Scarlett would never have had this sort of problem at Tara, but wind on a rooftop terrace is something to pay attention to !
Wind is a force of nature on a rooftop ! It grows or wain’s based on the building location. The size and shape of high rises
and objects around the terrace, the season, the height of the terrace, fencing and walls in the garden, and which one of
those cardinal points it faces!
The intensity as well as the direction the wind blows is very specific to every garden. Our landscape designers know this only too
well. It is one of the key points of consideration for every garden design. It affects what furniture and planters you can
choose from as well as the size and shape of plants and trees available which can handle that particular site. Many times
it may change the original desires or wishes for the elements in a garden to a more practical or less risky solution.
Pergolas, gazebos and trellises are rarely ever an issue as these are required by code to be secured or fixed to the
building structure itself. Large planters with trees and shrubs that are heavy from the weight of wet soil are also not at risk
for flying away. However they can most certainly tip over.
Its the lighter stuff that is at risk of flight: light furniture, pillows, tarps, garden accessories and children toys! Basically
everything that is not tied down nor heavy enough is at risk. Think about that next time you are choosing a fabulous $450
Marimekko throw pillow! And yes it does actually happen – it was a windy day on West 96th street and a light aluminum
cafe table (which we did not supply nor recommend) went flying off the roof (like a para sail) and landed 5 buildings down
on a roof – luckily no one was hurt.
Its also not just about avoiding things flying away but also of things falling, tipping over, and breaking. Many ornamental
plants (maples, lilacs, hydrangea) have brittle or soft wood and could easily loose a branch or crack down the trunk if they
fall over. Trees like Styrax and birch can be very full and act as wind sails which puts them at risk. (Our garden care
horticulturists are all aware of pruning out center growth to reduce the wind sail effect on trees !)
However, there are things one can do to mitigate Mr. Wind and his swirling friends. Heavy chairs and tables (and I mean
heavy like a bucket full of water), cushion ties, plants and shrubs that are neither top heavy nor flat shaped (or with dense
centers) that could act as sails, elastic bands to hold down furniture tarps, storage cubicles (you can incorporate these
inside the garden benches) for toys and things.
Oh and a watchful eye too!