Chaos on the Roof: A Before

Photo by Gayla Trail  All Rights Reserved

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This is what the roof looked like last Friday shortly after we had commenced project The Best and Most Ass Kicking the Roof Garden Has Ever Been, EVER 2008. High winds on the roof have made me a little fearful of getting up on a ladder to take and assemble the after photo. I think I will do it this weekend when spring decides to make its return — it’s been FREEZING here, especially on the roof where the winds are always much more intense.

For the record, it wasn’t technically this chaotic before we started but you know that old adage about how sometimes things have to get worse before they can get better… Chances are that the roof garden will go through that shift between chaos and organized a few times before the season has really even begun.

Here’s what it looked like in July 2007.

Gayla Trail
Gayla is a writer, photographer, and former graphic designer with a background in the Fine Arts, cultural criticism, and ecology. She is the author, photographer, and designer of best-selling books on gardening, cooking, and preserving.

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10 thoughts on “Chaos on the Roof: A Before

  1. Ahhh, but a little change (and ensuing chaos) can be so exciting, right?

    Sending best wishes for the most ass kickingest garden to date!

  2. I sadly planted my tomato plants in my community garden plot last weekend … I haven’t been back as I am too scared to see what happened to them this week with this infernal weather! At least the sun is out right now!

  3. Tammigail: I am so glad I advised some fellow community gardeners not to plant their tomatoes and peppers. It WAS way too early but I felt bad at the time because I could see they felt a bummed by it. But oh man, they would not be happy right now if they had.

    Some people are planting this weekend but I always wait a bit later. We had a fluke cold snap on June 6 last year!

  4. I am still waiting to plant out my Toms too. It’s taking sooo loooong.

    That’s a groovy collage thingy you got there Gayla. Right on.

  5. We’ve had our tomatoes in for 3 weeks now and they survived this week somehow but they haven’t grown at all so I don’t think we accomplished anything by jumping the gun. And I left my houseplants out last weekend by mistake and they got frost nipped. I am too impatient!

    Gayla my tiny deck garden looks way worse than your roof right now. Hopefully a weekend of warmer temps will help me get it looking better.

  6. Hey Gayla,

    Nice panorama… Did you consider using PhotoShops’ Photomerge feature? Here’s stuff I got from the “Help” option:

    The Photomergeâ„¢ command combines several photographs into one continuous image. For example, you can take five overlapping photographs of a vista/view and then assemble them into a panorama. The Photomerge command can assemble photos that are tiled horizontally as well as vertically.

    To open Photomerge compositions, choose File > Automate > Photomerge and then choose your source files and a layout option. You can also load and edit previous photomerge compositions.

    For a video on using Photomerge, see


    P.S. I put my tomatoes in about 3 weeks ago too. If you use your garden’s microclimates you can get away with it. Cheers.

  7. I just checked out your roof pics from 2007. I cannot express how inspirational they are! I just moved into a home without a garden and I’m learning all about container/roof/vertical gardening. Well done! I hope my before and after photos will be as stunning.

    I’ve had my tomatoes in for over a month on the roof! HA! They’re not growing much, but they seem happy. I always jump the gun and hold my breath. It’s more fun that way. Even if they’re pretty dormant I still feel like a badass… a gardening badass!

  8. On your July 2007 post you wrote: The more I garden, the more I want to garden and the grander my ideas grow.

    I feel exactly the same way BUT….I think my neighbors thing I’m crazy. We have a great courtyard that we all share for various purposes (kiddie pool, outdoor ping pong table that we all just purchased together, etc.) and I’m the only one who gardens. I think my garden is getting out of control! Your site is a great encouragement though b/c you’re pretty out of control too. I can’t wait to see the pics from all of your hard work before the CBS craziness.

  9. I like the prismatic, bird’s eye view of your roof. I’m completely in awe of your 2007 garden and it’s interesting to see the “bones” underneath. Looking forward to following your progress on TBAMAKTRGHEBE08.

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