This shady rooftop terrace was designed with a beautiful grey composite deck, wood fencing, a pergola, and an outdoor Shoji screen. Composite decking has come a long way and can have a very high-quality looking finish like this one. The benefit to using composite wood is that it is rated for fire safety. The Shoji screen adds an exotic touch and is a less expensive fencing option than using all wood. It hides a view of an unattractive wall behind it. Read more about this garden on my blog, www.amberfreda.com.
This inviting rooftop terrace on Manhattan’s Upper East Side features black wicker furniture, black fiberglass pots, and a dark bamboo roll fencing. Our client was concerned that her young son might climb up the stair-like rungs of the existing 4’ metal fence, so we covered it up with the 6’ bamboo roll fencing, which also gave her a couple of additional feet of privacy from a nearby building. Read more about this garden on my blog, www.amberfreda.com.
This NYC roof deck features limestone-clad planters, patio, and a fireplace. The original brick around the fireplace was left intact and preserves a bit of the feel of old New York. This 1,200 square foot roof garden is also home to a lawn, a bathroom, a custom-built outdoor kitchen, and a glass sunroom with sliding doors. Read more about this garden on my blog, www.amberfreda.com.
Blue ceramic pots and a matching blue tile backsplash bring a touch of the Mediterranean to this rooftop terrace in the heart of New York City. This Park Avenue residence actually features three separate rooftop terraces. One terrace is made for entertaining and features a built-in fireplace, inset jacuzzi, bluestone patio, custom-built wood planters, an outdoor kitchen, and ceramic pots filled with boxwoods and flowers. Read more about this garden on my blog, www.amberfreda.com.
This roof garden design in NYC’s West Village features a custom-built wood deck with matching planters made out of ipe, a hardwood with a 30-year life expectancy. We used very thin wood planks on the planter facades and then filled them with bamboo for a very contemporary effect and privacy from a neighboring terrace. Read more about this garden on my blog, www.amberfreda.com.
Look at the English ivy, the way it colonizes the tree. Does the tree ever think to mount a revolution, or does it like the way it feels, like a soft evergreen cloak to keep it warm in winter? It must start out seeming harmless enough. A little tendril here and there asking for a leg up to better see the sun. It winds its way gradually in and out of crevices. People often seem to think that ivy is a parasite, harmful to the tree, and that is not really true, at least not at first. Before it reaches the foliage, ivy and tree can co-exist quite happily. It’s only when the ivy begins to compete with the canopy for sunlight that it becomes a pest. Oh, greedy ivy! Why couldn’t you be content there on the ground or the trunk? You looked so lovely there, like an earthy emerald necklace. Blinded by the race for survival, you turned against your truest friend. Wasn’t there enough soil, water, and sunlight to go around? If only you had a heart inside those tangled roots.
We designed this rooftop garden in TriBeCa using a combination of bluestone pavers and ipe decking. The plantings are in a mix of grey fiberglass and high-fired Asian ceramics. High-fired pots are your best bet for ceramics outdoors because they are frost-resistant and can be left outdoors without danger of cracking. Read more about this garden on my blog, www.amberfreda.com.
We designed this rooftop garden for a yoga studio on Manhattan’s Upper West Side. The planters are filled with beautiful, sinuous Japanese maples that were hand-selected for grace and form. A soft green layer of moss tops all of the planters, adding a wonderful finishing texture evocative of a forest floor. Read more about this garden on my blog, www.amberfreda.com.
This Brooklyn backyard patio features custom-built wood planters, concrete pavers, and a sunken deck-level planter filled with polished river stones and variegated irises. We hired a local artist to paint Brooklyn street scenes on boards that we hung on a brick wall in the garden interspersed with hanging wall plants. Read more about this garden on my blog, www.amberfreda.com.