Roof Gardens – How to Keep it Thriving in Sunny Malta

  • 04.April 2012
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Rooftop gardens in first floor Maisonettes in Malta, Duplexes, apartment buildings or even Terraced houses in Malta are a very feasible option, where roofs are flat and most homes have the privilege of having either an entire roof space to enjoy, or a considerable part of it.

If there is no other outdoor space to enjoy such as a terrace, yard or veranda, then the rooftop option becomes a very inviting one especially if you enjoy having barbecues and entertaining people in your property in Malta.

The other great advantage of creating such an improvement in your property is the fact you will also increase the value of your precious piece of real estate in Malta.  However, there are some key points to keep in mind when embarking on the project of turning a plain roof into a green haven.

Get rid of the water

Maltese roof tops, as locals would agree, need to be free of accumulated water. Water is the first major damage causer for our flat roofs and so, free drainage of water flow must be allowed. This means that you must never create spaces on a roof where water can become trapped.

Before starting work on creating the garden, make sure the roof itself is intact and has been covered or painted over carefully with quality products that will not allow water seepage into the roof structure itself.  Get the roof properly checked out and treated if need be, so that you start off with a water-tight, water-resistant base.

Choose the right pots

Plan your rooftop garden carefully by choosing potting solutions that allow you flexibility and portability. It is best to choose the kind of pots which are strong enough to endure strong sunlight and sun damage. Avoid plastics and opt for clay pots or other enduring material that can be recommended from your nursery. Ideally traditional stone troughs would be very suitable.

Opt to choose large pots as small pots can be fiddly to organise and take lots of time to water. However large post must be placed on wheeled platform stands so that you will be able to move them around easily. This solution will allow air to pass underneath the pots themselves without trapping water underneath the heavy containers.

Opt to use troughs that are supported on small wooden planks that lift the troughs slightly off the roof itself, again to avoid trapping water. Troughs are excellent for lining up against side walls, or to create sections or pathways on the roof itself.

Take good care of your plants

Malta can be a very windy country and winds blowing at an altitude can be pretty strong, even where a particular roof is quite sheltered between higher buildings. Choose low-lying or bush-like plants rather than long, spindly plants as the latter can easily be toppled over and damaged.

Some of the easiest plants to grow on a roof are the hardier, sun and wind resistant varieties. Succulents come in varied shapes, forms, and sizes. Some succulents can be easily propagated to create more of the same, especially in those cases where they start thriving happily and easily in the ambience you have created.

Be prepared to water your plants daily at least during summer days. In winter, remove saucers and water-containing bases to avoid the plants’ roots from rotting due to excessive accumulated rainwater. Talking of rainwater, you can keep an open container or tank on the roof to collect rainwater which you can utilise to water your plants on the drier days.

Roof Top Garden Malta

Create your shaded heaven

You can create some sort of shade on smaller roofs or roof sections where you can create strong wooden frames to hold climbers. Again, these need to be firmly installed, not to the roof itself which should not be drilled into, but rather to the supporting walls. These shaded havens that you can created with the help of your chosen plants, will also help you create lounging spaces which you can embellish with seating and tables.

Embellish your space with beautifully shaped and decorative clay plaques, chimes, small statuettes that, when strategically placed will help create the haven you so earnestly seek to produce.

Adding value to your Malta property is always something that will entice future buyers of your home should you seek to sell at a later stage in your life.

Marika Azzopardi
Post by Marika Azzopardi

Marika Azzopardi is a freelance writer and journalist. A frequent contributor to national English language papers and magazines, she writes about a bevy of topics including art, people and life in general. She is also the author of children’s books and short stories, delving into adult fiction from time to time.