A garden roof by its name alone explains what it is. It is a roof with a garden on top of it which mainly serves for recreation, a living space, a landscaped garden or an organic garden.
This is predominant in urban spaces where there’s no space for a traditional garden. Currently people are converting their roofs to a Garden of Eden, making the most of the space they have.
Before you start working on your own paradise, make sure that it is legal. Having a garden on top of the roof can cause falling debris or plants can grow to unsafe heights. 1 Because of those complexities and potential problems, there are permits and limitations set by the local councils so you have to be sure before wearing your gardening gloves.
So now you have got the go ahead. Now what? Are you already knowledgeable on creating your garden roof? Different locations, different challenges, different ways of tackling it. One thing to consider is weight. As time goes by, damp soil bears more weight and so it is imperative to use light planting medium instead of soil. For Jeff, an owner of a garden roof, he used a mix of 15% stalitepermatil, 15% vermiculite, 25% compost, and 45% stalite.
Apart from having knowledge on different planting mediums it is also important to know about plants— which kind of plants you can use and how to maintain it. You can only use plants that can survive direct exposure to wind, heat, cold and rain. According to Jeff, from his own experience some that fared well were herbs, lettuces, spinach and kale to name a few and others such as carrots, melons, broccoli and peppers were not suitable. 2
When you have a garden roof, this also reduces the temperature on the roofs. This was further supported by the National Research Council of Canada which says that “if widely adopted, rooftop gardens could reduce the urban heat island, which would decrease smog episodes, problems associated with heat stress and further lower energy consumption.”
Anything that is beautiful like a garden roof – as exciting and practical as it is -comes at a price and lots of elbow grease. Make sure if you ever decide to have your own garden roof, make it worth it.