Over the last few decades an awareness of the environment has become part of our daily lives and concerns us in many areas, public and private. In the field of landscape gardening, sustainable designs have been developed which are attractive but at the same time provide a reduction in pollution, both in terms of noise and to the environment.
This week, we take a look at design concepts for attic apartments and terraces which enable their users to enjoy green spaces in private, urban surroundings.
The objective of this project was to create continuity between the interior public part of the house and the exterior by using seasoned wood platforms surrounded by marble chips. These give new depth and brightness to the area, which comprises of three different spaces: the dining room, the living room and sun- deck. A wall with stained pine fencing raises the height of this urban, top-floor terrace and increases privacy.
Sometimes we create a green area on the flat roof of a residence and in a private interior courtyard. In addition to its ecological merits, the area in this week's feature has been designed to be used and enjoyed by the owners. The main structure is made of rustic wooden tiles. The material-- wood, steel, tiles and reinforced concrete-- produce a limited range of simple colours in this space.
A terrace is also good place for shrubbery. The floor is made from processed strips of wood which level out the ground and produce a feeling of warmth. In the main entrance there is a wooden pergola with industrial sheets but you can use a fancy canvas canopy if desired. The roof concepts provide a dining area and also openness to enjoy the views.
To emphasise the idea of privacy the wall has been covered in metal bars or wood panels, as a continuation of the flooring and finished off with a fence made from separated planks of wood. The dining area is located beneath a stained pine pergola with a glass roof.
In Bangladesh red brick roof tiles are commonly available. The red brick roof, wide glass door and louver window arrangement altogether ensure privacy. The ends of the terrace have been landscaped and paths have been created between the plants and the platform with white stones.
Furniture: A low backless 'L' shaped bench runs around the perimeter, closing in the area. The seat cushions are white and light blue to project a calming ambience. Sometimes we use cement benches for seating. These are economical and maintenance free. Some people love local handicraft eco-friendly furniture, for example, cane sofas with large white cushion gives us a cool Balinese feel. Uneven wooden pieces are also an attractive feature for a garden. You can even arrange Pump trunks as seating arrangements.
Containers: Choosing good containers is vitally important. A collection of square, round and rectangular containers in different materials is a great starting point.
Plain containers suit both urban and rural interiors and will not detract from the impact of the plants. Rough- textured pots in materials such as concrete look wonderful with succulent plants and suggest the sort of dry landscape from which these specimens originate. Our local creeper plants Jui, Neelmonilata, Aporajita, Jumkolata can be used for a romantic appeal. Different materials create different moods. Concrete and metal look urban and edgy, terracotta and ceramic more gentle and rustic. Baskets lined with plastic sheeting have a more traditional feel and look good with spring and autumnal arrangements.
Tools and accessories: One of the most important items in your gardening toolkit is a pair of gardening gloves, especially for handling prickly cacti. A watering can with a long spout is useful for reaching between leaves and directing the water to where you want it to be rather than bouncing off the leaves on to the cream silk covers next to them. Sometimes string or wire is needed to anchor the wayward stems of plants. We can set these tools in a shelf in the corner of the garden which will also enhance the look and feel of the garden.
Green has become a necessity and a therapy. A little arrangement of greenery on your roof will take your mind off the strains of modern living, provide visual delight, and enhance your environment at the same time.
Nazneen Haque Mimi
Photo Credit: Journeyman Archive