This site is more of a log book for me. The last three years I haven’t been in the mood to take photos of the gardens and green roof. This was a mistake. It’s nice to see what happened in previous years so as to not repeat the mistakes of those years. This year I decided to do a real photo log within the WordPress blog platform live on the Intertubes. This blog is more wordy than the associated Gallery site. The Gallery site will have all photos posted here plus more.
The veranda addition was completed around the Spring of 2002 when I began to transform that space into a green rooftop. In the Spring of 2005 I expanded to the main rooftop. The transformation of both the veranda and main rooftops can be seen visually through photo logs here.
Zoning defines a difference between rooftop garden and green roof. A rooftop garden isn’t necessarily a “garden.” It can be just a deck on the roof with a few potted plants. A green roof involves actual plants growing on the surface of the roof. There are many companies installing these and the city licenses them and I believe there are tax kickbacks for installing a green roof from one of these companies. After researching my options I chose to develop my green roof myself. Green roofs must be maintained. They need weeding, watering, and inspection. This kind of maintenance is not required for your standard non-green roof — yet, it’s barely mentioned on many of the city licensed green roof contractors’ web site. I decided that since I’ll have to maintain my green roof anyway I may as well design, build, and install it myself. This is the 10th summer I have been researching what grows and what doesn’t grow in a rooftop environment.
Currently, most of my focus is on the main roof. The veranda level has been stripped of all plants that cannot sustain themselves. My goal is to get the veranda 100% self sustaining year after year. Next year I hope to cover between 1/2 to 3/4 of the main roof with greenery — the vast majority will be debris clumps. Debris clumps are groups of plants that bundle their roots together devouring all the soil that sustains them. They then get their nutrients through a form of hydroponics. The debris clumps are light and portable making it easy to reconfigure a layout. They can be moved around and connected like lego blocks. Debris clumps are more durable in their second year. This is my third year growing these after discovering them by mistake. I am still learning how to make them, and make them better. Theoretically these could be grown like sod for a year and then delivered en masse to flat rooftops across the city. More research needs to be done however.
Another major goal is drip irrigation. Watering is a huge problem and is required every single days — sometimes even if it rained. I hope to install drip irrigation to 50% of the plant area next year. If the main roof is to be 50% green, drip irrigation will be required for various rooftop sections because hose mobility will be limited.
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