Sea House Warming Hut: Living Roof Moving on to the living roof top, whilst I mull over the rocks. I built a quarter-inch (6.4mm) tall surround and glued it to the roof edges, so it sticks up about an eighth of an inch (3mm) and forms a perimeter. (At first I made it a half-inch tall, but it looked out of scale somehow.) This I painted with a slate grey acrylic, and while still wet, brushed on a darker neutral grey. I stippled metallic silver with a fine 00 dry brush over all, to give it a galvanized look. It blends well with the weathered grey siding (not shown :)

I’m pulling off little clumps of preserved moss in a few different shades, and pressing them into tacky glue. I want to keep the over all profile fairly low, as befits an exposed, windswept rooftop. I thought about “planting” in a pattern, perhaps even rendering the S and H of the Sea House logo, Sea House Warming Hut but am undecided. I’m not really a fan of formal gardens or parterre. Working around the edges of the roof to start keeps my options open. I do want to build a tiny weather station — or at least one of those cup thingies that spin around — and extend the stove pipe up with some sort of bracing and cap. And poppies, growing low among the other plantings, happy little dots of native color.

Meanwhile I just read how Pat and Noel Thomas used dried thyme plants to landscape some of their wondrous builds, and I’ve been curious if lavender leaves will preserve well, so I ordered some silica gel to experiment with. I’ll keep you apprised :)

13 thoughts on “Sea House Warming Hut: Living Roof

  1. Jenny Chapman says:

    I so love looking at your work, I learn and get inspired. Most people show some things but leave out the if, buts and maybes but you are so generous. Thankyou, thankyou thankyou Jenny.

    • Nancy Enge says:

      Jenny, thank you! Often times, for me, the process of arriving at a result is as satisfying as the result itself. I *totally* learn by doing, and looking to others who have figured stuff out before me. Our miniature community is such a lively place :)

    • Nancy Enge says:

      I’m going to have to put “living” in quotation marks… I don’t want to have to water my builds, but exploring convincing landscaping is of great interest to me. Your wooly thyme examples on the “cement” porch walls are spot on. Of course :)

    • Nancy Enge says:

      Isn’t it? This was my specific inspiration:
      It makes so much sense, and the impact a living roof can have on cities is *very* interesting.
      But in all settings, it’s the way it can make a building both blend into and be a contributing part of a healthy ecological system that’s got me miniature world building — and dreaming.

  2. Barbara W. says:

    I really like the paint finishes on the surround. Those colours would lend themselves well to some mini gardening tools I have that need “aging”.

    I’m curious – will the rooftop garden be a refuge for butterflies?

    • Nancy Enge says:

      We have Kris Compas of to thank for the galvanized finish technique. So simple and so right.
      I imagine the warming hut perched on windswept cliffs; perhaps on calm days the bees and butterflies can safely make their way to visit the roof. Hmmm, maybe some milkweed for our Monarchs planted among the more sheltered rocks? Great idea, Barbara!

  3. Christina says:

    I love the look of the variegated mosses and am really interested to see the addition of poppies (and milkweed!) too. That ‘zinc’ finish is really effective!

    • Nancy Enge says:

      Christina, thank you. I’m playing around with making some “succulents” from cut and painted silk petals, too, to nestle in there. I have placed one poppy to see if it works… I see making many more in my near future :)

  4. Pepper says:

    I love the idea that the building is completely surrounded by nature – including the roof. Sometimes buildings jar against the greenery but the warming hut looks as if it has grown up from the ground. I’m looking forward to seeing how the living roof progesses. It all looking fabulous =0)

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