Interpreting the Past with a Green Roof at Cardiff Castle

Harking back to a time when building materials were sourced from the surrounding countryside, when keeps and castles were built to be impressive and stood proud against the sky line with hoards of soldiers to guard their walls, Cardiff Castle is no exception to that rule.
Relating the extraordinary episodes in the history of the castle , the new Interpretation Centre, is displaying its own extraordinary event – a new green roof of beautiful wildflowers.
When we were first approached by David Hopkins of Cardiff County Council and asked for a quote early in 2009, we were quite surprised as the centre already had a green roof albeit one of sedum.  However, it seemed all was not well with the sedum and they wanted something more spectacular and self-sustaining.
By April the turf was on the roof complete with irrigation system.  The photos below show you the steep gradient on the Interpretation Centre, upon which the turfs were laid.  By June visitors were greeted by an army of wildflowers – a little different from the armies that would have been in residence in Roman times.
The first wave of flowers is generally led by the Campions; White (Silene latifolia), Red (Silene dioica), Bladder (Silene vulgaris) and Ragged Robin (Lychnis flos-cuculi), preceded by Meadow Buttercups (Ranunculus acris) and Wild Red Clover (Trifolium pratense) then closely followed by surges of Cats Ear (Hypochoeris radicata), Hawkbit (Leontodon sp.) Vetch (Vicia sp.), Yellow Rattle (Rhinanthus minor) and Ox-eye Daisies (Leucanthemum vulgare) to name a few.  Not to be outdone either, and bringing up the rear are the grasses with spears of flowers standing straight and tall above the rest.  An army to be reckoned with!  So no change there!
Just click on each image to enlarge – enjoy!

Laying laying the wildflower turf on the steep roof

27th April 2009 Turf all laid and looking lush

29 June 2009 already flowering

The First Wave led by an army of Campions