Rooftop gardens lend a natural aesthetic that is guaranteed to elevate any home. They can provide additional privacy, naturally improve the air quality and are likely to flourish because of the constant sun exposure. Most importantly, a rooftop garden will add some green to an area with limited space and will be sure to brighten up your home. 

Before embarking on your rooftop garden journey, it is important to take a few things into consideration. For example, the structural integrity of your rooftop should be assessed by engineers before beginning your garden construction. Is the roof able to hold a garden load? Soil and pots are quite heavy, so it is important to check with an engineer or well established contractor before you begin. Make sure you consider where your roof’s access point is, and how you will get your materials, supplies and gardening equipment to and from your roof. 

In line with rooftop access, are you able to hydrate your garden with a nearby water supply? Is there a water point access, or a way to run a hose out to the roof? Consider installing a rain barrel and drip irrigation if a water supply is difficult to source. 

You may also need to consider the sun exposure to your roof. Are there other buildings blocking the sun, or will there be too much heat beating down on your plants? Along with the sun, you want to ensure the plants are protected from other elements, including wind. Think about optimizing your growing potential with sun-loving plants that will thrive in the light!

Creating a rooftop garden might seem overwhelming, which is why you should entrust garden professionals to guarantee you a lush summer. You can always start small with a few pots and plants and build from there – life begins in the garden. 

Get in touch for a full landscaping plan to make your rooftop garden oasis come true. 

Please remember that no rooftop garden should ever be installed without first consulting a structural engineer

Dreaming of having a beautiful garden space? Intimidated by the tediousness of maintaining said beautiful garden space? Well, here is a list of easy to care for plants that won’t take up your time, but will definitely take up some compliments!

Purple Rain

Desert Rose

No, it’s not only music superstar Prince’s magnum opus, it’s also a gorgeous species of sage properly named Salvia Verticillata. This border flower can accentuate any garden, and they even attract butterflies! These smoke-colored lavender-like plants only need moist soil to grow, and do best in full sunlight.

Desert Rose

These East African and Arabian native beauties bloom from a thick trunk that actually stores water. Resembling a bonsai plant, they are just as tough as they are pretty because they can even grow in sand! Although these flowers can survive almost anything, be wary, it’s known to bleed a poisonous sap that may irritate skin. This is a plant that has the potential to bite back!

Ajuga

Ajuga Bugleweed effectively covers all those hard to hide spots of dirt in your garden. These mint cousins can thrive in shady gardens and are known to survive droughts as well. If ever they get out of control, it is recommended to behead them to prevent spread, but no worries, even that won’t kill them!

Rudbekia

Colloquially known as “Black-Eyed Susans,” these garden staples are known to bloom for weeks with little care. They’re actually a mini version of the famous Sunflower and can survive droughts. After growing them in moist soil, they’ll be well rooted and should bloom every season. 

Cosmos

Also from the Sunflower family, these come in all sorts of colours. They also self seed and have over 20 varieties. It’s a super flower! 

Persian Shield

Even the name is a testament to its strength! This bushy Acanthaceae can bloom blue flowers in very hot environments. Just be sure to keep the soil moist. Although they will survive a drought, they might not stay as pretty because they will start to wilt. 

Caladium

Caladiums

The heart-shaped foliage Caladiums sprout include charming leaves of pink, green, white, and red. They do very well in sun and shade, and will bulk up your garden, keeping it nice and strong looking.

Hope you enjoyed our flower powered recommendations of plants that even you can’t kill. If you would like some advice on how to grow these resilient eye candy for the garden feel free to contact us. 

Don’t forget to floss your teeth, clean behind your ears and…eat your weeds? Weeds may have a bad reputation when it comes to lawn care, but there are many weeds that are well worth eating! During your next peaceful walk through the forest make sure to bring a reusable container and collect these delicious weeds– they can be added to your salads or even continue to flourish long term in your garden.

Dandelions 

Definitely clear space for this weed in your diet! Dandelion leaves are highly nutritious and can be eaten raw or cooked (even the root and flower buds!). Dandelions are also a great source of Vitamin C and calcium. Add them to salads or have them for a healthy snack on their own.

Cow Parsnip 

Cow Parsnip has a nutty, carrot-like flavour that really hits the spot. It is easy to cook and makes for a great option in soups. Cow Parsnip can also be roasted with butter and sprinkled with salt, just serve and enjoy! While often mistaken for large clumps of weeds, you shouldn’t overlook Cow Parsnip– it is a versatile option that can be eaten both raw and cooked. 

Pennycress

Pennycress is a succulent, wild green that can be found in many lawns worldwide, including Alberta. This tasty weed is high in Vitamin A and C, which are coveted during the cold months when other green vegetables are difficult to harvest. Pennycress is a delicious and inexpensive option to add to your palette of greens! 

Common Yarrow

Common Yarrow (Achillea millefolium) has edible leaves, roots, flowers and seeds–in addition to benefits as a medicinal herb. It’s an aesthetically pleasing plant that can grow in poor, overgrazed earth and is found across North America. The flower stalks can be used as leafy cuttings in salads or sandwiches. While we know Common Yarrow is a tasty option, there is also burgeoning research into potential and promising benefits for the immune system.

Chickweed

Covered in delicate little hairs, Chickweed is both sweet and crunchy, with a texture and flavor similar to watercress. The ideal moment to pick Chickweed is just before the flower heads start to form. Make sure to pick the leaves and tiny stems by pinching them off at ground level. Chickweed makes for a great pesto or pizza topping and is particularly enjoyable when roasted.

Purslane

If you’re looking for Purslane you may find it growing in cracks and crevices along sidewalks, in vacant lots, or even in your backyard! It is a delicious weed that’s abundant in late spring and can grow in both your garden and in pots. Considered the superfood of weeds, Purslane is rich in Omega-3, contains an abundance of minerals, and is regarded as one of the healthiest and nutrient dense weeds.

Eating weeds is a simple way to elevate the productivity of your garden and add beneficial nutrients to your diet. Whether you’re cultivating a delicious garden to supplement your meals or designing a little oasis to brighten your yard, Little Creek Landscaping can help you design a landscaping theme that enhances your home.

If your garden aesthetic is “the bigger the better” or you simply want a healthy garden, here are our top ways to use companion planting to maximize your yield.  Companion planting is placing certain crops in close proximity to help mitigate pests, increase pollination, to maximize space or just overall improve crop productivity. Companion planting, also known as intercropping, can also be used to improve soil fertility, maintain plant health, provide weed suppression, offer shade regulation and you can even use tall plants to support lower growing plants by using them as natural support.    

We could talk forever about the benefits of companion planting, but here are some basic rules to follow to help maximize your yield and promote healthy garden growth.

The Potato Factor

Keep potatoes away from cucumbers, tomatoes and peppers as blight and disease can easily be shared across these plants and can ruin your potato harvest.   

Insect and Pest Repellent

Grow basil to help repel mosquitos and plant marigold, alyssum, zinnias and nasturtiums to keep pests away.  

Indigeneous Roots

The tried and tested “Three Sisters” planting method was established by the indigenous community where beans, corn and squash are planted together for maximum success. Radishes and cucumbers also work well in this combination because the corn provides shade protection and a place for the vines to grow up and be supported.

The Vampire Effect

A good way to remember a popular companion planting rule is that if it is thought to keep away a vampire, it should be kept away from most crops. Keep onion, garlic and shallots away from peas, corn, carrots, celery, cucumbers, tomatoes, turnips, cabbage, lettuce, basil, beans, peas and strawberries!   

Greens and Greens

Oftentimes  green plants will do well together, meaning you can always plant members of the broccoli family with lettuce, kale and spinach. Carrots also go well with the broccoli family. 

Friends not Foes

Common foods like corn, carrots, radishes, cucumbers, tomatoes, celebrity and turnips all pair well together. 

Are you new to companion planting and looking for a foolproof way to impress your friends? Try using your raised garden bed to make a “salsa garden” to spice up your weekly Taco Tuesday. Simply plant one oregano plant, two cilantro and nine red onions in the front of your bed. Place one serrano pepper plant, one staked fresno chili plant and one caged Roma tomato in the middle and finish it off with two planted tomatillos in the back. Tomatillos must be planted in pairs to ensure cross pollination and voila – a salsa garden, margaritas not included.   

If you are still unsure whether your plant combination will make a friend or foe out of your garden, contact us for an assessment and we can design the landscape of your dreams.

Building Raised Gardens

Looking to elevate your outdoor space? Try physically elevating your gardens and build a raised garden. Especially if you are working with a limited outdoor area, raised gardens are a fun DIY project to maximize your area and are the perfect backyard addition for growing vegetables and herbs.  

There are DIY kits available for you to use, however, with a quick trip to the hardware store, we are confident that you can make one yourself! Channel your inner HGTV and follow our below helpful tips and tricks.

Size matters

Depending on what you will be using it for and your specific needs, find the dimensions that will best suit your project and available space. Decide how big you want your raised garden to be and try to design it so it is 4 feet wide or less.  Anything wider than 4 feet will make it difficult to utilize the center of the bed. 

The perfect spot. 

Choose a spot for your garden that gets lots of sunlight and make sure you are using a flat surface area. Use a  shovel to remove ground that will prevent the garden from remaining completely flat. 

If you can dream it, you can create it.

Once you have visualized your dream built up garden, get 2 x 10 inch lumber pieces that have been cut to length to create a four-sided structure. To create a rectangle shape, place the shorter walls flush to the longer walls and drill pilot holes to fasten the short walls to the end of the long walls. We recommend using 2 ½ inch deck screws to keep the structure together.

Line, soil and plant!

After you have placed your structure down, line the rectangle with landscape fabric and begin to add soil. Plant your favourite seeds, step back and watch your garden flourish! If you want to make your garden stackable, meaning you can grow plants with long stem roots, add a second level of lumber when making the frame to add height to the walls.

Now that you have built your garden, are you ready for a full backyard makeover? Ask us about our landscape design process and how we can transform your garden.