In fact, the corporate world has tried to patent many systems that are merely raised beds.
So expand your design considerations today by thinking of green roofs and living walls, not as a mysterious, high-tech approach to growing plants. Think of your next design project where you need plants (be they flowers, food, natives or landscape specimens) as a raised bed.
|Green Roof projects are like Raised Beds!|
Questions to ask yourself include;
- What will your soil media be comprised of?
- Should be lightweight, well-drained not made from exotic synthetics heated in ovens to thousands of degrees for expansion or molding. I like simple things, like sharp sand.
- What are your raised bed (or living roof/wall) side walls made of?
- Stay away from materials that are flammable, UV degradable or contain toxins.
- What plants do you want to use?
- What is the root architecture of your chosen plants similar to?
- Do you have deep roots? Shallow root requirement?
- Root architecture will direct your soil media depth design.
- Try and stick with plants that provide food or are pollinator attractors.
- I like native wildflowers but many designers stick with the tried and true succulents or sedum.
- Food plants are also wonderful for rooftops and walls if protected from winds.
- Where will the irrigation water come from?
- I hate adding water to a roof. They all eventually leak....but if water is already there, like AC condensate - use it!
- Plantings are mostly always pretty - make sure they can be seen.
- Can you get to the raised bed/rooftop or wall garden?
- Dont put a raised bed on top of a septic tank and neither install a rooftop garden on a weak rafter system.
- Common sense
- and more...
The point here is - think of a rooftop design as a great raised bed in the sky. Don't wait for the right 'system' to come along. Go for it, design and install!