I decided that instead of giving Ellie a big grassy area to relieve herself in, I'd dedicate half of it to her, mulching it over, and grow grass and wildflowers on the other half. I have a packet of butterfly-attracting wildflower mix that I've been dying to sow, and if I made the whole area wildflowery, it wouldn't work for Ellie's needs (tickles her tummy too much, I think). She also doesn't like it when the grass grows too tall, and there's no good way to mow a tiny patch of grass on the roof -- you have to go after it with clippers, which is a big pain. So we'll try mulch and see how she likes it.
I stopped at Home Depot yesterday to get more zip-ties to secure our windowboxes better, and of course came away with more seeds and a few plants. They had these gorgeous Icelandic poppies, which in theory are perennial, although given our hot, dry summers, probably it'll be an annual for me. That's okay -- I'm just happy to have these warm oranges and yellows to brighten up the roof as I do early spring garden work.
There are other signs of life on the roof -- one of my honeysuckles is leafing out already, and some of the bulbs I planted last week (leftovers from the fall that managed to survive) are definitely growing. It looks like my chives have come back enthusiastically. Still not sure if the roses or hydrangea survived the winter -- they're always iffy, so we'll have to wait and see. I'm going to put down fresh soil in the grassy area and grass seed, so we should hopefully have some pretty grass up there soon. Going to run to the garden store soon and get an insert for the replacement windowbox (luckily, we actually had one that we'd never gotten around to putting up, so that saves a bit of money), and will restrain myself from buying more flowers.
And if you believe that, I hear there's a bridge for sale...