The John Hope Gateway visitor centre has a flat roof. To compensate for the developed footprint of the building a section has been planted as a green roof. The majority of the green carpet is composed of Sedum species and cultivars. After the harshness of last winter the biodiversity mix changed and it now appears the dominant plant is Sedum lydium.

There are a selection of weed species that have colonised the carpet. Many of these are annual weeds e.g. Senecio vulgaris, Poa annua, Sonchus asper. Due to the mild weather we are experiencing, these still show active growth and are continuing to flower and set seed. The leaves of Sonchus asper have spines that may cause a skin rash when weeding. The plant exudes a white milky sap when damaged.

At this elevated level the view takes the eye across the roofline and into the tree canopy. But this canopy occludes the distant city views to the south so the impression from the roof is one of seclusion.

There is a better view to the city from the south lawn of Inverleith House taking the eye over the New Town to the Pentland Hills. A good impression of impending weather as the hilltops show snow before it descends on the city.

John Hope Gateway Roof. Photo by Tony Garn

John Hope Gateway Roof

Sedum roof on John Hope gateway. Photo by Tony Garn

Sedum roof on John Hope gateway