Just because you don't have a backyard, doesn't mean you can't grow a garden. Rooftop gardens have become a hot new trend in cities across the nation, from individuals growing fresh fruits and veggies to restaurants sourcing their menus with ultra-local produce from a few flights up. For urbanites, rooftop gardens are a great way to escape the hustle and bustle with the push of an elevator button and enjoy the outdoors—homegrown happy hours included.

By Food & Wine
Updated March 31, 2015

A Mad Crush Wine Party © Michael Turek


Planting a rooftop garden is a great way to have a steady supply of seasonal produce. Even restaurants in downtown New York City have started growing fresh herbs, lettuces, and tomatoes, among other crops in top-level plots. Beyond supplying fresh ingredients, however, these skyscraping green spaces can also be a stylish oasis away from the hustle-and-bustle of city streets. Mixing town and country with jaw-dropping views of the skyline and breathtaking greenery, they're great places for entertaining or unwinding. Before you start planting, research different layout ideas, from modern to bohemian schemes.


At the heart of the Midwest, Chicago's rooftop gardeners have created impressive green spaces overlooking the iconic skyline, some as big as 20,000 square feet. But, even if you don't have the space for a petite botanic garden, there are ways to maximize a tiny roof or even just part of one by planting up—and down. Vertical-growing vines are a great option, especially with easy to grow veggies like cucumbers and tomatoes. Start with a nourishing base, like Miracle-Gro® Moisture Control® Potting Mix. Likewise growing down with hanging gardens is a space-saving method for planting strawberries.


While you might not be able to grow full-size trees on your roof, you can easily grow smaller versions of citrus trees in garden pots, like dwarf Meyer lemon shrubs. These types of plants grow best in regions with a mild winter, like the West Coast, where in cities like San Francisco, individuals have transformed their rooftops into mini-orchards using pots. To get started, pick up a potting mix designed for container plants, like Miracle-Gro(R) Cactus, Palm & Citrus Potting Mix. Along with producing fruit for cooking and making cocktails, the pretty blossoms have a nice fragrance.