We are lucky enough to have the perfect climate for roof gardens in South Africa. South Africans love the outdoors and chill areas for guests.
If you're looking for a new roof garden, homify has hundreds of roof garden ideas to inspire you. No matter your plans, you are sure to find ways of making your roof garden both beautiful and functional.
What are some common roof garden ideas?
Create a welcoming area for birds. Birds bring enchantment to a garden so it helps to entice nectar-loving birds with the plants that delight them. Read up on indigenous plants for your region to discover what local South African birds love.
Better even than feeding birds is providing fresh water. If you have space for a small circulating fountain then you benefit from the healing effects of water and the birds will have a place to drink.
Think ahead for Autumn planting. South African Plectranthus is great all year round. Plant it early on for the perfect finish to your roof garden. Needless to say the plants you choose should take a good amount of shade into consideration.
Another way to add enchantment and surprise to a garden is through contrast. Choose red-leafed plants for variety, and surround them with greenery to make their colour pop. Vertical logs, stones and concrete are common flowerbed borders.
Pathways create movement throughout the garden. They can be both beautiful and functional and enhances an outdoor space. Rooftop gardens are quiet places of contemplation so its always good to have a welcoming place to sit like a modern bench made from a slab of concrete.
What is the difference between a green roof and rooftop gardens?
There are a few main differences between a green roof and roof top gardens. The modern day green roof has been around since the 1960’s. A roof top garden is intended for human use, whereas a green roof is not intended for human use. Roof top gardens are generally planted in deeper soils (on average between 200-500mm) whilst a green roof substrate is much shallower (20mm-150mm), and can be as little as 2cm.
What are some common roof garden considerations?
Before designing and planting a balcony or rooftop garden, think about the style you'd prefer, and what you would prefer to grow. Mint, chives, rosemary, parsley and a salad mix are good varieties to start with. Not only will you get the satisfaction of growing your own produce for the kitchen, but these crops look lovely, too.
If it’s a roof garden of significant size you wish to design, speak with professionals such as structural engineers. Safety and structure considerations are key for roof top gardens. Green roofs are placed on existing buildings so you need to know the structural loading capacity that the roof can take. Be selective with containers that create focal points and spend money on a couple of larger containers rather than on lots of smaller ones – too many plants or ornaments make a small space look overcrowded.
Consider how much time you will be able to spend on maintenance. Whether you are growing ornamental or edible plants (or both), follow regular watering and feeding routines to get the best results. Restrict the colour palette Don't overdo the number of colours in your planting scheme – otherwise, it will look too busy and make your garden seem smaller.
Have you seen any good rooftop gardens recently?