For the past few years there has been a new trend in the world of corporate flowers and plants: rooftop office gardens. Starting in London, this idea has caught on across the country, because there are just so many different benefits. As well as bringing a bright splash of colour to the otherwise grey monotony of a cityscape, these gardens have been found to boost both productivity and engagement from employees, and help businesses give something back to the environment by providing insulation and therefore reducing carbon emissions. Not bad for a few plants and flowers!
A Rich History
For almost as long as humans have been constructing shelters, dwellings and buildings we have known about the benefits of planting out our roofs, and ancient civilisations would often create domed structures that were covered by a layer of earth and plants.
Recreated Viking homes suggest that they would live in spaces not at all dissimilar to the cosy spaces of J.R.R. Tolkien’s Hobbit Holes, while the settlers of ancient Scandinavia would use sod roofs for insulation and protection from the rain. Although the builders behind these houses were thinking practically, there’s no denying the fairy-tale qualities of a cottage topped with grass.
The history of contemporary roof top gardens dates back to the 60s, when Germany became the first country to embrace the trend on a much larger scale. Since discovering the incredible power of green roofs to bring down the temperatures in urban spaces and help the buildings become more eco-friendly, some European countries have even started subsidising the development of these little patches of urban greenery.
Eat What You Grow
So there are loads of great benefits for our cities, but what about for your business? Well, lately a lot of companies have caught on to the idea of planting their new office gardens with edible produce, which can either be used for employee lunches and snacks or passed on to other local organisations. Get your employees involved by setting up gardening groups and encouraging people to spend their breaks soaking up the clean rooftop air.
How it’s Done
Making your own rooftop garden is actually pretty simple, and it doesn’t need to be high maintenance. Obviously it can only be done if you have rooftop access, but other than that you simply need to check that the regulations allow it and the roof has the structural integrity to support your plans. Now for the fun part – design the layout of your garden, including any colour themes, spots for vegetables and other types of plants and seating ideas.
You can choose your plants based on a number of factors, such as how easy it is to keep them alive, and special qualities like attracting bees or pumping extra oxygen back into the air. If you’re always looking for an opportunity to get some guerrilla branding done then you can even take the opportunity to plant out flowers in your company colours!
Looking for Inspiration?
One great thing about rooftop gardens is the wealth of inspiration out there – in cities all over the world, businesses and home-owners have already created phenomenal green spaces to help you get some ideas. Check out this aerial tour of some of the great examples found in Kensington to see just how many different ways there are to make it work.
Looking for great plants and flowers to kit out your new office garden? We have a fantastic selection for you to choose from, and even if you want to be more conventional and just make space for a few indoor plants within the office, we can help. For more details you can get in touch at 0208 968 8190; somebody will always be on hand to deal with your needs.