The Green Roof is Complete!

Just when you thought we could add nothing more cool and exciting to the new Children’s Garden at Wellfield, we pile on another layer of awesomeness. Recently, contractors removed the scaffolding surrounding the brick well house in the Children’s Garden, leaving behind a completed green roof.

The process began with the removal of the existing 30 year tar shingles, followed by installation of a new plywood underlayment. Next, the roof was covered with two rubber membranes, one serving as a protective layer against ice and water, and a second serving as the main rubber liner. An aluminum edge was then installed to hold 330 12×24” trays in place. Once the edging and a weed barrier cloth were laid out, the 23 pound pre-planted trays filled with a gravel and soil media were hoisted and slid into place. Over time, the plant material will grow across the tray edges, creating a seamless appearance. The last step involved cutting trays with a reciprocating saw and miter box to fit the ridges of this hipped roof.

A diverse selection of plants were chosen for this roof. This roof is neither fertilized nor irrigated, except in extreme conditions where very little moisture is available during the hottest periods. In other words, the plants must thrive under severe growing conditions. Plants were selected for four seasons of interest, availability, and for how they performed in evaluation studies. The list includes:

  • Antennaria dioica, pussytoes
  • Aquilegia canadensis, columbine
  • Buchloe dactyloides ‘Legacy’, buffalo grass
  • Coreopsis verticillata ‘Zagreb’, threadleaf coreopsis
  • Dalea purpurea, prairie clover
  • Dianthus gratianopolitanus ‘Firewitch’
  • Hylotelephium ‘Rosy Glow’, stonecrop
  • Koeleria macrantha, Junegrass
  • Phlox subulata ‘Emerald Blue’
  • Sedum album ‘Coral Carpet’
  • Sedum rupestre ‘Angelina’
  • Sedum rupestre ‘Blue Spruce’
  • Sedum spurium ‘Elizabeth’, red carpet sedum
  • Sedum spurium ‘John Creech’

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Our new Children’s Garden is a gift from the Rex and Alice A. Martin Foundation. In addition, we wish to give a little shout out to our partners in the Green Roof Project, we appreciate all you do for Wellfield! They include:

  • Twixwood Nursery who custom grew plants for us and provided us with technical advice;
  • Eggink Construction; and
  • City of Elkhart Public Works and Utilities Department for their support

Check out this new addition to the Children’s Garden during your next visit to Wellfield, and watch it grow in every season!

Josh Steffen, Horticulture and Facilities Manager

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