A natural green roof

wild edgeswild edges The north west of south east WalesPosts: 3,453
I've got a love for green roofs and I was out on a job today and saw this lovely roof on top of an old stone barn. Ignore the asbestos sheets but the plants look very happy, you can even see lots of dried flower heads so the plants must love it up there. It looks like mostly sedum reflexum/rupestre with some umbilicus rupestris (navel wort) and some ivy growing on a thick bed of moss. I've got a mind to chuck some native sempervivum offsets up on there if I'm ever passing again.

The roof faces north-east and is under the shade of an old sycamore tree for a good part of the day. It must be good dappled shade in the summer and obviously survived this summer's heat.




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  • nutcutletnutcutlet PeterboroughPosts: 26,041
    that's beautiful
  • wild edgeswild edges The north west of south east WalesPosts: 3,453
    Here's something mildly interesting. I looked up the roof on Streetview to check the orientation and look how closely the plants stick to the shadow line of that tree. I guess the moss can only survive a certain amount of sun and the other plants rely on the moss.


  • raisingirlraisingirl East Devon, on the Edge of Exmoor.Posts: 3,563
    The 'wilding' process of pioneer species providing a foothold (should that be roothold?) for less tenacious plants is fascinating in the things it throws up. 

    That roof is lovely - probably classifies as 'brown' roof, rather than green, do you think? As no one planted it
    It's hard to love, there's so much to hate
    Hanging on to hope when there is no hope to speak of
  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 55,619
    There’s a terraced house in St Ives (the Cornish one) with an old slate roof absolutely covered in ferns ... it’s wonderful ... I suppose one day it’ll have to be replaced, but for now it’s glorious. 💗 
    “I am not lost, for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.” Winnie the Pooh







  • wild edgeswild edges The north west of south east WalesPosts: 3,453
    The 'wilding' process of pioneer species providing a foothold (should that be roothold?) for less tenacious plants is fascinating in the things it throws up. 

    That roof is lovely - probably classifies as 'brown' roof, rather than green, do you think? As no one planted it
    I think brown roof has been claimed as the name for roofs with a focus on habitat enhancement. Basically adding logs and stones etc as well as more diversity of plants. Blue roofs are also a thing now with greater capacity to hold water and even small ponds and things. Maybe this would be a wild green roof or maybe feral green since the sedum isn't technically native. I used to have a great book on small green roofs actually which might have had the answer but I leant it to someone who left it out in the rain :| The price of the book had tripled since I bought it too.
  • raisingirlraisingirl East Devon, on the Edge of Exmoor.Posts: 3,563
    wild edges said:

    I used to have a great book on small green roofs actually which might have had the answer but I leant it to someone who left it out in the rain :| 
    How rude. That would have made me be rather Denys Finch Hatton

    I've been trying to get a blue roof on a project for a couple of years - no takers yet but I keep trying  :)
    It's hard to love, there's so much to hate
    Hanging on to hope when there is no hope to speak of
  • wild edgeswild edges The north west of south east WalesPosts: 3,453
    I imagine the idea of having a pond over your head is very disconcerting to most people. I thought the uptake for green roofs would have been much higher though but apart from a few commercial buildings I rarely see them around here.
  • wild edgeswild edges The north west of south east WalesPosts: 3,453
    Another natural green roof spotting this week. This time I noticed some Sedum Album poking over the edge of a low barn roof and had to drive the car over to give me something to stand on to see what was up there. Another low pitch asbestos roof at about 7° pitch and basically south facing. I guess the asbestos doesn't heat up as much as tin and possibly holds water for longer but it does seem popular with plants.



  • NollieNollie Girona, Catalunya, Northen SpainPosts: 2,409
    Thats really inspired me, Wildedges. I have a load of old asbestos roof panels abandoned by some previous owner. I was going to get them responsibly disposed of by an appropriate licensed handler. Now I am thinking of using them to roof an open-sided structure to cover the dappled shade chipping/composting area behind the garden shed.  I could chuck some moss and sedums up there and see what happens...
  • wild edgeswild edges The north west of south east WalesPosts: 3,453
    You'd have to fix them using the original holes and be very careful not to damage them. It's probably not worth the risk though as older sheets can be a bit more fragile and any disturbance can release toxic fibers.
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