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In Celebration Of World Green Roof Day 2024

04/06/2024 - News

Green Roofs are becoming a commonplace feature of garden design projects and here at Arbour Landscape Solutions, World Green Roof Day affords us the opportunity to help spread the word about the benefits of podium gardens and living roofs. 

Aesthetically, architecturally and environmentally, green roofs offer a myriad of opportunities to use outdoor spaces more efficiently.

Leeds Skelton Service Station Photo Credit To Wildflower Turf Ltd

Leeds Skelton Service Station. Photo credit to Wildflower Turf Ltd

Extra Layers Of Wow Factor

In terms of visual benefits, the effectiveness of a living roof is second to none. Just think of the wow factor associated with the Leeds Skelton service station whose undulating wild flower roof is a talking point for every visitor. 

It’s unlikely that any garden designer or landscaper will ever be asked to replicate a roof garden on that scale. But imagine how you could improve the view from an upstairs window or an upper terrace, by creating planting zones on top of garden structures.

No More Wasted Space

How often is your client’s wish list bigger than their entire garden? Green roofs give you the opportunity to extend the living space in a plot. With careful thought for the load bearing capacity of a structure, and well designed access, a flat roofed extension could house a vegetable plot, a cutting garden or stunningly beautiful wildlife habitat.

Access is important, even if a living roof is designed to be almost self-sufficient, it will need a couple of maintenance visits per annum. Drainage outlets must be kept clear, autumn leaves removed from the roof and any unwanted plants weeded out.

Rainwater Management and SuDS

Climate change means that garden management is changing too. Prolonged periods of wet weather have caused problems in many a garden of late. However, a well-designed green roof can form a useful element in a domestic SuDS system.

Even a relatively small scale green roof will absorb rainwater and release it slowly back into the atmosphere thus reducing the amount of runoff that needs to be dealt with. If the structure and the build budget will take it, why not consider a blue/green roof which will collect and temporarily store rainwater?

Biodiversity Net Gain

Wildlife gardening is certainly on trend at the moment. And long may that trend continue. Living roofs provide the perfect opportunity to create a wildflower meadow that fits perfectly with the style and aesthetic of the garden. The roof can be undisturbed and above the eyeline. So in a minimalistic space, the garden styling is unaffected. Birds, insects and other beneficial creatures however, can seize the chance to rest and forage up on the roof.

Green roofs make a fantastic addition to wildlife corridors and have even been responsible for saving some species from almost certain extinction. Click here to read about the fate of the black redstart. 

What To Grow On A Green Roof

Creating a planting plan for a living roof is only slightly different to designing beds and borders. You of course need to take into account that roof tops are generally more exposed than ground level applications. The growing medium is generally an engineered blend of materials especially formulated to meet the engineering needs of a roofing system. That means free draining and low in organic matter. And of course, there will be a finite depth of growing medium - just like an enormous planter.

One frequently ordered green roofing material is Wildflower Turf. It normally needs lifting equipment to get it onto the roof, but once in place it’s quick and easy to install.

Wildflower Roof Turf is available from Arbour Landscape Solutions online shop and contains a gorgeous mix of native species which looks fabulous from above and from below.  Prices are comparable to buying potted plants but of course the labour aspect of the installation is far less costly.

Discover more on our website.

Learn more about World Green Roof Day and how you can support the designers, specifiers, planners and installers who are helping to create a better world for all.

The Green Roof Organisation is a not for profit organisation who provide information and resources on green roof design and installation. Visit their website to learn more about latest industry developments and to download the GRO Code Of Best Practice.  https://www.greenrooforganisation.org/