The Berry Prairie Blog

Native Biodiversity in a Rooftop Landscape

Sep 30, 2014, 9:40 PM
The Berry Prairie has a tannish-tone to it these days. One of the big issues in the original roof was that the black growing medium (the fake dirt) absorbed so much of the intensive, high-elevation sun that it was very, very hot on a regular basis. The plants did not seem to care for this much, so we've tried to tackle this problem through two different solutions:
Sep 25, 2014, 5:50 PM
Wheatland, Wyoming is a small town in the southeastern part of the state which is sometimes described as "more like Nebraska than Wyoming." Where it's not dominated by agriculture, the landscape around that area is mostly mixed-grass prairie, and receives about 13 inches of rain.
Sep 24, 2014, 5:59 PM
The photos of the Berry Prairie just can't do it justice, it's so much more inviting and interesting than a picture can portray! The hills add a great vertical dimension, tucking and rolling through the 3600 sq. ft. of roof. Each mound is home to scores of plants, ranging from cacti and penstemon in the prairie section to clematis and pasqueflower in the foothills and phlox and sedge in the alpine. The hills are alive!
Sep 19, 2014, 6:04 PM
The green roof is finished! Wow, what a process, what a project! It went from a flat, local, lovely yet somewhat dull prairie to a curvy, diverse and intriguing set of ecotones.
Sep 16, 2014, 6:21 PM
Irrigation!! Hallelujah, happy day! The green roof is so close to complete, you can almost taste it! The irrigation system is in, the plants are happy and watered, and the mess of pots are off the roof. The only things left to do are tweek some of the sprinkler heads, fill in some of the gaps with flowers we are picking up tomorrow at Laporte Avenue Nursery near Fort Collins, CO, and mulch the whole roof with light-colored pea gravel. Stay tuned!
Sep 15, 2014, 6:29 PM
Friday was another productive day, including planting some of the last plants and installing the irrigation. We're waiting on a couple more sprinkler heads, to finish the irrigation, and are at a stand-still until that happens.
Sep 11, 2014, 6:39 PM
Yesterday was a much more pleasant day for planting, and planting we did! The landscaping crew made incredible progress, and this morning are now out there in 45 degree weather finishing up the last little areas.
Sep 10, 2014, 7:05 PM
Yesterday was a wet, sloppy, cold day to be planting - but we planted nonetheless! The first of the new green roof plants were plugged into the growing medium, starting with the ones on the north end (alpine section) and moving south. And with predictions of hard freezing and possibly snow on Thursday night, we're working as fast as we can to get these plants in the ground.
Sep 8, 2014, 7:15 PM
The Berry Prairie is transforming. Gone is the flat landscape that was, here are the hills and plains of the new roof. The plants we bought new (as opposed to transplanted off of the roof) all arrived late last week, and today we began laying them out. We are creating three distinct planting zones: alpine (mountains), foothills and plains/prairie. The planting begins in the morning tomorrow!