Beautiful Rooftop Landscapes

Tips How To Successfully Landscape Rooftops

terracast Blog

Landscaped rooftops offer so many benefits. A rooftop naturally provides stunning views, offering the perfect space to kick back, relax and smell the roses. Rooftop landscaping is gaining more and more popularity among private residences, businesses, restaurants, and condo complexes. You don’t have to live in a big city that lacks outdoor space to enjoy the benefits of rooftop landscaping; although, if you do live in the city it provides the perfect escape.


Benefits To Rooftop Landscaping:

-Improved well being, it is good for you physically and mentally to get outside and smell some fresh air.
-A unique vantage point overlooking the city or neighborhood beyond. Even if you have no views inside, you will have spectacular views from your rooftop.
-The perfect space to entertain friends, family or patrons.


Can Your Building Support A Rooftop Garden?

Making sure that a building is capable of supporting the weight of a rooftop garden is the most important thing you need to do. Not all buildings are able to sustain the weight of a rooftop garden. There are generally three different types of buildings to consider, pre-war buildings, post-war buildings and new construction.

Pre-war buildings tend to have issues with roof drainage backing up and are often not strong enough to withstand too much weight.
Post-war buildings are strong and usually guarded by less strict rules regarding changes you can make to the building.
New construction provides the most favorable conditions for rooftop landscaping. Additional reinforcements can be applied if rooftop landscaping is incorporated with the actual building process.

Regardless which type of building you want to landscape, there are generally ways to make it work. It’s highly recommended to speak with a professional before getting started. (More about rooftop landscape design)


Rooftop installations with easeWhat Do You Need To Consider With Rooftop Landscaping That You Don’t With Traditional Landscaping?

Rooftop landscaping is uniquely different to routine landscaping completed on the ground. There are some considerations to keep in mind, such as:

Constant, Direct Sunlight
Most rooftops get direct sunlight all day every day, this is important to consider when choosing plants. This sunlight can be far more intense than plants on the ground are exposed to.

Weight is considered the number one issue for rooftop landscaping. You want to evenly distribute weight and keep plants as lightweight as possible. Using soil that drains quickly and does not hold excessive water is helpful.

Wind Force
The tops of buildings tend to get a lot of wind, and the landscaping needs to cater to this by being hefty. Umbrellas, for instance, are a poor choice for rooftops because of the risk of blowing over, or worse blowing off of the building and potentially harming someone down below. Working with an engineer may help you find the best solution in regards to stability and overall safety.

Nothing Permanent
All rooftops require maintenance at some point. This is why all furniture, planters and other accessories need to be easily removed when needed. Nothing should be structurally affixed, but instead should be as simple as unscrewing some bolts to dismantle.

Accessible Gardening Materials
Just like any landscaping, rooftop foliage requires plenty of TLC. You will need to have easy access to water, and gardening equipment. Figuring this out ahead of time and creating a space on your rooftop for these much needed tools will save you a lot of stress and struggle later on.


Top Tips For Successful Rooftop Gardening Design

Pick Elements That Contribute In More Ways Than One
Rooftops are not usually gargantuan spaces; meaning every last square inch counts. Make the most of your rooftop by using elements that contribute to the space in multiple ways. For instance, use a planter with a lush tree that serves as shade for a nearby chair, or invest in a bench that opens up and stores gardening tools.


Don’t Over Clutter The Rooftop
You want to keep rooftop landscaping as light as possible, which is good enough reason to avoid over cluttering the space. Also, you don’t want the area to be so busy that it takes away from the natural appeal of the views. The view is always changing when you are on a roof, morning through night. Don’t let an overabundance of furniture take away from this natural beauty.
Include Water Sounds
It is often assumed that from all the way up on the roof the sounds of the city below will fade away. On the contrary, sound tends to rise as it travels upwards, meaning it can be incredibly noisy on rooftops, perhaps even nosier than down on the street. In order to prevent the city sounds from interfering with the peace you can add a water feature to help drown out the noise.


Potted Plants Are A Must
Rooftop Planters offer the only way to get plants to flourish on your rooftop, after all there isn’t any naturally thick soil up on the roof! The pots you select are just as important as the plants you place inside, as they make a style statement and help influence the décor. Pick long lasting, durable planters that look great alone as well as with lush plants tucked inside.


The Best Plants For Rooftops

Don’t use plants with an abundance of large leaves
Large, expansive leaves might look nice at first but after being exposed to a great deal of wind they can quickly become a tangled mess.

Don’t use plants that flourish in cool environments with plenty of moisture
If you pick plants that require very moist soil they are going to be much heavier as well as more maintenance intensive. Seek out plants that are drought resistant and tolerant to extreme weather, such as heat and wind.

Plant dwarf evergreen conifers and reap the benefits of year round color.

Seek out plants with shallow, small root systems
Plants that have rapid growing root systems are going to need a new planter as often as once a year to make room for the roots. Otherwise, roots can become a tangled, unhealthy mess. Plants that tend to grow less quickly and have smaller root systems make for less routine maintenance in regards to repotting. (More Rooftop Landscape Ideas)


TerraCast Products offers commercial grade planters, furniture, lighting accents and more to create the perfect rooftop landscaping.