Return to the rooftop garden

I visited Warsaw university library rooftop garden at the beginning of the greening and this week I went back to see how spring is progressing there. I want to see the coloured gardens on the roof as they blossom into green, silver,  purple and gold. I walk through the university building, past coffee shops, bookshops and a series of very moving photographs of refugees as they arrive in Greece, and  journey on to processing in Germany.

The mounds sheltering pathways to the rooftop have greened and flowered since my last visit and the lower garden is a lot busier.  It is a magnificently warm day and there are people sunning themselves on the grass, or in the case of one aging bare-chested man cavorting in what were surely his underpants. Everywhere are banners and signs saying “Two centuries: a good start”. Warsaw university not the oldest university in Poland: Kraków university where Copernicus studied is much older.

I walk up the steps towards the dome, twiggy when I visited last and now thick with vegetation, as are the archways. A man is weeding, one of a number of gardeners busy pruning hedges and chipping. Reflections and a glimpse into the library are irresistible.

Then I’m amongst the rooftop gardens, still not in their prime, but obviously color-coded. The glass and metal structures  and the view over the town offer their own pleasures. A bored looking bride and a mobile-phone-tapping groom are waiting for the photographer, and a crow perches proprietorally on a highly polished granite sculpture, supervising my departure.

Footnote: on the walk home from pre-school there is a garden on the roof of an apartment block. Jaś is outraged and yells at it every time: “You silly. Gardens not belong on roofs.”

About morselsandscraps

A retired Australian who spends a lot of time in Warsaw, and blogs as a way of life.
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17 Responses to Return to the rooftop garden

  1. Lucid Gypsy says:

    What a fascinating and beautiful place, like Jas I can’t get my head around it. I remember being confused about the layout last time, I can’t work out which pictures are of the roof top and which aren’t, it’s looks so big. Anyway the crow looks happy so all’s well 🙂


  2. restlessjo says:

    Bless him! 🙂 🙂 I find it utterly fascinating, Meg, and would love to be there with you. A bored looking bride? Surely that’s sacrilege! I love that bank of lilac azaleas(?) and the symphony of gold. Beautiful! 🙂


    • Weddings probably long over and this is the photo session. Is this habit purely Polish? The lilac hedge was some kind of bell-shaped flowers – the close up didn’t make the grade. The gold was probably the most spectacular, although not very diverse. Corpus Christi holiday today: I sewed with Maja (bad gender training, I know!) while R & M ran and Jaś slept on. Now I’m loafing after a full-on yesterday. I wouldn’t mind being rooftopping with you either – I think you gave me energy. After this gentle prowl I lasted ten minutes in an exhibition of the rebuilding of Warsaw: exhaustion, by no means boredom. The photos and info were great, and moving.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. pommepal says:

    For a country person you have found a great city to stay in as it has so many green areas and as you are there for the year it is lovely to see them moving through the seasons.


  4. Anabel Marsh says:

    I missed the first post so went beck to look – big changes! Beautiful gardens, and I loved the building too.


  5. findingnyc says:

    Unlike Jás, I love rooftop gardens! I wish that more places would have them. There are some restaurants in New York City that actually grow veggies and herbs that are used in the restaurants. It looks like the route to get to the garden is a nice one as well. I really enjoyed the photos, and now I have to go back and read your earlier post!


  6. Heyjude says:

    I’m green with envy. This is a wonderful space and I am delighted that you are capturing its progress through the year. Please, please keep visiting and recording.


  7. Rosemary Barnard says:

    Forgive me if I say this. While I absolutely endorse the use of rooftops to create more green space, I didn’t find the detail of the results half as interesting as the trees and flowers in regular parks you photographed in earlier posts. I don’t know why I feel like that. Perhaps, attractive as they are, the rooftop gardens in all their expansive gee-whizzery didn’t offer as much scope for your very individual creativity, because it was first and foremost someone else’s creativity on show. A very personal take on this post, which I don’t expect anyone else to share.


    • You may have picked up something I think I’ve mentioned to you before: I don’t think I’m very good at photographing landscapes, which is what a number of these photos are. Micro is my hard-won metier, although that’s not always successful either. The other possibility is the formality of the gardens: they are designed. Although you did mention detail rather than expanse: in that case, it was a bit hard to get close, and also around midday. My park photos near home have all been around 9am. And you absolutely don’t need forgiveness!!!


      • Rosemary Barnard says:

        There are very good imitations of nature around and they work because nature is the designer. I don’t feel the same way about contrived landscapes, call them what you will, and these rooftop gardens certainly come into that category. I am not even entirely comfortable with Australia’s capital city, Canberra, which I find very contrived, even after living there for a number of years so that first impressions became absorbed into familiarity (though never, ever, contempt). However, there is no such problem with Japanese gardens in all their contrived formality, perhaps because the scale remains small if not micro and in assigning every element meaning they follow rules intended to formalise nature’s designs. I agree with you about your micro forte but please keep everything you like coming to these posts. It is the variety which is interesting.


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