Terrace gardening a much needed answer to climate change

A popular gardening practice in the urban environment. While there is a struggle to find a place for living, green thumbs have managed to fulfil their dreams to live and share the space with their green companions. 

This practice of terrace gardening dates back to ancient times, with the hanging gardens of Babylon becoming one of the seven wonders of the world during those times! 

Roof gardening is an art in itself and involves a tremendous effort to build the natural resources that are needed to raise a garden! Preparing the roof to give living space to the plants and trees isn’t an easy task. 

While planting trees and becoming green has become a priority, the idea of utilising even the smallest spaces to live with nature has become more of a compulsion rather than a choice. Thus, the ideas of bringing the plants indoors, decorating the patios/ balconies, raising green walls with vertical gardening and creating a garden on the roofs are becoming popular!

What is Rooftop gardening?

This is basically a garden created and maintained on the rooftop of residential and commercial buildings. The green growth on the top improves the aesthetics of the building. This brings along with it numerous benefits that people in the urban areas would love to settle for.

When did Rooftop gardening begin?

Rooftop gardening had been an ancient practice and dates back to the ancient ziggurats of Mesopotamia, built between 4,000 and 600 B.C. The most famous Hanging Gardens of Babylon, which featured landscape terraces adorned with trailing plants, was an architectural wonder.

One of the first designed landscapes was a roof garden commissioned by Pope Pius II in Pienza, Italy, in 1463. In the U.S., rooftop gardens became popular in New York City in the 1890s. In fact, that’s where Madison Square Garden got its name.

Why to have rooftop gardening?

Growing a garden on the roof has numerous benefits that one would love to opt for, own and cherish. 

Apart from giving a lush green look, and adding to overall aesthetic value, making your roof verdant brings more joy! How?

There are times when we had felt low. Though we may have our friends and family to share what we feel, there is an inexplicable soothing effect once we connect with nature. This peace it brings is so immense that nothing can equate to this healing effect. Spending your time in your roof garden calms your mind and helps you heal. The relaxing foliage colour and the vibrant blooms uplift your spirits, fill the space with positivity and boost your energy levels.

Rooftop gardens on commercial buildings are sure to invite visitors! They are likely to become a spot for friends’ get-togethers, family functions, and picnics!

Gardens always invite their buddies – fluttering butterflies, buzzing bees, chirping birds and squeaky squirrels. This becomes a busy place for the buddies and it is a happy sight to relish!

With the warning signs of global warming, and with each of us fighting to abate the effects of scorching heat, roof gardens come as a relief as they do control the temperature of the buildings they are housed on. These gardens provide a layer of insulation to the heat that seeps into the buildings. Thus reducing the cooling costs!

Growing plants will always improve the air quality. The freshness it brings is a boon to urban areas, given the level of pollution that they suffer. 

Roof gardens can accommodate a variety of herbs, shrubs, vegetable plants and sometimes even small trees. With careful planning and a good amount of time investment, a healthy garden can be raised on the rooftop!

What does it take to build a roof garden?

Building a roof garden takes humongous efforts but the end results will be rewarding!

Analysis of the following will be the preliminary steps to building the roof garden

Structural strength to withstand the weight,

The layout of the garden – the raised bed, pavement, rails to grow vines, hanging baskets

Type of plants to grow 

The choice of growing medium, pots, and planters that are needed for the same

Structures such as windbreakers, and raised fences may be needed to control the parameters that affect the plants

Provisions for watering, drainage and seepage check 

The preparations for making the roof garden will give an exciting experience and opens up opportunities to learn how our mother nature is kind enough to gift us with friends ready to adapt anywhere!

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