We try not to play favorites with the green roof seasons, but Spring is definitely in our top four…

Winter in New York City can be a challenging time for plants, particularly those on green roofs. Extreme cold temperatures, snow, and ice can cause stress and damage to plants. Despite the harsh conditions, some plants can survive and even thrive during the winter months, including evergreens like boxwoods and hollies, as well as perennials like sedums and grasses. Winter also provides a necessary period of dormancy for many plants, allowing them to regenerate and prepare for the upcoming spring. With the arrival of warmer weather, green roofs and other plantings in the city can begin to come back to life with new growth and fresh foliage.

This time of year, we’re sharpening our pruners, cutting back last year’s growth, and warming up our topsoil-hauling muscles in preparation for another season of green roof installs and maintenance. We’re also trying to slow down a bit, get up close to our plant friends, and take in all that the early days of spring in NYC have to offer in the gardens and green spaces we’re lucky to know. It’s easy to get caught up in the grandeur of nature, especially in a city so blessed with such large-scale Parks as Central, Fort Tryon, Riverside, and Inwood Hill, to name but a few. There are wonders close at hand, however, and this is never more apparent than when we stop and stoop to investigate a precocious bud, an early shoot reaching out for the extended daylight hours, or a flower who’s ready to bloom well in advance of his neighbors.

What follows is a brief photo essay of our green roof spring journeys among the planters and beds in our portfolio. Come along with us and marvel at the tiny magic springing up all over.