A roof garden is a garden on the roof of a building. Besides the decorative benefit, roof plantings may provide food, temperature control, hydrological benefits, architectural enhancement, habitats or corridors for wildlife, recreational opportunities, and in large scale it may even have ecological benefits. The practice of cultivating food on the rooftop of buildings is sometimes referred to as rooftop farming.Rooftop farming is usually done using green roof, hydroponics, aeroponics or air-dynaponics systems or container gardens.
Here is a guide on how you can start your rooftop garden by yourself:
1. Before you begin, find out if it is possible to create a garden on your roof.Make sure the regulations allow it, and if you have a freeholder – make sure they allow you to build it. You don’t want to spend lots of time and money preparing for a garden/roof terrace and then find out that it is prohibited. Also make sure that the roof is able to hold the weight of a rooftop garden.
2. Work out a comfortable access way to the roof. You may have to consult an architect, or a roof garden specialist.
3. Choose a design, figure out how you will layout the roof garden. Or use a designer to help. It is here when you have to chose your flooring too: stone, or decking etc.
4. Work out a planting scheme, with plants to work well with the natural light you have, humidity, wind etc. Or you can use a planting expert or a landscape designer to help.
5. Get containers/planters, furniture etc to finish it off. Their size depends on the size and type of the plants you chose. They also should be lightweight, but also stable. Perhaps think of how you can fix them and integrate them within your scheme.
6. Decide how you will water the garden. You can install a water storage system or an automatic irrigation system. Or, you can just carry the water up to the roof by hand, depending if your access way allows it.
7. Consider windbreaks, as a rooftop garden will be very windy. These can be trellises or other latticed windbreak, but it shouldn’t be completely solid, since they will blow over more easily.
8. Remember there are various details to consider when building a roof garden, terrace or any other structure on the roof, so it is perhaps worth consulting a specialist (or a few specialists) before you start your project.