tokyo green roofsThere’s always a way of making a garden, even in the trickiest spots. And our flat or sloping roofs are the newest frontier.

Looking down at Britain through the eyes of Google earth shows us just how many cities, towns, roof spaces there are. Imagine if even 10% of them were covered in nodding, alpine-style flowers and grasses, bees drifting over them lazily.

Green roofs are an increasingly popular, and London is the first UK city to adopt¬† a living roof policy. They’re wonderful to glimpse and practical too. With wetter winters on the rise, green roofs absorb up to 75% of rainfall, reducing runoff dramatically, and lowering the risk of flash floods.

They cool the air, and can reduce surface roof temperatures by as much as 50C in summer. And they can extend the life of the existing roof fabric by two-thirds.

They’re not too tricky to install – ready-made green roof kits and plant rolls are now available to roll out over waterproof membrane –¬† and once up are very low-maintenance.

And the range of plants that will grow in shallow soil up there is surprisingly large. Ecological gardening professor, Nigel Dunnett has experiemented successfully with xx, xx and xx to create lush border-like greenery in the sky.

Definitely consider a green roof if you have

  1. a flat roof
  2. an important view overlooking your roof
  3. a roof terrace
  4. plans to build your own home

green sedum roof