Green-up Your Garden Shed!

These days everyone’s going green wherever they can. Embellishing your humble garden shed with a living, green roof is a great way of encouraging wildlife into your garden as well as improving air quality. Here’s how to do it.

Assess your roof

Before you jump in with both feet and begin drawing up designs and plans, it’s very important to assess the roof of the building you’re hoping to green-up. The building must be sturdy enough to support the weight of the green panels so if you have a sloping roof, you will need to add vertical supports at the lower corners by adding posts cemented firmly into the ground. If you are in any doubt as to whether the structure has sufficient load bearing ability, consult a professional.

What to do

The whole job can be done in a day, excluding assessment time.

Assuming your structure measures 6’6” x 3’3”, you will need the following:

· 3 x 6’6” lengths of 8 x 1” timber

· 2 x 3’3” lengths of 8 x 1” timber

· 4 x 1’6” lengths of 8 x 1” timber

· 10 x ‘L’ brackets

· Suitable screws to attach the brackets

· Butyl lining

· 6’6” x 3’3” plywood board

Build the frame

Begin by building the outer frame, adding a central strut to give added strength. Join together the outside sides of the roof structure using the ‘L’ brackets.

Measure up carefully and then use ‘L’ brackets to attach a 6’ 6” length of timber to act as a central support along the centre of the frame. Measure again and use more ‘L’ brackets to fix the remainder of the wood widthways across the frame to form a grid with six sections.

Now line the roof of the shed or outbuilding with the section of plywood wrapped in the butyl lining. This will give the roof protection from any possible water damage. Now lift the wooden frame into position.

Plant up

Choose potting compost combined with a generous quantity of perlite. This will ensure good drainage and will prevent the green structure from becoming dangerously heavy. There are lots of plants you can choose that will grow well on your green roof structure but avoid species that will grow too tall or they will be damaged by high winds.

A popular, low-maintenance choice is sedum matting. The sedum plants are grown on special matting to form a living carpet which is quick and easy to install in your frame. If you’d like year-round greenery on your roof, make sure you pick evergreen species like this. Check out your local garden center for advice on which plants to choose or Google ‘green roof suppliers’ to find a specialist grower in your area.


*Image courtesy Flickr creative commons.

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Alison Page

About Alison Page

Alison is a small business owner, freelance writer, author and dressage judge. She has degrees in Equine Science and Business Studies. Read her full story at

Alison Page

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