As years go, this probably wasn't the best for establishing an extensive green roof - too dry by half, and I know I am anthropomorphising but the crows and pigeons seemed to take a vindictive joy in pulling out my plug plants and spreading them around the garden. Nevertheless, things have changed a lot since I first planted it up back in March. It's useful to look back and remember the bare expanse of soil which is now, well, still a bit patchy but there's a lot more green to be seen.
Yesterday I planted out the sedums I'd been growing from seed (using T&M rock garden mixed), and was pleased to see that some of the sedums and sempervivums I planted earlier in the year have established really well. You can also see in the picture to the right some surplus-to requirements Verbascum 'Silver Lining' that I planted up there in some of the deeper areas as an experiment. I am still expecting it to look rather bare in the winter when all the annual wildflowers die back, but I know they've been self-seeding (with a bit of help from me) so there should be a great new flush of grwoth in the spring.
There are some odd things up there - for instance, loads of amaranth* in red and greeny-yellow which I think must have come from one of the rather panic-bought packs of 'meadow mix' I bought when things were looking much barer. There's also some pink cosmos (ditto) and lots of alyssum. Some grasses are getting established (which as Kate Bradbury has pointed out on her recent post on the Guardian gardening blog, are an important thing to include). I've removed some things - fat hen in abundance, couch grass and a few ragwort-type things, but at the moment until the bareness is completly gone, I am letting things take their course.
One of the strange things about the roof as a "garden" is that it's only really visible from my bedroom window, although I do rather like the little line of plant silhouettes you get when looking up at the roof from the side passageway - just visible in this shot.
There's a full set of photos on Flickr. I would love to be able to identify everything, so do take a look: for instance, what's this little pink flower, above - anyone? My plants for next year are not very strategic - I think it's going to take at least another year to settle down. I'd like more grasses, in the Briza media vein, but would welcome any other suggestions - preferably stuff I can grow from seed.
*I'd like to harvest the amaranth grains - any advice on the best method would be welcome!