How to Create a Whimsical Rooftop Garden

roof garden

If you have a rooftop that you want to transform into a comforting and relaxing space, then building a rooftop garden is a perfect choice for you. There are several important factors you need to take into account before you start and we are here to help you with some useful tips and tricks on how to do so. 

Keep it open

Firstly, how you organize your rooftop garden is very important. If you want your small or medium-sized rooftop garden to appear larger, you need to keep it open. For instance, to make space appear bigger than it is, you can implement a lot of transparent glass material instead of using a parapet wall. You can also implement fences and railings or you can make a hedge around the border of your rooftop. On the other hand, if you want to create a sense of privacy on your rooftop garden, avoid this design since it’s very open and doesn’t hide anything.

Grow tall plants and trees

In case you have a large rooftop or you’re not satisfied with the view you have from your rooftop, there is a way for you to fix that. One of the best ways to go about it is to grow tall plants and trees. Bamboos and grasses make a great combination if you want to have plants that require low levels of maintenance. However, if you don’t care about that factor, you can pretty much grow whatever you want. Your options are endless. You can plant trees and shrubs. Also, this tip is great for those who want to create a very private and intimate atmosphere in their rooftop garden. These plants and trees will block the view of your garden and make you feel extra cosy in your relaxing space. 

Create raised beds

If your roof supports it, you can create raised beds on your rooftop garden. There are plenty of different materials you can choose from. You can go for the classic material such as wood, or you can choose anything else that you think may go well with your aesthetic. Apart from that, you can also choose to go for the concrete raised beds. People mostly choose to make 2 feet deep and wide concrete raised beds. That way, there is enough room for you to grow even some taller trees and shrubs. Also, you can grow plants that are easily controlled with regular maintenance, root trimming, and pruning. 

Just makes sure you use a waterproofing membrane and make a thick layer of a root barrier if you decide to go for raised beds. This way, you are ensuring that roots are properly blocked and that your roof is protected from possible damage. You can also choose to make raised beds that are slightly elevated from the surface of your roof. By doing so, you are making sure that your raised beds and plants inside are not touching the surface, therefore, preventing any possible damage happening to the roof. 

Plant carefully

You need to be careful about how you plant your plants and which ones you plant. In regards to your rooftop garden design, you should aim to maintain diversity when it comes to the type and size of the plants that you grow. It’s best to combine a few different plants on your rooftop. You can plant a few larger plants and trees, maintain a few ground covers, and make sure you have annuals as well. That’s why you also need to purchase containers of different sizes so that all of your plants can fit in nicely. 

roof top garden

Choosing your plants

Before you start working on your rooftop garden, you need to determine exactly what kind of plants you want to grow. This is important for several different reasons. Firstly, you need to think of the aesthetics you want to achieve. You need to decide whether you want to have large or small plants, or maybe a combination of both. Do you want to create a darker or lighter space? Think of how the plants you want can fit into your space. Do you want a little bit of everything scattered around your rooftop, or do you want to focus all of your plants on one side of the rooftop? Then, think of your space and how you can use it to create a garden. Does your rooftop have enough space for larger plants and trees? These are just some of the questions you need to ask yourself. 

Apart from that, you need to determine how much time and effort you actually can put into taking care of these plants. If you run on a tight schedule and are generally a busy person, then you should probably opt for growing some low maintenance plants that don’t require that much care from you apart from watering and sun exposure. On the other hand, if you have time to take care of your plants, you can get pretty much anything. Think of your location as well and how much sun exposure you get throughout the day. If you live somewhere where the sky is usually cloudy and not much sunlight comes through, maybe you shouldn’t get plants that require a lot of sunlight.

Take good care of your plants

Once you start growing your plants, you need to take good care of them. Your job is not done when you plant them. You need the right garden equipment, good soil, and a lot of nutrients for your plants to stay healthy. Most of the plants will essentially need water and sunlight. Some of them thrive in more shadowed and succulent environments, so if you get any of those, make sure you provide the right conditions for them.  Water your plants regularly, feed them with the nutrients they need and give them the amount of sunlight they need in order to grow. That’s all. 


Creating a rooftop garden is not just about planting trees and plants. You need to think of the whole design and all of the things that will turn your space into a relaxing garden you can enjoy with your friends and family. You need to find a way to implement furniture that will go well with the aesthetics of the garden that you imagined. Apart from that, think of what the function of this space will be. Do you want to place comfy lazy bags and sofa around paired with a nice coffee table where you and your friends can spend evenings together just chatting and drinking some coffee? Do you want to have a table suitable for fancy dinner nights? Think about what you prefer and then choose the furniture according to that. You have to make this decision in the initial stage if you want your design to be cohesive and put together.

Also, think about the colour scheme and what effect you want to achieve. Think about the colours you want to mix and match and what combination will look good paired with your plants and trees. You can make the colours match or you can make strong contrast. 

Add a focal point

Adding a focal point in your garden can really make the whole space look so put together. You can use pretty much anything as a focal point. Anything that draws attention and stands out is a good focal point. You can add a water feature like a small fountain, or a tall tree that stands out from the rest of your plants. You can also use a piece of furniture that stands out with its vibrant colours. If you want to go a little overboard, you can place a statue in your garden. 

The lighting matters

The lighting you use to brighten up space during evenings can do so much for your space. You can light up the whole space, maybe even in different colours. You can strategically place small sources of light around the place. You can use fairy lights as your main source of light. All of these can create a very intimate and cosy atmosphere during the evening when you want to spend some time with your friends, family, or partner in your garden. 

Use no more than three colours

If you want a minimalistic design, opt for three colours. Use one as an accent colour, and the other two that add dimension to space. Mix these three colours for your floor, walls, railing, furniture, and containers. If you put way too many different colours, your rooftop will appear messy and cluttered. You want to create an illusion of an open and cohesive space. To achieve this effect go for neutral colours such as grey, white, beige, indigo, and black. 

wall garden

Utilize vertical space

To add more space in your garden, try to utilize vertical space too. You can achieve this by hanging planters on the walls. Use your railing planters and plant a lot of climbers. This will create an illusion of a bigger space and your garden will look very organised yet wild at the same time.

A nice floor is important

The flooring is also very important, so don’t skip that part. Look for the type of flooring that suits the climate of the place you live in and make sure that the design of the floor fits well with the design of the whole garden.


All things considered, there are a few factors you need to take into consideration when creating a rooftop garden. You need to think of the design you want to create, the plants you want to grow, and how to put everything together. These tips and tricks will help you out with the details.