Award-Winning Rooftop Garden Design?

I’m excited to bring you another SGD student design – this time for a stunning rooftop garden for the English Garden Future Fund competition.

Gillian’s design has been shortlisted for a chance to study garden design at the world-famous Inchbald School of Design with course fees paid!

I’ll now pass you over to Gillian, a passionate gardener, to tell you about her design…Rooftop-garden

Garden Over the Thames

“I have enjoyed my cottage garden for a number of years but decided I wanted to take it to the next level – design. Google was my friend in searching for the right online course and I discovered Rachel at Successful Garden Designs. I watched her videos and purchased the wide and square garden design formula package, which I thoroughly enjoyed and learnt a lot. It’s all about lawn shape!

Applying for The English Garden Future Fund Competition was a way to experiment with what I had learnt from Rachel and guess what, I was lucky enough to become a finalist!

The brief was to design a low maintenance rooftop garden overlooking the Thames (UK) for a professional couple. My lovely husband even pegged out the dimensions on the back lawn so I could see how big the space was, which was very helpful.

The design

My design is a relaxing low maintenance contemporary rooftop garden which has an underlying New Zealand (NZ) theme with a boardwalk intertwining with the stony stream, koru design shape, NZ flax and wood. It has a sand dune feel with the curves, mounded gardens, driftwood colours and grasses inspired by the NZ beach.

I wanted all senses to be used, the plants create interest with colours, textures and movement, the river stone stream helps drainage and recycles its own water and is lovely to listen too. A slatted wooden curved structure runs from the ground to roof over a table area creating a sheltered “nest”.

Plants are under filled by pea gravel and LED lighting under the boardwalk allows the space to be used at night. The splash of sedum flowers are not only beautiful, they attract wildlife. The design took approximately 2 months to complete and I really enjoyed working on it. 

I guess my take home message would be, believe in yourself, follow your dreams because you just never know, they maybe come reality…..just like mine did.”

I think Gillian is being far too modest – ‘luck’ had nothing to do with it – she studied what to do and then took action, she made this happen…

WELL DONE Gillian for creating a superb design and getting this far in the competition!

Vote for Gillian now!

Please help Gillian achieve her dream and vote for her (or any of the other finalists!) – click on the link below to cast your vote!

Votes close on 19th August 2016, so please vote right now (Gillian’s is the 3rd garden in the list)! Thank you.

Need help with your garden design?

If you’ve got a Wide, Square or Awkward Shape Garden and you’d like to do the same course Gillian did, then check out:



About Rachel Mathews

Professional international garden designer for over 20 years. My mission is to de-mystify garden design and make it easy for people to successfully design their own garden - without needing to spend a fortune!

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