Terrace Garden Ideas: Best Plants and Rooftop Privacy

Balcony garden spaces are coveted – and for a good reason! They are a commodity, something that not very many people have, but something that many people crave, not only at home, but also in commercial settings such as restaurants, nightclubs, and offices.

If you have your own terrace garden at home in your apartment, it can be a wonderful place to relax and find solitude from the hustle and bustle but still enjoy the comfort of your home decor. It’s like having a backyard in your apartment and a lawn at your fingertips. A godsend for garden enthusiasts.

For commercial spaces, a terrace can be the value-added feature that pulls in crowds or gives customers or employees an area to decompress.

rooftop garden
Rooftop patio garden in Germany @ debbiehelbing / Getty Images Pro

A rooftop garden is especially effective if you know what to do with it!

But for those that have never had a garden before it can be a daunting task to overturn that tiny rooftop into a place of beauty and even a food-producing machine!

So the team at Jay Scotts have put together practical terrace gardening ideas that you can implement today, including:

  • How to implement sustainable living
  • How to save money by growing vegetables in a small space
  • How to provide privacy with tall trees and other planting hacks
  • How to improve your garden decor with useful and colorful plants

Whether you’re designing a beautiful terrace garden for yourself or you are a landscaping architect working for a client, these limited space gardening tips will ensure you have a rooftop garden to be proud of!

Best Terrace gardening plants

Not all plants are cool enough to hang out in the balcony garden. Other plants are VIP guests.

Terrace plants need to be resilient, just like any other outdoor plant! With mostly direct sunlight exposure, it is important to pick plants that will not wilt or dry up when exposed to sunlight for hours every single day. Some of the hardiest rooftop plants and flowers include:

  • Sunflowers
  • Lavender
  • Daylilies
  • Rose of Sharon
  • Montana Moss juniper 
  • Donkey’s Tail

The plants that survive this best are plants with taproots, plants with furry leaves, and succulents!

terrace with plants
Terrace with plants @ RMWB1978 / Getty Images Signature

Taproot plants are plants that store moisture in their roots, ensuring that they keep themselves moisturized even when the weather isn’t helping them.

Plants with furry or silver leaves, tend to allow for slower evaporation from their leaves. These are perfect for drier areas!

Succulents are, of course, plants that lock moisture in their leaves and are known to survive in hard conditions.

Best rooftop terrace vegetable gardens

Small veggies are the perfect thing to grow in a vegetable rooftop garden! Picking hearty, low maintenance plants means that terrace owners will see the fruits of their labor within just a few minutes of work a day.

The cultivation of garden plants in the inner city
The cultivation of garden plants in the inner city @ taeung / Getty Images

Rooftop garden plants like tomatoes or cucumbers are perfect to start off with since they are very easy to maintain. Okra, eggplants, and chillies are also low effort and high-reward for those hooked on growing their own rooftop food and leading more sustainable life!

Growing vegetables on the rooftop is especially trendy right now for city restaurants with a view to save money AND give their customers something unique on the menu.

Best terrace herb gardens

Herbs can be a wonderful rooftop plant for any garden, as they are both rewarding and decorative.

Organic parsley seedling in herbs terrace garden
Organic parsley seedling in herbs terrace garden @ danishkhan / Getty Images Signature

Herbs that thrive in the kind of direct sunlight that most terraces offer are thyme, rosemary, sage, and lavender. There are even other alternatives such as mint and lemongrass that do not require much attention watering!

Best flower terrace gardens

Annuals are the perfect option for terrace flower gardens. Annual flowers can be very low maintenance, especially hyacinths or tulip bulbs. For the more adventurous, flower boxes of hibiscus or roses make the perfect addition.

A rooftop garden with different types of plants and flowers
A rooftop garden with different types of plants and flowers @ elenaleonova / Getty Images Signature

Best succulent gardens

Putting together a wonderful succulent garden can be done in both drying and well-drained conditions, as well as in full sun. Aloe vera and cacti require the least amount of attention, and they’re also the most popular and very easy to find.

Succulent gardens
Succulent plants on terrace gardens @ sanddebeautheil / Getty Images

Best small trees for small spaces

Surprisingly, there are a multitude of trees that can fit on your terrace. Some even provide enough foliage for perfect privacy. Dwarf Crape Myrtle trees, for example, will happily grow in a 15-inch pot. Bonsai Trees, on the other hand, are so small and cute they fit perfectly on a little coffee table.

bonsai tree in terrace
Bonsai tree in terrace @

5 Backyard privacy on a rooftop ideas

Employees, tenants and visitors who are blessed with access to an outdoor area where they can retreat, have a quick smoke, or enjoy the weather, also wish to do so in private.

A beautiful terrace garden will be the envy of all your friends. But it needn’t be on display for the rest of the world to see. Here are some garden design ideas to give you a little privacy.

1. Grow tall plants

A rooftop terrace can benefit from tall plants for a number of reasons. Design ideas such as using trees to create foliage, or hedges for privacy screens ensures a beautiful terrace garden from the balcony floor upwards. Planting them in a pot that has a small footprint ensures you save space on your patio or balcony.

grow tall plants to create privacy on rooftop
Grow tall plants to create privacy on rooftop @ Internet

2. Privacy Panels for exclusive gardens

There are a wide range of privacy panels available at home improvement stores throughout the country. Asian-inspired panels are a great choice for warm and tropical vibes, while plain metal ones are ideal for industrial decor the likes of which are found on the roof terrace of corporate offices and nightclubs. 

Terrace with privacy panels @ Rooftopia Website

3. Trellises for the terrace

A trellis will not only add a touch of privacy to your outdoor space. It will also bring a bit of decorative appeal to the exterior of your building. Choose a simple crisscrossed trellis for general use or select a unique pattern for a customized look. 

Trellises for the terrace
Trellises for the terrace @ Houzz Website

4. Container walls for terrace gardening

Another way you can improve the privacy of your deck, terrace or patio is by bordering it with a container wall. We carry an assortment of large rectangular plant containers and plant troughs that you can use to add a breath of fresh air to your space and increase privacy. Tall plants can add to that height to extend your faux wall and superficially increase your vertical space.

Container walls for terrace gardening
Container walls for terrace @ Internet

5. Outdoor drapery

To go a step further, adding some infrastructure to your terrace can complete the private environment of your rooftop dreams. Outdoor patios of restaurants, pool areas of hotels and resorts tend to choose large weather-proof curtains to section off certain spaces and supplement privacy for their patrons.

Outdoor drapery
Outdoor drapery @ Internet

These jumbo outdoor curtains are available in a variety of colors, textures, patterns, prints and sizes, so make sure you shop around. 

For more privacy ideas, we have a full article.

5 Ideas for plant decor on your terrace garden

1. Ivy walls that explore your space

Building a fence around your rooftop or using the existing walls of your terrace and then covering it with ivy is also a terrific idea if you want to enhance your privacy and add something unique to your balcony. A few fast-growing crawling Ivy Plants that produce large leaves include English Ivy, Boston Ivy, Algerian Ivy and Persian Ivy. 

Ivy walls rooftop
Ivy walls in the balcony @ Internet

These climbing plants utilise your garden space from the ground upwards and can flow over a balcony in a beautiful display of natural greenery.

2. Planters that fit on your balcony garden

Picking the perfect planter is an important step to making a wonderful terrace garden. Measure and analyze the space available and determine how to make the most of that space.

Balcony planters
Potted plants and flowers on balcony in Europe @ Marie Wurm / Getty Images

Is it better to put in large rectangular planters to line your garden? Or is it better to have an artistically scattered garden in small planters throughout the terrace? Using pots of different sizes and heights serve as raised beds to optimize small space gardening.

3. Hanging pots in garden design

Railing planters that hook over the balcony are great for flowers and herbs and provide a focal point on the fourth wall. Using this free space on your terrace walls is also perfect for plant types like Ivy where the leaves cascade in a wide variety of beauty.

Balcony garden with hanging flower pots
Balcony garden with hanging flower pots @ Ashribosa / Getty Images

4. Lay down some lawn

Using the ground space of your balcony to add some greenery is a great way to complete your beautiful garden. For effortless terrace gardening, consider synthetic grass that can be removed on a whim – it also feels nice on your feet!

balcony with lawn
Balcony with lawn @ Internet

5. Creative DIY’s create fun garden ideas

Some of the simplest garden ideas come from the materials you already have in your home. Old tires work as unique garden boxes and empty bottles are perfect to create nursery plant pots. Terracing gardening can involve the whole family with a little DIY – it’s especially involving for kids!

kids making flower pots
Kids making flower pots @ Zinkevych / Gardening Know How

From planters that make raised beds to gardening with the best plants for full sun, I hope you enjoyed our terrace garden ideas almost as much as you will enjoy your new terrace garden.

With Jay Scotts planters, any terrace garden is going to bloom. Take a look at our durable, weatherproof planters in different shades of premium colors that will absolutely match any gardening style. Create the ideal terrace for any client or for yourself can be accomplished with as little headache as possible!

Or if you’re looking for some more container gardening tips, check out the latest trends.

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