Tuesday, June 20, 2017

National Pollinator Week!

13 June 2017 on a Wisconsin roof, photo cred AD Greenroof.
It remains unidentified...If you have a guess please contact me!


The work we do in the green roof industry is valuable on multiple levels. Not only are we bringing nature back into the built environment, but we are managing stormwater, contributing to building efficiency, and saving roof replacement costs (and products).

Clients like working with my company, AD Greenroof, because we can provide boutique designs that hit each benefit they are interested in.  In other words, if an owner stares at a gravel roof very day, and would rather look at plants that change color and texture throughout the year, we can make it happen.  If a client is mostly interested in the bottom line, with a boost of marketable stewardship, well then, we can work up the ROI that makes sense for the site.  

I also appreciate customers who share their observations on the evolving green roofs. Really, I'm talking about improving eco-system habitats! Bees, moths, butterflies, bats, birds, along with so many other insects find a home and resources throughout the year. Champions of theses roofs understand the need for periodic maintenance and plant diversity. Resilience is the key!


Enjoy national pollinator week, put some honey on your breakfast! 

Thursday, June 2, 2016

Summer Shenanigans

Summer is in full force! What plans do you have for your at grade landscaping and rooftops? Do you have a regular maintenance program established for your green roof?  Are you in the installation phase of construction and in need of overburden products?

AD Greenroof has been engaging in these questions and projects hard core this year! We have also been busy creating relationships starting with lunch and learns to professional firms.  Please contact me if you'd like one for your office! We can provide AIA and ASLA learning units.

Good news on the speaker engagement, front, too! I will be presenting on storm water management of intensive green roofs over the next few months.  Take a look at our website for the upcoming conferences and register if you're interested!

I got a chance to get a penthouse view of the Target Center in Minneapolis recently. Check out the roof from this angle:


Tuesday, March 8, 2016

What to do on a warmer than normal spring day?

It's 70F today in Minneapolis, MN. (Date stamp: March 8!)

Over the winter, I had much time to network, work on designs, and build the maintenance programs for the year. However, today I took an extended lunch out on a patio without wearing a jacket, soaking up the sun with a colleague. We all deserve a little extra vitamin D!

Earlier this spring, we planned an event to join regional environmental organizations in a discussion on green roofs. Yes, cocktails will be served in an informal charrette style meeting! Join us for the free tour and event on March 24 in St Paul. http://eepurl.com/bTepir


Wednesday, October 28, 2015

We Can Do It!

Time to get creative! Halloween is this weekend, and DIY ideas have been floating social media. In a multi-symbolic decision, this year I am going as Rosie the Riveter! (Image wise, it helps that I am coming into the costume already with dark hair, a decent scarf collection, strong arms, and pearl earrings, haha).

"A Bittersweet Lion"?
Having been in business now for three years, I hear myself saying frequently, "We Can Do It!" We are free to make our own choices, only limited by the terms and conditions of the contract. Several scenarios that came to fruition this year:
"Can you provide early spring color?" Yes, we can do that by adding bulbs in the berms.
"Is it possible to have coverage immediately?" We can do that!
"Can you deliver the WBE hours needed for this grant?" Yes we can, please add us to the team!
"By the way, can you prune back these vines, even though you are here to winterize my roof?" Absolutely, we can do that, too!

As a boutique firm, we are not limited to the proprietary blends and standard plant list
that many large manufacturers supply. And yet, it is empowering to warrant a variety of designs with performance standards in mind, with a maintenance program as general or custom as needed. 

So, going back to being creative! Walking trade show floors can be a great way to see how companies are being innovative and who they partner with. Since we are now in trade show season (starting with Cities Alive in early October) I'm offering free passes! Upcoming conferences include ASLA, Greenbuild, MRCA, and AIA. I can get you free passes to them all! Just reach out to me at: angie@adgreenroof.com



Friday, September 11, 2015

Urban Growth and Habitat Preservation


Liatris blooming for bees on the Met Council's green roof in Empire, MN
Good afternoon, and Happy Fall!  Well, fall, at least according to Minnesota standards... The annual closing of the ever popular MN State Fair signals the end of summer, even if we still get to enjoy a few hot days!

I recently wrote an article for Sustainable City Network.  It's an online and printed media site that focuses on environmental topics important to planning agencies and policy makers. Their webinars have some some great information, too!

Click on my article entitled:

Striking a Balance: Urban Growth and Habitat Preservation

Friday, August 21, 2015

Plant with Purpose

We must be as busy as the bees these days! Sorry for my online absence, but in the land of 10,000+ lakes, we tend to cram as much into the growing season as possible.


As I talk to people about green roofs and land conservation, the more I hear myself saying "planting for purpose." I guess I enjoy the workhorse part of horticulture, meaning my preferences in beautiful plants stem from their ability to perform in a certain function. This could be edible fruit production, resources for pollinators, little need for maintenance, or selecting vegetation that has extensive root systems that help in eroded sites.

My selection of native perennials on green roofs (albeit limited based on soil depths) helps the pollinators who might have a hard time finding nectar and pollen in the urban environment. The grasses I choose for at grade landscape designs are ornamental, yet naturalized to the region, and growing asparagus along side them brings more diversity while keeping textural elements in the background.

This year I selected oregano and mint to be the trailing plants in the containers at my front door. I grow rainbow swiss chard and bok choy in my "ornamental" beds because it's protected just enough from the hot sun, and I can harvest at a moments notice. And, let me say that my "ornamental beds" are nothing more than columbine, bee balm, 'Karl Forester' and miscanthus grasses, black eye susan, chives, purple cone flower, a mini-blueberry shrub, and wild indigo. Nothing fancy!

For me, planting with purpose carries the weight of thinking of system goals: planting the right thing, in the right spot.
Enjoy the wild days of summer!
Target Center roof, in bloom (August)




Thursday, June 11, 2015

What's happening with the Runoff?

My client asked me to check in on the data we are collecting at the Penfield Apartments in St. Paul, MN.  She was curious how the green roof was retaining storm water this year, compared to last year.
Hey, Minnesotans, remember when we had all the flooding last spring and early summer with record high rain falls? News reports highlighted that much of the problem came from runoff from impervious surfaces (roofs, parking lots, roads)- and nature had reached its carrying capacity.  I blogged about this dramatic event last year.
Take a look at how a vegetated roof can perform to alleviate the damage from stormwater runoff from impervious areas!  You can see that in a normal year (2015) green roofs designed with either 8" or 16" soil can retain almost, or all of, the rain.  However, even the extremes of 2014 spring, green roofs had already reached their saturated capacity and were only able to capture about half of the storm water.  The systems did detain the rain for several hours before runoff, however.

To get more information on this project, please visit AD Greenroof's project page .  To dive into this public data further and do you own comparisons, you can get direct access here!

You can always reach me direct: angie@adgreenroof.com