Sunny year round, Barcelona is an ideal location to start a rooftop garden. That's why, from the depths of the Mediterranean metropolis sprout slender green beans, carrots, and shiny red peppers. In the soft arid breeze, olive, fig, lemon and orange trees sway.
Truth be told, we'd like to see a lot more rooftop gardening in Barcelona (and in all urban hubs for that matter). The city's mild climate and ample rooftop spaces mean lots of cultivation could be happening in the Catalan capital. Some people are on board - foraging their urban gardens - but I suspect the trend will increase in the years to come, as Barcelona becomes even more savvy about the pleasures of locally-grown produce. It doesn't get much more local than your roof.
It is late fall as I write this, and most rooftop gardens are now dead, the last carrots have been harvested, and winter is upon us. Still this is the perfect down-time for curious gardeners to get ready for spring. The first thing to do is pay a visit to Mayolas in downtown Barcelona on busy thoroughfare Via Liaetana. Here you will find the perfect urban garden beds, in wood and also in suspended fabric. If you are crafty, you could get an idea of soil beds at Mayolas and then build your own. If not, then you can buy them there.
Mayolas also has organic seeds, watering systems, organic fertilizer, plant lights, books on urban gardening, and bulbs to be planted come January (not edible, but lovely never the less). The guys that run Mayolas are incredibly knowledgeable about rooftop gardening and all that might ail your plants. If you have a problem, they can walk you through it.
Via Laietana, 57 - 08003 Barcelona
Telèfon 93 317 39 92
Fax 93 318 11 41
Photo and text by Regina Winkle-Bryan