6 Tips for Starting a Rooftop Garden

For city dwellers and homeowners with limited space, what better place to start a garden than your own roof? Perhaps the only thing more satisfying than making the most out of this underutilised real estate is saving money on the fruits, vegetables, herbs, decorative plants and flowers that you can grow.

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Functional benefits aside, a rooftop garden also elevates the look of your property and can serve as a social space to relax and unwind with loved ones under the summer sun. To help you reach your rooftop gardening goals, we’ve put together a list of six handy tips for starting one.

Use the Right Materials

Before making any other considerations, you need to ensure that the materials separating the garden from your roof are durable and waterproof. This starts with the insulation layer, which is usually made up of a few different materials. EPDM (Ethylene Propylene Diene Monomer) is a popular material for rooftop gardens.

Not only does it have a much longer lifespan than other roofing materials, but it’s also waterproof and can be re-used afterwards, making it super eco-friendly. You can buy a variety of high-quality, affordable Rubber Roofing here. Above this layer, you will usually find a drainage layer, followed by a geotextile layer beneath the growing medium (soil).

Surround it With Hedges

Surrounding your rooftop garden with hedges or tall vegetation is especially useful if you plan on incorporating an entertainment area. It will give your roof a more natural and closed-in feel. An added bonus for rooftop gardeners in dense cities is that a hedge will add some much needed privacy to the space.

Add Colour With Flowers

If you’re clever about which flowers you buy, you can have different species for each season of the year. This can completely transform the look of your garden and give it a new burst of colour every season. As the next season comes, you can pick some flowers to use as gifts or indoor decorations for added utility.

Make Space With Mirrors

As much as we’d love to have the 50th floor penthouse suite and its accompanying roof to ourselves, not all of us have the largest of roofs. A clever way to make smaller rooftop gardens look more spacious would be to incorporate some mirrors. This is especially useful if there are walls surrounding the roof.

Play With Materials

A quick browse of Pinterest or Google Images will show how homeowners have incorporated a surprising variety of building materials into their rooftop gardens. For example, you can use tree stumps for seating and stone as the base of elevated planters. Soil can be contained with wooden panels to further create a natural, rustic look.

Incorporate Useful Vegetation

While it’s great to have plenty of beautiful plants and flowers in your garden, nothing beats being able to harvest those plants and take them to the kitchen. Consider adding herbs, small fruit trees, and vegetable plants to save money and make gardening a rewarding experience.


It may take a bit of good old hard work to make your rooftop garden a reality, but it will be well worth the effort. So, what are you waiting for?


Tags: design, flowers, garden, hedges, materials, mirrors, outdoor, rooftop

Author: Maja Markovski


A 35-year-old female architect with a passion for innovative, sustainable design. I blend creativity and functionality to transform spaces into beautiful, practical environments.


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