10 Rooftop Gardens That Bring Gardening to New Heights

Gardening is a way to connect with the earth, and this connection becomes even more striking in a rooftop garden, where the earth sits closer to the sky. Rooftop gardens allow city dwellers to embrace their valuable outdoor space and interact with nature. While some rooftop gardens are created using potted plants, others are lawn-like environments, magically transformed by their urban owners. Whether your rooftop space is large or small, it has the potential to become a lush oasis. Click through our photo gallery to pluck some ideas for designing your own garden in the sky.

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  1. Upper Decker


    This patio's rooftop is planted with greenery to create a patch of lawn that seems to hover in the air. The living roof helps cool the space below while transforming the adjacent sundeck into a verdant retreat.

  2. Contain Yourself


    If you don't have lots of room to plant, use containers to create a pint-size garden. These space-efficient tiered wooden planters maximize walking room, and their elevation makes them easy to maintain without too much strain on the back and knees.

  3. The Hills Are Alive


    Landscaped mounds of earth on this contemporary rooftop lawn enhance visual interest and provide places to lounge.

  4. Living Shingles


    Not all rooftop gardens need to be full size and fully accessible. This picturesque shed features a pitched roof planted with sedum and other colorful succulents.

  5. Zen Garden


    This rooftop garden keeps everything in its place. Austere rectangular planters contain and distill nature in a manicured and calming way. 

  6. Urban Balcony Garden


    You don't need a great big outdoor area to create a lush urban rooftop. These gardeners created an exuberant display of greenery by layering clusters of pots on a skinny balcony to take advantage of the sun.

  7. Expansive Oasis


    This rooftop garden in the city makes the most of its considerable square footage with a range of vegetation and plenty of seating. It's a garden that invites lingering and exploring.

  8. Hodgepodge Potting


    Expensive, store-bought planters do not a garden make. In this quirky yet carefully conceived rooftop space, dresser drawers, boxes, and even an old guitar were pressed into service as impromptu planters

  9. Walk On


    In this urban apartment, a standard-issue patio became a serene and green perch by replacing the typical concrete with ground cover, and outfitting the space with a pair of formal planters. Pavers leading out from the door encourage a stroll to the chaise or a quick turn around the patio.

  10. Rooftop Wildlands


    This rooftop garden in Brooklyn harnesses wildflowers and grass to create an uninhibited storybook style that transports visitors to a faraway land.

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