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Having access to a relaxing garden space is a great way to reduce stress, take better care of your mental health and spend more time outdoors. However, this is not always possible, especially if you live in a busy inner-city area when traditional gardens are few and far between. That being said, there are plenty of steps you can take to turn usual outdoor spaces – such as your empty rooftop – into a thriving garden. 

Photo by Jenna Beekhuis on Unsplash

With that in mind, here are some tips you can use to turn your empty rooftop into an outdoor space that you’ll actually enjoy and use. 

  • To begin with, ensure your rooftop is safe to use and that you are allowed to set up a garden there. For example, this may not always be possible in rented properties without first getting permission from your landlord. 
  • Kick off the gardening process by seeking out some inspiration. For example, you could check out the work of landscape designers such as Amber Freda, who have successfully carried out similar projects in the past – turning an empty space into a flourishing garden in the sky. 
  • Think carefully about the plants that you set up in your garden. For example, they will likely receive high amounts of sun exposure and very little shade. Typically, plants such as aloes and cacti thrive in these environments, but there are plenty of other options available to you too. You should also ensure that you know how to take care of your garden
  • Purchase plenty of planters and garden boxes to feature your plants and flowers in. This will help give your garden a more cohesive feel than hundreds of different pots, and you can even paint them to bring even more colour to your garden. 
  • Create a ‘shady’ area for you to enjoy when the sun is shining bright. This means that you will have a comfortable place to sit, read or host gatherings where you won’t be directly under the glare of the sun. For example, you could set up a parasol, canopy or Sunhouse. 
  • Due to the heat and prolonged exposure to sunlight, your plans will require plenty of water. Ideally, you should check whether or not your roof has easy water access ahead of time (for example, could you install a hose here?) If not, you need to be prepared to put your muscles to the test by carrying your watering can up and down your stairs several times a day. 
  • Set aside a small section of your roof to dedicate to an edible garden. For example, you could grow a variety of fruits and vegetables – such as onions, tomatoes and potatoes – which is not only a fun challenge but also a great way to cut down on your grocery bills and save money. 
  • Remember that your garden can look however you want it to look. For example, you don’t need to follow a neat, traditional and uniformed style if you’d prefer things to look a little more wild and natural! 
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