Chances are your grandfather came home from work and spent an hour unwinding in the backyard, watering his tomato plants or picking lemons off the tree. Of course, you live in a city now, or a condo with as little room as a shoebox for backyard space. Green roofs and gardens are really taking off around the world, but you can’t see them from the sidewalk. Once, you could fly over a city and see azure swimming pools winking from below. These days you’ll see carefully-lined roof gardens, plants reaching up to the skies.
No way, you say. But start to look around you. Whether it’s a four-by-four herb patch on a cottage or the six-acre green roof atop Vancouver’s Convention Center, the green roof is here to stay. Roofing contractors attend seminars and part-time classes in creating a new roof that supports urban gardening. The gathering alliances in the building trades supporting roof gardening seem like odd bedfellows. Even The American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers has weighed in with a big “yes” to green roofing that is known to help homes curb energy use.
Growing a New Roof
Motherplants, a woman-owned nursery in upstate New York, has built a steady business in providing drought-tolerant plants with shallow roots that allow your ideas to blossom without impacting the structural integrity of your home. And the U.S. Green Building Council now offers LEED green building certifications for roofing contractors and landscape architects who want to specialize in roofs that promote:
- Lowering of CO2 emissions (increasing oxygen)
- Saving energy
- Improving water efficiency
One thing’s for sure, roofing contractors today are not your grandfather’s roofing contractors, making it possible for you to come home from work, head up to the roof, and tend your garden to your heart’s delight.