The latest fad for garden sheds is the addition of a living green roof which can help to make the garden shed blend into the background as well as making a haven for various wildlife. What is important is for the garden shed to be strong enough to take the weight of the added roof as this consists of the earth for the grass and the weight of the grass, flowers or plants bedded into. Also important is that the angle of the roof is at least 5 degrees so that the shed roof will be self-draining.
Traditional garden sheds roof won’t be strong enough so will need extra roof trusses and also the main purlins in the shed may need to be added to. When you do this you need to be transmitting the weight down to the ground through the garden shed walls. With a little planning and correct placing of the timbers, this will not be a problem. After strengthening the roof itself you need to add a waterproof membrane onto the shed roof, possibly using some black mastic to ensure a good seal with the shed roofing felt.
Another consideration is the direction the shed roof is facing and this will help to determine what plants you can put on it. Is your garden shed exposed to wind and are there any trees nearby as windblown seeds can become a nuisance. If you keep an eye on this it should not be a problem but if left to their own devices the roots could eventually break through the shed roof membrane. Generally speaking, green roofs are normally sedum but if you decide to add plants and flowers you are likely to need more earth on the shed roof and as importantly the shed roof will need more maintenance.
At the Philadelphia International Flower Show which showcases the world’s top gardens and exotic plants from around the world, there were examples of eco-friendly garden sheds for gardeners and visitors to see. The global theme for the show was ‘Passport to the World’. Guests were greeted with a hot air balloon, which was 28 feet high dwarfing the garden sheds and stands at the show, and was covered in 80,000 dried flowers. This Victorian garden display was all set in an area called the Explorers Garden.
A Dutch canal garden was showcased by six of the exhibitors and was planted with 100,000 tulip bulbs, which Holland is famous for with its massive tulip fields. There was also a Zulu village which gardeners could walk through as well as an Amazonian jungle. Besides this, there was a display featuring native plants from New Zealand, many of which could be grown by gardeners. Other displays are from Japan, China, Thailand, England and Scotland as well as many other countries from around the world.
A garden which included eco-friendly elements such as a green roof garden shed, a compost pile (??) and a rainwater collection system was titled ‘Grandmom’s Green Backyard’.
Jane Pepper, president of Philadelphia Horticultural Garden Society said that the Flower Shows’ new title lifts it up onto the world stage and that this is an invitation for gardeners throughout the world to join them in Philadelphia for their superb garden show which does much to highlight the garden at its best.