Create Your Own Green Roof Garden

I visited my brother-in-law recently and he showed us his own green roof which he installed on top of the concrete slab roof of his storage room. I had to climb the ladder to get a closer look. I wondered for a moment if it had those automatic sprinklers, but guess what, it doesn't. It does however has water at one corner from a condensation pipe from his air conditioning. Apparently, this water along with occasional rain is enough to sustain this small garden. Hence, this is a low maintenance green roof and we excitedly discussed how he constructed this. I couldn't wait to share it here on the blog. 

Vegetated roof tops insulate the homes, thus great in conserving energy.  It's a perfect solution for inaccessible concrete slab rooftops or any empty flat or slightly inclined surfaces as it expands the green space. 

It not only adds beauty to our surrounding, but it improves air quality. It provides great benefits to biodiversity and wildlife. It reduces the urban emitted heat in the cities and is good in noise reduction too.  

Guess what? It has an impact to overall well-being. When we are surrounded by greenery, it improves our health, both physically and psychologically. It reduces our stress. When in contact with nature, it reduces our blood pressure and heart rate. 

My brother in-law's roof garden is a perfect example of an extensive green roof type, because the soil has a thickness of about 3 inches. Extensive types consisting of 3 to 7 inches of soil are easier to create  because the weight or dead load of added soil and plants on top of an existing structure will not require additional reinforcements. However, it is always important to check the load capacity of your roof before installation. Intensive types require deeper soil and are perfect for larger installations and more diverse vegetation.

I visited a gardening shop and took photos of the type of plants perfect for green roof installation:

Let's do this:

1. Check whether your roof has a slight incline. If it's a flat roof, no problem. It is possible for sloped roof tops of not more than 40 degree angle to transform into a green roof. 
2.  Apply membrane or waterproofing material to protect your existing roof or concrete slab.
3. Add a drainage layer on top of the waterproofing. Preferably drain mats  or drainage board that would drain the water away from the roots so they don't drown. Add pumice based green roof soil on top.
4.  Finally add lightweight soil for your vegetation. 
5. Choose and use "plante grasse/vivace" or succulent / perennial plants because they grow well without much maintenance.  

My brother in-law discussed the construction of his green roof while we're doing the barbecue.

I can't wait to adapt this in our future place in the Philippines.
I wonder how this would react to a tropical country. 
I will definitely experiment there, because it's hot and it rains a lot.
I also believe that the insulation advantages of a green roof is perfect there.

Is it something you have already tried of would like to try?
Oh, by the way, this is my 400th post. :)
Have a lovely week!

Love & light,

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  1. I actually think that someday all city buildings will have gardens on their roofs and maybe even walls... I've read that urbanfarming is a wide spreading trend and will save humanity from hunger in the future

    1. So true, I just watched on the news a few days ago that France is making it mandatory that all commercial buildings have green roofs most especially in urban areas. It is indeed spreading throughout the world and I'm happy that this is the case.

  2. Oh I LOVE this idea! It's brilliant. Will show this to my husband tonight

  3. Wow. I love the idea. I think it will make a rooftop look better than just having it there like an open space. I just might look for areas in my house to turn into a mini garden.

  4. Hi! I am interested to install green roofs. Could you give me some information on the plant names and average prices?

    Thank you very much!

    1. Hello Mark, my brother in law planted mostly green roof succulents that can withstand extreme cold and heat. Sedum and Sempervivum with some ornamental grasses. Sedum species like Sedum Rupestre, Sedum Album and etc. Delosperma too for sunny frost free spaces.Sorry I wasn't able to check their prices when I visited the garden stores in France. I haven't found these here in the Philippines yet.