way up high
Living Etc Magazine|June 2020
It may be on the eighth floor, but this roof terrace is buzzing with design and planting know-how
Clare Coulson

When it comes to gardening, every roof terrace has its issues. Strong winds and extreme exposure can desiccate even the toughest plants while weight restrictions, safety regulations and getting materials to the top of a building all make vertiginous outdoor spaces among the most challenging sites. But with those challenges come major benefits; at one penthouse terrace, designed by Aralia’s Alastair Henderson, in Hammersmith’s Fulham Reach they include incredible views of the River Thames as it snakes west and a breathtaking vista of the south London skyline towards the greenery of Richmond Park.

This eighth floor garden is also just that – a true garden that feels immersive and naturalistic. ‘A lot of roof terraces can look very contemporary but not really be about the plants themselves,’ says Alistair, who took his cue from coastal and Mediterranean plants that can tolerate exposure, as well as the owners who were leaving a much-loved garden at their family home across the river in Barnes. ‘They were keen to have a space that could evolve over time, attract wildlife and that was abundant with colour, scent and atmosphere.’

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