Times have changed since we first launched Enviromat Sedum Matting for Living Roofs. Then, a green roof was a novelty. Now it’s a garden staple. Find out why.

What are living roofs?

Living roofs are amazing things. The Vikings knew about them and they were a pretty important part of 10th Century Living. Modern living roofs are quite sophisticated in comparison but the principal is the same. It’s all about having live plants on top of a building and benefitting from them. Whether they’re on a garden shed, a warehouse, an office or an underground car park. I personally hope that living roofs are here to stay.

Living Roofs in Gardens

Gardening shows are proliferated by living roofs. And there is no shortage of innovative ideas out there.

Here are some of my favourite small green roofs.

sedum green roof gazebo
Enviromat sedum matting makes a beautiful, interesting and light weight green roof. Seen here on a gazebo it can also be used on stables, summerhouses and extensions.
wildflower green roof project
Outerspace Architects were inspired to build their own living roof after recieving a CPD talk from Harrowden Turf’s Chris Carr. We think this is just outstanding.
green-roof-storage-unit
This storage shed has a beautiful wildflower roof. It brings a bit of green to this urban street and is a great resting place for birds, bees and butterflies
wild flower green roof
This wild flower roof was created for the RHS Hampton Court Flower Show. It’s certainly an interesting feature
bird table with sedum green roof
Not quite a shed but still a lovely project. Maybe you could do this with the offcuts from your green roof shed. I just love this little bird feeder seen here in its winter colours

 

How to make a living green roof

There are lots of different methods of green roofing but all are based on the same principals. The roof must be tightly waterproofed, well drained, strong and able to support the weight of the growing medium and plants. It should also be easy to maintain and ideally, it also offers some sort of benefit to wildlife as well as being pretty.

We’ll look at a simple sedum roof suitable for a garden shed. This is a lovely weekend project that will leave you feeling mightily proud of your achievements.

Roof suitability:

Check the load bearing capacity, the aspect, the slope and the access.

Edgings:

Every living roof needs an edging of some sort. You can buy “off the shelf” green roof edgings or you can make them yourself using timber.

Drainage:

You are making a living roof. Not a swimming pool. Make sure that your roof drains well and that the green roof edgings don’t impede drainage.

Growing Medium:

If you are creating a simple sedum roof using Enviromat sedum matting you don’t need any extra growing medium. It’s part of the product. If you do want a greater depth of substrate, be sure to source the correct product. Ordinary garden soil is not suitable for green roofing. Look out for green roof substrate.

Planting:

Using Enviromat sedum matting is easy. All you need to do is lift the matting onto the roof and then unroll it and manoeuvre it into place. Sound simple? It is easy – but the rolls are heavy so make sure you have plenty of help on hand. If possible, use mechanical lifting gear. If there’s nothing mechanical available, then I strongly advise hiring a scaffold tower so that you can lift the Enviromat in stages.

Green Roof Construction

This video shows you a simple sedum roof under construction.  It also offers some hints and tips on making the work easier.

The product mentioned in the video Enviromat sedum matting which is available to buy from Turfonline.

When you buy a green roof kit from Turfonline you’ll notice that the water retention matting is now sewn onto the back of the sedum matting. This saves you valuable time – and believe it or not it’s cheaper than buying the products separately. Don’t ask me why – I don’t understand it either but hey – a saving is a saving!

 

Buy green roof kit for a pitched roof (3-20 degrees)

Buy a green roof kit for a flat roof (1-3 degrees)

Learn more about growing wildflowers on a roof