Green roofing is the new trend. They are popping up everywhere and sometimes take on the most extraordinary and elaborate forms. There are some true works of art out and about. They can also be very simple, low-budget affairs and can be tuned to meet all tastes, requirements and budgets.
Apart from simply looking nice, they have many advantages. Here are just a few:
If you happen to have a nice, flattish roof which is stable then you can enjoy your own garden without paying the property premium in built up areas. You can create your own oasis on your roof, much farther away from prying eyes than street level could allow. From container planting to a full landscaped paradise, from low budget to high end, the choice is yours.
Gardens and plants of any sort are green lungs. Built up areas, especially cities, often lack drastically in green spaces and nature. By creating a green roof you are improving the urban climate.
Roofs which have been greened beautify built up environments. Seeing a row of trees or shrubs or trailing plants on the skyline has a real appeal which must not be underestimated. You could create your own privacy screen while giving passers-by something to look at.
Apart from improving the urban climate and reducing pollution, a green roof can become a micro-habitat for insects, bees and birds. They create new living spaces for creatures. The knock-on effects of this are still not fully known, but they could help save some endangered species and definitely help them survive and thrive.
Green roofs also help with water and insulation management. On the one hand, there is less rain water running off the building and into the sewage system and so less risk of flooding. The water which does run off has often been filtered by the soil and so is cleaner. On the other hand, less heat is lost through the roof in winter or is let in through the roof in summer when there are plants on it. This has a direct effect on a buildings heating and / or air conditioning costs.
Even if you do not have a flat enough roof, you can still probably create a green roof of sorts. Maybe you have a carport or garage with a flat roof. Most can easily be converted into a light-weight wild flower paradise for bees, butterflies and insects at minimal cost. Failing that, you could even green a balcony (using containers) – but more on that in a later post.
If you are interested in learning more about green roofing, or want to create your own rooftop garden paradise, look up your nearest green roof expert on the internet. Most communities and cities will have at least one representative who can help you.
Kirsten Bergen was born in Canada, traveled the world and now live in Germany. I trained as a translator and interpreter, worked in various office jobs in France and Germany, then retrained as an English teacher. I am now a freelance teacher and translator / proof reader as well as mother. My life gives me enough time and space to follow some of my passions too, a main one being writing. I write articles like the ones published here and have started writing full novels too. Anything which catches my fancy will get put down in words.