Monthly Archives: May 2017

Hope House in June

The front door flanked by a pair of variegated standard hollies with Euphorbia mellifera, The Honey Spurge by the garden wall and the Kiwi, Actinidia deliciosa taking over the house wall. Hope House, Caistor, Lincolnshire, UK - © Lee Beel/GAP Photos

The front door flanked by a pair of variegated standard hollies with Euphorbia mellifera, The Honey Spurge by the garden wall and the Kiwi, Actinidia deliciosa taking over the house wall. Hope House, Caistor, Lincolnshire, UK – © Lee Beel/GAP Photos

A country garden in an attractive historic town in the heart of the Lincolnshire Wolds. Small walled garden attached to an interesting Georgian house.

The Box parterre with Lonicera japonica Aureoreticulata - Japanese Honeysuckle. Hope House, Caistor, Lincolnshire, UK - © Lee Beel/GAP Photos

The Box parterre with Lonicera japonica Aureoreticulata – Japanese Honeysuckle. Hope House, Caistor, Lincolnshire, UK – © Lee Beel/GAP Photos

Roses, perennials, shrubs, trees, fruit and a small raised vegetable area. Wildlife pond and formal water trough in the dining area. Year-round colour and interest in a tranquil space created by its garden designer owner.

To view the garden feature in full, click here.

Designing your own garden: garden planners and roof plants by Chris Lundahl

Rose Gray's Rooftop Garden - © Sarah Cuttle/GAP Photos

Rose Gray’s Rooftop Garden – © Sarah Cuttle/GAP Photos

Are you in need of a relaxing hobby, an outlet for all the frustrations of the modern-day busy life? Do you feel the need to create something with your own hands? If your answer is yes, then think about gardening. It’s time to get your hands dirty and create your own garden.

There are many possibilities when it comes to planning a garden nowadays. You can create one practically anywhere, outdoors or indoors, and there are so many things you can plant. Follow these few simple steps and you will have your own little oasis in no time.

  • Choose a place for your garden, with enough sun exposure and access to water
  • Decide what to grow (plants, flowers, vegetables, herbs) and learn how
  • Design your garden – arrange your plants, maybe choose a theme, color scheme or style of plants
  • Make sure you have some of the basic tools such as gloves, trowel, spade etc.
  • Maintenance is the key if you want your garden to last and grow – work in it regularly, learn the rhythm of your plants, stay ahead of problems and enjoy the fruits of your work


Useful tips

If you are not one of those who love to do it the old fashioned way, all you need is the internet or a simple mobile app. You can also go online and follow the instructions.

When it comes to choosing what to grow, many say that it is easier to have a flower garden as opposed to a vegetable garden. Vegetable gardens are more complicated than flower gardens. For starters, you have to replant them every year. There are many pests and animals who enjoy vegetables as much as you do. And most vegetable plants are annuals and will not recover if neglected.

For those living in urban areas, with little or no access to land, or without their own backyards, there is rooftop gardening. It is a relatively new and modern type of gardening, with many different benefits. From energy savings to the simple pleasures of having a garden in the middle of an urban area, green roofs are becoming more and more popular.
If you want to enjoy your rooftop garden then you should carefully choose your plants. Not any plant would survive the extreme exposure to the elements up there on the rooftop. Some of your best options would be succulents (such as cacti), sedums (such as biting stonecrop), or some wildflowers (aster, yarrow, or sea thrift). And if you want to add some more color, you can also plant daylilies and lavender.

Whichever way you choose to go with your garden, make sure it is the best way for you, your needs and possibilities.

BIO:
Chris is a home improvement writer working for Arizona Roofing Systems. He promotes sustainable living, particularly green roofing and solar energy.

Rooftop Gardens – Inspiration and DIY Tips

I love the idea of the roofs I expertly craft becoming cleverly utilized spaces of lush foliage. Most rooftop gardens are beautifully sculpted havens of greenery framed by the backdrop of a grey urban environment. The Kensington Rooftop Gardens are no exception.

View of The Spanish Garden at The Roof Gardens, Kensington with city beyond - © Richard Bloom/GAP Photos

View of The Spanish Garden at The Roof Gardens, Kensington with city beyond – © Richard Bloom/GAP Photos

Kensington Roof GardensA must see on any gardeners visit to London

1 and a half acres of carefully maintained rooftop gardens are open to the public, complete with exotic ducks and flamingos. Here’s what to expect at the 3 Kensington Rooftop Gardens:

The Spanish Gardens are a Mediterranean paradise with running streams, exotic flowers and Chusan palm trees. It’s vibrant and colourful, with only the tops of the trees being visible from the busy high-street below.

All 3 Kensington Rooftop Gardens invite you into a quiet secluded world, none more so than the Tudor garden. A maze of old brick walls covered in vines, scented with lavender and roses. I admire the architecture of the roof, intelligently designed to withstand the weight.

The English Woodland rooftop garden is home to over 100 species of trees: it’s amazing how a rooftop can be home to such diversity. Cared for by professional gardeners, it’s hard not to be inspired by these havens.

It’s incredible when think that all this is located in a busy city! When you leave the Kensington Rooftops you may be inspired to plan your own rooftop garden. With a strong, well-built, flat roof the possibilities are endless…

'Living' flat roof in Bath - July - © Charles Hawes/GAP Photos

‘Living’ flat roof in Bath – July – © Charles Hawes/GAP Photos

Domestic Roof GardensConsiderations and Professional Help

Modern techniques to create lightweight gardens are continuously being developed and as time goes by, the demand for domestic installations will increase. A trend we have noticed at Findley’s is homeowners attempting their own installation and causing damage to their roof structure. It’s important to know what you’re doing and when to involve professionals when creating your own rooftop garden.

Before you start, there are things you need to check: firstly, if you don’t own the property, do you have permission to use the roof? Next you need to ensure that your roof has the structural integrity to withstand a garden: the stronger it is, the more garden you can have (plant pots can be incredibly heavy).

It’s a good idea to involve a professional before you start, so they can evaluate your roof and let you know what it’s suitable for. If you’re looking to create a lavish roof garden (more than pot plants and garden furniture) then I suggest hiring a professional. When you start introducing large areas of soil or deep rooted plants you’ll need an expert to modify the roof to be structurally sound, drain water properly and meet safety regulations.

Flat roofs are most suitable for rooftop gardens, whether that’s one large roof or several smaller roofs turned into linked garden areas on different levels. From my experience, creating unique ‘Grand Design’ roof gardens in tricky locations is possible but not easy – not something to undertake yourself.

Your rooftop garden could be as elegant as the Kensington Tudor Rooftop Garden itself, or as low maintenance as a wild meadow. You could opt for a practical food garden, full of growing fruit and veg, or you might be more inclined to a roof top patio with collections of beautiful flowers in brightly coloured plant pots.

With the right builder, any rooftop garden is possible! What innovative creation are you going to dream up for your unused roof space?

Rose Gray's Rooftop Garden - © Sarah Cuttle/GAP Photos

Rose Gray’s Rooftop Garden – © Sarah Cuttle/GAP Photos