A few issues ago, Sunset magazine had an article on how to plant a vertical garden to create a lush, tropical look. It reminded me of how much I like the look of green roofs done nicely. I love the aspect of pointillism in the ones planted with succulents, but I like how they also look like an aerial view of some amazing garden. (Sunset also has an article on a vertical garden with succulents.)
I don’t think cats or dogs should just be left outside, but even pets who spend most of their time indoors may need some shelter from the heat or rain when they are outside. A house with a green roof would work great and look nifty too.
Want to build your own? I have two posts on DIY Green Roof dog houses. Be sure you get a safe version of pressure treated lumber, or use naturally rot-resistant wood like cedar or cypress, or plastic lumber.
The first project is for a veranda with open sides and a raised floor. Love it!
If you’re not handy, you can buy a green roof dog house from Sustainable Pet. They’re pretty expensive, but I think prices have come down some since I first wrote about them. They have some fun design ideas.
So what’s so cool about green roofs? Greenroofs.org has a TON of information on the benefits of green roofs. Briefly, green roofs:
- provide thermal and sound insulation
- reduce rain run-off
- are aesthetically appealing
- reduce energy use
- absorb CO2
- reduce heat islands
Of course, a green roof dog house alone won’t save the planet, but:
- it can get you thinking about green roofs
- you can use it as a small scale test for a larger roof—which plants work in your area, try different planting mediums, etc.
- your dog will have a cooler or drier place to hang out
- you can show people what a green roof is & looks like
- create more gardening space at your home