Rooftop garden, vegetable garden, ornamental plants provide beauty, health and environmental benefits

The Midtown, a new housing development located just five miles from downtown Denver, features purposeful gardens including a green roof on its community center, called the Garden Shed.

The aptly named Garden Shed has already earned kudos for owners Brookfield Residential. The community center, featuring the living roof, is a unique venue for art exhibits, community events and parties as it welcomes all who enter the Midtown community. An outdoor plaza invites lectures, live music and seating within the garden. Homeowners can rent private garden plots or participate in the professionally led AM Farmer program, too.

“A planted roof is a natural fit in the urban garden environment,” said Charissa Wagner of Intermountain Roofscape Supply, the grower for the Midtown green roof. “In this setting, the living roof provides both social and aesthetic beauty as well as environmental benefits such as heat island mitigation, storm water management, noise reduction, and even a habitat for local wildlife.

Schultz Industries of Golden, CO installed the 860-square-foot rooftop garden. Featuring LiveRoof Hybrid Green Roof System, the vegetative roof has soil depths ranging from 4.25” to 6” to support a diverse palette of plants suited to the rigors of the Colorado climate. The roof is planted with native and adaptive ornamental grasses and perennials such as rudbeckia, autumn joy sedum, feather-reed grass, yucca and bluestem.

The site is replete with a vegetable garden, ornamental plantings, a fenced, leash-free dog park and access to the 21-mile Clear Creek Bike Path. As part of the planned retail, the Brookside Residential development team recently announced Bruz Beers will be joining the Midtown community in the coming months.