Study Green Walls and Roofs
There are lots of different reasons for creating a vertical garden or roof garden, and the way you develop the garden may be affected by the reasons you created it. Common reasons might be:
- Lack of space for a more extensive garden
- Improve aesthetics of an ugly place (wall or roof)
- Create an urban sanctuary
- Improve physical environment (e.g. reduce glare, modify temperature, filter air pollutants, reduce water runoff and mitigate flood problems)
- Urban farming – growing crops in an urban area
Course Content and Structure
There are 9 lessons in this course, and around 12 hours of work (average) per lesson. The lessons are as follows:
- Scope and Nature of Roof and Vertical Gardens
- Construction Functional and Appropriate Vertical and Roof Gardens
- Climbing Plants and Structures for climbing
- Plants Suited to Roof and Vertical Gardens
- Adaptations for Other Plants in Roof and Vertical Gardens
- Container Growing
- Maintenance –watering, pest control
- Applications/Landscaping –Roof Gardens
- Applications/Landscaping –Vertical gardens
Each lesson culminates in an assignment which is submitted to the school, marked by the school's tutors and returned to you with any relevant suggestions, comments, and if necessary, extra reading.
- Discuss the nature and scope of vertical gardens and roof gardens in horticulture today.
- Explain engineering considerations involved with the building of vertical and roof gardens, both on small and large scale projects.
- Select appropriate materials and plan the way in which the non living components of the garden is created, in order to achieve an appropriate and sustainable installation.
- Select appropriate climbing plants for creating vertical or roof gardens, and determine appropriate strategies to cultivate those plants, in a variety if different situations.
- Select appropriate plants for use in vertical or roof gardens, which are tolerant of the adverse growing conditions, having natural adaptations to growing under conditions that are encountered in these gardens.
- Select and plan the cultivation of plants that lack natural adaptations to growing on roofs or vertical gardens; but which are none the less required to grow in these adverse conditions
- Explain a range of container growing techniques, in a range of different roof and vertical gardens, that may be used with a selection of different types of plants.
- Identify and evaluate problems with vertical and roof gardens, and compare options for solving those problems
- Plan the development of roof gardens for both small and large scale applications.
- Plan the development of vertical gardens for both small and large scale applications.
WHAT IS A ROOF GARDEN?
A roof garden is quite literally a garden on the roof of any type of building – garden shed, house, shopping centre, factory, office building, apartment block, gazebo, garage, even a barn or dog kennel! There are some very well-known roof gardens around the world. For instance, the Roof Garden in Kensington, London, UK which is spread over a staggering 6000m2, or one and a half acres.
The gardens are divided into several themed areas including a woodland garden, Spanish garden, and Tudor garden. They are open to the public and can be booked for weddings and other special events.
Examples of roof gardens are:
- A flat roof covered with a waterproofing surface; and container plants set over that surface.
- A sloped roof supporting shallow growing trays or troughs.
- Hydroponic trays of plants, growing on a roof.
Examples of Vertical Gardens
- An assortment of hanging baskets planted with tough succulents, annuals, low growing perennials - edible or ornamental, preferably with drip watering attached to give a wall of colour and greenery to enhance a building's exterior or to hide an unsightly view. Hanging baskets with pulley systems attached may be an alternative for the elderly or disabled to access.
- A rockery, steep slope or freeway wall can be covered with trailing climbers, planted up with pockets of trailing plants, provided with a system of cabling and wires to support climbing, twining plants to grow upward.
- A vertical garden may be completely hydroponic made from modules of growing medium with a watering system attached through the levels, so that water and nutrients seep through and moisture is collected at the base and recirculated. This may be fixed to a wall, on a support structure attached to the wall, or if light enough on a system with casters at the base so it can be rolled around to reposition into various locations to screen or catch the sunlight or shade in hot weather.
- A vertical garden may be climbers growing in the soil or large planter boxes of medium and trained onto a steel wire trellis or set of steel cables to train it upwards to create a screen or wall close to a solid wall, so it give shading to the wall to reduce heat in the wall and cooling costs needed indoors.
- Window boxes installed on each window sill, or on brackets beneath them, are an age-old means of greening walls.
- Some of the simpler modular systems are comprised of metal frameworks supporting several tiers of plastic window box containers which become less visible with plant growth.
- Other modular systems include frameworks which are attached to walls. Plants are grown in special grow bags which are slotted into the wall. These bags can be easily taken out and replaced if the plant dies or a change is required.
ENROL AND LAY THE FOUNDATION TO BECOME AN EXPERT WITH VERTICAL AND ROOF GARDENS