Contemporary Roof Terrace

City gardener Matt James transforms a boring balcony into a modern rooftop terrace.

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Hide CaptionShow CaptionOrnamental grasses, including Miscanthus and Panicum used here, are sturdy and don't topple easily in a breeze. The best thing about them is that they'll rustle in the wind and help mask that traffic noise below.
Wind- and drought-tolerant plantings are important in a rooftop garden. When it comes to a planting scheme, it helps to think of a balcony or terrace as being just like a clifftop garden because they too suffer from extreme weather, meaning lots of sun and wind. Here Matt uses plants that tolerate these conditions, including succulents like Sempervivum, tickseed (Coreopsis), yarrow (Achillea) and geum.