Forum home Garden design

Untidy but well stocked roof terrace

At my apartment that I visit every couple of months there is a large 4m x 7m roof terrace ... all set out in a contemporary way with pavers and glass walls.  The previous owner filled the space with round pots, mostly large plastic ones but also lots of half barrels - all told about 50.   These pots were full of various plants - each one had some lilies, some spring bulbs, all sorts.  There are 3 or 4 cordylines, a couple of bamboos, an olive, 2 bay trees ... the list goes on.  I've gamely tried to carry on with this and installed a watering system but really it just looks a mess.  These are all mature and lovely plants on their own but I need some ideas about layout and the best use of what I've gotimage.image




  • Is there actually anywhere to sit on that patio?  I'd take care of that first, if you aren't using it it behaves more like a garden centre than a patio and just consumes your time!

    These posts are hard to answer because they're so subjective.  If it were me I think it might be nice to just simplify it all; reduce significantly the variety (and amount) you have and then increase the number of a couple of complementary varieties.  I love Olive trees for their foliage so I might increase those and the bay trees complement them well (obviously swap out if you prefer others) and both are low maintenance.  If you're there infrequently I doubt you need much in the way of flowers as the view and the foliage should keep you occupied but maybe something evening scented would finish the job.

    Hopefully that helps, but if not my then advice is "start again".

    Good luck.

  • Hostafan1Hostafan1 Posts: 34,739

    If it were mine,I'd aim to have built in "beds" to minimise the number of pots. ( all that individual watering!!) 

  • Thank you both,

    The idea it behaves more like a garden centre is absolutely right.  There is a table and chairs but they don't command their own space which perhaps they should.  Also reducing the flowers would help - we always seem to miss them when in bloom, anyway!

    It would be lovely to build in beds but sadly our management company does not allow permanent structures on the roof terraces.

    You've both given me food for thought which was exactly what I needed.

  • Hostafan1Hostafan1 Posts: 34,739

    How about some bigger "boxes" which can be placed side by side? Would they consider that "permanent"?

    If they have bottoms, surely you could say they're not fixed into place , and ,as such, temporary?

    I know dealing with committee is often a nightmare, but good luck.

  • Bigger boxes would be great, and if they were on 'wheels/castors' there's no way they could be considered permanent is there? 

    Gardening in Central Norfolk on improved gritty moraine over chalk ... free-draining.

  • Dove and Hostafan,  you are right!  It's great to have thoughts from outside ... I'm too close and overwhelmed but the scale of the task!


  • ClaringtonClarington Posts: 4,949

    This is a company I pulled off the internet at random. They make large wooden planters (so you could get two plants in, plus mulch to knock down the watering, being wood and being the type you could affix legs / wheels too I see no reason why this is any more permanent than a pot to please the committee.

    I like the ideas of wheels: it would allow you too, should you choose, move the plants so that YOU get the maximum sunlight / privacy as it requires.

    Definitely get the whole using it as an area to get out and enjoy yourselves though! It looks a decent sized space it would be awful for it to be so full you don't get to use it!

  • image

    Thank you so much ... Wheels may well be the way to go .... I was thinking big planters would be too heavy to move if/when workmen need access to the outside of the building. For doing the garden housework behind planters as well, they would make that easier!  You wouldn't believe the mess that the wind drives behind pots!  You are right about using it, too

    I am sitting out here with my coffee right now and thinking of the dauntng job ahead - it will have to be bit by bit.

    Here's a pic

  • Thank you all, I have got loads of ideas now and am starting on them as I write. 

    Thanks again.

  • Hostafan1Hostafan1 Posts: 34,739

    glad to have been of help. 

    Don't forget to let us see the " after" photos. 

    Have fun with it.

Sign In or Register to comment.