How to be your own London roof garden designer.

garden design

Add the woof to your roof! We give you some top tips to turn you into your own London roof garden designer.

With space at a premium, being a London roof garden designer is a much sought after trade. We are often called upon to provide solutions for roof spaces – with a variety of restrictions it can be more important to use the services of a professional in such a space than in a larger plot. If you can’t stretch the budget to working with a garden design company, we give you a few pointers to all some umph to your balcony.

How to design a roof garden

Know your space

Very often with gardens in freehold buildings, it is crucial that you understand what the building restrictions might be. Do you need planning permissions? In this garden no fixtures were to be allowed above the height of the balcony, and we had to get special permission to put a nail in the wall. Check with the services team what you’re allowed to do. Consider as well your weight loading. Soil is heavy. Mix it with a lightweight aggregate and soil mix. Place heavy planters over a load bearing beam or joist. Consider the exposed nature. What plants will work in these conditions?

Statement furniture

Make it stunning. If you have a small space stand out from the crowd with statement furniture. Indulge yourself. Otherwise the space will become simple exercise in cupboard storage. Be bold. You won’t regret it.

Relationship with the surrounding environment.

Sometimes there can be a lot of fun in having a “nod” towards the surrounding environment. I once saw work by another London roof garden designer where he had created a replica of the River Thames in pebbles, in a roof garden by the Thames. Here in this setting we simply added a triptych of Tower Bridge. The stellar view was worth echoing in the space.


Scale it up or scale it down, either way its a knockout treatment for your space. It creates magic. Just make one thing slightly larger than it should be for the space and it creates a topsy-turvy edge. It works. Promise.

Storage solutions

Most London roof garden designers need to allow for cunning storage. Really consider what you need to store and whether you can scale it back. Make a space for outdoor cushions. If space is tight inside, make sure you factor space in outside. Here we put decking cubes on castors and add hinged lids. Et voila. Together they form a bench, separately they can be used as storage stools. Bingo. Hidden storage


It is likely, that the planting space will need to be in pots. It is also likely that space may be at a premium. Use your walls and choose wisely when it comes to materials for your planters to add that all important winter colour if you need it. Don’t rely on the plants to deliver year round. Use cushions and tableware through the warmer months to up the ante, and rely on boundary colour choices and planters to see you through the winter months.