Malaysia: rooftop garden a hit with employees

Once a neglected space, the rooftop of Wisma MBSA on Persiaran Perbandaran in Shah Alam, Selangor, has been converted into a flourishing vegetable and fruit garden. An assortment of leafy vegetables, medicinal plants, and even roselle flowers and passion fruit vines are being grown in planter boxes and on trellises.

Shah Alam City Council (MBSA) Landscape Department agriculture officer Majidah Md Ali, 45, who was given the task of converting the rooftop on the third floor into an edible garden, said it took five months to produce the luxuriant vista, and it had helped to improve the building’s aesthetics.

“It was mid-2019 when the idea of constructing a rooftop edible garden was mooted by former mayor Datuk Haris Kasim. “I was tasked with the project, and it took some months to design the roof and make it appropriate for growing plants, using a geotextile membrane to ensure it would not leak.

“We decided to use planter boxes to better manage the plants as they are simple and practical, where water is drained into the roof gutter,” she said, adding that the garden only started in mid-January this year because of the Covid-19 pandemic. In the beginning, Majidah said she would walk around the garden every evening to ensure each plant was growing well. Since the plants are now thriving, her visits have reduced to weekly while the everyday maintenance is being handled by a worker.

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