Rooftop gardens bring more than beauty and energy to a formerly lackluster space. They also bring nature into the city, IMPROVING human health and offering valuable real estate for plants, pollinators and other wildlife.
Ever look out your office window and seen people having drinks on a rooftop garden across the way – and feel a serious urge to gatecrash their party?
Ever wish you could turn that abandoned roof space into a plant-bedecked, fairy light-strewn Eden, right in your own building?
Ever want to increase the psychosocial and physical healing times at your hospital with an elaborate green roof space, but you’re not sure how?
You, my friend, need a rooftop garden.
How Is a Rooftop Garden Different from a Green Roof?
The definition of a rooftop garden is really pretty simple:
It’s a garden that exists on your rooftop. (We know; blew your mind there.) It can have some or all of the characteristics of a garden on the ground, including plants, water features, wildlife habitat, gathering spaces and watering mechanisms.
The terms rooftop garden and green roof are sometimes confused.
Admittedly, the two do share some significant similarities, including a need for roof protection, waterproofing, drainage, growing media and a means of monitoring the health of the ecosystem once installed. Their construction process is also similar in many ways.
However, a rooftop garden is only one type of green roof. The main difference between it and other green roofs are the size of plants grown, and therefore the planting depths required. Rooftop gardens may also incorporate architectural features, walkways and even outdoor kitchens.
This is known as an intensive green roof. Its weight and stewardship requirements are significantly greater than an extensive green roof, which usually caps out at 4-6 inches of growing media and small plants such as sedums or low-growing grasses.
Still, you can grow an impressive array of species in only 4-10 inches of soil, including a wide array of herbs, grasses, flowering plants and even small shrubs.
What Benefits do Rooftop Gardens Offer?
Beyond providing a boss setting for your next corporate picnic or grilling party, rooftop gardens bring a range of health, environmental and infrastructural benefits to urban spaces.
For one thing, natural settings are known to benefit mental health, increasing serenity, clarity, creativity and mindfulness in the moment.
For another, gardens improve both mental and physical health, giving you an outlet for the very human desire to engage with the natural world – and with other people.
For another, rooftop gardens create habitat for birds and mammals, many of whom are displaced by urban infrastructure and desperately need homes. They also provide food and habitat for pollinators, which are responsible for 75 percent of our food supply, according to some estimates.
They also may also incorporate native plants that feed those animals and pollinators, helping reintroduce the natural world to our cities.
Learn More About Rooftop Gardens Today
Want to learn more about rooftop gardens, and how they can help improve your world?
Ecogardens is happy to help. All you have to do is get in touch.