When I was little, I wanted to be Mary Lennox in the 1993 flick The Secret Garden. You know, the young British girl who moves into her uncle’s estate and finds a beautiful, overgrown garden lush with greenery, flowers, and (gasp!) a tree swing. The idea of being able to sneak away to my own special place and surround myself with nature is something I fantasize about to this day. Yet, I can’t seem to tear myself away from the hustle and bustle of city life. I love that I can walk out my front door to coffee shops, boutiques, and nightlife.
Luckily, I won’t have to leave my beloved Los Angeles to give myself the secret garden I’ve always dreamed of. Rooftop gardens make it possible to live an urban lifestyle while cultivating a lush oasis just a few feet above your head.
Don’t exactly have a green thumb? Not to worry! Many homeowners plant rooftop gardens before they sell, which means most of the heavy lifting will already be done by the time you move in. All you have to do is learn how to care for your little sanctuary and commit to maintaining its beauty and mystique.
If you’re in the market to buy and are considering a home with a rooftop garden, here are some benefits that may further sway your decision.
- By growing your own food, you’ll save big bucks on your weekly grocery bill. We all know how tempting it is to drop $8 on a pint of heirloom tomatoes at the farmers’ market. Go for the atmosphere (okay, and maybe for some artisan cheese and a pastry) but grow your own greens at home.
- Having a rooftop garden can reduce your energy and water bills by as much as 20% annually. Plants provide natural insulation by reflecting light and heat, which reduces the need to crank your A/C during the steamy summer months.
- A rooftop garden leaves space in your backyard for other projects, like installing that flagstone patio and built-in fire pit you’ve always wanted. If you live in an urban area, a rooftop garden gives you the chance to grow your own plants high above the noisy and polluted city streets.
- Perhaps one of the biggest perks to having a rooftop garden is easy access to your own nature retreat where you can get some much-needed R&R. All of that foliage absorbs some of the excess carbon dioxide in the air and converts it into oxygen. Now that’s a breath of fresh air.