Wednesday, April 20, 2016

A Living Plant Roof On Our Shed

Two years ago we recycled three doors for this gorgeous wedding backdrop for our grand daughter. Insanely Creative Christy made the huge poster board flowers 
and I grew the white flowers in the urns. 

THEN, we built this little garden shed out of the original three exterior doors and
 one more door from the local Restore. We built it in place and put a roof on it.
 It is the perfect size for our gardening tools and supplies.

The inside of the shed is lined with plywood for stability and strength. 
We wanted to be sure that our little shed was strong enough
 to hold the weight of the heavy roof.

I knew I wanted to put a living green roof with trailing plants and succulents on this little shed. 
Today it finally got done!

The Welding Man used cedar fence boards for the eaves and end caps.
Our grand sons finished the roof prep by stapling waterproof pond liner fabric in place
 and then helped to plant the roof! 

Oooh aaah! 

I like it alot!

I did extensive online research on this project and even got this library book...
Small Green Roofs by Dunnet, Gedge and Little. It is extremely informative!

Here is a photo of the pond liner stapled up and over the edge of the cedar boards.
 We did not pull the liner tight. We left a bit of slack inside 
the planting area for the soil and roots to fill in.

We recycled two layers of dormant grass turf so that we had 5" of 
planting depth within the pond liners and added potting soil to cover the turf.

 I've been saving lots of shallow rooted plants like creeping jenny, different sedums and succulents and miniature viola vines. I added the clumps of Japanese blood grass for contrast and also as a thickly growing soil binder.

A small clump of scarlet dianthus is up there along with some pink and white bamboo grass.
I love how the red tips of the Japanese blood grass picks up
 the reds of the sedum and dianthus.

Now I will prime and paint this pretty little shed soft white after The Welding Man finishes the trim pieces.

For the roof I will sow handfuls of wildflower seeds on the roof and water them in with a sprinkler installed on a short hose. The plants I chose do well with less water and the succulents even like things a bit dry.

I will also get some summer annuals like lobelia and alyssum to trail over the eaves. 

I like it alot!

Here it is with a fresh coat of primer. I like the white on this little shed!

 I really like the hippieish Hobbitish look of this green roof.

The total cost, so far, on this little garden shed is $40 for the four doors at the Restore.
We paid $4 for a box of door and gate hinges at the same store.
Framing lumber and particle board are scraps we had on hand.
The cedar fence boards are left from our back yard fence.
I will use the leftover primer and paint from the wedding prep two years ago.
By far the most expensive item was the pond liner at $45 for a 5' x 12' piece. 
Screws, nails, staples, misc. hardware add $5.
The plants are starts from my own yard and planters I've been growing for two years.
So for less than $95 we've built a nice little garden shed that is perfect for that corner of our yard.

I will do another blog post once it has all the trim, is painted and has
 loads of flowering summer plants on the roof.

I'm really looking forward to that!


  1. love your growing roof...........awesome idea

  2. I want one! I wish I had more carpentry skills/knowledge..Ugh, one of these days!

  3. really cool. great for Earth Day! love how the succulents play off of each other. sharon

  4. Oh my gosh... this is the coolest roof I have EVER seen! Floored! I want one! :)

  5. This "rooftop garden" looks like a fantastic alternative for those of us who have limited space but still want to use our green thumb for an easy-to-maintain garden. My great-grandmother would have truly enjoyed this, as she loved her succulents and she was always thinking of innovative and unique ways to display her garden.

    Pleasance Faast @ Shelton Roof


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