Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Greentide: 'brown roof' garden office

London-based Greentide is run by shedworker David Whyte and supplies garden rooms as well as landscape design services. I particularly like this example which has a 'brown roof', something in my ignorance I've never come across, but which David explains nicely:
"The room was built to be an office and family chill out space, so it is a destination away from the house. The building is visible from the house but the view of it is partly obscured by the landscaping and planting inbetween, and you have to go through this to get to it. It is a really great space because it has basic creature comforts (cosy), is a 'proper' room, and has a lovely view over my veg garden. Its location and aspect are a part of the overall garden design layout. The footprint of the room was planned six years ago so it has been built into mature planting. This has helped the room fit or blend into the garden rather than standing out."Intensive and extensive green roofs are fully planted in/on a substrate intended to support those plants, this substrate being a version of the soil plants normally grow in. A brown roof is more like the waste land that 'weeds' seem to do so well on, but the 'weeds' are often plants that are beneficial to and attract insects and wildlife. Being a low nutrient substrate the brown roof is also better suited to growing wildflowers. I am going to wait and see what self seeds on the roof, and I will sow some wildflower seed up there as well. The roof is pitched, the rear third being cedar shingles (low visual impact for the neighbours) with all rainwater runoff collected into butts. Any rainwater runoff from the 'brown' side of the roof goes into a soakaway, a length of land drainage tubing running out across the veg garden.

"So the brown/living roof fits into the whole garden plan because it is an environment that attracts the wildlife you want, to feed on the wildlife you don't, or at least to be a part of that cycle. I hope it will do its bit in helping me be an organic gardener. Another benefit of this type of green roof is that being a lot thicker than a sedum roof for example, it should provide better insulation for the room below."

No comments:

Post a Comment