Garden project – Living Roof – Where do you store your wheelie bins? Mine are in an untidy row by the back door. That’s OK I suppose but they don’t make a very good impression for visitors and in summer the “perfume” can be a little off-putting!
Wheelie bins. Incredibly practical but rather bulky and not very pretty. A green roof storage shed is an attractive place to store wheelie bins. As well as improving the aesthetic of the garden, green roof buildings are a great way to support wildlife.
I’m seriously considering building a nice little shed within easy reach of the back door where the bins can be safely out of sight (and scent). I might even make it big enough to store Alice’s buggy while I wait for muddy wheels to dry, Charlie’s bike, and even my filthy gardening boots.
I don’t know about you, but I often see really practical garden features that are incredibly unattractive. I’m thinking about those big plastic storage thingies and those micro greenhouses with poly walls. Bleugh! I definitely don’t want my new bin store to be like that.
I want it to be built with as many natural materials as possible. Timber would be good. And living plants.
I was inspired by this curved roof log store. I love the shape of the roof, but it’s the sedum plants on top of it that caught my eye.
Benefits of green roofs
Green roofs have been used by architects for years and years. They’re great at insulating buildings. In towns they help to combat the urban heat island effect and they’re super at soaking up rainwater before it can overload drainage systems. But what green roofs are really good at, is creating wildlife habitat.
I want my bin store to attract bees (did I mention I keep honeybees?), butterflies, hoverflies and all sorts of beneficial insects.
To support a biodiverse living roof, one with wild flowers or herbs growing in it, requires a really beefy building. The layers of growing medium for deep rooting plants need to be at least 15cm thick. That’s a lot of stuff and it’s heavy. A simple bin store might not cope with all that weight.
A sedum roof however, made with sedum matting, is reasonably light weight.
I found this picture on Pinterest (my go-to site for gardening inspiration). Absolutely love the design although I’m not sure if those sedum plants are going to enjoy living under that beautiful tree – they’re not known for enjoying shady conditions.
This storage shed came from Taylors Garden Buildings It looks as though the Enviromat has just been installed and needs a drink of water and a bit of time to perk up. It’s a beautiful building though. Sturdy, attractive and a nice size.
How to put a sedum roof on a small shed
Provided that the shed is strong enough and the roof is fully waterproofed already, to build a sedum roof on a small shed requires limited DIY skills and one of TurfOnline’s ready-made sedum mat kits.
The first job is to fix an edging to the roof. This will stop the sedum matting from drying out at the edges. It will also protect it from wind uplift.
Fastfix.co.uk offer a range of green roof edgings at sensible prices. These can be glued to the roof. If you want to make an edging with timber, for goodness sake don’t compromise the waterproofing by using nails or screws. And make sure that water can drain either under or through the edging.
How to install green roof edgings
Once the edging is securely in place, it’s time to install your sedum matting.
On a sloping roof, you can lay Enviromat all in one sedum matting directly onto the waterproofing. Tuck it in to the edges, water it and you’re done.
On a flat roof, the principle is the same, except that you need to pop a layer of drainage mat underneath the Enviromat.
Couldn’t be easier!
All I need now, is somebody to build my bin store for me…..any volunteers?