Designing a Rooftop Garden

Guest Article by Elena Morgan

Rooftop gardens are a perfect way to create a relaxing outdoor space when you really do not have a yard. This is something many inner-city people long for because they have no backyards. While these can become quite intricate, you can design and create a rooftop garden for yourself that is affordable and serene.


Check Your Space

You need to know how much room you have before you start to dream up ideas. Take a tape measure and do some measurements and also take note of your square footage. Once you have measurements, sketch out how you want your rooftop garden to look. This will help you get an idea of how things will fit and will help you remain realistic about how much space you actually have.


Create a Budget

Few of us can just spend money without thinking about it. It is important to know what you have to work with. Even if you only have a few hundred dollars, you can still transform your rooftop. Once you have made your sketches and determined your budget, it is time to start making your rooftop garden a reality.


Keep a Strict Color Palette

Planting 12 different colors of flowers is certainly bright, but it also makes your space look smaller. Go with a handful of colors or less and if you do use five colors, choose three predominant colors and then use the other two sparingly. This will give the illusion that your space is bigger and will be far more aesthetic.


Consider Your Natural Light

If your rooftop is obstructed by taller buildings for most of the day, you will need to choose plants that do not require a lot of light. If you have a lot of natural light during the day, then you will have to choose plants that will thrive with a lot of light. You can find the plants you need in the colors, sizes and shapes that you want. Just make sure to choose wisely so that your garden will thrive.


Choosing Furniture

You will probably want at least a few chairs in your rooftop garden so that you can relax and enjoy the fruits of your labor. You want to choose furniture that fits your space. For example, if you have a small garden, large furniture will not work well. You want to make the plants the focal point so choose furniture that does not overwhelm the greenery. One option is a small cafe set. These are small chairs and a small circular table. This will fit well in a small space and will give you and a few guests a place to sit and enjoy the outdoors.


Make it Work for You

A rooftop garden can easily incorporate some vegetables and herbs so that you can best utilize this space. You can take relatively small planters to house herbs and you can plant vegetables among flowers. This will all mix nicely and will not only give you a nice place to relax, but fresh food as well. If your rooftop is larger, there are small fruit trees that can be incorporated into your design.


Think About Maintenance

Some flowers and plants require a lot more love than others. For example, orchids are beautiful and inspiring flowers, but they also require meticulous care. Maybe one or two in planters on your outdoor tables will be better than several. Then, there are flowers like roses which are quite hardy and can deal with heavy rain or dryer conditions. Just a little trimming twice a month and roses will thrive. You want to be able to enjoy your garden, so keep maintenance needs in mind when choosing plants.


About the Author: Elena Morgan has been writing about home design and décor for companies like Unison for nearly a decade. Click here to view selection and see more of Elena’s work.

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