Guest Author - Connie Krochmal
Green roofs are all the rage. Now they’ve moved from being a mere novelty to a lasting feature in the landscape. There have been various developments and trends in recent years. These are often planted with succulents.
In some nurseries and garden centers around the country gardeners will find stunning examples of green roofs. These are displayed on garden sheds, gazebos, and other garden structures featuring green roofs. Some nurseries use the green roofs on garden center structures, such as walkways and sales rooms. In some cases the displays have even featured playhouses and doghouses with green roofs.
In 2010 the World Green Roof Congress was held in London, England. Various research projects have continued to find that green roofs can lower the air temperature in urban areas, which will become very important in the future when the true impact of global warming becomes more pronounced. Among the most highly recommended plants for green roofs is a sedum mix. In some cases, these were combined with other compatible companion plants that withstand hot, dry conditions, such as the lamb’s ear.
There are many reasons for planting a green roof. One is to control storm run-off. Some municipalities are now requiring that new construction create sustainable provisions for storm run-off. Here in western North Carolina the city of Asheville levies a storm run-off tax, which they have dubbed a user fee, on property owners. They then turn around and give the money to a non-profit, which supposedly uses it for storm run-off projects.
On the other hand, compare Asheville’s blighted approach to that of Portland, Oregon. This progressive city offers financial incentives for property owners who install green roofs, which some call ecoroofs. Portland’s efforts are paying off. Some 300 green roofs have been installed in the city as of mid-May of 2010. Taken as a whole, the green roofs in Portland would cover nearly 25 acres.
Green roofs can also be seen at various public sites around the country, such as the Woodstock North High School in Woodstock, Illinois. These are also present at the Evelyn Pease Tyner Interpretive Center in Glenview