Terrace Gardens – Create a Roof-Top Oasis

Landscaping a terrace into a beautiful garden maximizes the exterior decoration of a house or residential unit. Terrace gardens have been part of architectural history since ancient times, and their designs have evolved and been incorporated into the architecture of today’s buildings.

Terrace Gardens – General Planning

A terrace should be sturdy enough to take the load of a garden. It should have sufficient drainage holes for irrigation but it should also be suitable for water proofing to prevent leakage in the long term. In selecting the layout for terrace gardens, the lawn, shrubs, small trees and ground covers should be properly balanced. Plant selection should take into account the varieties that have a fibrous root system instead of a tap root system, which can grow beyond the terrace and adversely affect the building where it is situated. Soil rite and peat moss are highly recommended growing media for terrace gardens, since they are light and will not add extra weight to the building.

Terrace Farming – Background

Farmers like growing crops on hillsides because they reduce erosion and surface runoff, and they are perfect for plants that require a lot of water. Terrace farming is common in rice-producing territories, primarily in southeast, east and south Asia. Countries including Italy, Catalonia and places in the Mediterranean Basin turn terraced lands into vineyards as well as farms for olive trees and cork oak. In the Andes, terrace farming has been practiced for thousands of years to grow maize, potatoes and other native crops. Inca tribes also had terraced lands that were used for soil conservation and for directing water through dry land.

Terraced Gardens – Construction

Brick bats are the first to be laid out when building terraced gardens because they play an important role in water drainage. The ideal bricks are totally burnt to avoid being reduced to mud, and are approximately two to four inches in surface area. Subsequently, a wire mesh or HDPE net are spread over the bricks to keep the garden earth and manure from seeping into the brick bats’ gaps. Terraces that have more than 500 square feet of space should have drainage chambers in several places that lead to the main drainage holes. They should be built in a way that they will be inconspicuous under the lawn when the garden’s construction is completed.

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