Plant a sedum roof for winter colour

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I struggle with winter colour in my garden.  Yes, there are the evergreens – the ivy, conifers, holly etc that give form and structure.  Then there are the dogwoods with their fiery red stems, the lovely berries of cotoneaster and pyracantha (until the birds eat them) and that’s probably “it”.  Other than that there is brown—and beige.  Brown tree trunks, brown fences, beige foliage and seedheads that have been left for the birds.  For my husband it’s like a dream come true – he is “beige-man” personified.  For me – I long for colour and interest.

But there is hope…..

Sedum matting in the winter time takes on some glorious colours – and they stay until spring time.


A sedum roof on my tool store sounds like just the ticket.

What is a sedum roof?

A sedum roof is an ordinary roof that has been embellished with a dense covering of sedum plants.  In its simplest form, it has

  • A layer of waterproofing – standard stuff that comes with the shed;
  • Some sort of edging to keep the green roof layers in place
  • A layer of polyethene to protect the waterproofing from root damage;
  • Drainage mat – you don’t want to create a bog garden or a pond up there
  • A way of retaining just enough water for the plants to survive – a thick fleecy matting does the job beautifully
  • A thin layer of growing medium
  • Lots and lots of living sedum plants

The whole buildup will be about 50mm (2 inches) deep and weigh around 43Kg per square metre.  If you’re going to need to walk on the roof to maintain it – allow for 120Kg per square metre so that you won’t fall through when you’re spreading fertiliser.

How do I make a sedum roof?

The easiest way is to use pre-grown sedum matting.  The effects are instant and you’ll start to see the benefits immediately.  It doesn’t matter too much for a tool shed, but on a larger shed, a kennel or a stable, a green roof is a brilliant form of insulation against heat and cold.

There’s a very useful video online here

It’s all very simple and on tool store, the roof could easily be installed in a day.

What does a sedum roof look like in winter?

Here are some pictures – beautiful isn’t it?

sedum foliage with typical red winter colour

white summerhouse with red sedum roof 

tool shed with sedum green roof

Related articles


How to install a green roof   


Benefits of a sedum roof