An Urban Eden: A Guide to Cultivating a Thriving Terrace Garden

June 15, 2023 | 


Joanna Newman



For city dwellers craving a touch of nature, a terrace garden offers a green escape without having to leave the comforts of home.
Here´s a comprehensive guide to selecting and caring for the best trees, plants, and flowers to create a functional and aesthetically pleasing terrace garden.

Trees for the Terrace:

        Olive Tree (Olea europaea):

        Olive trees are resilient, love sunlight, and can be grown in containers. Its silvery-green foliage is beautiful year-round. They require well-drained soil and watering once a week. As a bonus, you can also harvest your own olives!

        Japanese Maple (Acer palmatum):

        This deciduous tree thrives in partial shade, preferring the morning sun and afternoon shade. The Japanese Maple is renowned for its brilliant fall colors and its delicate leaves, adding a touch of elegance to any terrace. Water regularly but avoid waterlogged conditions.

        Fig Tree (Ficus carica):

        This sun-loving tree can be pruned to maintain a desired size, perfect for the limited space on a terrace. It produces delicious figs and requires well-drained soil and regular watering.

          Plants for Fresh Produce:


          Few things beat the taste of home-grown tomatoes. Dwarf or determinate varieties are best suited for container gardening. They require plenty of sunlight (at least six hours a day) and regular watering, especially during fruiting.

          Leafy Greens:

          Plants like lettuce, kale, and spinach are ideal for a terrace garden as they are shallow-rooted and perfect for container cultivation. They prefer cooler temperatures and can tolerate some shade. Water regularly to keep the soil moist.


          Herbs such as basil, parsley, rosemary, and thyme are fantastic for terrace gardening. They need good drainage and at least four hours of direct sunlight each day. Water them only when the top inch of soil feels dry to the touch.

          Flowers for a Splash of Color:


            These are robust flowers that can bloom continuously with ample sunlight. They are drought-resistant and need well-drained soil. Water them when the top inch of the soil feels dry.


            These vibrant flowers love sunlight and bloom from spring until frost. Water them regularly but ensure the soil is well-draining to prevent root rot.


            Known for their beautiful and diverse foliage, begonias are a great choice for adding color and variety. They thrive in indirect light and high humidity, requiring regular but light watering.

              Beautification with Greenery:


              For those shadier parts of your terrace, ferns like Boston or maidenhair ferns can provide lush, green appeal. They enjoy moist soil, so regular watering is necessary, but they need to be shielded from direct sunlight.

              Snake Plant:

              This hardy plant thrives in various light conditions, from low light to full sun, making it perfect for the terrace. Its vertical, striped leaves bring an interesting aesthetic. Water sparingly—once every couple of weeks should suffice.


              Ivy can be used to create a beautiful green curtain around your terrace, providing not just aesthetic appeal but also additional privacy. It requires indirect light and regular watering.


              A terrace garden, replete with trees, plants, and flowers, can create a serene oasis amid the hustle and bustle of urban life. Remember, no two terraces are the same, so experiment with various plants to see what works best in your space. Consider the amount of sunlight your terrace receives, the local climate, and the time and effort you can dedicate to maintaining your green space. With a little care and attention, your terrace can become a lush, vibrant, and productive sanctuary.