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The Oval Space Roof Terrace Pallet Garden


The Oval Space were concerned about noise levels from their roof terrace summer parties disturbing neighbours. They considered walls of ivy and hedges to absorb sound. 

A&f proposed and delivered two 10m long pallet gardens on the north and south bounding walls, growing herbs and fruit for use in their cocktails and supplementing their kitchen supplies. Summer ravers can now rave it up alongside varieties of herbs and fruiting plants, soaking up the scents and flavors surrounded by walls of color.

​A pallet garden is a living wall made from vertically arranged delivery pallets which are either wrapped in landscaping fabric or lined with pockets in such a way that the plants are forced to emerge out of one side. There are a number of ways to create one, each with their respective considerations with respect to drainage, plant and root segregation, aesthetic appeal and durability. The version we adopted involved looping the pockets within the pallets, lining the bottom of each with a drainage layer of polystyrene and filling with compost and top soil. Each pocket was block-planted allowing greater flexibility in choice of plants, avoiding conflictive root co-mingling and the likelihood of excessive sag from excessive water accumulation. 

Its design considered de-mountability and year-round operational strategies, seeking wherever possible to facilitate its maintenance and allow for change in consideration of the existing wall-mounted services.


The planting plan by Battlesbridge Mills considered the aspect of each garden and the adjacency of the plants proposed. The north-facing wall was planted with light-hardy perennials, mint, lemon balm and a variety of chili plants said to thrive in partial shade. The south-facing parapet wall was planted, among others, with lavender, rosemary, tomato, strawberry and coriander plants forming a bookshelf of aromas and flavors with varieties one might struggle to find in supermarkets or grocers.

The Oval Space Roof Terrace Pallet Garden serves a fun narrative to demonstrate some of the compounded benefits the integration of plants into a space can offer. These benefits come at a premium as the maintenance of the garden will require effort over time which may be adequately met in conjunction with staff cigarette breaks and occasional wanders away from their desks.

Commissioned : 16th March 2013

Completed : 17th May 2013

Design & Delivery : A&f

Planting Plan & Supplier : Alan Lodge at Battlesbridge Mills

Pallet Fabricator : HLC Wood Products

Steel Fixtings : Assesmont Group

Structural Engineer : MLM Consulting

Thanks to : Tom Pearson, James Brown, Colin Atkinson & Bex Clarke

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