If you’ve flown over a populated area of the UK on your approach to your return airport, you’ll likely have noticed lots of greenery. Of course, there will be parks and gardens as expected. However, look closely and you may also spot oases of calm where one might least expect it. From high-rise buildings all the way through to terraced houses, there are green spaces where once you’d see grey slate and concrete, ranging from simple parcels of grass to spectacular trees, flora and fauna, all residing in lofty positions. Roof gardens are growing in popularity across the world, with the densely populated UK seeing a boom. So, why consider a roof garden, and is it right for you?
The benefits of a roof garden are many. A beautiful and private space, what’s not to like? Whether commercial or residential, a roof garden’s appeal goes beyond pure aesthetics. There are several studies, one of which you can see here, which indicate an improvement in mental health and reduced stress in office workers. Similar effects are seen in hospitals, where patients with access to green space have faster rates of recovery.
It’s probably not a huge leap in logic to assume that these same benefits are available to all of us with a suitable space for our own roof garden!
We should also consider the environmental impact of increasing numbers of roof gardens. Plants and soil absorb heat from the sun, rather than seeing it reflected back from concrete or slate. Those same plants release precious oxygen into the atmosphere for the benefit of the local populous, cleaning the air while lowering the air temperature. Stormwater is also absorbed by plants instead of flooding local rivers. Pretty amazing stuff when you think about it!
This is before we get to the extra bonus for wildlife in an otherwise concrete jungle. Havens for birds, bees and insects, roof gardens go a little way to compensating for ecological habitat fragmentation. Or to put it another way, we’ve built on their original homes, and roof gardens are a gesture of goodwill in putting things right.
Ecological considerations aside, roof gardens can simply be the most unexpectedly magical of places.
Why wouldn’t you want one?