Living and working in the city, while convenient and with its own benefits, can often prove to be rather stressful. Urban gardens of any kind can be a welcome escape from the hustle and bustle of the city, but rooftop gardens take it a step further. Whether it’s for your own personal use or for employees in the workplace, a rooftop garden can provide an unparalleled space for relaxation and destressing. When designing a rooftop garden, we always bear in mind a few key ideas to ensure the end-result is the best one possible.
Space is always the most important factor. Start with that, consider what is possible and what is not. There may also be certain features that just aren’t viable at the heights roof gardens take you to, but there are also so many things that wouldn’t be possible on the ground. If you’re concerned about making the most of space, so are we, and there are ways to do that. While it is possible to install awnings, we recommend that smaller rooftops be as open as possible to create the illusion of space. Features like glass railings can help to further enhance a roof garden’s appearance and size, while, on the other hand, strategically-placed hedges can create a perfect sanctuary from everything around you. Using hedges like this will increase privacy, creating a country-like environment above the city, yet not completely separate from it. Trees and other tall plants can be used in the same way to further enhance the illusion, especially for smaller spaces, allowing you to maximize greenery without isolating yourself too much. One of the advantages of roof gardens is they allow for more use of vertical space. Features such as hanging planters on the walls, railing planters, and climbing plants are just some of the possibilities.
When planting, we believe in being economical, and maintaining diversity. This goes for both size and species. Too much of the same will create monotony, which will only reverse the effect you want the garden to create – one of relaxation and serenity. Go for a range of plant species of varying colours and sizes. This will make the garden seem more natural and rustic, as though a peaceful retreat in the middle of a wood. Furthermore, breaking up the greenery with decking, paths and seating installations or other furniture will create an ideal contrast of space that is neither too much of one thing or another.
Moreover, all gardens, roof or otherwise, need a focal point. It could be a fountain or statue, a large tree or arrangement of flowers – something that draws the eye and from which you can work around. It helps to consider what this might be early on, so you can build around it as you go, as opposed to changing your plans later to try and accommodate something that wasn’t part of the original design. Be it a statue or a tree, seating or raised planting can be installed around it to fully take advantage of the space available.
Roof gardens should be meeting points between functionality and appearance. They should be as practical as they are aesthetically pleasing, a compromise between the natural andthe urban world.