Archive for July 14, 2008

If I Had a Dog House

I’d want one of these:

The Greenrrroof Animal Home from Sustainable Pet Design.  It’s a thing of great beauty.  According to the manufactuer, it “smells good, grows plants, attracts butterflies, filters water, insulates and repels fleas – naturally.”

Green roofs are constructed from a system of layers including waterproofing, drainage, a growing medium and vegetation.  Most people think that they’re a new idea, but green roofs have been used for centuries in Iceland and Norway and they were also an integral part of prairie sod houses.

Green roofed houses in Iceland

It’s almost enough (almost!) to get me to kick the beasties out.  Heck, maybe I’ll just get one for the pure aesthetic joy of it.

According to a recent story in the LA Times:

Landscape architect Stephanie Rubin and her partner, sculptor Chris Isner, sell doghouses with rooftop gardens for $1,000 to $4,000. Your homemade version will cost a lot less — and the dog in residence will appreciate a plant-topped refuge that is cooler, in every sense of the word, than anything else around.

Incredibly cool.  Glacially even.  And – just in case you’re handy – Rubin and Isner have thoughfully provided detailed instructions on their website so that you can build your own! 

The primary structure consists of a gently sloped roof constructed a lot like a giant sandbox. Drainage spouts at the lower end of the roof remove excess water and divert it away from the dog house.  The folks at Sustainable Pet Design coat the roofs of their houses with beeswax or a low-VOC rubberized roofing compound.

The roof surface is then covered with a gravel drainage layer and landscape filter fabric.  A planting medium is installed over the fabric and pet-friendly, low-maintenance, nonpoisonous plants complete the system.

Wonderful.  I wonder how a tallgrass prairie version would look out in my yard?  I could cover it with big bluestem, milkweed, bergamot, clover and violets.  Or maybe I should go with the southern boreal version with meadow rue, bedstraw, gooseberry, bracken and trilliums?

What a lovely dream…

July 14, 2008 at 3:38 am 2 comments

Because A Dog’s Mind is a Terrible Thing to Waste


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July 2008