Do you want to take everyone’s breath away with an outdoor oasis at your new apartment? Creating a serene, connected-to-nature space in the city can be challenging. Fortunately, knowing how to incorporate your dreams of hydrangeas and bushy shrubs into the realities of urban architecture can make anything possible. Here’s a look at four ways to create a lush green space in your new apartment.
Find Plants That Work for the Amount of Light You Have
The light exposure in a garden walkout won’t be the same as the light exposure in a skyscraper condo. What’s more, light exposure can even vary from room to room in a city apartment based on the way neighboring buildings shade their windows. This is where strategically picking full sun, partial sun, or shade plants becomes important. Plants that are matched for the unique urban ecosystem at your home will thrive with less fuss and maintenance.
Make Your Deck or Rooftop Patio Feel Like Unbroken Square Footage
The best way to utilize the outdoor space located on a deck or rooftop patio is to try to make it feel like “unbroken square footage.” The unbroken square footage approach looks at an outdoor space as an extension of the interior instead of a separate element. The rooftop garden should feel like a part of where you live instead of a separate extension of your apartment. Some ways to achieve uniformity with the indoors and outdoors include carrying the color themes of the indoors to the outdoors, selecting comfortable furniture, and using chandeliers and other traditional “indoor” lighting fixtures to light the space.
Utilize Greenery for Natural Privacy
In a landscape of brick and concrete, the biggest mistake you can make is to simply add more blocks of heavy, rigid materials when trying to create an outdoor oasis at your apartment. Natural greenery can be an excellent privacy tool because it allows the space to “breathe” by allowing air and breezes to glide through instead of creating a tunnel effect. Greenery lets you feel connected to the landscape of the city around you while still muting stimuli. Here are some great ways to utilize greenery when adding privacy to an apartment oasis:
- Using natural grasses to line the perimeter of a deck or rooftop patio. The graceful movement of the grass creates a soft border.
- Filling industrial planters with hardy evergreens. The added height of the planter helps to elevate the plant to increase privacy. Nearly all evergreens can thrive in container gardens. In order to ensure that your plants don’t outgrow their containers, you can select dwarf or slow-growing varieties.
- Planting flowering plants or shrubs in boxes against fencing that you’ve installed for privacy. While some setups simply do better with wooden fencing when the goal is full privacy, you can incorporate the concept of a “wild border” by covering the face of the fencing with hydrangeas, thujas, and other garden favorites.
Privacy needs, ease of maintenance, and personal style all need to be considered when planning out an oasis. Generally, picking short-trunk plants and shrubs is advised in urban settings because a large gap created between the trunk and foliage defeats the purpose of using greenery for privacy. However, some apartment owners intentionally choose taller trees to create a canopy effect that is reminiscent of a lush, tropical setting.
Create a Rooftop Garden
“Pretty” isn’t good enough for some apartment owners. They want an outdoor space that actually produces! This is where a rooftop garden becomes the perfect addition to a space. Raised garden beds can allow for three-season planting in most climates. By strategically utilizing wood, fiberglass, plastic, and natural materials, you can create working beds that rival anything you’ve seen at a country nursery right on your city rooftop!