Weather Report: I left for work this morning at 8:00 with the temperature at 61 degrees (F). It was cool and moist and cloudy – like much of the spring so far. When I left work this evening at 6:30, it was hot and muggy, with the sun trying to shine. We should be getting some rain and thunderstorms tonight and the temps will be getting up in the 90’s. Perhaps summer has finally arrived.
During the summer, our master gardener association plans several garden walks for members only. The planners always do a great job with interesting public and private gardens in the area. I can’t get to all the walks but I try to go to as many as possible.
A couple of weeks ago we had our first walk. The first stop was to visit Prairie Ridge Elementary School. The school is unique in that it has a green roof as a part of the building’s design.
It’s not the whole roof, just one section of it.
Seeing green on the second floor from a window
Jeannie from the extension office and Mom to a couple of the students attending this school explains the process of putting in a green roof.
The advantages of having a green roof? According to Jeannie, it can keep a building 7-8 degrees cooler during the summer, and the plants trap the snow in the winter, providing insulation for the building. Some green roofs are also designed to retain water, though this particular green roof does not have a system for saving water.
This green roof is made up of a variety of sedums. The plants are prepared in sections called modules from a company called Hortech, located in Spring Lake Michigan. Sedums are ideal for green roofs because they can take a great deal of heat. If a module becomes diseased or dies for some reason, it can easily be taken out and replaced without having to disturb the plants around that section.
This particular roof was planted about a year ago and it still looks great. Jeannie, being a horticulturalist, is somewhat disappointed that the school hasn’t yet taken advantage of this environmental system in their studies. I get the feeling that she may be taking a more active role in developing a science program for the next school year.
On to the next garden in our garden walk.