Just because you live in an apartment without a backyard, doesn’t mean you have to give up all of the advantages that come with a domestic garden space. Maximise the land available and try to include a garden everywhere – even over structures – and create a green rooftop oasis to benefit not only health, lifestyle and property value, but the environment as well.
Landart Landscapes’ Matt Leacy outlines his top tips for creating a cost-efficient and sustainable green roof:
Due diligence: Engage a structural engineer to check that the roof is properly intact and suitable for the type of rooftop space you’re planning. It’s also essential to check with your local government to make sure your garden plans are compliant with state and local legislation and regulations, and to gain approvals if necessary. In most Australian areas, a green roof will require the lodgement of a development application.
What to plant: Think about the style you want your green roof to have, as well as your intended uses for it. In Australia, many roofs need to contend with extreme weather conditions year-round. You’ll ideally want to work with plant species that are hardy and weather resistant, as well as suitable in size for the rooftop space. Plants that flourish in containers are often best for growing in manmade spaces like rooftops.
Consider fake: Artificial turf brings with it a comparable look and feel to natural grass, but with far less watering and maintenance requirements. You also won’t need to cut the grass, and you can let pets and little ones play on it without bringing dirt, mud and grass back into the home. However, if you can keep your grass real, that’s always Matt’s first choice.
Other considerations include maintenance requirements (weeding, watering, fertilising) and rooftop features (decking, paving or water features through to dining tables, outdoor kitchens or fire pits).