Monday, 8 June 2009

Our green roof

We were inspired many years ago to one day do a green roof on a building, and we have finally achieved that dream. Having lived in rented homes for many years it just wasn't possible to create a green roof before, but at our house now we have that option. We have 2 sheds in our back garden - both have been built out of recycled wood. When building the 2nd one, we planned a green roof into the design. The shed is on our patio area, about 6ft high and has a slope from back to front to allow some drainage and to enable you to see the plants on the roof.

Sunday was spent in the garden building the frame for the green roof, lining it with heavy duty plastic and filling with a growing medium of compost, sand and vermiculite and gravel. We have put large cobbles at the front edge which makes it look nice and allows for excess water to drain off without washing away the soil.

It was then planted up with a few different plants, mostly cultivated in the garden or "foraged" from down by the local riverside. Most of the roof is planted with a low growing sedum (Sedum Album and Album "Coral Carpet") which grows on the rocky bank of a local river - so I have over time harvested some of this and looked after it at home awaiting this day. There's plenty at the river and it is re-invigorated once I've picked some so I know it's fine to take some. Other plants used are some lovely white primroses which were bought for my first mothers day, some black grasses that I have grown in the garden and separated, some house leeks (Sempervivum tectorum), some creeping thyme, and Arabis ferdinandi-coburgi 'Old Gold' alpine plant.

It took a lot longer to create than Alex and I thought it would but we have done a good job and it looks great. Luckily the day was dry (except one short shower). In between helping Alex and playing with Imogen I worked on the beds in the greenhouses, planting up chili plants and our Melon plant was planted on. We also transplanted the Chickpeas Imogen grew from seed and tended to other plants.

And the finished shed looks like this ...
we will be trimming the plastic once it has all settled.

Imogen did some digging and lots of watering! She also sowed some cress seed in a series of tiny pots that we have in the garden with a small bench so Imogen can watch them grow quickly, they sit on a circle of bark in front of a little bench (6 inches wide), and now she is wondering who could sit on the bench! Maybe we can create something soon.

We spent time identifying birds and birdsong, and studying bees, hoverflies, snails, woodlice and ants. Imogen also went round the garden smelling herbs and flowers, she loves to smell of the sage and the chocolate mint but doesn't like the lemon balm.

1 comment:

  1. that looks great ! we want a green roof here but i think it will have to be next year x


Don't be shy, come and say hello. Your thoughts are always appreciated, I read them all and will endeavour to respond. Thank you x