This project took almost four years until completion… if it can be called completed.
When we acquired our house we were forced to clear an overgrown side garden, felling some poor trees to create an orchard and raised beds. With a wood burner and made construction projects, eg fruit tree arch, the logs would not be wasted. To protect the valuable wood, I built a scaffolding plank wood store. The weight was considerable and it took four people to lift the roof on.
Basically it is a base of scaffolding plank on some old roof tiles and fence posts to keep off ground. The sides are planks angled with a circular saw. Top are the full 3.9m planks. The walls and side are braced with recycled wood.
Over the coming years this store became the bane of my life. Unlike my little wood store the planks went in a different direction, the wood expanded and contracted and gaps grew, water went clean through. I tried copper strips in the gap, bamboo in the gaps, and still it leaked. My father in law said I should just buy a sheet over, however he was missing the rustic charm I was trying for.
For some time. I had been considering building a living roof somewhere and had carried out a lot of research. These things could be expensive if bought. So I decided to do myself!
First I lined the roof with some thick black damp sheeting. After some research I found a company that made rolls of natural wool for the next layer. The top mixture was compost and sand. The side frame was recycled wood and small stones were placed at the bottom to assist with drainage. For my tree planting there was some mesh in the garden and this was stapled in to offer protection.
To keep the rustic look, I hid some plastic gutter behind split bamboo and made three bamboo drainage channels to take off excess water.
What was I going to plant? I sourced some sedum seeds and planted in egg boxes. They were doing well until I needed the greenhouse for vegetables. Presuming we might have a spring, or summer, I planted out and covered with plastic sheeting from a rocking chair to create the humidity recommended. Summer and spring never came, and magpies attacked the wool. The sedums and roof had a hard start but it is beginning to pick up. Time will tell how it takes hold. But it hasn’t collapsed yet, and the sedum is still alive… for now.