5 Landscaping Trends | 3: Rooftop Gardens

Most of our roofs in Bahrain are underutilized. At best, they are those spaces onto which we install air-conditioning units, water heaters and tanks. They are spaces that we rarely visit, unless something goes wrong with one or more of those services that is.

It’s a situation that is actually understandable, what with the extreme temperatures we have to contend with. Temperatures closing in on 50 degrees Celsius in the summer are no joke! Why would anyone venture on roofs?

So the problems that our roofs present us include: an inhospitable environment due to high temperatures through most of the year and underutilized space which is prioritized for home support systems.

We need a solution that will essentially make that roof space more welcoming.

The ready solution to correct this situation is to create a garden on the roof! With an established garden, you will reduce the ambient temperature due to the presence of plants and moisture. You will have also very essentially reduced the overall temperature of the house itself and with that, reduce your energy bills. The trees, shrubs and grasses will provide shade and invite feathered friends and beneficial insects into the space. And et voila! You will have made a space that is very welcoming for you, your family and friends to enjoy throughout the year. 

Now, Imagine the time you can spend in your rooftop Haven in the early evening breeze amongst plants, enjoying a glass of tea while watching the sun going down?

Sounds enticing? You bet!

Apart from the aesthetics and tranquility such a rooftop garden offers, it also receives the most sun (and rain, if and when it happens) in the house, therefore it’s naturally the ideal location for your agricultural efforts. Take the opportunity to grow some easy crops like fruit and vegetables in raised planters on your rooftop.

Now that the roof is green, cool and a beautiful place to while away the time, it naturally becomes a welcoming space to greet family and friends. Add a BBQ and you have most of the components of a fantastic friendly get-together.

Another benefit of rooftop gardens is the appreciation of the price of the property. That wow factor will add a sizable amount to the property’s value.

So go ahead and start your planting efforts on your roof. You don’t need to go all in at once. Start small and grow (pun intended) from there. Start with easy crops like tomatoes, cucumbers, herbs and the like. Just install a hose pipe for watering your crops and off you go.

But before you do that though, it’s important to ascertain that your building’s structure can handle the extra weight of planters, soil and other material and also make sure that the water proofing is good too. The last thing you want to do is dismantle a part of the new garden to re-do your water proofing. Check with your home’s builder or engineer to make sure that it’s okay to go ahead with this scheme.

Once you do get the go-ahead, use light-weight material anyway like plastic planters and pots, mix vermiculite with your compost and soil to reduce weight, and put in some styrofoam at the bottom third of your planters to reduce the weight even further.

There are various other structures you can install on your roof to beauty the place up and provide practical shade as well; pergolas, awnings and shades are ideal for this. Costs vary widely though so you’ll have to shop around to get a solution that is within your budget. Talk to us if you’re interested as we provide these items too.

Do you use your roof for planting? Please share your pictures with us so we can feature your efforts. Please email them to hello@gardenaffairs.me

Happy planting!

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