I had a hatch installed in my kitchen ceiling to give me access to my flat roof. It was a terrific idea, because it added significantly to my living space. The first time I went out onto the roof was quite unnerving and I thought, "I'll probably never, ever do this again, unless my building catches fire and I need to escape". That feeling lasted one day. Ever since, I'm out on the roof about 20 times a day in good weather. However, once I had access, it made good sense to re-do the roof.
Once the new roof was installed, I needed to make it legal by having a perimeter railing added. I had it set back from the actual perimeter of the building, so I could walk around the outside of the wooden railing if I needed to. Now that the roof was sheltered by a tall railing, I started planting like a mad woman. I'm not so much into flowers. I prefer vegetables, because you get the best of both worlds: some flowers and then something to eat.
My crops this year include potatoes, garlic, leeks, basil, lavender, arugula, snow peas and rhubarb. I've since been informed that the potato is basically the cockroach of vegetables, and potatoes do not require the use of any actual brain cells in order to proliferate. I counter this received wisdom with the response that my potatoes, at any rate, are organic cockroaches.
Last winter was unbelievably long and tedious. I suffered so much that I nearly purchased a decommissioned church with a couple of acres of land about an hour away from Toronto. I was only dissuaded from buying the church by my friends Neil and Carolyn, who pointed out that since I wanted to plant fruit trees on the land, I should buy land that already had fruit trees on it, and if I were doing so, I didn't strictly need a church, either.
Winter ended eventually, and I became enamoured of the idea of having a beehive on the roof. Luckily a business called Alvéole had opened up nearby. They teach beekeeping and sell supplies. And that's how I came to have an AirBee&Bee. Here's Hilary from Alvéole, setting up the first level of the hive.