So, contrary to the skepticism of home and neighbors, the construction of your roof garden is nearing its triumphant conclusion. Behind the most labour — consuming part of construction and installation works, and in front a most enjoyable selection of plants. Of course, even the layman is clear that all vending specimens on the roof to drag impractical that plants should be selected taking into account the conditions. in which they will live, grow and bloom. Where to start such a responsible business?
There are no special secrets in the selection of plants: the rules are dictated by logic and common sense and fit into several points (which I advise you not to neglect). So, you need to consider:
- the living conditions for all plants on the roof are close to extreme, so the pampered crops from the list delete uniquely;
- type of garden: intensive, extensive or tub, that is, the amount of soil that can count on a particular culture;
- requirements for content: if the plant reacts painfully to the difference between day and night temperatures, gets burns from the sun, loses decorativeness from rain and light breeze, falls in exhaustion, it is necessary to delay watering for half an hour — it does not belong in a high-rise garden;
- climatic conditions: if the culture prefers coolness and high humidity, in a hot and dry climate will be very, very problematic not only to achieve a blooming species, but simply to save her life;
- planting material is desirable to purchase in nurseries of the area in which the green roof is located. Simply put, use zoned plants.
Of course, you can give up on all the recommendations and warnings, and to spite everyone to create a garden of the most capricious exotic plants. Putting a lot of effort and money on maintenance and care, you will certainly achieve the desired, but do you need a garden at this price? However, what will grow on the roof, each owner will decide on their own, and we will return to the topic of our article — the selection of plants.
In fact, there are many hardy plants: grass, cereals, annual and perennial flowers, shrubs, trees. The main thing — to choose the most unpretentious of them (even at the expense of decorative!) species and varieties and provide proper care.
Crops for container garden
It is easier to settle than others, and many gardeners already have experience in creating a container garden, because often from urban apartments potted flowers for the summer move to the balcony or loggia.
If you are not going to spend most of the day in the care of garden plants, it is better to do without exotic, use unpretentious specimens.
To keep the garden pleasing to the lush greenery of a lush and long flowering period, provide regular watering and do not skimp on the feeding — in conditions of the limited volume of soil they need.
Plants for extensive garden
Since such gardens do not involve irrigation systems, and the soil layer is small, the plants are selected the most unpretentious. These are Sedum and Sempervivum. They are afraid of waterlogging, so they often decorate pitched roofs. The choice of succulent is diverse both in form and in color — there is where to roam the imagination of a novice gardener! You can choose plants with silver-olive, maroon or bright green foliage.
Carpet of succulents with pink, yellow, cream flowers is very attractive, very easy to arrange and care. In General, for the first roof garden succulents — what you need! Later, having gained experience, it will be possible to swing at more capricious plants!
Good for green roof and grass. Looks nice green lawn, sown with a mixture of drought-resistant lawn grass or flowers. A ground cover plants form a solid Mat, long shoots beautifully hanging from the roof — a sight for sore eyes! Perennials such as thyme and Dianthus deltoides will be good on the Sunny roof, and a worthy ornament will be shaded loosestrife monetary.
From unpretentious annuals it is worth noting calendula, Lobelia, cornflowers, portulac. Planted them at a distance of about 10 cm from each other.
Interesting look vines: morning glory, nasturtium, thunbergia, Lathyrus odoratus, grown as a groundcover (i.e. without support). In General, the field for experiments is huge.
Of course, do not forget about the spring period, when after the winter is still gray and dull: crocuses, Galanthus, tulips, daffodils, Muscari, Puschkinia, hyacinths — all on the roof! By the way, just spring-flowering bulbs at a height will feel great!
The main thing — do not forget to fertilize them in time (that’s feeding definitely advise not to neglect, it will benefit the plants — and the bloom will extend, and the brightness of the petals will give, tested in practice!).
Plants for intensive garden
It is better to use the flora of its climatic zone. Almost all the flowers, ornamental grasses that grow on an ordinary flower bed, can successfully exist on a green roof. Irrigation system and sufficient layer of soil substrate allow to do it. It is worth paying attention to the frost resistance of plants, because in the roof garden the soil freezes stronger in winter than in an ordinary garden. Therefore, choose more resistant to frost varieties and carefully sheltered for the winter.
Shrubs are selected not only for beauty, but also for endurance (frost-resistant, drought-resistant, well-tolerated pruning). A great contender is Amelanchier. It grows as a shrub or a small tree, in the spring it is densely covered with flowers, in the summer it is decorated with fruits. Easy to carry haircut, unpretentious.
The real decoration of the garden can be considered spirea: they are very diverse in shape, size and color range, quite drought-resistant.
A good choice will be barberry: unpretentious, well tolerate pruning, very diverse in color foliage. In spring, their branches are completely covered with yellow flowers, and later — ruby berries. Boxwood, dogwood, turf, lilac — also a great material for planting in the garden on the roof.
The selection of trees should be taken seriously, because they will grow in difficult conditions. Requirements for them are the same as for shrubs: resistant to frost and drought, easy to tolerate pruning (to allow them to grow freely, you can not, and if they painfully tolerate shortening shoots, it is better to find another, more immune to this procedure) and strong winds.
To make the garden look beautiful and habitable at once, pay attention to the larger trees. After planting, they must be securely fixed so that they do not sway in the wind, otherwise the tree just does not take root.
The most suitable for a high-rise garden can be called a birch, maple, Rowan, pine. These plants are unpretentious, able to grow in the most difficult conditions (probably everyone had to see the self-seeding of these trees on balconies, walls, roofs of abandoned houses).
Excellent candidates in a garden on the roof — trees of the dwarf forms of trees and on trunks. Very good look decorative Apple trees: they grow small (2.5-3 m) trees, bloom profusely snow-white or ruby-red flowers. Fruits the size of cherries (yellow, red, dark cherry) can be stored on the tree all winter!
From conifers can be planted Juniperus sabina, mountain pine, thuja. They are very enliven the winter landscape, especially if you pick up plants with different colors of pine needles.
A little more I want to say about the vertical gardening in the roof garden. For this purpose we often use an undemanding and fast-growing Parthenocissus. By the way, it can be not only a decoration, but also protection from strong winds.
Of course, the arrangement of the roof garden is troublesome, but the result is worth it. A personal piece of wildlife between heaven and earth, in the middle of the city — a dream that can still be realized…