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

Dungeness – place for tough plants

by | Jul 18, 2016

Tough plants are needed for green roofs, as a cool post by Kelly Ksiazek  in Chicago at the same time as we were visiting Dungeness. And you can’t get any tougher than here. Dungeness is the largest shingle bank in Europe. Here desiccation is the order of the day. Breezes and strong winds hurtle across the flat landscape. On green roofs, it is not the sun that is the greatest dryer, but the wind. And the wind blows almost constantly at Dungeness.

Tough plants – Dungeness a template for a green roof planting list

Dungeness a place for green roof plants

Dungeness a place for tough plants


Armies of Viper’s bugloss stand tall. Huddled amidst the blue, are sea campion, hare’s foot clover and thrift. All classic green roof plants. Horned yellow poppy. valerian and purple toadflax are also scattered across the flat land. And there, at ground level, in gutters and the corners of roofs, white sedum have taken up residence.

Of course sedums are tough plants too but there are many a wildflower, like these shingle specialists  that will take to a green roof and thrive.

Camber coastal green roofs

Tough plants on green roofs CAmber

Beach green roofs – Camber Sands


Just around the coast at Camber, we stumbled across a new development covered in sand dune gardens and green roofs. This is the kind of landscape design we like. Although there is some ornamental planting, the feel is natural – an extension of the sand dunes across the road. Up on the roofs things were looking dry, like the nearby dunes, but there was some were some wildflowers. Sedum album hug the edges, a stick or two of Viper’s bugloss and dune grasses graced the roofs .

Camber sands - tough plants for gardens

Natural landscaped gardens – Camber Sands


This an excellent project – very similar in character to the first and last green roof in England.

The lesson here is that green roof plants have to be tough plants. Why not select them from the harshest of environments – the coast