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For high rise flats and houses with limited space, a rooftop garden is a popular option as it presents so many possibilities for creating your very own urban paradise. A worthwhile extension, it's important to consider a few factors before you start drafting up plans however to ensure everything goes smoothly, so here are some top tips for planning your very own outdoor oasis:

Check your roof is up to it

There's no point organising a top of the range rooftop garden if your roof can't support it. It's therefore worth consulting a qualified structural engineer or architect to assess how much weight your roof can take. Planning permission may also be required from the council to assess whether your design has any health and safety implications, as the last thing you need are your neighbours complaining about any stray plant pots or water leaks, so it's best to address these issues before you make any definite plans.

Consider an artificial lawn

Fake grass lawns weigh much less than grass lawns and require less maintenance, never drying out due to high temperatures and lasting for an average of 5 to 10 years. Synthetic grass lawns also require no mowing, trimming or pesky pesticides in order to keep them neat and tidy, reducing your water bill and providing a green lush lawn all year round.

Cultivate a design

Treat your rooftop garden like you would a normal room in your home, creating a colour scheme and considering its uses. Whether you use it for rooftop gardening or classic cocktails at night time, you'll need to have an idea of what furniture to buy, what electrical or lighting devices to install and whereabouts you'd like to place any dining furniture if you plan using your rooftop garden for al fresco dining.

Choose perennial plants

Perennial plants are definitely best for roof gardens, lasting throughout the year and ensuring that your rooftop retreat is covered in dead foliage. It's also wise to choose additional plants like ferns which both look fancy and are easy to maintain to add some extra greenery.

Cover your view if necessary

Not all rooftop gardens have spectacular views, so if there's an unsightly office block or tower nearby then now you can get the tools to do something about it. Tall screening plants made from bamboo for example are both sturdy and cheap, providing an ideal cover-up when creating your personal urban oasis. For covering up smells of the city, you could also choose strongly scented plants like lavender to enhance your surroundings. 

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