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

Shed green roof in WA – an update

by | Apr 26, 2018

A shed green roof enters it second spring in Ridgefield, Washington State, USA. Originally built in 2016 I was lucky enough to visit during the construction in October of that year.

shed green roof - Ridgefield WA

What soil and what plants for a shed green roof in Washington State

In the absence of a good green roof substrate supplier, a bespoke soil was created from local materials  Firstly, Norman visited a local quarry to obtain some quarry waste. The bespoke growing’s final ingredients consisted of some poor soil and shredded straw. .

The bespoke growing media

 Washington State, like most of the North West suffers from very wet winters and also extreme heat in summer. Therefore Selecting the right plants were important. With a little help from semi-pro botanist friend the roofs was planted using local and regional plants.

The green roof shed in 2017

Wild strawberry, local foxglove and campion were sourced and planted. A few sedums were also added to the planting mix along with local reed grass.
‘Local wild strawberry has been planted at the bottom (most tolerant of the wet winters) with dwarf iris and local sedums. Finally local foxgloves and campion were planted at the top. We also planted some local reed grasses. All were sourced from the property’

Spring hits the roof – 2018

A few weeks ago an email arrived from Norman with the latest pictures and thoughts on his shed green roof:

Spring 2018

It is Spring here at last. So our roof is getting it’s Spring on. The iris are a dwarf iris collected from a garden in Joseph, Oregon. They are just the right scale for this project. The regionally collected sedums are taking off and spreading. Near the gabion end, the wild strawberry are waking up and the native campion and foxglove are reviving as well.We have two clumps of a local wire grass that are coming back after last summer’s baking heat. The local corkscrew grasses we tried were a fail. We will try them again this year and likely throw a few California poppy seeds out and see what happens.
We are looking forward to hearing more from Norman as spring turns to summer.
If you want to build a green roof on a shed or other small-scale building why not join the community.