Cath Brown

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since Jul 06, 2016
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Recent posts by Cath Brown

Hello. I will read and study all the information available...thank you.

I need some advice on how to start a food forest in some very damp ground. A river runs underneath a patch of ground at the top of my property. It has lain fallow for decades, and the soil is a rich dark brown.  I want this area to become even more of a wildlife haven...Deer, wild boar, lizards, frogs, snakes are regulars. I would love to be able to uses some fruit and medicine when I'm there...for about 2 months of every year.
7 months ago
Update on pallet cabin. I love Yakisugi! The deeper the burn, the longer it lasts.
8 months ago
I encourage you and everyone to read a book called "The Overstory" by Richard Powers. Enjoy!

All hunting banned on my land.
All the plants and animals are sacred...even the humans. They're a bloodthirsty lot where I live in Europe...they kill anything that moves with the resulting ecological imbalance.
I need my land to be a haven for wildlife, and a place of no fear, love and peace.

1 year ago
I would say it's more labour intensive.
You need the following
1) strong supporting roof structure
2) waterproof membrane
3) root barrier membrane
4) growing medium (shallow for extensive roofs, deeper for intensive roofs)
5) edge barrier to keep growing medium in place but allow excess water to drain
6) some maintenance....it   is a garden after all.

It can be very cheap if you find reclaimed materials and build everything yourself, or expensive if you go with ready built instant systems.
There is a lot of information online.
Good luck
1 year ago
This is gorgeous. I really love green roofs. Succulents are a good way to go, but eventually nature takes over and shows us what will survive. I have a friend who had a green roof in Turkey. Green in the winter, and dry straw in summer, but it still protected the house from the sun's heat.
1 year ago
Thanks! It's a good thing you're testing the roof...fingers crossed, it might be fine. Good luck!
1 year ago
Beautiful building!
I have used sedum on 2 buildings now with great success.

You can get it  in the the form of plugs, a blanket roll, or ready planted in interlocking modular trays with reservoirs in the bottom, to store excess water, which the plants can then use in a dry period.
The last is the most expensive system, but seems to work really well for me in the UK.

For sedum, the substrate should be very low in nutrients...it needs very little to survive, as it is a mountain plant that grows naturally on barren rocks and in crevasses.  A mix of perlite and very little soil is best.  I weed it once a year, and spray it with a hose pipe only after about 2 weeks of drought. Lovely flowers all summer.

As other viewers have said.... you need to check that the roof structure can bear the weight! I'm strong, but can barely lift a tray when it's throughly soaked.
1 year ago
It's sedum...drought resistant.....planted into recycled plastic trays filled with perlite with reservoirs at the bottom. Very low maintenance. Eventually it will spill over the sides of the trays and colonise the loose perlite in-between. The perlite and sedum are good insulators. The idea is to prevent overheating in the summer and lessen heatloss through the roof in the winter. They have beautiful flowers all summer too.
1 year ago
Thanks T Blankinship and Connor!
Re question: It rains a lot in the UK, and the ground is often damp.
To mitigate this the building is sitting on a 3 foot deep gravel foundation which extends about one foot beyond the perimeter The gravel bag foundation extends 2 rows above grade. Deep roof overhangs. Ventilation bricks.
So far the building is warm and dry in the winter (with a small electric radiator), and cool in the summer. I'm stoked!
1 year ago