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type of bushes to plant on shed roof?

 
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Can we plant some bushes on a roof of a wood shed? **If so, is there a type of bush that we should plant that won't be too heavy for a woodshed roof, or doesn't need deep root structures? any ideas on how to keep the soil on the slanted roof? we are zone 3.
We are just starting building now and the posts are in the ground.

The shed is between us and the neighbors. I would like to block out the neighbor's new 4-story mansion/hotel next to our small log cabin/farm. I was hoping the bushes would help. We can't put trees behind the shed, or it would limit access to the shed for firewood.

any advice appreciated. thanks!
 
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Risa Sibbitt wrote:Can we plant some bushes on a roof of a wood shed? **If so, is there a type of bush that we should plant that won't be too heavy for a woodshed roof, or doesn't need deep root structures? any ideas on how to keep the soil on the slanted roof? we are zone 3.
We are just starting building now and the posts are in the ground.

The shed is between us and the neighbors. I would like to block out the neighbor's new 4-story mansion/hotel next to our small log cabin/farm. I was hoping the bushes would help. We can't put trees behind the shed, or it would limit access to the shed for firewood.

any advice appreciated. thanks!



Risa,

I can sure sympathize with your dilemma, but before you look for shrub species to put on a shed roof, you should do some serious research on "living roof" design. Dirt weighs a lot, and when it gets wet from rain, watering plants or snow, it gets even heavier. MUCH HEAVIER! You may find the perfect bush and not live to enjoy it when your roof collapses on your head! Aside from all that -- assuming you build something structurally capable of holding up a considerable load (because any shrub you plant will need a minimum of several inches of soil), keeping the dirt on the roof means not inclining the roof so much that soil slides off -- and putting some sort of stop (like a raised curb or lip) on the downhill side. But in zone 3 you need a steeper incline to let snow loads off. So... really, if you want to grow something on your shed, you should probably stick to succulents that need little soil and very little water. But, of course, that doesn't block the view of the McMansion next door.

I do have another idea for you though... Why not attach a tall, sturdy trellis to your shed roof and then train vines from the ground to grow up and over that? For one thing, it eliminates the trouble and safety concerns of loading the roof with soil, AND vines will grow to cover the space more rapidly and completely than bushes will. There are tons of evergreen vines that will block the view year round, and some can even be edible or ornamental. Maybe you could ask around for ideas on good vines. Here are a couple of good places to start...
http://davesgarden.com/guides/articles/view/885/
http://www.northscaping.com/izarticles/is-0137

Good luck!
 
Risa Sibbitt
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deb your thoughts are much appreciated. i think i might look into hops and have some other ideas as well. and i appreciate the links!
 
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How about some really tall sunflowers on the roof for the first year or two while you grow some nice big evergreen trees behind the shed?

I don't know your zone, so I don't know what tall things grow there. If it were here, I would maybe even go for something like sunchokes that die back every winter but grow tall in the summer.

As for bushes, nothing that lightweight or not requiring lots of soil, comes to mind.

Let us know what you come up with and how it works.
 
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