Vertical Garden Installations
In today’s world, with limited space in cities, architects and gardeners are turning to a new concept in order to bring some green into the concrete jungle: vertical gardens. Unlike regular gardens, which lie flat on the ground, vertical gardens are designed to climb into the sky. This makes them more difficult to design. First, you have to deal with gravity. Secondly, you have to accommodate for the sunlight each portion of the garden will receive. A plant that thrives in sunlight won’t do well on the north facing side of a building. Likewise, plants that can’t stand the sun need to be placed towards the north, rather than the south. With those things in mind, here are five incredible vertical gardens:
Back in 2007, the Italian city of Milan was facing a crisis: too much pollution, not enough green space. To deal with this problem, Boeri Studio presented the Bosco Verticale, Italy’s first vertical forest. For the first few years, the project seemed like a pipe dream. In fact, it took over two years for experts to decide what type of plants and trees would best thrive in such a vertical garden. However, as construction began, more and more Milan residents turned into believers. Both towers have been completed, and the Bosco Verticale is scheduled to open in late 2013 under a construction budget of 65 million Euros.
Installed in the fall of 2009, the Westfield Living Wall is the largest living wall in Europe. Developed by Scotscape Living Walls, the lush green of the Westfield Living Wall contradicts with two of the other walls on the shopping center, which are both covered with electronic advertising. To keep the wall green, the installation contains a fully automated irrigation system. During Christmas time, thousands of red and white cyclamen were planted to create a flower snowman and Santa Clause to give the wall a more festive feel.
The slate grey of a concrete overpass is one of the least aesthetically pleasing sights in the modern day metropolis. Completed in 2008 by Patrick Blanc, the Point Max Juvénal Overpass is a vertical garden like no other. Rather than driving beneath a boring concrete overpass, drivers and passengers get to pass under a luxurious vertical garden. The Point Max Juvénal Overpass turns what was once an eyesore into a thing of beauty while also improving the environment.
Back in 2011, the National Gallery in London decided to run a special feature: they wanted pieces of living art for their gallery. Scotscape was up to the challenge, creating a living wall that was a replica of a Van Gogh painting, “Wheatfield with Cypressus”. As the wall was a piece of art, weekly visits were scheduled to ensure the vertical garden maintained it’s resemblance to the painting. Surprisingly, the garden only took three days to install, and visitors were able to enjoy it from July to November 2011 when it was taken down again. The irrigation system was reused.
While not one particular garden, more and more “green houses” are popping up. These aren’t the greenhouses that hold flowers or plants for gardeners – rather, these houses are made up of vertical gardens. Each side of the house features a beautiful vertical garden instead of a plain wall. In order for green houses to survive, designers and architects need to create a water membrane to ensure the plants stay moisturized all year long. For those that live inside the green houses, the extra expense and upkeep is worth it. Rather than coming home to the same suburban beige as others, they’re greeted to a beautiful green treat.Share
Growing vertical is in vogue. Wander European streets and you will stumble upon beautiful gardens and magnificent living walls which leave you breathless and envious. The Europeans know how to make the best use of the limited space they have with their vertical gardens.
But, even when space saving isn’t the objective, the vertical gardens are about beauty. Europe is covered with plants. Ivy weaves and crawls up walls creating dazzling textures. Buildings and balconies are covered with fruit vines – shade is created. Plants have been turned into artwork. The garden is the draw card for many boutique restaurants. These European vertical gardens have turned restaurants into secret havens. They’ve become places of wonderment, where tourists sit awed and dream. If you have your own vision of a vertical lush green garden then read on – it’s easy to create.
The creation of your living wall needs a few things:
- Wall or railing (inside or out) for you hang your living garden
- Living wall panel cells (planter)
- Creative Design
The steps to your living wall masterpiece:
Identify the space where you want your living wall. Remember, you can have create them inside or outside. It’s becoming quite fashionable (if there is enough light) for an office to have living wall.
Measure how big you want your living wall. It is possible to buy living wall panels or cells. They often come in 10 or 45 cells and depending on the garden size, you can buy multiple panels. GroVert provides several options for you.
Lets refer to this as planter cells to avoid confusion. The planter cells is a series of individual spaces to place your plants. You can see it here.
The planter cells also come with angled slats which enables the plants you select to grow vertically. Also, the angled slats enable the water to trickle down and go inside of each planter.
It’s important to choose the right plants and remember to look at the area where you are going to hang your living wall. Assess the amount of sun that you are going to get as this will help determine the type of plants suitable for the wall. Remember, when choosing plants don’t select them if they have a large roots system. If there is a lot of sun perhaps choose succulents. However, if your wall is shady then ferns or ivy would be more appropriate..
Once you have chosen the plants, it is best to break them apart and add them to the individual planter cells. This is where your creativity and fun comes in. Design your garden, and create shapes or weaves or simply mix and match the textures that you have selected. The design is completely up to you!
Add the soil and ensure you have filled all the openings. You are almost done.
The planter will come with a mechanism to attach or hang easily to the wall. Remember, you can attach it to a wall or a railing.
Remember, if you’re not going to Europe why not create it and bring it to you! After the six easy steps, remember to sit back and enjoy the piece of paradise that you have created! All these accessories for living walls are available from
Good luck and have fun!Share
A living wall is … is a vertical arrangement of plants and other organisms that naturally remove toxins and unhealthy contaminants from the air that we breathe. They can be a complete ecosystem or a simple configuration of plants and they have been introduced to decontaminate urban environments. Living walls are both indoor and outdoor.
Why plants? Plants in their very nature have served the earth. They have been essential sources to us humans and plants have supplied us with food, clothing and shelter. Now, more than half of the world’s population lives in an industrial cities where concrete structures dominate. However, with the push for healthier environments the world is turning back to green and designers, architects and planners are including plants as a way to improve existing infrastructural aesthetics. Also, green infrastructure is said to provide cleaner air and water, and improve the overall environment, human health and human mental wellbeing.
History repeating itself? Vertical gardens aren’t new. In fact, they’re an ancient concept with examples in architectural history reaching the Babylonians. One of the seven wonders of the ancient world includes the famous Hanging Gardens of Babylon.
History says that Romans used to train grapevines, on garden trellises and on villa walls. Also, climbing roses were the symbols of secret gardens.
1920’s: There was a garden city moment from the British and Americans which encouraged the integration of garden features and plant usage, for example, using pergolas, trellis structures and self climbing plants.
1988: There was the introduction of the stainless steel cable for green facades.
1990s: Cable and wire rope net systems and modular tellis panel systems enter the market place
1993: The first major application of the new trellis panel system was featured at the Universal City Walk in California. It’s a stunning example of what a lovely feature plants can make in a city.
1994: InCanada, in theCanadaLifeBuildinginToronto, an indoor living wall was created an indoor with bio-filtration system
2002: A stunning example of a living wall is found in theMFOPark. It is multi-tiered approximately 300 inches long and 50 inches high. The park structure opened inZurich,Switzerland. This project had 1,300 plants.
2005: Japanese Federal government sponsored a massive Bio Lung exhibit, the centre piece of the expo in AichiJapan. This wall had 30 different modular systems available inJapan.
2007:Seattleimplements the Green Factor, which includes green walls.
Today: If you are decorating, you always have the option to implement a green wall whether its internally or externally. All you have to do is make sure that your wall will get enough sunlight. It might be wise to check out some of the kits which are very easy to use and put together http://www.uzplanters.com/Vertical-Garden-Panels/GroVert-Living-Walls/.
Also, when creating a living wall – it is also a piece of living artwork! So, have fun and think carefully about the plants that you wish to include. To ensure that you get the maximum environmental benefits there are specific plants which are perfect for helping reduce toxins including: bamboo, chrysanthemums, spider plants, English ivy, elephant ear philodendron, peace lily.Share