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.

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