Posted on 26 May 2008 by

Reaching For the Stars – Inspiration Behind One Urban Rooftop Garden

By Vanessa Richins

Next time you are outside at night, glance up at the star-filled sky.

You may find the same inspiration that led Barry Mayled of Wales to create his celestial urban garden.

Mr Mayled is a long time fan of a British television program called ” Sky at Night”, featuring the famous astronomer Sir Patrick Moore. His entry into the Chelsea Flower Show demonstrates the garden potential for empty rooftops.

He explains : “There are 20,000 hectares { equal to 49,400 acres } of flat roofs in this country which are not used and they cause a great deal of water run-off. If you were to green them and use them as outdoor spaces we will help the environment a great deal and to create such wonderful areas to enjoy the sky. They can offer a haven of peace and relaxation away from the hustle and bustle.”

Indeed, according to, rooftop gardens are both beautiful and functional; they help conserve energy, add wildlife habitats, add oxygen back into the air, and allow people to garden when they otherwise might not have the room.

His vision won him a gold award at the famous garden show.

What did the garden include? No astronomical garden would be complete without a telescope, of course, and a sliding roof is helpful. It also features such fanciful delights as conifers carved into the shape of rockets, a star chart table, and stars projected onto walls.

“This is a fun, environmentally-friendly design concept – a rooftop garden which softens a harsh environment while allowing occupants to explore the wonders of the night sky,” said Mr Mayled.

Even though I have a small yard to garden in, I find myself wishing I had a flat rooftop that I could turn into a garden after being inspired by Mr Mayled’s Sky at Night Garden.
Have any of you ever created a rooftop garden?


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