If you’ve been dreaming of your very own green garden oasis, but live in a high-rise building, don’t fret. Even with apartment living on the rise in Australia, with the right considered design approach, you can still have your backyard dream of an urban green paradise. The trick here is to think vertical, with a luscious green rooftop garden.
Here are our top tips for creating a showstopping rooftop sensation:
- Follow the rules
Before starting with any work, check council, strata, and any other relevant government/homeowner’s association to see if you’re allowed to do anything to your roof. It’s best to get permission first than be forced to quit mid-project or cop a fine.
- Assess your potential green roof structure
Once you’ve got the green light, the structure and membrane of your roof is the very first thing you need to consider here. Does your roof have existing weight restrictions? Is the waterproof membrane intact and sealed? Is there a drain in place? Is your existing membrane compatible with organic compounds i.e. fertiliser or anything else you are putting on it? Having an engineer assess what you are doing and the space is money well spent.
All these factors need to be taken into consideration not only for usability of your roof garden, but also, safety.
- Think about H20
Gardens need water. Think about how you will maintain and water your garden if there are no existing hoses or water systems. You don’t want to be carrying a bucket of water each time, so you may need to have a water storage system built in or an automatic watering system installed. Also consider where the water will run off to and if it will affect any of your neighbours.
- Use Astroturf
One of the quickest ways to turn your rooftop green is through Astroturf. It’s a great low-maintenance option that will provide a consistent and long return. While upfront costs may seem high, it’s a perfect choice for those who don’t have the time and energy to plant, water and cut their own grass. It does have to be the right space for this to work in with the design.
- Choose the right type of plants
As your plants are going to get more exposure to the elements, it’s important to choose the right type of plants that can adapt to your climate and location. Succulents, grasses and coastal species are just a few of the types of plants we recommend as they can cope with shallow soil, heat and dry conditions.
- Go for a herb garden or a veggie patch
A herb garden is a great light-weight option for a green roof, and they’ll be the perfect addition to giving your space a stylish edge. Choose classic favourites like mint, parsley, basil, rosemary and thyme as they’ll probably get the most use in your dishes.
A veggie patch is another option. With the constant sunlight and water, they’ll thrive under the rooftop conditions. Choose vegetables like lettuce, snow peas, kale, spinach and tomatoes as they are relatively easy to use.
Want your very own rooftop garden but don’t want to commit to its creation? Landart can help. Check out our past landscaping projects to see what we’re capable of, or for more information, don’t hesitate to get in touch with our friendly team today.
Matt shares his tips for creating a low-cost and sustainable garden above street level in the Habitus Living blog.