Since you are designing your home from scratch, why not create an area where you can get centered every morning while also creating a space that embraces the natural beauty of Oregon? Of course, I am talking about designing a rooftop garden that can also serve as a reading or meditation area. Here are just a few ideas to get you started.
Embracing the Oregon Climate
Because of the unique climate we see in Oregon, you will have to be careful of the plant life you choose to decorate your rooftop area. We want to use native plants that can thrive in the local climate and will not need extreme care. After all, you want to enjoy the area, not have it create more work and add to your already busy schedule. We suggest using iris or red-twig dogwoods to get started in areas that receive more rain. Plants such as sedum and lavender are a good starting point for drier areas. We recommend sitting down with a local florist to help you design your choices to ensure your chosen plants and flowers will thrive.
If you would like to see a variety of plants in your rooftop garden, you can actually create different microclimates throughout the garden. For instance, taller plants can be used to shield plants that are more sensitive to wind or sun. You can also add a pergola for additional shade if needed. For plants that need more sun and thrive in a hotter climate, reflective surfaces can be added to the garden that will direct more sunlight onto those plants.
Sustainable Water Management
In other posts, we have talked about incorporating water harvesting systems into your home design, and if you want to have a rooftop garden, this is a must-have in the design. Plants thrive much better on natural rainwater than tap water, so harvesting the water to use to water your plants will not only save you money, but it is also much better for the plants.
Edible Gardens and Greenhouses
Your rooftop garden does not necessarily have to be a lounge area for you. The garden can serve as a food source by planting different herbs, vegetables, and fruits in the rooftop garden. Rather than a lounge area, build a small greenhouse that will extend the growing season by protecting the plants from the cooler winter climates of Oretgin.
Leisure and Aesthetics
For me, this area would be more of my centering space, so a seating area or hammock is a must-have. Something else to consider is adding a water feature that offers a calming effect when you are relaxing in the garden.
Since you are going to create a garden, you might as well make it useful for local pollinators and use some plants that will attract butterflies, bees, and birds. This helps pollination in the garden and contributes to the local ecosystem.
The final thing to consider is also the most important… ensure your architect and residential construction project manager are aware of your intent to build this little sanctuary to ensure the roof will be able to bear the load of the garden as well as having the proper drainage system in place that will protect the structural integrity of the home.
Are you considering building a custom-built home in Oregon? Did you know that Better Build Now offers various residential construction services to make home-building easier? For more information, give us a call at 888-402-4180.