Green roof garden

Green Garden Rooftops

Green rooftops also known as rooftop gardens or an eco-roofs have been in the news lately. And with good reason.

Green roofs have been used in parts of Europe for years and are finally catching up here in the United States. Make no mistake however, green rooftops have been around for decades here, but haven't really caught on until recently. Cities such as Toronto, Portland, Seattle, and even Minnesota are sporting homes with green rooftops these days.

Just what is a green or eco roof? It's a roof disguised as a garden. In other words a roof that is covered in plants, typically native flowers and grasses, with a few small shrubs mixed in. Anything larger requires extensive structural engineering to accommodate the heavier weights.

Eco roofs reduce heating and cooling requirements (and costs) as well as play a role in storm water management-a big issue in many urban communities. As an added bonus, green rooftops last longer than conventional asphalt or tar rooftops do too.

Normally storm water runs into the rain gutter and then into the street, where it flows into storm sewers, which eventually discharge into streams or rivers. With rooftop gardens, the water is retained and used by the plants. Although initially more expensive to install, eco roofs tend to pay for themselves within a few years, usually by the time the plants are fully established.

Read more about eco-friendly gardening.

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