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Green Roofs for garden sheds

Image 7-deralict shed Images 8-derelict shed Images 9-old shed

Garden sheds are no longer the boring wooden buildings that sit at the bottom of the garden housing garden tools, bicycles and unwanted items. These are now considered to be an extension of the home creating fabulous spaces for both work and leisure.

Garden sheds do not need to be boring, but a simple lick of paint isn’t enough, we are now taking them to the next level and making them an extension of our gardens by creating a living roof.  Green roofs, often referred to as ‘living roofs’ have existed in Scandinavian countries and other parts of the world for centuries, but have recently become increasing popular in the UK.

Image 3-green roof logstore image 1 IF

The benefits of green roofs are numerous:

  • In urban environments these can provide an additional place for birds, insects, butterflies and bees to live, feed and breed. The demand for building land is ever increasing and brown sites are disappearing which is having a big impact on the Biodiversity in UK towns and cities
  • They can help to reduce ground surface water which can lead to flooding, by reducing the amount of water run-off from the roof
  • They can increase the absorption of carbon dioxide, thus reducing pollutants in the atmosphere
  • The addition of plants can help to reduce noise pollution
  • These can assist in the heat effects, keeping the internal space cooler in summer and warmer in winter, reducing energy cost
  • They can help to camouflage an unsightly building into its surroundings

January has been and gone and we are already in the second week of February. Snow drops cover the ground and signs of spring are starting to appear, daffodil and crocus shoots are forcing themselves through the top layer of soil, along with tiny buds starting to appear on trees and bushes. Now is the ideal time to start thinking about how you can ‘Pimp Your Shed’ and make your shed the envy of every neighbour.

There are two types of green roofs:

Intensive: The soil depth for these roofs is generally much thicker as plants have a deeper root system. Additional irrigation will be needed along with regular maintenance. Due to the excessive weight, additional supports will be needed.

Extensive: In contrast, the soil depth is much shallower and no additional irrigation systems are required, therefore making this more suitable to varieties of sedums, grasses, mosses and alpines

In preparation you must ensure that your shed is strong enough to take the additional weight, this may require supports to be added to the main structure of the roof. If in doubt, seek professional advice.

The roof needs to be thoroughly water tight. An additional layer of roofing felt can be laid in the opposite direction to the existing layer or alternatively polythene can be secured in place.

A frame needs to be built so that it can fit around the outside edge of the roof as this will stop any soil or plants from sliding off.

The frame can then be filled with a thin layer of potting compost mixed with Perlite, this will help with drainage and reduce weight.

It’s now ready for planting. A variety of imaginative and inspiring roofs can be achieved with a little thought and planning. You may want to change the plants depending on the time of year.  

image 5- roof garden Image 6-dog house image 4- salad roof


Images 1

INSPIRATION GREEN (2011) green roof on house [Online image] Available from: [Accessed: 07/02/2014]

Image 2

INSPIRATION GREEN (2011) turf roof [Online image] Available from:  Accessed: 07/02/2014]

Image 3

INSPIRATION GREEN (2011) log store [Online image] Available from: [Accessed: 07/02/2014]

Image 4

ROOF GARDEN (2011) salad roof [Online image] Available from:

[Accessed: 07/02/2014]

Image 5

MOTHER EARTH LIVING (2012) roof garden [Online image] Available from: [Accessed: 07/02/2014]

Image 6

 THE TELEGRAPH (2012) dog house [Online image] Available from: [Accessed: 07/02/2014]

Images 7

DERELICT PLACES (2014) derelict shed [Online image] Available from:  [Accessed: 07/02/2014]

Image 8

RAMBLINGS (2010) derelict shed [Online image] Available from: [Accessed: 07/02/2014]

Images 9

31 GEORGE STREET (2014) old shed [Online image] Available from:

[Accessed: 07/02/2014]


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One Response

  1. Great idea you shared in this article that shares many tips and information that keeps us helpful. Thank you for the great thoughts!

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