Starting your Own Roof Top Garden

There is a notion that only those individuals who have large houses in the country or penthouse apartments in the city can have a roof top garden; this is simply not the case.

A roof top garden can take pride of place on any roof in any setting providing the roof has been properly prepared to hold such a garden and that all steps have been taken to make sure drainage is right.

Pots and Containers

Some individuals have flat roofs onto which they can step from a skylight or attic door; however in some instances these gardens may only be wide enough to cope with perhaps one or two people maximum on them. Also overall weight has to be taken into consideration when planning for a roof garden.

One of the most simple – and indeed effective – types of roof garden is the roof garden that consists of flowers and plants contained in pots and containers. These are easy to remove if the weather turns particularly nasty and in addition can be moved from place to place in order to garner the best from the available sunlight etc.

There are so many different types of plant that you can have in pots and containers – ranging from the small to the quite large. Conifers can be grown as well as bonsai and even climbing roses given the right container size.

Planning Your Roof Top Garden

When planning your roof top garden you should first decide what plants you wish to have growing up there and also – should you decide you wish to have grass – how best to facilitate its growth?

When growing grass it is best to look for a synthetic soil – something that has the same growing properties of regular soil but not the overall weight especially in wet conditions. Again – as we have mentioned already – overall weight on your roof must be taken into consideration. You may need to strengthen your roof in order to proceed with your roof top garden and will most certainly have to look at drainage especially if grass is to be present.


If you have recently built an extension onto your home and find that the two buildings are not blending together then a roof top garden may be the answer. A roof top garden can offer continuity between buildings as well as offering a welcoming homely feel to any property. However you must seek permission from your local council before endeavouring such a task.

You should – where possible – try and include your proposals for a roof top garden at the planning application stage in order to field questions and possible objections from nearby neighbours.


Many roof top gardens have decking; decking is best described as raised wooden platforms which have space between them and the roof below. This allows for less load bearing on the roof and also prevents damage to the roof and its insulation.

Decking also provides the perfect means to design your roof top garden and allows you to plan for the growing of plants and flowers in containers and pots whilst still maintaining your roof below.

This is also the ideal place to grow your own vegetables especially if you do not have an allotment or plot in your garden below.

Again however it is best to consult with your local council should you wish to design and build a roof top garden and find out what – if any – are the limitations. Likewise it is best to seek professional help from a landscape gardener; indeed many know specialise in roof top gardens and can be found in your local directories.

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