Would you like to know the fad that everyone is talking about? It’s something that has been invading homes all across the country. It’s called a green roof and it is a garden that is planted on your roof. It adds life and color to a dreary urban rooftop. If you would like to adopt this trend in your own home, you should learn a little more about it.
Rewards of Having a Rooftop Garden
Rooftop gardening wouldn’t be so popular without a good reason. One obvious reason people like these gardens are because they are beautiful. In addition to the aesthetic reward, this type of garden will also improve the quality of air, increase building insulation, and reduce a building’s heat absorption.
Building Your Garden in the Sky
You can’t just flip a switch and instantly have your own rooftop garden. You have to plant it. In order to do so, there are many layers to construct.
To build a garden fit for flowers requires several layers to be constructed:
- Waterproof layer – The base layer. Added to the existing surface, this will give greater security and peace of mind even if the roof is already soundly waterproof.
- Roof membrane – Waterproofing layers, such as asphalt and bitumen, are very susceptible to damage from plant roots and any root penetration may lead to leaks. A pond liner or butyl lining or 300 micron damp-proof polythene should be laid over the waterproof layer and, wherever possible, in one continuous sheet. Otherwise, the sheets should overlap by at least 20cm.
- Filter sheet – This sheet allows moisture to drain off of the roof whilst ensuring fine materials don’t escape.
- Moisture Blanket – For extensive living roofs, this blanket will ensure that the growing medium contains enough moisture to support life. Commercial ones can be bought which do not degrade but it is possible to use cardboard or old blankets to achieve the same effect.
- Drainage Layer – Like the moisture blanket, this helps to retain moisture while allowing excess water to drain away. Commercial systems store water and are made of plastic or geotextile materials. Sedum mat on the roof of an extension.
- Soils & Substrates – The top layer. The growing medium should be lightweight and free-draining yet of a material that retains moisture. Many people use aggregates mixed with light sub-soils such as crushed porous brick and limestone chippings.
- Seeds & Plants – Sow seeds on the substrate, or put in plug plants (small plants in individual cells) and watch them grow!
Source: The Environment Site
If you think that setting up a roof garden on your own might be too much work, there are professionals who can help you for a price. Pre-made roof gardens are also available in cost-effective “container gardens”. Container gardens are also beneficial if you would rather not cover your entire roof with plants. They are easy to install and reasonably priced.
Plants for Your Rooftop Garden
Depending on the climate in your area and your personal preference, you can select from a variety of plants to include in your garden. Fruit trees, junipers, bushes, grasses, and sturdy shrubs are just the kind of plants you want when your roof is an open place that gets a lot of sunshine and robust winds. Flowers like peonies and lilies are not suitable for sheltered roofs. However, sedum, ferns and moss can survive any kind of rooftop conditions.
Now that you know the benefits of having a green roof, you should consider planting one. It will allow you to conserve energy spent on cooling down your home during hot days, and it will provide insulation in the winter. Most importantly, you will be doing your house a favor by making it even more beautiful.