Can I Put A Garden On My Roof?

Herbs and plants in planter boxes on an urban roof garden, Can I Put A Garden On My Roof?Rooftop gardens are not only beautiful to view, but they provide a host of benefits for the environment. Installing a lovely rooftop garden can help reduce energy costs and consumption for a homeowner, provides insulation and cooling properties, and add to a home's value. Depending on local laws regarding zoning and making significant changes to your property, and your home's architecture, you may have to get creative if you wish to put a garden atop your roof.

It is possible to build a garden on your roof, whether it is slanted or flat. You may be interested in placing a garden on your roof for cooling insulation, absorption of carbon in the air, and especially if you live in an urban environment where there may be limited space for traditional gardens. A lot of construction materials used in housing trap heat rather than reflecting it, increasing the demand for air conditioning in sweltering temperatures. A rooftop garden regulates a building's temperature.

Are you excited to learn more about the magic of rooftop gardens, and what is possible? Keep reading to learn more about what makes a rooftop garden an excellent idea, future-proofing your home, and green designs that make life beautiful. Learn here about the science behind rooftop gardens, how to go about making your own rooftop garden, and even what plants are most beneficial for your health and the planet.

A Love Affair With Gardens on the Roof

Humans have enjoyed a love affair of rooftop gardens since the ancient civilization of Mesopotamia created a world of wonder with their elaborate ziggurats teeming with flora and fauna. Today, modern society is increasingly embracing and reconnecting on a broader scale the creation of rooftop gardens. Rooftop gardens create an oasis where people can gather for social occasions, take respite from hot summer days, and bask in the beauty of nature.

Making a rooftop garden goes beyond creating a luxurious ambiance with living greenery. There are many scientific-backed reasons a rooftop garden is an excellent idea. The plants, including trees, used in a rooftop garden help clean the air, provide cooling shade, and absorb excess moisture from heavy rainfall. Because urban environments experience "heat island effect" more than rural or suburban regions, a rooftop garden helps absorb heat and provides much-needed cooling.

Plants and humans have enjoyed a wondrous symbiotic relationship, as plants help reduce stress, anxiety, and provide healthful benefits for people. When the hustle and bustle of urban living or day-to-day modern life become too much to handle, spending time among a rooftop garden provides welcome relief, joy, and inspires awe. There are many ways to approach designing a rooftop garden that is most suitable for your space.

Check out some plants ideal for a rooftop garden.

  • Lavender
  • 'Big Daddy' Hostas
  • Blue Fescue
  • Evergreen Shrubs
  • Butterfly weed
  • Marigolds

This list is just to get you started when thinking about what plants to include in your rooftop garden. Depending on the climate, growing zones, and maintenance required, switch up the plants you select for your home. Let your imagination run wild, as it is possible to grow an edible garden of herbs, vegetables, and fruits,  in addition to decorative trees for shade, ornamental grasses, and other plants in a rooftop garden.

Check out this elegant ornamental grass on Amazon.

Check out this raised garden bed on Amazon.

What is the Purpose of a Rooftop Garden?

Having a rooftop garden creates another green space that helps keep your building cooler in the summer, warmer in the winter, and adds visual appeal to your home. Use a rooftop garden to absorb water from heavy storms and give your sewer system a break. Keep a rooftop garden as a place to escape, grow fruits, vegetables, herbs, or throw a unique garden party.

Rooftop gardens are beneficial for the environment because they reduce greenhouse emissions, can harvest rainwater, provide green space for wildlife, filter toxins from the air, and produce oxygen. A rooftop garden helps a building become more energy-efficient, reflecting and absorbing excess heat, increases the longevity of a roof, and reduces the "heat island effect." If you plant native plants and use a design where the plants are self-watering and can thrive with minimal maintenance, you get a new space to breathe easy and enjoy.

Do You Need Planning Permission for a Rooftop Garden?

Before you get excited about the idea of a rooftop garden, take pause and consider whether you will be limited or barred from doing so because of local laws or a homeowner's association. Enthusiastic persons who live in a planned development community may have a challenge on their hands. Building a rooftop garden would significantly alter the uniform look and feel of the properties, and all the residents might not support the idea.

It is essential to consult local laws regarding what you can do to your property and talk to your local homeowner's association if applicable. If lucky, you may create a rooftop garden with little to no problem, or you may have restrictions on how much space you can use on your roof, and how visible the garden is to the public. Some areas may have incentives to encourage homeowners and commercial building owners to plant rooftop gardens for reduced energy costs, climate change benefits, and how it benefits humans and wildlife.

The best thing is to educate yourself on how you can go about building a rooftop garden, and prepare yourself before you have to go face-to-face with an organization, or representatives for your local laws. You may succeed by using raised garden beds, container gardens, or other creative methods to achieve a rooftop garden.

Can I Use My Flat Roof as a Garden?

Young woman waters herbs and plants on a urban roof garden

It is possible to transform your flat roof into an extravagant and inviting rooftop garden. You will need to consider any weight restrictions on your roof, especially when you are going to add trees, shrubs, layers of soil, planters, and other furniture. You will also need to factor in what type of design you will use, create walkways, and make sure your roof is in good repair before getting started. Don't forget to consult local laws and your homeowner's association before creating a fantastic rooftop garden.

Check out this article if you are looking for quality compost to help your rooftop garden plants thrive.

Check out these beautiful planters that you can use in a rooftop garden to add some variety and visual interest.

One comment

  1. Thank you for so much knowledge and information on all kinds of rooftop designs and plants and shrubs and ideas thank you so much.

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