Cress roof city

Cress roof city

Cress roof city


Images from our latest project: a cress/grass roof city. Using lots of small cardboard boxes, paint, glue, plastic bags and cress seeds H and I created a little world with green credentials.

Cress roof city


Obviously it would have been an easier project if we’d stuck to a cress roof house but we were feeling ambitious and H was keen to hone her town planning skills. A castle, factory, museum, two blocks of flats and a giant road later and we had our cress roof city. Here’s how we made it…

making a grass roof city 1


We collected one large piece of corrugated card for the base of the city (optional) and lots of smaller boxes and toilet rolls to create buildings.

Some of the boxes were stuck to other boxes to create more interesting shapes, and the toilet rolls were attached to each end of a mini cereal packet to create the castle/palace shape.

Next we created a lip around the top of all our buildings (to form a little tray for our seedlings). To do this with our shoebox we simply turned the box upside down and glued the lid to the base. For some of the other boxes we cut round the base of the box and stuck this to the lid of the box. With the rest of the boxes including the castle and the factory we wrapped a second piece of card around the box making sure the top edge was higher than the box. We then added some detail by cutting pieces out of the lip to add fortification to the castle.

Next we painted all the buildings, first adding a base colour, and then when dry, adding white squares for windows. When the paint was dry we added details like window panes using black pens.

We then glued all our buildings into place on the base board.

making a grass roof city 2


The roof trays then all needed to be lined with plastic to prevent them from getting too soggy. To do this we cut up rectangles of plastic from an old bag and taped them into place. Sticky backed plastic would probably work well too.

We then folded up kitchen roll and place into the lined trays before adding water to create a soggy bed for our seeds.

The cress seeds (or mustard cress seeds) were then sprinkled all over the roofs. Following the instructions from the back of our seed packet we then placed the city on the window sill and covered with a tea towel until all the seeds had sprouted. A week of diligent watering later and our cress roof city was in full flourish.

Cress roof city


Cress roof city






8 thoughts on “Cress roof city

  1. A fantastic project. Puts me to shame. My little ones are decorating ginger breadmen right now from a pack that already contained everything they needed. Zero effort from mummmy. -2 mummy points for me.

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