Up on the Green Roof

Close up - CAR

If you had told me 20 years ago, (long before I’d even heard of a green roof) that I would be hanging out with architects and tossing around words like parapets and ballast, I would have called you crazy.

Me? Jim the Plant Guy? Arguing the benefits of drain conduits to drain off excess water under a living roof? What the heck?

It’s amazing for me to look around now and see who I feel fortunate enough to call a “colleague.” From architects to engineers to waterproofing specialists. A very different mix of professionals since my days as a florist.

I have learned so much about roofing and walls, mostly because I like to put plants on them. With that knowledge comes what I call “doing the math”: the necessary information that prevents a muddy mess at the first rainfall. I was lucky to have been schooled on living roofs by Ulf Waldman, a surfer from PB who started installing living roofs at his dad’s roofing company in 1980s Germany. While some roofers deal with asphalt and tar, Ulf helped develop new roofing strategies designed to support live plants.

It’s been my great fortune to have learned the roofing and waterproofing world from Ulf. He has helped move living rooftops in San Diego into the 21st Century with knowledge, technology and enthusiasm.

And he has helped me toss around words like parapet just like a pro.

Just so that you can sleep well tonight, a parapet is a low, protective wall or railing along the edge of a raised structure such as a rooftop or balcony.

***Good Earth Plants and GreenScaped Buildings is hiring! Visit our website at www.goodearthplants.com for more information)