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  • Writer's pictureSarah Kay

Increase the biodiversity in your garden with a green roof....and they look great too!

My designs focus on the creative use of space to ensure that my clients needs are met, whilst maximising the 'green potential' of the garden.

A great tool to increase the planting and biodiversity of your garden is to install a green roof where you can. This makes use of the horizontal space of a garden room, shed or bike store, adding another dimension to your planting and softening hard lines.

Sedum green roof in a garden with wildflowers
Sedum green roof on a storage box in my E11 Industrial Family Garden

Courtyard garden with brick raised bed and shade planting
Shade planting on a storage box in my E5 Courtyard Garden

Wooden bike storage with a sedum room in a front garden
Sedum green roof on a bike store in my E5 Family Front garden

Tips for installing a green roof:

  1. Ensure that the roof structure can take the weight of the planting. This is especially important with garden rooms or sheds with a deeper planting beds for semi extensive green roofs (roofs with enough depth to support perennials but not shrubs or trees). Consult a structural engineer for advice.

  2. Ensure that good drainage has been considered. Angle your green roof towards a gutter or drainpipe and try to have water discharging into a flower bed or other permeable surface.

  3. Waterproof the base and sides of your green roof with Blackjack paint or an EPDM liner.

  4. Install a trim to hold the liner and/or substrate in place.

  5. Ensure the right depth and type of substrate for your planting. Sedum roofs only require 5-15cm of substrate and should need minimal watering and weeding, but they do need sun. A semi extensive green roof will need 10-20cm of growing medium.

The RHS have some great advice on suitable plants. Green roofs are a fantastic way to increase biodiversity in your garden, and look great too.

Sedum green roof with in a basement garden with tree and shrubs.
Bike store green roof in my E5 Basement Garden


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