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Last updated on April 23, 2014 at 1:22 EDT

Roof garden

A roof garden is a garden planted on the roofs of buildings, also known as rooftop farming. A roof garden is not only decorative but also offers other benefits such as providing food for human consumption and adding a natural habitat for wildlife, mainly birds. Plants are usually grown with hydroponics, aeroponics, or air-dynaponics. Container gardening with soil may also be used. Vertical gardening will allow for more plant production in a small area.

Completing the gardening cycle includes composting. Plant residue is usually placed in a specialized container to be broken down (composted) into a useable product for future plantings.

BENEFITS

Roof gardens are found in urban areas with the many high-rise buildings utilizing the ground space. Roof gardens are beneficial in reducing the absorption of the heat from the sun, thereby reducing the energy consumption. Roof gardens are also beneficial with controlling the excess water run-off into an often already-overused city sewage system. Rainwater may also be contained for watering during dry spells, which also reduces the amount of run-off.

Some well-known roof gardens include Rockefeller Center in Manhattan, the Casa Grande Hotel in Santiago de Cuba, Vancouver, British Columbia, and a roof garden on top of City Hall in Chicago.

Image Caption: Rockefeller Center roof garden. Credit: Meathead1962/Wikipedia (CC BY-SA 3.0)

Roof garden