A green roof with a view



I spotted this in Lake Placid last week. It's prominently placed on a building owned by the Golden Arrow hotel and there's a sign installed near the sidewalk that explains it to visitors. Keep in mind that it is relatively early in the season this far north, so the plantings are not quite filled out. It overlooks Mirror Lake. (Oddly enough, the village of Lake Placid is not built around the actual Lake Placid.)

Just one of many examples of smart gardening I saw in this lovely town.

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Elizabeth Licata

Elizabeth Licata has been a regular writer for  Garden Rant since 2007, after contributing a guest rant about the overuse of American flags in front gardens. She lives and gardens in Buffalo, N.Y., which, far from the frozen wasteland many assume it to be, is a lush paradise of gardens, historic architecture, galleries, museums, theaters, and fun. As editor of Buffalo Spree magazine,  Licata helps keep Western New Yorkers apprised about what is happening in their region. She is also a freelance writer and art curator, who’s been published in Fine Gardening, Horticulture, ArtNews, Art in America, the Village Voice, and many other publications. She does regularly radio segments for the local NPR affiliate, WBFO.

Licata is involved with Garden Walk Buffalo, the largest free garden tour in the US and possibly the world,and has written the text for a book about Garden Walk. She has also written and edited several art-related books. Contact Elizabeth: ealicata at yahoo.com


  1. Green roofs have been around a long time (I remember way back to architecture school learning about them), but it seems as if they are more recently coming into vogue. They seem to be more rare in our cold climate area due to the excessive temperature fluctuation as a result of the heat generating/holding capacity of building materials and structural load carrying capacity. It is good to see them being installed and I would be interested to see them in bloom. Most interested in the plants being used to endure the conditions.

  2. Green roofs are popular in Asian cities. In Bangkok the multi-story parking garages near my hotel had flower boxes built into the outside walls on each parking floor giving the building a nice striped look. Many of the larger hotels have small parks on an upper floor for the guests to relax in.

  3. It’s nice and pretty but very impractical.
    Green roof requires more-less flat roof surface. Lake Placid, NY gets more than 8 feet of snow every winter. A flat roof under these conditions is a recipe for disaster. Not only the weight of the snow is substantial but the roof will have serious leak problems.

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