Lets talk plants for a bit.
This school's deck had a hole in it. Through it they grew sunflowers and... something that looks a bit like corn. And probably needs a lot of water to keep that many plants growing that close together. I don't have much to say about it, but Yummy thought it pretty neat.
This house had a number of interesting features. The green roof is always interesting. It has some interesting climbing plants, too.
I like the climbing plants, but how do you keep them under control? Your typical climbing plant will run up onto the roof and around the sides of the trellis. In this case they'd run around on the decorative slats off to the side.
This next display was to show how to make your own green roof. You need to start with a fairly flat roof. If you need a safety harness or really good shoes to walk on the roof then green roofs aren't for you. If you have a roof with a shallow angle, like the roof shown above, then you're good to go.
First you need something to keep the roots from destroying your roof. The mat acts as a root barrier. I'm not really sure why. Seems like it'd be great for taking root in.
Above that you'll need a moisture barrier. If the water gets under it then it's likely to grow something funky and/or eat away at the roof.
Then there's some gravelly soil. Then pea gravel. Then some proper dirt. Then plants.
The plants you want are almost always succulents. Have you ever hung out on top of the roof in summer? It can get right toasty up there. Grasses are likely to dry out and catch fire. You use them more on underground homes with a lot more soil over your head.
|click to enlarge and read the signs|
|a green roof at ground level|
The DC Guerilla Gardeners will be knitting bags like these later this month.
Their kitchen was placed to get a good deal of sunlight. They used that to grow a garden in the window. The idea is great, but then you need some way to control the gnats and fruit flies you're likely to get.
This is actually an air purification system. There's no glass in there. It's just a wall of plants. Air is drawn in through there, the plants filter out the various weird gasses the things in your home tend to put out, and the air is pumped back in through the vents.
We're back to the house with the green roof at the beginning of this post. This is another part of their artificial water shed that I can't get into too much detail about due to my ignorance. Grey water from the shower, laundry, kitchen sink, etc. goes through a faux swamp. The water stays below a pebbly surface that keeps mosquitoes from growing in it, but below that is some dirt and vegetation and bacteria. They were showing off part of it, but I didn't get a good picture. What it was supposed to do is serve to break down any harmful chemicals before releasing the water into the landscape. You can get more details here. The water, at some point, runs through this channel under the house. It has water lilies and could totally have goldfish if you wanted.