What is the difference between a Brown Roof and a Green Roof?
We have a ‘brown’ roof rather than a ‘green’ roof on our modern farmhouse. This means that instead of putting for example a sedum ‘carpet’ on the roof which dictates what will grow on the roof eventually, we have only covered it with soil (the soil that was on the ground before we built our house) and let nature decide what should grow there! (I did sprinkle some wild flower seeds over the roof last year but it was so dry afterwards that nothing grew!)
We are really pleased with the variety of flowers that we have for the moment (June). Especially the white clover attracts loads of honey bees and bumble bees, which is just how we had imaged it!
Types of plants found on our roof after 1 year
Grass: we have a lovely variety of grass on our brown roof, most of the different types self-seeded, but some of them were planted by us a year ago; those have not spread at all, though.
Moss: again – lots of different types, especially where the soil is too dry for any other plants to grow.
Flowers: Daisies, Fox-and-Cubs, Pyrethrum Daisy (planted by us last year and growing really well), Red and White Clover, Nigella (one! Maybe the only survivor of the seeds I sprinkled over the roof last year…), Potentilla (planted by us, waste of money as it doesn’t spread and doesn’t look particularly nice), sedum (one plant planted by us this month, will have to see how it grows and report back next year), gorse (self-seeded), as well as lots of other plants that unfortunately I don’t know the names of.
For more information about wild flowers and a monthly overview of what grows wild here in England have a look at this website: www.seasonalwildflowers.com.