shade metals

The Real Highgarden

Sara & Cesar
 Chicago's city hall rooftop garden is more than 150 species, mostly prairie plants native to the Chicago region, including two trees, woody shrubs and vines.  /  image:  Diane Cook & Len Jenshe

Chicago's city hall rooftop garden is more than 150 species, mostly prairie plants native to the Chicago region, including two trees, woody shrubs and vines. / image: Diane Cook & Len Jenshe

Game of Thrones has its Highgarden, but more and more landscapes are becoming spotted with high gardens of their own.  The 20,000 or so plants growing on top of Chicago's City hall help to reduce the urban heat island effect, conserve energy, and mitigate storm water run-off.  Green roof building is exploding over airports, factories, retail spaces, schools etc.  

In 2016 San Fransisco became the first US city to legislate that 30% of the budget of new construction needed to account for green roofs or solar panels.  

 
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Ford’s Dearborn Michigan plant is covered in 454,000 sq ft of sedum. 

It serves as nesting ground for some birds and is estimated to conserve about 10 degrees of energy costs in summer cooling and winter heating.  

Because stonecrops are such low-maintenance plants, their use in green roofs is popular and growing more so daily.  Prepackaged carpets of sedum have been used to cover the roofs of some very large industrial buildings.  The Rolls-Royce Motor Car plant in England boasts the largest green roof in the UK, with a 242,000 sq ft roof of this flowering succulent.

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The five rounded drops surrounding the center star are the flower of this sedum.  We can only collect this piece in late March when the plant flowers.  That gives us only a couple weeks to cast pieces for the rest of the year.  

The depth in this plant makes it too intricate to mold.  So each piece we sell is an original.  It's August as I write this and we're down to our last few pieces of this variety of sedum in bloom.  Below is a photo of my sister's lawn after the bloom- around May when the plant is starting to mature.  

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