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My Green Roof Project

I finally moved into my new flat last Autumn. The planned extension has taken a long time to get off the ground, but is now up to roof level.

I have been interested in Green roofs for many years, so when my lovely new upstairs neighbour expressed concern about what her view would be like, once the extension had been built, it seemed like the perfect solution.

The house next door has an ugly grey bitumen flat roof which was put on their extension a few years ago. It really isn’t a nice thing to look out onto. I wanted to create something that was attractive all year round, that would screen the roof next door as well.

I realised that I would need to install an intensive green roof, in order to provide the type of growing medium for a wide

range of drought tolerant plants. My architect recommended a German system by Bauder and after researching alternatives, I decided to go with them.

Just before Christmas they came and laid the roof. It was very exciting to watch as multiple layers of waterproofing and insulation were installed.

Installing a green roof, waterproofing.

Waterproofing the roof

Insulation layer on a green roof

The insulation layer

Installing the felt layer on a green roof

The felt layer.

Finally the aggregate was laid and I was ready to plant.

Planting on the green roof

As I want to be able to see the flowers from my garden and create a screen for my upstairs neighbour, I will be mostly using plants that have the potential to grow at least 40-50cm tall. It will be interesting to see how they perform when grown in the substrate with no irrigation and also how they cope with the windy nature of a roof garden. I will be keeping a record of which plants do well and equally importantly which do not!

green roof bulbs and euphorbia

Due to the time of year, I initially just planted some bulbs that I had potted up and a small collection of plants that I already had.

These were:

Tulip humillis ‘Lilliput a lovely species tulip with intense deep red flowers

Narcissus ‘Martinette’ which have multiple yellow and orange flowers on each stem. They have put on quite a show .

Green Roof planting

I have also planted some hardy grasses and perennials. Details of each plant are listed below.

So far they have all survived and now that the weather is warming up, they are putting on growth.

I will post some more pictures later in the year when they have filled out.

choosing plants on a green roof

Plant List


Anthyllis vulneraia var coccinea, orangy-red flowers in Summer 30cm Silver foliage

Artemisia aboranum ‘Silver Fall’, Low sub-shrub, semi evergreen, intense silver foliage 50cm

Artemisia ludoviciana ‘Valerie Finnis’, wider leaves grows up to 60cm

Dianthus carthinosorum, mat forming evergreen folliage with cerise pink flowers on 50cm stems.

Echinops ritro ‘Platinium Blue’ Wooly foliage bright blue thistle mid Summer 60cm

Erigeron annuus, a short lived perennial with small white aster-like flowers. 1.5m

Euphorbia myrsinites. Evergreen Grey leaves with yellow flowers in Spring. 30cm

Euphorbia seguieriana. Evergreen Flowers late summer. 50cm

Salvia candelabrum, a shrubby evergreen salvia with grey leaves and tall stems of lilac and white flowers all Summer.

Salvis nemorosa ’Pink’

Teucrium hiranicum, Reddish- purple spires to 45cm above glaucous evergreen leaves.

Verbascum phoenicium ‘Violetta’ Short-lived perennial with dark purple spires to 60cm.


Festuca amethystina blue green foliage topped with purple flowers in early Summer 60cm

Oryzopsis milliacea, Evergreen grass which flowers continuously. Grows to 1m


Narcissus ‘Martinette’ which have multiple yellow and orange flowers on each stem.

Tulip humillis ‘Lilliput a lovely species tulip with intense deep red flowers

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