March 7th, 2010

Ecoroof Planting Party

Thanks to the help of a crew of a bunch of really hard working friends and family members, this weekend was wildly productive. We started by moving some of our soil down to the entry ecoroof and sorted plants to go in place there. Its our experiment with a no sedum ecoroof. Sedums are really ideal for ecoroofs for many reasons, but our region has an abundance of drought tolerant plants that we decided to try out. So it is mostly coastal strawberries, camas, red fescue, and an assortment of native wildflowers.

Upper Ecoroof

Our upper ecoroof however, is all sedums because its going to see the most exposure and will be the most difficult to maintain. They came in boxes of bulk clippings that we scattered around after first laying out jute netting to keep things from blowing off the roof while the sedums take root. In a few weeks they should be anchored in enough to keep the soil stable.

Lower Ecoroof

Our lower ecoroof has access off of our bedroom, so we’re treating it as another living space with a small patio to put a table and chairs and an area of thyme for stepable ground cover. Because some of this will be mostly shaded, we put in some licorice ferns around the edges with sedums and red fescue in the sunnier spots.


Elsewhere in the yard

We made great progress getting our garden together thanks to the help we got hauling the rest of our compost… Peas were planted today. In the back yesterday raspberries and our grapes were planted, and today our tea plants, olive tree, rhubarb and horseradish went in. Its all feeling more and more like home.


  1. I must second the thanks to our planting crew! We were not only lucky to have such a beautiful sunny day for rooftop planting, but we feel so grateful for all of our friends and family. You were all incredibly helpful and we couldn’t have done it without you!

    For anyone who wants to check out a few more photos, take a loot at
    Jill Bliss’ blog
    [and if you don’t already know Jill’s art/design/illustration work, you should].

    Also, an extra special thanks to SuSu Hunniecut from Teufel Nursery and Jason King – who happens to write one of my favorite blogs, Landscape + Urbanism, for giving us so much valuable insight and being “the professionals” on site for the day.

    Lastly, for those who are ready to go plant their own ecroof, you can check out the second annual Ecoroof Portland fair next weekend at the Leftbank Annex. Portland residents should also take advantage of the city’s Ecoroof Incentive program. The next grant cycle begins in April.

    Comment by Katherine — March 7, 2010 @ 23:53
  2. Hi Matt and Katherine, I used one of your pictures on my site when mentioning your building, I hope that is ok? I have credited you, let me know if it is not.

    Also I wanted to let you know how very inspiring your project is! My partner and I are at the very start of planning building a sustainable house, it is so great to see someone who is almost finshed. It helps me see past all the legal and financial stuff we are involved with at the moment.

    Comment by alice — March 11, 2010 @ 07:08
  3. I’m glad to hear that our blog is helpful to you. We didn’t start it until after we had our land and construction loan in place so we don’t really tell the story of all of the months of dealing with banks and appraisers before we were ready to apply for permits. The good news is that for us, that was the hardest part and even though construction takes a lot of time and attention, its not nearly as frustrating as the work that has to go in to the preparation.

    Comment by Matt — March 11, 2010 @ 13:24

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