For those of you without a traditional garden to enjoy, a rooftop garden or terrace can be a very desirable alternative. Over recent years, the substantial growth in the number of people living in urban areas, where space is limited, has led to a rising number of rooftop gardeners.
Property owners can choose to utilise their roof top or terrace space in a number of ways, be it a full on garden consisting of plants and flowers or even used for home-grown produce.
With this in mind, we’ve outlined five top considerations to be made when transforming your rooftop terrace into an inviting outdoor garden…
Plan rooftop garden ahead
First things first, be sure to plan your rooftop garden before you make a start on the transformation. This will include making a garden plan, whether it’s a basic sketch on a notepad or a full scale drawing completed by a professional landscaper.
This will help you to make the best use of the available space as well as provide you with a reasonable direction going forward. At this stage you can experiment with the layout accordingly, allowing you to ensure the best placement of your various garden elements.
In addition, you need to be sure of the weight restrictions of your roof and establish whether you will require permission (e.g. from the building administration) for any radical changes such as the installation of a green roofing system and rooftop garden.
Identify your rooftop garden requirements
Your specific requirements will of course be important considerations. What do you hope to achieve by having a rooftop garden? Do you want to grow your own vegetables? Do you want to tend to plant life?
Think about flooring – decking, grass, patio or something else? Also consider the overarching style you are going for and how this can provide this valuable outdoor space with a theme.
Such factors will have an impact on the space allocation and materials required, as well as the level of on-going maintenance and general upkeep needed throughout the year.
Low, Medium or High Maintenance?
What level of rooftop garden maintenance are you able to provide? Are you looking for something low maintenance such as simple plant life and pot plants or a full on green roofing system featuring multiple species?
The decision is yours! Of course each option comes with an associated investment in time and money. Pot plants can be a very quick fix, whereas a green roofing system will take more time to install and will incur larger investment costs.
Flowers, trees, shrubs, vegetation or something else?
Your choice of plant will be influenced by your maintenance decision, but the possibilities are truly endless.
Opt for a few larger planters versus many smaller containers and it will help to conserve space and avoid overcrowding.
When choosing your plant life, you must also think about the level of available light and how this will impact upon their growth. When you are informed of the situation, you can choose species which can thrive within that environment.
Some plants may require a great deal of light exposure, and if your rooftop is somewhat shaded, this can present problems. It is therefore of paramount importance that light levels are considered prior to purchasing your greenery.
Keen to grow your own vegetables? Why not dip your toe in the water with some herbs initially. Herbs are an aesthetically pleasing addition to any garden and provide beginners with a great starting point. After all, it is always wise to start off small and slowly build upon your vegetable patch over time.
Furniture, Accessories & More
Once you’ve identified the key purpose of your rooftop garden or terrace, you’ll have an idea of your particular furniture and accessory requirements.
Consider whether you’ll have the space for an outdoor dining set, BBQ, fountain, sun lounger, outdoor heater or other items in line with your needs.
You may also be considering various ornaments or accessories to enhance the space. Whatever you opt for, shop around and try to remain in-keeping with your overall style or theme.
Best of luck with your rooftop garden transformation – we hope we’ve helped you on your way to creating the perfect outdoor solace!