Design at hight
If you have read our previous articles, then you have already been introduced to some of the elements of garden design and got a picture of how they fit together and what to look for to get one personal little green corner. We have given you an idea of how to place hard (architectural elements such as paving and walls) and soft (plants) elements in one small garden and how to combine them visually to expand the space. Also, we explained how to combine trees and ornamental shrubs for each size of the garden to create perfect harmony.
This time we go a little higher, but not with design theory, but with height. Let’s go to the tops of buildings. If you live in a city, in an apartment building, and you yearn for greenery, and dream of having your garden, in this article we will give you an idea of how to make a part of that dream, or how to arrange a small green corner right next to the sky and have your little one green place under the sun. So, it is about a roof garden. Creating a rooftop garden requires different conditions and approach from those usual gardens, but the design principles remain the same. The aim is always to achieve harmony and balance and, of course, to keep the motto less is more. The great advantage of these gardens is that you can move mobile Jardines (vases) as and how often you want in all directions, and thus, depending on the season, change its appearance, to the delight of all those who like frequent changes.
Today’s availability of garden elements allows the functional and aesthetically pleasing appearance of roof gardens, so the concept of such is already widespread in big cities around the world, and is slowly beginning to apply in our country too. It is increasingly seeking to improve living conditions in urban areas so that one can return (approach) their natural environment. Energy efficiency requires the presence of plants in populated and crowded areas, which is why the importance of roof gardens is increasing. The concept of “becoming green” is becoming a growing priority in big cities. The benefits of rooftop gardens are many. They increase the green surface of urban areas, thereby improving the quality of the air, so they join the parks, which already called – the lungs of the city. They reduce the level of heating and heat evaporation of urban asphalt. By measurements, they reduce noise by as much as 40 dB. They provide significant energy efficiency over the years, and we, most importantly, add value to the living space itself. All of the above are real benefits. Personal ones like your pleasure and enjoyment in one such garden at the top of a building can hardly be measured.
The benefits of rooftop gardens are many. They increase the green surface of urban areas, thereby improving the quality of the air, so they join the parks, which already called – the lungs of the city.
The roof garden in the picture is about 70 square meters and already has all the hard architectural elements, such as walls, fences, and paving, which could not be changed. So in the design, only soft elements were taken into account, like plants and the harmonious arrangement between them. The goal was to get a quiet place to rest during pleasant evenings, as well as a meeting place for the larger group. Because it is on top of the building, we had to take into account wind gusts and, of course, all-day sun exposure or heat during the summer months. When designing such a garden, you should keep in mind that, at these locations, succeed only durable plants that tolerate summer heat and drought. If you don’t know what these plants are, you can see at the end of the article a list of the plants we used when designing this roof garden. But the rules are there to break it. So if you want a plant that does not tolerate direct sunlight, go for it, but make sure you pay special attention to it.
Under pressure from the fast pace of life, we feel a need for a place where we will be alone, where we will connect with nature.
Before the actual construction, you should always take into account the capacity of the roof structure. If it allows, you can enjoy the magic of fountains, jacuzzi, and even a swimming pool on the roof. Imagine the refreshing translucent blue color of water massaging you with bubbles from your jacuzzi, the rustle of greenery around you, and the view of the shimmering lights of the city at night. You will surely say that it is a dream come true, just like us. But this is not impossible. In this rooftop garden, in the first phase, the owners will have all except the jacuzzi bubbles. But bubbles from a glass of finely chilled champagne will, for now, be a sufficient substitute. Under pressure from the fast pace of life, we feel a need for a place where we will be alone, where we will connect with nature. We spend too much time indoors, so anyone who has at least a little space at the top of a building is considered privileged. On warmer days in the early morning, while the city is still asleep, you can practice your tai chi, yoga, or Pilates skills in the rooftop garden. The rustling of the herbs will only contribute to the atmosphere. In the evening, when the summer breeze blows, you can plan activities for the next day, or have a glass of a refreshing drink made of aromatic herbs right from your roof garden. A little bit of lemon, mint and lemon balm, an ice cube, and your rooftop garden becomes an elegant lounge, whether you drink alone or with your partner.
As you can see, nothing is impossible. Roof gardens can be transformed, from an empty, unused paved area into a city oasis, just like this one from the beginning of the story. You can turn the roof gardens into anything you want, a place for solitude or a place for nightlife, either day or night, summer or winter. Refer to find suitable flower pots, plants, and all the other things that will be part of your imaginary dream at the top of the building to the pride of all those who will use it, with or without bubbles.
TEXT & PHOTO – Iva Tominović Matas