This bespoke apartment in Fitzroy was designed to offer the best that Fitzroy living has to offer. Unfortunately due to unexpected contruction hold ups the developer wasn't able to offer the planted rooftop that this apartment deserved. Disproportionatly sized planters were hastily filled with garden soil and succulents and then left to the elements to decide their fate. This made the balcony feel stark and claustrophobic.
Our first port of call was to clear out the planters and soil within them. Unfortunately the planters were of a low quality and due to the compaction of the inappropriate soil within them had begun to degrade and bulge. This really highlights the benefits of using quality materials and soil blends.
We installed troughs and planters from the Urbis range by Martin Kellock. We believe these are the best planters available as they are durable, rigid and will last for decades. For our soil blend we use Grow better potting mixes.
The aspect of this rooftop is exposed and subject to full sun from very early in the morning until late in the evening. There is unfortunately no respite. We this in mind we used a planting scheme of plants that tolerate heat and short dry spells.
In the trough planters we used a combination of Grevillea 'Seaspray', Chrysocephalum apiculatum, Pycnosorus globosus (Billy buttons), Correa reflexa-nummularifolia and two types of smaller growing Lomandra grasses in the form of 'Seaspray' and 'Mist'. To create a loose hedge without obscuring city views we used Leucadendron 'Maui Sunset' for its soft peachy flower bracts. The colour palette throughout the trough planters is silver to blue foliage with soft, warm coloured flowers in yellow and red. There is movement throughout even in the softest breezes due to the addition of the Grevillea, Billy Buttons and Lomandra.
In the feature pots we used two Crepe Myrtles to offer summer flowering during the off season for the plants in the trough planters. We used 'Natchez' and 'Tuscarora' with the latter being chosen for its upright habit which prevented it interferring with an inbuilt BBQ. The 'Natchez' was chosen for its classic vase shape which makes more sense in a corner situation. An Acacia 'Sterling Silver' will fill out underneath the canopy of the 'Natchez' and offer Winter interest while the Crepe Myrtles are dormant. Its soft, weeping habit will offset the starkness of a dormant Crepe myrtle. A clipped Correa ball adds a bookend to the second run of trough planters as well as white flowers through winter.
The Crepe Myrtles have been pruned hard at planting for 2 reasons. Firstly, To develop a low canopy with a good shape but secondly and most importantly because Crepe Myrtles flower on new growth so by cutting back hard at the time of planting a larger amount of new growth will be initiated which will culminate in a spectacular flowering show in mid to late summer.
We will update photos of this project as it fills in through the seasons.