What to Consider Before Planting a Rooftop Garden

This time of year, few people in the New York City area think about landscape design. But just because it’s cold outside now doesn’t mean you can’t look ahead to next spring. Can you imagine having your own urban oasis when the weather warms up? Maybe you’re thinking, “That sounds great and all, but I just don’t have the room for that in my current space.” Into the picture comes a rooftop garden. For those in NYC, rooftop gardens are becoming more and more popular. Here are just a few reasons why you may be considering a rooftop garden in the near future:

  • It makes use of underused space

  • It creates beauty

  • It provides much-needed privacy

Now is the ideal time to start planning your rooftop garden. While you brainstorm ideas, be sure to take the following into account:

  1. Permission – Your landlord and/or building code may have something to say about a revamped landscape design. Accessibility, building height restrictions, and fire regulations all factor in what you can and cannot do. That’s why it’s imperative to double-check prior to getting too far into the process.

  2. Structure – From potted plants to custom decks and benches, the possibilities are endless when it comes to rooftop gardens. With that in mind, make sure the structure can hold it all. As plants grow, soil and pots will only get heavier. Once your plans have been approved, get in touch with an experienced contractor to test the structural integrity.

  3. Access – It’s been determined that the roof can, in fact, hold everything you’re ready to put in place. Now what? Well, you need to determine how you’re going to get everything in and out of the building. Depending on how many materials you have, you may run into an issue. Some municipalities require access to multiple exits. There are also potential fire alarms and emergency lighting to deal with. Again, double-check with your landlord/building code with this step.

  4. Water – Let’s say you live on the second floor of a 12-floor complex. Do you really want to spend your time filling up watering cans over and over just to manage those plants? If possible, consider installing drip irrigation systems. At Amber Freda Landscape Design, we can easily install drip irrigation that delivers precise amounts of water to your plants in a way that maximizes their longevity. Drip irrigation makes for an affordable way to keep your rooftop garden looking incredible, even throughout the hot summer months.

  5. Mother Nature – Because of where we live, you can’t really expect to leave your plants alone and expect them to thrive. From the sweltering heat to ambient heat being reflected from other areas, what you grow will take a beating from Mother Nature. Throw in the wind and rain and you could be facing trouble in a hurry. Do what you can to protect your garden as much as possible.

  6. Privacy – As aforementioned, folks appreciate rooftop gardens because they provided much-needed privacy. You may want to plan for screening, however, if your garden will be in full view by neighbors. Depending on your budget, you may choose to plant a hedge of evergreens to actually keep your garden from being seen by everyone.

  7. Storage – Do you plan on tending your own garden? Then you will likely need tools, fertilizer, compost, buckets, etc. Of course, space is likely to be extremely limited with a rooftop garden. It’s a good idea to consider shelves, narrow closets, or bench seating with built-in storage.

  8. Cost – This is the biggest one of the bunch. How much are you willing to spend? It could be that you start small with just a few potted plants. Eventually, maybe you move toward furniture, a pergola, or even an outdoor kitchen. As the ideas come to mind, remember to run them past the landlord/building code.

Unmatched Landscape Design

We are more than the typical landscaping company. Rather than focus on mowing lawns or hardscaping, we specialize in custom garden design. For more than a decade, Amber Freda has been creating some of the best garden designs in Manhattan and throughout NYC. We truly believe that in a land of concrete and steel, the garden layouts we create are some of the most treasured green spaces on the planet. Amber Freda Landscape Design services include:

  • On-site consultation

  • Garden landscaping design

  • Professional installation

  • Drip irrigation

  • Landscape lighting

  • Ongoing tending and maintenance

Rest assured that Amber will personally oversee the design of every project from start to finish. Never will we hand over a task to a third party or subcontractor. The expectations our rooftop garden designer has allows us to offer clients with an aesthetic that feels like a seamless and natural extension of their homes. Because of this, we can capture personality and style with ease.

See what Amber can do for you. Call now to schedule a consultation.