Garden on the roof

At last! Intention becomes action on a thermal-coat-and-beret day after a warm spell. I make my way down to the university library, not, you understand, to read books, but to enjoy the roof-top garden. 

At ground level, the grass is lush, and water flows between low banks edged with glowing yellow flowers buttercup-sheened. Not much is flowering, but a white poplar deigns to dangle its branches within easy reach of the camera. Towering banks covered with creepers hold promise of full-spring splendour; granite sculptures by Ryszard Stryjecki are polished to a glossy caramel-orange and black revealing intricate whorls; paths and stairs lead in all directions; and there are plenty of green metal seats if you want to contemplate gardenscape and skyline. I cross the stream and then cross it again, looking up the stairs and the water pipes to the roofline: a dome of vine branches, a spire with a flat top. I hear the throaty sound of frog-croak, but it turns out to be a crow, standing guard above a water-spurt.

At the top of the long flight of stairs there’s a burst of pincushion colour, and then the vine dome just breaking into bud. I follow paths past windows looking down into the library and leading to vantage points: you can look across the river to the twin spires of Praga; towards the palace of culture or the churches of the Old Town; and much closer, over Most Świetokrzyski to the stadium. Conifers, the current bête noire of my photography world, mock me with their uncatchable beauty. 

The garden, designed by Irena Bajerska, is one of the largest roof gardens in Europe. There are four sections, colour themed: the golden garden, the silver garden, the purple garden and the green garden. I’ll be back in full spring for a viewing. For now, I relish the plant names: shrubby cinquefoil, golden virginsbower, bearberry cotoneaster, dappled willow, netleaf willow, perennial quakinggrass, blue hairgrass, ice plant, wild thyme, thrift seapink, Chinese fleecevine, periwinkle.





About morselsandscraps

A retired Australian who spends a lot of time in Warsaw, and blogs as a way of life.
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19 Responses to Garden on the roof

  1. Suzy Barker says:

    Lovely photos. Taken on a phone? Or camera?


  2. desleyjane says:

    Wow what an amazing rooftop! That’s inspired. Love it. And love the selfie.


  3. Rosemary Barnard says:

    An amazing place with some incredible architecture. No wonder your son-in-law M liked his prospects for interesting work in his home town compared with what was on offer in Sydney some years back. How did you manage with those stairs on the curved overpass? I think that I would have been apprehensive.


    • Rest easy my dear. They were barricaded off for staff only I think! There was a much lower set of stairs with see -through treads though: they reminded me of the Harbour Bridge pylon when I was a child and I didn’t like looking down and through then, any more than I do now..


  4. restlessjo says:

    I had no idea! It looks like a photographer’s dream Meg xxx


  5. Sue says:

    What a marvellous retreat….I need to get there when in Warsaw!


  6. Lucid Gypsy says:

    I was happily reading and seeing all sorts of lovely images as a result, I thought, no pictures today, that’s okay and then wowowowowow, how amazing this place is. You have to go back regularly please!


  7. Heyjude says:

    Now this is a place I could be happy to wander in all day. You MUST keep going back and recording the beauty. LOVE the verdigris coloured library building – and especially the round window – the twiggy dome and the tunnel. And even the staircase over the glass roof!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. pommepal says:

    That must be the most fabulous library I have ever heard of. All my passions in one place. Glorious rooftop and surrounding gardens, books, stunning architecture, views, a photographers dream location. You have captured so much in this gallery Meg, even given us a selfie. I look forward to seeing it change with the seasons and through your observant eye. My favourite image was the elderly lady all wrapped against the chill in the air, taking time to sit and enjoy the scenery. I wonder if she has just been to the library and has books in her plastic bag and has, maybe, taken the time to look at one, or is she sending a text to a friend!!!


  9. I hadn’t thought of all passions in one place! Next time I’ll also pop inside, if such things are possible.


  10. Pingback: Return to the rooftop garden | 12monthsinwarsaw

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