Dungeness – place for tough plants

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