You Won't Believe this Mediterranean Container Garden Is On a Rooftop

If a verdant, Italian-style garden -- like one in these images -- can materialize on a city rooftop, it can happen on most patios, decks, and balconies, too. One gardener proves that a lush, Mediterranean-style garden raised on a Boston rooftop can be not only possible, but also bountiful and gorgeous.

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Everything In This Slideshow

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    Rooftop Hideaway

    A chaise longue with a bowl of fruit is just another excuse to bask amid jasmines, frangipani, Cestrum nocturnum (night-blooming jessamine with a high-pitch, sweet scent after dark), anise hyssop, and passion flowers. Only certain plants thrive in the extreme conditions of rooftops and balconies. Place bricks on containers to help withstand high winds. When the weather is hot and sunny, water each plant once or even twice a day.

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    A Potted Tomato

    'Indigo Rose' tomato is the darkest tomato available. Rich in anthocyanins, it is valued as an antioxidant. Plants like tomatoes and eggplants do well in sweltering conditions, especially when they have their own large containers.

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    Grow Tomatoes in Containers

    Enjoy homegrown tomatoes with these easy-care tips.

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    Citrus Grove

    Line a narrow corridor with various citrus trees and herbs in large containers for a fragrant mini grove. Here, potted lemon, citron, kumquat, mandarin orange, lime, fig, and Barbados cherry line a promenade swaddled in sun but protected from winds. Across the aisle, rosemary and lavender wallow in the sunbeams. In cold climates, the plants need to overwinter inside.

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    Container Kumquat

    'Nagami' kumquat (Fortunella margarita) can be eaten flesh and all. Hardy to Zone 9, the kumquat will need to go indoors during winter in cold areas. Make overwintering easier by setting large planters on casters.

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    A Green Glen

    Use an array of large containers to create a vegetable garden. Here, 'Spigariello' broccoli rabe, 'Lacinato' kale, and chicory produce layers of green beside a chair and table. Chicories and 'Lacinato' do well in the hot, elevated conditions that fry tender lettuce and spinach.

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    An Ideal Container Lemon

    Citrus meyeri, the Meyer lemon, is slow to ripen but useful for cooking and lemonade.

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    Pole Beans for Height

    Green bean vines clambering over trellises create productive privacy. 'Super Marconi' Rampicante pole beans make a great container choice but must be harvested young, before they become tough, in an elevated climate such as a rooftop or balcony.

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    Cherries for Planters

    Barbados cherry (Malpighia glabra) has a sweet-and-sour taste. The fruits are high in vitamin C.

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    Dwarf Figs

    Small fruit trees adapt well to constrained conditions. 'Kadota' fig (Ficus carica) is a sweet, honeylike white fig that remains very juicy when ripe. Like frangipanis, the figs go dormant in winter but still need to be sheltered indoors.

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    Pick a Pot of Peppers

    No space for a pepper patch? Try a container of spicy peppers. Pick peppers like this 'Padron' (Capsicum annuum) when they are tiny, before they get too hot to eat.

  • Next Slideshow Great Containers for Gardening

    Great Containers for Gardening

    If you love planting container gardens but don't know here to start, check out our slide show of 25 recipes you can follow for success. Find your perfect container for gardening in our collection of container garden recipes.
    Begin Slideshow »
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