The gray, asphalt rooftop of a building can seem barren and desolate. But it holds much more potential beyond being the occupants’ main line of defense from the elements. In recent years, landscaping designers and environmentally-conscious businesses have looked to their roofs to create urban sanctuaries.
A green roof offers a relaxing retreat from the hustle and bustle of city life. It also provides a long list of practical benefits.
- Cut down a building’s energy consumption
- Aid in managing stormwater and flooding
- Curb the urban heat island (UHI) effect
- It creates a diverse biological ecosystem, attracting wildlife such as bees, butterflies, and other beneficial insects.
Over time, a green roof could save your property thousands on energy bills; some cities even provide green incentives to those who embrace green rooftops.
Creating a Green Sanctuary on Your Rooftop
Get these rewards by incorporating the following elements on your rooftop:
There are several design choices that are ideal for urban rooftops. Intensive and extensive substrates allow for low-lying, herbaceous plants to thrive. These surfaces help delay stormwater runoff and reduce the volume of water that goes down your drains; but there’s a major drawback, they can be a high-maintenance, stressful environment for certain plants.
Potted plants, on the other hand, allow for neat, cost-effective, and low-maintenance rooftop gardening.
The best planters provide protection to a wide range of plants, letting them thrive even in the harsh and hostile conditions of an urban rooftop. Things can get tricky if you put a plant in the wrong planter. Make sure you choose planters that meet the drainage and soil depth requirements of each plant.
You’d also want your planters to add aesthetic appeal to the garden, instead of being just a vessel for your flowers and herbs.
If you wish to incorporate trees or tall shrubs, large, deep planters (like our Cozumel Column Planter) can hold enough soil to provide your fauna with enough space to grow strong and healthy. With our lightweight planters, you don’t need to worry about weight-loading issues, and they can be rearranged with ease.
A combination of carefully placed lounge seating and planters are an ideal choice if you want more to get more out of your rooftop and create an inviting escape for your building’s occupants.
From groundcovers to trees, you can grow a diverse array of plants on your roof; but given the harsh and hostile conditions on a green roof, plant selection requires thorough consideration. Most urban green roofs have three categories for plant selection:
- Drought tolerance
- Stormwater management
- Aesthetic appeal
Choose plants that herbaceous and resilient. More often than not, you can get all of these qualities with native plantings. But if aesthetics are the most important thing for you and you don’t want to limit your choices, it’s best to consult with local horticulture experts to know which plants will thrive best on your roof’s specific environment.
Once you’ve figured out all the greenery, you can include additional features in the design, such LED fixtures, and garden accessories to transform your green roof into a comfortable hideaway.