Rooftop gardens are emerging as facilities seek to reduce energy use and city-dwellers aim to make use of their apartment terraces. But irrigation can require a lot of effort, and plants are susceptible to the elements. "Roof gardens have to deal with extremes in temperature and high winds that can quickly shred large-leaf plants not suitable to life atop a mountain-like rooftop," said Amber Freda, a specialist on roof gardens.

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