Flat Roofs to Grow Rooftop Gardens

A rooftop garden can add color, as well as additional living space, to a home.


they call it the hobbit house: Within the European-themed Vail Village sits a home with a slanted, green-growing roof. It’s a predecessor to the Betty Ford Alpine Gardens’ Alpine Center, which sports both a rooftop garden and a green roof. The two buildings prove it’s not only possible, but also quite practical to grow plants on rooftops.

But there’s a big difference between green roofs and garden rooftops. Garden roofs provide extra outdoor living space on top of a home; it’s truly a livable area, with concrete pavers and planters, or other means of designing a garden atop a home. Green roofs, on the other hand, employ sedum and other perennials to replace shingles or metal with a vegetative material, which grows 12 to 18 inches high.

” A green roof (requires) decreased maintenance and lowers energy costs,” says Nick Courtens, senior horticulturalist at the Betty Ford Alpine Gardens. “A garden roof caters to someone who does more gardening and wants to control what they grow.”

Homes planned with flat roofs become candidates for rooftop gardens, a place where homeowners can grow herbs, edibles and flowers in planters. However, garden roofs require proper waterproofing so it “works like a normal roof,” says Pedro Campos, principal of Zehren and Associates. How does your (rooftop) garden grow? | VailDaily.com