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Roof garden in Holland Park

By London garden designer Charlotte Rowe. This unusual house in Holland Park has a good sized roof for which there was permission for use as a roof terrace.

The roof has wonderful views over the surrounding area and is open to the South.

Roof garden in holland park

The new young owners of the house had particularly bought the property in the knowledge that this would be an essential part of its attraction. However its existing appearance was not very attractive or conducive to being used as an entertainment space.

Roof garden in holland park

As with all roof terraces on older buildings, there are limitations to the weight and loadings one can put on the roofing timbers. Therefore all materials and planting has to be designed to minimise the stress on the roof structure. The solution was Ipe decking, Western Red Cedar benches, large enough to be used as day beds and sun loungers and caramel coloured steel planting containers. Specially made opaque cream resin planting containers to complement the frosted glass panel was the finishing touch.

Roof garden in holland park

Frosted glass panels were inset into the decking which are under lit at night creating a magical dramatic effect and frosted glass chippings which are also lit run between the stretches of timber decking.

Roof garden in holland park

Good lighting is crucial to this space as both the owners have busy careers and use the terrace mainly during the evenings. A combination of spike spots uplighting the planting and timber work with a series of LED lights under the glass insets and a series of rope lights under the glass pebbles give a soft dusty pink wash make this a subtly atmospheric space.

Roof garden in holland park

Due to limitations on depth of planting allowed, a range of grasses and perennials were planted to create maximum effect by the end of the summer, with seasonal plants such as tulips and allium for the earlier part of the summer.

Plants list

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Calamagostris brachytricha
Gaura 'Whirling Butterflies'
Dianthus carthusianorum
Eryngium giganteum 'Silver Ghost'
Stipa tenuissima
Calamagostris x acutiflora 'Karl Foerster'
Thymus 'Purple Beauty'
Thymus puleglioides
Erigeron 'Darkest of All'
Knautia macedonica 'Mars Midget'
Buxus sempervirens
Akebia quinata
Trachelospermum jasminoides
Allium 'Mount Everest'

Photos are courtesy Clive Nichols and Light IQ.

Charlotte Rowe

Other gardens by this designer