extensive green roof on a small shed

DIY Green Roof Guide

The online resource for building small scale green roofs on garden sheds, garages, house extensions and other small construction or retrofitting projects

a green roof on a new bike shelter

New Builds

A step by step guide to creating a SAFE and LEAK FREE green roof on a new small scale construction project. Learn from the vastly experienced authors how to accomplish it yourself or provide guidance to your contractors

poppy and harebell as green roof plants

Plant Lists

Planting suggestions focussed on native species that can provide the maximum biodiversity. Separate lists for the UK, Eastern USA & Canada, Mid-West USA

a small green roof on an electrical substation


Even the smallest of roof spaces can provide a small haven of beauty and a wildlife oasis. The retrofitting section advice can be used on garden sheds, cycle & bin shelters, the fundamentals remain the same!

gabion edge details of a green roof


From suggested screw sizes through edge details to drainage suggestions, John & Dusty take you through the process using text, photos, illustrations and videos

Guardian Journalist’s Green Roof

by | Nov 13, 2017

The Guardian Garden Editor, Jane Perone, has a lovely green roof on her office. Built about six years ago, Jane Perone had bought the guide to help her construct her green roof.

Guardian Garden Editor Jane Perone's green roof

Jane Perone’s Beautiful Green Roof

Jane Perone – Gardening on a roof

Like many people who buy the guide,  Jane says she lets her green roof be. So it is a no effort gardening green roof. The roof changes with the season and during extreme droughts does brown off. However once the rain comes, the roof blooms.

Jane Perone - Chives on a green roof

Chives in bloom on an urban green roof

A mix of sedum and wildflowers, the roof provides a good dash of colour. Chives are a great green roof plant as the image above shows. In the driest periods, they will often survive and give a vivid blue speckling amongst the brown.

Meadow on an office green roof

Meadow on an office

Ideas for Jane Perone’s Roof

Dusty met up with Jane this week to do a podcast for the Guardian’s gardening blog. During the interview,  Dusty mentioned using bulbs, both spring and autumn ones, which can give added colour at these times of the year. They are also an important source of nectar for early and late bees. We have a feeling that Jane will be adding a few to her roof, as she hasn’t planted any to date.

We have also heard that Jane plans to add an agave or two. Yes an agave or two. Now this didn’t come from us but another green roofer who features in the podcast – David Matzdorf. David is the proud owner of ‘a Mexican hillside in Islington’. David is a bit of a tropical gardener. His green roof in Islington, however,  is designed along the same principles as outlined in the guide. The reason is quite simple – his house, like John Little’s was designed by the architect Jon Broome.


We are looking forward to the Slow grow repeat podcast on Saturday – hopefully a few of you will enjoy it and green roofs will be popping on sheds, garages and extensions all over the country.