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Suggestion for Low/No maintenance plants/flowers to be placed in pots on my shed roof

Hi all

I recently had a proper (2 course Block and Brick ) brick shed built in my garden.  The roof is a proper flat roof (professionally built) as strong as any house roof (6 x 3 timbers) with a proper rubber membrane on it.  It is brilliant and can easily hold the weight of 10 men.  I originally wanted a sedum roof but after lots of advice on here, I have shelved that idea. 

So, here's what I am planning on doing...

I want to lay a piece of artificial grass on the flat shed roof (4000  x  3800).  I then want to decorate the roof with fancy plant pots with low/no maintenance plants/flowers.  A bit of flower colour would be nice and as I mentioned I want low/no maintenance.  Please can you guys suggest:

Quality Green artificial grass

But, more importantly...Some plants/flowers I can grow in pots on the roof of the shed.

I should point out that the shed is set down in the side garden (lower than the house) so that from the house it is easy to walk off the path onto the shed roof.  Therefore, no ladders are needed etc.  

I look forward to your suggestions guys.

Oh, I should mention that at one side of the shed there are conifers that block quite a bit of light out when the Sun is high in the sky.  It's not shaded etc but not really sunny either (if that makes sense)? 

Thanks in advance all.


  • FairygirlFairygirl Posts: 54,348
    We need photos. It's just not possible to offer valid ideas, especially with the conifers affecting the site.
    Why do you think sedums etc wouldn't work? I have small green roofs for my bird cage feeders, and they don't get a lot of light. Many low growing alpines etc are happy with light shade.  :)

    I personally wouldn't use artificial grass. No need for it. Just use pots with pot feet. Shrubs are less good in pots unless there's sufficient moisture for them, and they get enough attention each year to ensure the growing medium continues to suit them. The evergreen Japanese azaleas would be fine though, and need very little attention. They're slow growing. You could also have Acers if the site is sheltered. Both of those will need a suitable medium to grow in, and decent moisture. 

    Annuals might be better. Things like Busy Lizzies are happy in shade, and Fuchsias. Some grasses will also be fine - Carexes for example. Shade loving perennials include things like Brunnera, Pachysandra, Heuchera, many Ferns and some spring bulbs. 
    Pots of a similar colour, in different sizes,  grouped together will look better than random pots dotted around. 
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

    I live in west central Scotland - not where that photo is...
  • Ladybird4Ladybird4 Posts: 37,195
    There are infinite varieties of sempervivums which would look lovely and I agree with Fairygirl about the fake grass.
    Cacoethes: An irresistible urge to do something inadvisable
  • AsarumAsarum Posts: 656
    My first thought was that the pots would blow over but it depends on your surroundings.
    East Anglia
  • Hi all

    Please see image.  Hopefully this makes things a little clearer.  I am later planning on possibly having decking covering that horrid grassy stretch, which will make access to the shed roof even easier.  So, you can see from this image that I need to do something with that Ugly, Black Rubber roof, hence my idea of Fake Grass (with plants in pots).  Btw...The shed is genuinely that shape...It's not a skewed image...It's not square...
  • FairygirlFairygirl Posts: 54,348
    edited November 2021
    I was under the impression it was more or less level with the path - which it definitely isn't.
    If that was mine, I'd forget doing anything with the roof other than perhaps some feather edge timber to make it more attractive. It looks like it would be very unsafe if you were trying to access that from the border/path area - it's several feet of a height difference. Decking would be lethal along there too, as it's shady.  I'd put a proper edge along the border area beside the path, and plant that up - a mix of shrubs trees and perennials. 
    I'd definitely want to screen off that awkward corner in at the back. It might do for storage if it can be accessed from the left side of the shed, but hard to see from the angle. 
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

    I live in west central Scotland - not where that photo is...
  • Fairy

    Thank you for your input. It is much appreciated. The bit about the decking… I never took that on board so I need to think again. The space at the back I will eventually landscape it. As for the roof it is a lot more accessible than it looks, but never the less that’s exactly why I want to put low/no maintenance plants/flowers on there. So I can get on the roof once and leave it for a long time. Any thoughts on plants/flowers with a bit of colour that can handle that shade, that can be left to their own devices for long periods?
    thank you. 
  • Blue OnionBlue Onion Posts: 2,984
    Maybe a woven grass or bamboo type fencing layered flat and attached to the rubber somehow?  
    Utah, USA.
  • Flowering plants in pots require frequent watering … in summer many need watering twice a day. They’ll also be in danger of being blown over in strong winds unless they’re very big and heavy.

    I can see what you’re trying to do … the flat roof sort of dominates the view …. However my way of dealing with it would be to make the area around the shed more attractive using planting etc, and draw the eye away from the roof. 

    I think putting pots of flowering plants on the roof will just draw the eye to the roof rather than ‘hide’ it. 

    Gardening in Central Norfolk on improved gritty moraine over chalk ... free-draining.

  • FairygirlFairygirl Posts: 54,348
    Over autumn and winter, many potted plants don't need a lot of attention, but in spring, they'll need the growing medium amended, and as soon as the weather warms up and soil dries out, they'll need watering - often every day, depending on what they are. Even large containers will need attention. Any potted plant is reliant on you completely for food and water, with the exception of things like succulents/saxifrages which are the norm for a green roof because they survive with very little of either. 
    I can't really understand why you feel the need to put pots on there, instead of planting up an existing border, which will easily hide the roof from the angle the photo's taken from.  The border just needs a proper retaining edge along the side nearest the shed, and some additions of organic matter, and then plants. The plants I mentioned earlier will do the job, but in a border they'd need very little attention as opposed to being potted.  
    A climber in there could also be used, and just tied in  to spread across the roof if you wanted.   :)
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

    I live in west central Scotland - not where that photo is...
  • Nanny BeachNanny Beach Posts: 8,669
    Some great thoughts on here. I want to know what you are going to do with it. I assume it's not just for storage. The wooden ones cost enough money. This is a small house!
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