These blog posts are produced by James Scott, Garden Company MD and Principal Designer:
'Creating beautiful outdoor spaces for people to enjoy is very rewarding. The purpose of this blog is for me to share some reflections on our work and our industry with you. Your comments and views in return are very welcome indeed'.
Over the years I have created many rooftop gardens for clients living in urban settings in London, Hertfordshire and Buckinghamshire. I am always keen to make sure that the end-result fulfils its potential by adding another dimension of beautiful green space to the client’s property – which may serve as a quiet retreat (from the busy family home) and/or a place to entertain friends and family too. The specific benefits of a lovely rooftop garden are many and varied, including:
- Improving the home’s appearance and enhancing property value
- Reducing air pollution, storm water run-off, flooding and water pollution
- Improving and increasing the green living space at home without additional land costs
- Opportunity to use the space for food production, vegetable gardening etc
- Attracting wildlife to an otherwise barren space
Of course, every location is different but it is possible to generalise a little and – based on experience – here are my top design tips for creating a beautiful rooftop garden:
- Makes sure you have good screening from the prevailing wind. Glass screens can be a good way to do this without obstructing the view. Remember though that solid barriers can create wind turbulence, consider using strong grasses as well.
- Choose plants that are known to grow well at the seaside as they will probably endure the exposure well (but remember they may be less frost tolerant)
- Don’t be afraid to have wide borders so you can still feel surrounded by planting. If space allows small trees such as Amalanchier can be great for adding atmosphere and attracting wildlife.
- Consult a structural engineer to ascertain the load bearing capacity of your roof space.
If your home property is suitable for a rooftop garden, why not give it some thought? If you are in North London or the South-East we would be pleased to help you to think this through – give us a call on 01442 832666 or email me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org
Love Parks Week (www.loveparks.org) is the UK’s largest celebration of parks and green spaces, taking place this year from 24 July. It has one simple aim: to encourage people to visit, enjoy and take pride in their local parks and green spaces, driving the message that our parks and green spaces are essential to healthy, happy and strong communities.
What’s your favourite public park? We’ve been asking ourselves the same question in the office this week and had to restrict ourselves to London parks to arrive at this shortlist of our most-loved spaces …
1 Hampstead Heath in North London for its amazing views, landscapes and wildlife habitats. It is one of London’s best places for wildlife and features a number of priority species identified in the UK Biodiversity Action Plan.
2 Richmond Park offers wonderful woodland gardens and grasslands and is a major UK site for ancient trees, particularly oaks, which have huge significance historically and also for our wildlife.
3 Green Park – the smallest of London’s 8 Royal Parks – I often have meetings in central London in my role as a Council Member for The Society of Garden Designers. Whenever possible I get off a tube stop early so I can wander through this lovely park. It provides a peaceful haven for people living, working or visiting central London. It’s perfect for picnics at this time of year or just a relaxing space for walks between appointments!
We are so lucky to have so many beautiful parks in the UK … if you have a favourite one near where you are, why not make time to visit it sometime soon? At this time of year, you will see one of the greatest displays of colours you’ll have the opportunity to enjoy all year.
And if you are based in London or the South-East and want any ideas to improve your own green space at home then give us a call on 01442 832666.