Do you live in a penthouse with the option of building a terrace on the roof? Then, you need to take the opportunity for rooftop landscaping to give you green space to relax and entertain.
Rooftop Landscaping 101
What is penthouse landscaping?
Simply put, it’s an outdoor living space on the roof of your penthouse. Your rooftop garden can include trees, vines, container plants, a garden wall, an outdoor kitchen, and an outdoor living room with a TV.
You can separate the outdoor rooms with planters, dividers, fencing, seat walls, and container plants. Add a pergola or a sail awning for sun protection.
Since your penthouse landscaping will be in the DC Metro Area, making it close to other buildings and views, you can add plant screens and walls for some green and privacy.
Plant walls, also called living walls, green walls, and vertical gardens, are plant cells within a structure that anchor onto an exterior wall.
Your vertical garden can include:
- Heuchera (coral bells)
- Small vine plants, such as strawberries and ivy-leaved geraniums
Your outdoor living spaces in Alexandria, VA, should highlight the colors and textures you love. Include upholstered, weather-resistant furniture, brightly colored pillows, outdoor rugs, and storage cabinetry.
Read more: Must Have Fall Gardening Ideas
While you may not have ample space for landscaping in Alexandria, VA, you need to think vertically with your garden design.
Plant trees, shrubs, ornamental grasses, and flowers in containers. Artificial turf can be used for a play area, and an outdoor kitchen can be condensed into a bar area with a sink, refrigeration, and some counter space.
Your living area may combine into a dining space with a fire table in the middle. And you can make your rooftop landscaping cozy for the fall with a gas fireplace or fire pit.
The Benefits of a Rooftop Garden
Life in the city is hectic. Apartment living can feel cut off from the natural world. You also need a place to unwind that’s not inside your living space.
Your terrace or rooftop garden adds another room to your home and provides a place to escape when you need to see beyond the city limits.
Your rooftop terrace also provides an outdoor space for entertaining. An outdoor kitchen and living space allow you to entertain anytime from early spring to late fall.
In August, the days are getting shorter the closer to fall we get, so you want to add landscape lighting to your garden design. Uplighting, moonlighting, and downlighting allow you and your friends to enjoy the crisp fall air well into November and beyond.
What about the flooring? While you won’t have the typical pavers that a home patio would have, you want wood or porcelain decking, which is lighter and more durable.
How to Create & Manage a Rooftop Garden
Now’s the time to contact your landscaping company in Alexandria, VA, to meet with you about designing your rooftop terrace. Google “landscape designers near me” and look for landscaping services that will complete the entire project from design to installation.
Learn more: Designing and Planting Your Window Boxes and Containers
You’ll also need to know that your penthouse landscaping will include workers going in and out of your apartment with hardscapes, plant media, and other landscaping materials.
If you want your rooftop garden to be finished in time for Labor Day, you need to consider what plants will be appropriate going into fall and winter. Ornamental trees and shrubs, such as yews, pines, and other evergreens, can be planted in large containers.
Think about focal points from inside your penthouse looking outside during gray days. What do you want to see?
Here are fall ideas for landscaping in Alexandria, VA:
- Daytime rooftop temperatures can still be hot even in September and October, so you want to consider plants that can handle the heat, including sedums, succulents, basil, lavender, and marigolds.
- Grow fall vegetables in containers, including arugula, lettuce, kale, Swiss chard, dill, and carrots for a fall garden. The hot sun during the day and the cooler temperatures at night will make these vegetables tasty at harvest time.
- Plant Japanese maples, conifers, junipers, and pines for the fall and winter. Ensure that you include drip irrigation in these pots because these plants will need regular and deep watering on the hot and windy rooftop.
- Include spireas, hydrangeas, and dogwood trees in your fall planting design. These shrubs and trees will adapt better in the fall and provide spring color the following year.
When you work with us at Campbell and Ferrara, you can enjoy your rooftop landscaping this fall. We provide complete landscaping services from design to installation for your rooftop terrace. Call us today at 703-705-7892 or fill out our contact form.
Campbell and Ferrara provides landscape design/build services and a retail garden center for homeowners living in Alexandria, Annandale, Arlington, Fairfax, Falls Church, Mount Vernon, and Springfield, Virginia.
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Ibid, Rooftop Garden Checklist.
Ibid, Rooftop Garden Guide
HomesandGardens.com, Living Wall Ideas—Creative Ways to Plant a Green Wall Garden.
LoveYourLandscape.org, Create a Lush Rooftop Terrace with These 9 Design Tricks.
PlantersEtcetera.com, Plants for Rooftop Gardens: A Complete Guide to Your Rooftop Oasis.