Residents at Berryfields Acquired Brain Injury Unit have always loved gardening and many of them spend their free time out in either their own front gardens or communal spaces planting and keeping on top of the weeds. This year was no exception with them joining forces with the Greening Communities team and taking it in turns to work on each of their front gardens. After all, several pairs of green hands are better than one.

Tasks included planting climbing roses, planting bright flowers into pots and growing some enormous marrows in their raised beds.

A few of the keen wood workers in the team then came forward and helped design and create a rather colourful bee home with its own ‘living roof’. The customers came up with the idea after reading about various new UK green roofs in a magazine article.

Living_roofGreen roof, or living roof, is a term used to describe a roof which is green in the economic sense. In other words, it is energy efficient or sustainable because specialist plants are grown instead of putting in conventional roofs. They are becoming increasingly popular on top of garden sheds and on new build houses but we thought we would start a bit smaller.

We read up on the different possible structures, sizes and equipment we would need and choose popular living roof plants called Sedums and Semperviviums to go in the top because they are hardy species and the perfect size for the small roof.

Finally, Bruce Alexander, one of the long term residents at Berryfields, decided we should paint the bee hotel with black and yellow stripes, so that visitors could spot their wonderful creation from a far. We have put the bee home in the ground just next to a patch of bee-friendly flowers, so now we just have to be patient and wait for inhabitants to move in.

Well done to all the team at Berryfields for their hard work and team spirit. This Greening Communities project was carried out by the Social and Financial Inclusion team and was funded by the Family Mosaic Community Foundation.