For a long time, gardens were solely for the suburban house dweller, but times are changing and you no longer have to sacrifice a garden for inner-city living.
Matt Leacy from Landart Landscapes shares his tips for creating a low-cost and sustainable garden above street level:
1. Check out your roof
For safety reasons, the construction of your roof is the first thing that needs considering. Is the waterproof membrane sealed, intact and fully protected? Is your existing membrane compatible with chemicals and organic compounds such as fertilisers and composts? Do you have a drain in place so water can easily escape? And are you aware of the weight your structure can bear?
If you answered yes to all the above, then get ready to transform an unused space into a lavish, nature-filled garden. However, if you have answered no, don’t fear, the rooftop garden can still become a reality. All you will need to do is consult your local council or engineer for approval.
2. Use AstroTurf
For an everyday ready-to-play area that’s easy to maintain, AstroTurf is your answer, and while initial costs may seem high, the lack of upkeep in the long run makes it worth the money. You also have the benefit of letting kids and pets have fun in the new area without them coming back covered in mud.
3. Find suitable plants
Roofs are vulnerable places; especially when we have the intense Aussie sun, so choose plants that can easily adapt to your climate and location. There are many great options but succulents, grasses and coastal species are highly recommended because they can cope with shallow soil, heat and dry conditions. Yet remember that any plant you go with must be securely tied down, no neighbour will be thanking you if they wake up with broken pots by their doorstep.
4. Grow flavoursome herbs
Not only do they provide a beautiful scented garden, herbs can transform your cooking too. They are easy to grow – even for a novice gardener – and they are ideal for growing in planter boxes that are perfect for giving a rooftop garden a stylish edge.
5. Plant an organic veggie patch
Start eating clean with your homegrown, chemical-free fruit and vegetables. Not only is it good for you, but also for the building, with the veggie patch absorbing the unwanted sunlight and water hitting the roof. A little TLC will be needed, so make sure you use containers to allow drainage, so that plant roots won’t burrow into the roof membrane.