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Lavender Bay

Rooftop Gardens – The new great Aussie Backyard

Rooftop Gardens – The new great Aussie backyard



Outdoor Establishments + Still Space Architecture  Horticulture Team


Project By Outdoor Establishments + Still Space Architecture Lavender Bay

Date  April 16 2021

Author Outdoor Establishments

Photography Natalie Hunfalvay

Outdoor living is a big part of who we are as a country. We love soaking up the hot Aussie sun and you can often find us on the beach, on a bush walk, or in our own backyards. As our population continues to grow, so do our cities. With an increasing number of us now living within the inner-city suburbs and apartments, our backyards are getting smaller and smaller. Even without our beloved suburban backyards, we have found a way to have an out- door living experience, with rooftop gardens.


Not Just a fad

As apartment living quickly becomes the norm, rooftop gardens are now what we would consider mainstream. Once a luxury item, they are now an absolute necessity for any development.

Rooftop gardens are now a major focus for cities looking to increase greenspace and make use of previously underutilised but valuable square meterage.

Take Paris for example.


Unused rooftops can likely be retrofitted into a contributing green space. Why not maximise what space you have! It is important to understand the planning controls, engineering requirements and structural impact on the building before starting a green roof project. Remember to always seek the advice of professionals.

If permission cannot be given for your rooftop project, due to its loading capacity, perhaps a clustering of pots together can bring some life to your rooftop instead.


Rooftop Gardens are not just all for good looks!
Economically, they provide insulation, meaning you are less dependent on your air conditioning, which is crucial with temperatures rising due to climate change. They also reduce noise pollution, which is convenient, when living in a bustling city. You could potentially be adding value to your home!
Environmentally, the air quality of our city can improve with more plants and so can biodiversity, encouraging more birds and insects into our cities. Rooftop gardens also utilise rainwater, capturing runoff, they reduce the amount of water entering Sydney water systems and the risk of flooding in a large weather event.

Plants that are suited

When creating your rooftop, you want to find a balance between planting areas and habitable spaces to socialise and relax. As you can see in our Lavender Bay project, we gave a significant amount of space for the perimeter planting to have more layers and character, while having enough habitable space to enjoy the garden and the view! What you can do with your rooftop will depend on, its loading capacity, your budget, soil depth and the climate conditions. Plants should be low maintenance and drought-tolerant. Native plants and grasses are good choices

as they are adapted to the harsh conditions of Australia’s climate. Succulents are also a good pick for this reason, although the soils would need to drain well, as most don’t like wet feet. Your rooftop garden may even be an oppor- tunity for an edible rooftop farm!

Do you have a rooftop that is underutilised ?

The Outdoor Establishments landscape architects + garden design team would love to chat and set up a consultation with you today.