coming in. I love rain. It's getting cold and I have the fire on, with plenty of firewood stacked in the porch. 

The weather has been wild all over the world. The floods keep on coming up the east coast of Australia, and there are fires, floods and storms wherever you look. I sent a message to our beloved friend and Floridian Patricia last week, to see if she had got safely through the hurricane, and she is thankfully safe and well, and only caught the edge of the wild weather. I am so relieved. Hope the garden cleanup has gone well, Patricia, and give my love to the iguanas when you see them. 

Stay safe and warm and dry, all my lovely friends, and enjoy the rain if you live in Tasmania, and hopefully it stays out of your living room xx


Treaders said…
Ha ha, you can tell a gardening "nut" by the fact that she has the dining room covered with a tarp with seedlings on it - just like me with my somewhat oversized greenhouse in my warm and sunny bathroom. Good thing I live alone then eh?
Jo said…
Anna, one of my gardening nut friends has two of those mini greenhouses in her dining room, and I'm definitely considering getting one to put in my dining room for next year's seeds:) The bathroom is a brilliant place though, all that warmth and humidity. We gardening nuts need to stick together and change those boring norms of interior decoration that do not include plant propagation furniture in all the sunny rooms..
Deborah said…
I always seem to have something propagating on the end of the table which gets the morning sun. At the moment it's just rosemary, but I have recently planted climbing fig plants with little thread roots, begun on the table and some geraniums, too. There[s only two of us eating at the table most times,now, so a bit of horticultural decoration is good.
Blueberry said…
Love the pictures from the roof before reading thinking someone has a drone! Back in my youth name of a song Up on the Roof. Our allspice plant spends part of the winter in the shower, North Florida just to cold to live outside year round. Take Care
sustainablemum said…
Your garden looks amazing! I love that you have seedlings on a tarp in your house, I don't have room to do that but it's a great idea.

We have a large garage and a shed in the front garden that both have growing roofs. We call them green roofs. They are covered in plants that like shallow poor soil. The birds love them and so do we, we can see them from the house.
Jo said…
Deborah, that sounds exactly like my dining table, kitchen bench and kitchen windowsills. You can never have too many plants propagating at one time!

Blueberry, I didn't realise you are another Floridian! How did you fare during Ian? Hoping all is well xx

sustainablemum, I have a little garden shed that I would love to make a green roof on. Would you do a tutorial on your blog? I would love to know how it is done!
Anonymous said…
Jo: thank you for your concern for my family and I! We are all well, trying to support our neighbors to the west of us in their clean up and rebuilding. Currently, I am visiting my grandson for the next week. Best thing for the soul! Be safe and well.
Blueberry said…
Living in North Florida no problems from the storm. Sent several packages to family living South. Florida Power an Light had 21000 linemen from out of state to help with restoring power. Lots of groups helping out The Salvation army, LDS, Cajun Navy. Southern Baptist an many others. Most everyone I know who can afford a power Generator owns 2. The State of Florida removed states taxes on motor fuels for the month of October to help folks out.
Jo said…
Patricia, i am so pleased that you guys continue well. I am guessing your neighbours are thankful to have such good neighbours at this time. Building community is better than money in the bank.
Grandson cuddles are definitely soul food. Keep safe xxx

Blueberry, oh, I am so glad to hear that. we have been seeing some dreadful images of the flooding in the hurricane's path, and now flooding right here in Tasmania, and in Victoria to the north. So many people have lost their homes, and it's happening on a year by year basis nowadays, and often to the most vulnerable people. It must be a terrible blow to lose everything you have, especially if you have no way to start again..
Fernglade Farm said…
Hi Jo,
Top work as usual. And you inspired me to get up on the roof and clean the guttering. Thanks and well done! Your place and seedlings are looking great. So far here (admittedly it is colder) the peas + beans + cucumber + zucchini seeds have all germinated in the greenhouse. Never thought that I'd suggest that it wouldn't be a bad idea if the rain held off, a little bit at least. Far out!
Cheers. Chris
Mary said…
I love the pattern of rectangles your garden beds make, and then it's repeated with the seed trays on your dining room floor. I lived in two-story houses with wide, deep first-floor roofs growing up and as a young adult. Our views didn't match yours, but we always enjoyed hanging out on the roof, getting a bird's-eye view of the neighborhood.
Jo said…
Chris, climbing on the roof, so much fun. Although I am sure you didn't need much inspiration from me - the weather forecast has been very inspiring these last months..

Mary, I also loved to climb on roofs when I was a teenager! I didn't realise until I had children of my own how alarming that must have been for nearby adults..

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