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Why use hedges for landscaping rooftops

Plants of all kinds are a stunning addition to rooftop spaces. But hedges have a special place in the heart of all rooftop landscape experts. 

Why use boring, basic hedges for landscaping rooftops, you ask?

We’ve got 5 compelling reasons why hedges are the best for rooftop landscaping.

  • They bring a solid punch of soothing green. 

Their dense, lush green presence instantly boosts an otherwise dull, gray urban-jungle-view of most rooftops. 

  • They are hardy plants that don’t get damaged. 

Even when they are used roughly or are faced with harsh winds. They survive even a few pool ball smashes, or people toppling it over when the dancing gets rough! 

  • They act as a neutral palette.

Artificial hedges pack a double whammy with their clean aesthetic. They bring in all the biophilia, while still blending into the background of a rooftop. 

  • They have hyper-realistic, no-trimming needed artificial versions available. 

So you can place them once, and not worry about keeping an eye out to prune a stray leaf every week. And the good quality ones will stay looking fresh, lush, and unfaded even after years out in the elements.

  • They are flexible and fit in everywhere. 

Yes, everywhere. From classical candle-lit seating to jazzy, post-modern dance floors, the humble hedge can spruce up any space. 

Having said that, any hedge placed anywhere won’t get you this level of impact.

Strategically using the right type of hedge in the right place will give you the biggest bang for your buck.

So to avoid being stuck in a sticky mess…

Here are the 4 best ways to use hedges for landscaping rooftops.

1. Short hedges

Best for: Adding green to rooftops with a limited floor area

Size range: 1.5′ – 3′ in height

How to use short hedges for rooftop landscapes:

Thick, dense, and lush green, these small rooftop garden hedges are the perfect addition to line rooftop gardens. They bring a powerful punch of soothing green, without being visually obtrusive.

short faux hedges rooftop

Tall hedges and plants can make spaces look lush and Amazonian. But they also make spaces feel smaller, by adding visual and physical boundaries. 

So for smaller rooftop spaces, avoid claustrophobic visual barriers and opt for short hedges instead. 

Place them in front of a boring railing, either by themselves or on a raised platform, to transform your rooftop aesthetic.

This, along with other strategic plants on your rooftop, will help create the illusion of your rooftop being a garden in the sky. Plus, this also makes rooftop spaces safer by preventing people from being able to directly lean over the edge. 

Short boxwood hedges are also perfect for lining your pathways or walkways, without creating an obtrusive partition. 

2. Mid-size hedges

Best for: Semi-private segregation on public rooftops

Size range: 3′ – 4′ in height

How to use mid-size hedges for rooftop landscapes:

Mid-size hedges give you the best of both worlds. Artificial hedge plants bring in a strong garden-like presence, while still allowing a connection between spaces. 

They are best used as green partition walls, to segregate spaces for different activities on a communal rooftop. 

For example: In a rooftop restaurant, they could be used to partition between the dance floor, bar seating areas, and the formal dining space. 

Or in a rooftop lounge space, hedges can act as a green partition between a pool area, bar, and reading lounge.

3. Tall hedges

Best for: Large rooftop spaces that demand privacy or a luxurious ambiance

Size range: 5′ – 7′ in height

How to use tall hedges for rooftop landscapes:

When used right, tall hedges can create a very sophisticated, high-society ambiance on a rooftop. But they are best used only on larger terraces and rooftops that are spacious enough to be divided into sections.

tall privacy hedges

Instead of trying to create closed private dining/seating areas on a rooftop, one can simply use hedges instead. Tall hedges act as natural screens that offer physical, visual, and auditory privacy, without adding a boxed-in feeling. 

For cafes or bars, artificial privacy hedges can be used to screen the unsightly kitchen, prep areas, or the path to the toilets from the rest of the public seating space. 

The neutral boxwood will fit right in with any decor style, and will also create a smooth transition between spaces. 

You can also use tall hedges as a backdrop for a stage, or present your brand name at the entrance. Boxwood hedge backdrops carry much more classy, aesthetic appeal than the standard digital screens or garish plastic prints. 

Finally, if your rooftop is surrounded by taller buildings on all sides, then tall hedges will be your savior. Place them around the edges of your rooftop for privacy, and to avoid looking into someone else AC ducts or windows.

4. Spherical and decorative topiaries

Best for: Formal rooftop garden settings

Size range: 2’ – 6’

How to use topiaries for rooftop landscapes:

Although these are typically used in classical English gardens, spherical or decorative topiaries make a great addition to rooftop gardens too.

decoarative ball topiary

Even just a few topiaries, when used right, can create the ambiance of a classical garden oasis on a rooftop. 

If they are being placed in a space that is predominantly filled with a wooden deck, furniture, and benches, then use the topiaries in symmetry. Use them to create or mark a path, or to line the boundary edges. One can even use a large spherical topiary to create a centerpiece for the space. 

But, if you’re looking to create a garden-like ambiance, with more plants than benches or furniture, then you have two options. 

Create a classical garden, with the topiaries used symmetrically, like above with a well-maintained faux lawn.

Or you can go for an organic garden, with layers of topiaries around the edges, varying in size but visually balanced. Use them in combination with other classic garden flowering plants and hedges, to create an overgrown garden aesthetic.

Now go ahead, and try using topiaries for landscaping your rooftop. 

Be sure to let us know which one worked best for your space in the comments below. Every designer’s secret to a stunning rooftop – the hedge. Discover 4 ways to use the humble hedge for landscaping rooftops.