Gardening on balcony or rooftop (Google / The Guardian)

Read at :

http://www.guardian.co.uk/lifeandstyle/2012/feb/17/balcony-gardening-rooftop-garden-ideas?newsfeed=true

Balcony gardening and rooftop garden ideas

How to design and plant a tiny balcony or rooftop garden, plus a simple herb project to get you started

Isabelle Palmer

Essentials before you begin Before designing and planting a balcony or rooftop garden, think about the style you’d prefer, how often you’ll entertain there, and whether you want to grow vegetables or herbs. Most importantly, consider how much time you will be able to give to maintaining your urban oasis.

First, it’s essential to ask a qualified architect or structural engineer how much weight your roof can take, and whether you need planning permission. You’ll also have to ascertain whether your balcony or roof garden is waterproof. This may sound strict, but it’s worth following the correct regulations initially to avoid paying for any damage if, say, you flood your home or the roof or balcony collapses under the weight of heavy containers. Ideally, position containers on the perimeter of a balcony or roof garden, near load-bearing walls or over a load-bearing beam or joist.

Then you can give some thought to the plants that will thrive there, as well as how you want to use your new outdoor space. Follow a few simple guidelines, and your garden should flourish.

Be selective Choose containers that create focal points and spend money on a couple of larger containers rather than on lots of smaller ones – too many plants or ornaments make a small space look overcrowded.

Think about light

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Published by

Willem Van Cotthem

Honorary Professor of Botany, University of Ghent (Belgium). Scientific Consultant for Desertification and Sustainable Development.