Plants have an array of benefits for humans, the environment, and aesthetics. However, some places lend themselves better to having a plant dense landscape. Apartments are not one of these. With no ground soil for plantings and smaller areas to work with, apartment owners frequently believe there is nothing they can do to have a rich, full garden. Thankfully, we have been working with apartment owners since our inception, and have learned a few tricks along the way to create beautiful Miami landscape designs in penthouses. In this post we'll share some of our apartment gardening secrets from our most recent top floor project.
1. Vary Heights
A frequent error in Miami landscape designs for penthouses is the lack of vertical variety. This is caused by not grouping plants of varying heights together, making apartment gardens seem a bit flat despite having beautiful plants. It can be a bit challenging to place large plants in apartments due to the difficulty in transporting them to the top floors, but thankfully there are some relatively lightweight plants that can grow rather high, such as the white-flowered Bird of Paradise (Strelitzia Nicolai). With our experienced crew we are able to place some mature, heavy plants, such as the European Fan Palm.
2. Mix Planters
The space constraints apartment gardens mean we have to add variation wherever possible. This includes non-living elements as well, such as planters and pebbles. In this Miami landscape design at a penthouse, we used over 6 different shapes and colors for our planters to add more visual interest to the garden. The key here is to not overdo it by sticking to a theme. In this case all of our planters were in earth tones, specifically gray and brown. We chose to focus instead on the shape of the planters, using rectangles, cubes, cups, bowls of varying heights. One can easily add an element of uniformity by placing similar plants in the same planters.
3. Use walls
To create the ideal Miami landscape design at a penthouse, use the walls! Wall planters will acomplish several goals. They will draw visitors eyes upward, making the space seem bigger. They will add an additional vertical layer to the garden, allowing you to vary heights in your apartment without using large, heavy plants. And they add more plants without taking up more floor space, which is doubly important in small spaces. Consider the walls of your planters as well, as we did in this design, where we placed a hanging plant and an imperial bromeliad in the same planter. We also placed several lightweight planters of the wall with creeping plants that will create a curtain of green over time.
Many apartment owners have resigned themselves to not having a lush, tropical garden. But by copying principles from our Miami Landscape Design for penthouses, you can create an inviting ourdoor oasis from the top floor. Remeber to use plants of varying heights, mix different planters together, and use the walls of both your building and your planters.