Fillmore Heritage Center

Rooftop Garden & Wildlife Attraction

This award-winning rooftop garden for the Fillmore Heritage Center transformed a desolate windy rooftop into a beautiful welcoming retreat and event space for 80 condo units, creating a wildlife habitat and plant palette to attract bees, butterflies and birds.

Fillmore Heritage Center - Rooftop Garden Project

PHOTO Jim Banks | Overview of the Rooftop Garden Project.

Challenge

To transform a desolate windy rooftop, containing a grid of 5,000 square feet of shallow 4-inch-deep planting beds, into a beautiful welcoming retreat and event space for 80 condo units, creating a wildlife habitat with a plant palette to attract bees, butterflies and birds. For these complex goals, lab tests, a custom soil blend to meet weight constraints, an adequate efficient irrigation and fertilization system had to be designed to prevail over the elements and sandy soil conditions for successful long-term performance. There were access issues to be addressed.

Solution

Condo residents were surveyed to ascertain what would draw them out of their apartments to utilize and enjoy the outdoor space. To access the site, materials were brought up via a large forklift situated alongside an adjacent building, whose rooftop also provided a large staging area. Three hundred cubic yards of soil and mulch were delivered to the planting areas using a long hose pumping system and spread at different depths for interest and to accommodate various root systems, including trees. A drip irrigation system was installed with pipes one foot apart and an in-line fertilization system was implemented for frequent delivery of nutrients. The plant palette was designed considering water wise plants, wind resistance, shade tolerance, impact of heavy rain, and wildlife attraction. A patio and deck were built, some wind barriers installed, furniture and BBQ were added.

Outcome

The rooftop garden held a Grand Opening buffet. The landscape was well received by residents and bookings of the space for parties and events followed. The day after the blooming lavender were planted, bees began foraging for pollen. They also buzz around the flowering Thyme ground cover. The red berries of the Toyon shrubs are swallowed up by Robins and hummingbirds target the Ribes and Fuchsia. California Gulf Fritillary butterflies have been spotted on the Lavender. Three years later 96% of the plantings are performing well. The project is considered to have met the goal-set and is a great success.

Rooftop Garden

PHOTO Jim Banks | Closeup view of a flower box in the common area.

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West View

PHOTO Sharon Korotkin | West view of common area.

Agave

PHOTO Jim Banks | Closeup view of planter.

Aesclepias, Thyme and Toyon

PHOTO Sharon Korotkin | View of Aesclepias, Thyme and Toyon in the finished project.

“Sharon Korotkin and her crew are amazing. They follow instructions well and are very accommodating to the needs of the homeowner. I highly recommend their services as they are professional, responsive and keep our property looking beautiful.” —MARNIE MOORE, Property Manager, The John Stewart Company

“Korotkin Associates artfully designed, installed, and, for several years, prior to the sale of the property, maintained an elaborate landscape scheme (roof gardens, street level gardens, hanging gardens in courtyard) for the Pierre Suites, a 32 unit corporate apartment complex on Nob Hill, San Francisco.” —MICHAEL NATHAN HARRIS, Founder, Visual Ambrosia

“Our rooftop garden has become a more attractive environment for the residents who have increased the use of the space. The recovery of the garden has contributed to the improved marketability of our real estate.” —GARY COATES, Board President, Fillmore Heritage Center

“If you want to hire an excellent firm to manage and maintain existing landscapes and/or implement landscape renovations, look no further. Our Landscape Architectural firm of Camp and Camp Associates Inc. has had the privilege of working with Sharon and her staff for nearly 30 years.” —TERRENCE CAMP, RLA ASLA, Camp and Camp Associates Inc.

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