Hartley Magazine

All the latest news, hints, tips and advice from our experts

High-rise growing ‘a gardening challenge’

Growing plants in a high-rise building can be a tricky proposition for even the most green-fingered of individuals, but getting it right can be very rewarding, an expert has suggested.

In an interview with the Philadelphia Inquirer, Center City landscape architect Michael LoFurno said the exaggerated weather conditions at height can be difficult to deal with.

"There are more extremes of heat and cold in summer and in winter and there's also the wind to consider," he remarked. "So plants that would do well in the ground in a home garden might not do so well on a roof or balcony."

This means that many varieties really struggle high up, he continued, but dwarf, Japanese-style mugo pine can thrive on balconies.

Similarly, the expert continued, Mediterranean plants with silver or gray foliage such as lavender, sage, and rosemary are fine in hot sun, dry wind, or reflected heat and light from nearby buildings.