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Added by on September 9, 2010

See how three coastal homes are completely remodeled to add privacy, space, comfort and functionality. One home even has its own elevator! Marrokal Design & Remodeling reveals creative trends like rooftop gardens. Phoebe Chongchua has the story.

Some property owners are opting to “raise the roof” with an awesome rooftop garden. Who would have guessed that gardening can be placed high above the ground on both commercial and residential buildings.

Urban horticulture is growing in popularity from rooftop gardens to terrace gardening. Homeowners who are short on land are finding their roof or balcony might just be a nice place to have a garden.

From homes to businesses, rooftop gardens are flourishing. According to a video on Greenroofs.com, green roofs “are engineered, vegetated roof covers”. The plants or the engineered soil take the place of a regular concrete, tile or shingle roof.
Woman gardening All roofs are designed to shed water and keep the building dry. “Green roofs are no different. The most important aspect is that they are living, breathing roofs planted with many types of vegetation.”

Does your entire roof have to be green? Not all rooftop gardens have to cover the entire roof. Some are merely a place to have a small, quaint garden planted in containers.

Rooftop gardens are sprouting up in cities to help soften hard edges on buildings. They’re being put on top of luxury condos as an added amenity. They’re touted as enhancers of energy efficiency and a way to use freshly grown herbs and vegetable crops.

These gardens become an extension of the home.Those who have developed their rooftop or balcony garden tend to spend more time relaxing there. Patio tables and chairs, chaises, and candle sconces turn this garden in the sky into a livable room.

There are a few challenges to the rooftop garden, however. If you don’t have an irrigation system, then getting water to your garden can be quite a chore. You might find yourself lugging buckets up from the bathroom or kitchen sink.

This type of garden typically needs daily attention because of its location. Even drought-tolerant plants can quickly get fried on a rooftop garden. Flowering annuals might not be the best pick. However, slow-growing plants that need little water should work well.

Rooftop gardens are tough spots because the temperatures can be extreme and there can be high winds that can easily knock over even a small plant.

Condo dwellers may not have access to their roof. They can instead create a balcony garden. It’s the next best thing to a roof or backyard garden.

Container gardening systems can hold plants, herbs, and vegetables. They can be tricky, though. Potted plants require a lot of care. This is because the soil tends to dry out quickly and keeping it pest-free can be challenging. However, a big benefit with container gardening is that weeds are less likely to pop up. When they do, they’re fairly easy to pull up.

Whether it’s a rooftop or a balcony, a nicely manicured garden is pleasing to many and can be a selling point if they’re easy to maintain.

Gardens are truly a gift to the neighborhood; they can enhance people’s sense of community. They create privacy or a view to be shared. Either way rooftop, balcony, container, and backyard gardens are worth the effort.

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