Terrace garden: Questions to ask before you start

Living in a big city has a lot of advantages – it’s urban, you have easy access to almost everything you need – education, work, shopping, entertainment, etc. For the most part, city life is amazing! However, living in urban area brings you more noise, many people on the streets, and most importantly – pollution. It’s natural to have the need for your own place of peace and quiet time. Terrace gardens are the perfect way to bring nature back to the world of apartment buildings and traffic jams. However, starting a garden, no matter how satisfying, is never simple. That’s why we’ve prepared the most important questions to ask before you start a terrace garden.

Does your building allow having a terrace garden?

Before you make any plans and start dreaming about a perfect terrace garden, you need to check the basics. The most important question to ask before you start a terrace garden is if it’s allowed to have one in your building. Some buildings have very strict rules about this, so we recommend checking with them before making any plans.

Terrace Garden

Figure 1 One of the most important questions to ask before you start a terrace garden is about the rules of your building alt.tag: a building rooftop terrace

What’s the size of the terrace space?

One of the most important questions to ask before you start a terrace garden is related to the size of the space you’re about to convert into a beautiful, peaceful oasis. However, when it comes to beautiful terrace gardens, you don’t think only about the floor size. Think ‘vertically’, too. There are some amazing things you can do by hanging your plants on a wall or creating special shelves for them. All in all, you should think about how much space you actually have, so you can make a plan for what items and plants will fit. 

Extra tip: If the space you want to convert into a terrace garden is in some way special and difficult to plan, be sure to contact the professionals. It’s best to hire an experienced designer to make a special garden design just for your space. Some spaces require particular planning and dedication, which is often not possible to do by yourself. 

Is it safe?

Creating a terrace garden includes bringing a lot of soil, pots, water, etc. to your roof. These get pretty heavy, so it’s important to check the safety of the terrace space and ability to hold all that weight. You also need to think about how you are going to water your plants. The safest solution is provided by professional landscape design companies – they install a drip irrigation system that brings just enough water to your plants, which maximizes the efficiency and safety of your terrace garden.

Terrace Garden

Figure 2 With a safe irrigation system, watering won’t be one of the troublesome questions to ask before you start a terrace garden alt.tag: a girl watering plants

Weather-related questions to ask before you start a terrace garden

Picking flowers and other plants for your terrace garden can’t be done randomly. If you don’t consider the weather conditions your plants will have, buying and planting them might be just a waste of your time and money. Before you start growing your plants, read our beginner gardening guide but also check the weather conditions on your terrace. Here are the questions to ask before you start a terrace garden that will help you chose the plants you can grow there:

How much sun does your terrace garden get during the day?

Sunny spaces are great, but if your terrace garden is completely in the sun, or in the shade, it can narrow the list of plants you can grow. You can easily measure this by using a sunlight calculator tool, but be sure to consider all times of the day and all seasons, as the sun position will change throughout the year.

How much wind does your terrace garden get?

Another thing to consider when choosing the right plants for your garden is the wind your terrace space gets. Some plants don’t do well in high winds, especially those with large leaves (like elephant ears) that can easily get shredded up in the wind.

Is it too hot/cold?

Depending on the season, some terrace gardens get very hot or cold, which can kill more sensitive plant varieties. So, if you plan on growing your plants all year round, check the highest/lowest temperatures appropriate to each plant variety.

Terrace Garden

Figure 3 Before you purchase any plants, check the weather conditions on your terrace garden

Do you have enough money?

Budget is one of the most common questions people will want to explore before starting a terrace garden. They are afraid it will require a lot of money to start and maintain that terrace space. Good news is – you can do it according to your budget. You can do anything from a luxurious terrace garden to an affordable, yet relaxing and cozy, space you can enjoy. 

Do you have the time to take care of your terrace garden?

It’s nice to have a place where you can spend some quiet time, and even grow food. However, it takes some of your free time to maintain your garden properly. So, ask yourself, do you have enough free time to commit to taking care of your plants. Another issue is moving. People who frequently move for work find it difficult to grow plants for a longer period of time. So, ask yourself if you have around a ½ hour to an hour each week to spend caring for your garden.  If you don’t have that kind of free time, you may want to consider hiring someone else to maintain it for you. Gardens with an irrigation system are a big time saver. If you can’t install one, you may find you need to water the plants by hand, which could take ½ hour to an hour each day, on average.

Need to move?

If you are thinking about your new terrace garden because you are about to move into a new, bigger apartment – be sure to do it right. Save yourself time and energy you would spend on packing and carrying heavy boxes – a moving company can do it for you. Hiring professionals such as Divine Moving and Storage NYC enables you to have some extra time you can spend planning your new apartment and terrace garden design.


Terrace gardens are meant for you to enjoy your free time. That’s why you shouldn’t stress about designing it. Hire a professional to take care of it for you, and give yourself the gift of relaxing in your beautiful new terrace garden in no time!