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Rooftop gardening with Sunbird Aloes

Rooftops could easily be turned into valuable green spaces.

Green roofs can be divided into two types: the vegetation-covered or “inaccessible roof” where the soil and plants form another layer of the roofing system, and the rooftop garden, or “accessible” roof that can become an outdoor space.

PHOTO Courtesy of Aloe- Aloe - Sunbird Aloes ‘Southern Cross’

Green roofs and rooftop gardens can provide many benefits,


  • Increased access to safe outdoor green space;

  • Reducing sound reflection and transmission;

  • Promotion of individual, community, and cultural diversity;

  • Areas for study and horticultural therapy;

  • Improved air quality and absorption of carbon dioxide;

  • Minimization of stormwater run-off, and support for a rainwater collection system;

  • Increased habitat for birds, butterflies, and insects; and

  • Reduced heating and cooling costs by providing a layer of insulation on buildings.

  • Reduces the spread of wildfires.

Cross-Section of a Green Roof

Starting from the bottom:

1. Roofing membrane;

2. A layer of filter cloth to prevent the roots from penetrating the roofing membrane;

3. A drainage course of gravel or expanded clay pellets;

4. A layer of filter cloth to prevent soil, growing medium or organic matter from eroding

or clogging the drains;

5. Growing medium; and