The bees and butterflies have a new habitat in New York City thanks to R&S Landscaping’s new rooftop garden installation.

The region’s eco-friendly landscaping company was recently retained to transform a barren west side rooftop into a beautiful, green, outdoor haven.

The residents of the building’s penthouse condo have direct access to the rooftop. They contact R&S because they felt it was time to take full advantage of the space.

The roof area wraps around two sides of the building providing spectacular views of the Hudson River and Manhattan’s iconic skyline, including the Freedom Tower. Rooftop gardens on neighboring buildings are visible from the penthouse condo, creating a kind of rooftop community amongst the local residents.

The project included installing several large (4-foot wide) bowl containers in the corners of the patio, box containers along the railings, a remote controlled roll-out awning, and new patio lounge furniture.

“We had to be very careful about the types of plants we chose for this location,” said Julie Watson, R&S’s Lead Specialty Gardener. “The patio is completely exposed. Without shade, it was important to choose sun-friendly, drought resistant plants.”

Strong and hardy perennials shrubs – both flowering and non-flowering – were installed in the large bowl containers. Grasses were planted as well to add movement and flow to the scene. A six-foot river birch was the largest living addition to the roof.

Boxwoods, rosebushes, hydrangeas, tall grasses and liriope are nestled along the edges of this new living space. Colorful annual plantings of lantana, angelonia, petunias, and sweet potato vines line the railings, visible to surrounding neighbors and passersby on the street below.

“Urban, rooftop installation projects are some of the most exciting for us,” said Robert Schucker, President of R&S Landscaping. “A significant part of our mission is greening outdoor spaces to create a positive impact. What better place to have a greening impact than Manhattan?”

To ensure these plants survive the high exposure conditions, R&S installed a drip irrigation system that will automatically provide the right amount of water the roots of the new plants. The system is designed to be completely inconspicuous. Hoses are hidden along the walls, under pavers and railings to enhance the clean, uncluttered feeling of the space.

R&S will also be performing regular quality checks on the plantings in the following weeks. According to Watson, “It is especially important to pay close attention to new plantings. The shock of a new environment can be too much for some plants. If they are given the proper amount of water and attention in the first few weeks, they are much more likely to thrive in their new environment and survive extreme weather conditions in the future.”

As if to say “thank you,” several butterflies quickly showed up to the party. They were spotted soaking in the sun and pollen in their new habitat even before the planting project was complete. This was a sign to R&S team – their mission to make a positive impact on this urban rooftop was a success.