A Rooftop Garden in the City
by Gloria Wright - Wednesday, July 2nd, 2014
Karen Goodman has created herself a roof-top garden on Franklin Square’s Mission Landing condominiums.

Many drivers along Interstate 690 are familiar with the window boxes of pink and purple petunias on the roof-top garden on Franklin Square’s Mission Landing condominiums.

“I get a lot of comments on the wave petunias,’’ Karen Goodman said. “People say, ‘I’ve seen this from the highway.’ That’s always fun to hear.”

The roof-top garden at Mission Landing in Franklin Square. Photo by Gloria Wright | Syracuse New Times

The roof-top garden at Mission Landing in Franklin Square.
Photo by Gloria Wright | Syracuse New Times

Goodman and her husband, Charles, have lived in a 3,000-square-foot condominium on the top floor of  Mission Landing for nearly 20 years.
The roof-top deck faces south, giving the Goodmans views of both the sunrise and sunset.

“It’s fabulous,” she said. “It’s just magnificent … 7:30 p.m. is just magical.”

The Goodmans have planted trees in pots, including two lilac trees planted nearly 20 years ago and a spring-flowering crabapple. Every spring, the Goodmans find bird nests in the arborvitae. They grow perennials in pots, including roses, daylillies, astilbe and hydrangea.

Karen Goodman grows a mixture of trees, flowers and vegetables in her roof-top garden at Mission Landing in Franklin Square. Photo by Gloria Wright | Syracuse New Times

Karen Goodman grows a mixture of trees, flowers and vegetables in her roof-top garden at Mission Landing in Franklin Square.
Photo by Gloria Wright | Syracuse New Times

Karen Goodman, who loves to cook, also grows herbs and tomatoes. And she fills in with annuals, including the petunias. She varies the annuals, this year planting verbena.

“I can’t say I’m a gardener,” she said. “I dabble.”

She has gotten advice from a good friend who is a landscape designer but does all her own weeding and planting, she said.

Flowering plants and trees decorate the roof-top deck at Mission Landing in Franklin Square. Photo by Gloria Wright | Syracuse New Times

Flowering plants and trees decorate the roof-top deck at Mission Landing in Franklin Square.
Photo by Gloria Wright | Syracuse New Times

She tried growing peonies, her favorite flower, but the plants didn’t survive the winter cold and wind.

“The winds up here are very strong,” she said, so powerful at times that the trees are anchored into the apartment’s outside walls.

The Goodmans lived in Manlius for 11 years before moving into an apartment above Pastabilities, in Armory Square, when the area was first beginning to develop.

“It was the early days. You did kind of bond with all the people who owned businesses there,” she said.

The roof-top garden at Mission Landing in Franklin Square has views of downtown. Photo by Gloria Wright | Syracuse New Times

The roof-top garden at Mission Landing in Franklin Square has views of downtown.
Photo by Gloria Wright | Syracuse New Times

When Pastabilities placed tables outdoors, the Goodmans would come down for an after-dinner drink and “people watch, which was great fun,” she said.

After three years, when their sixth child graduated college, Charles Goodman decided to leave his job as president of Syracuse China, and the couple moved to New York City. When Syracuse China asked him to return to Syracuse nearly 20 years ago, Karen agreed to move back — with conditions.

“I said I’ll go, but no station wagon, no dog and I want to live in the city.”

For more Living Space — CLICK HERE