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A Vertical Garden in a “Cheese bar”

In June Paisajismo Urbano installed its first indoor vertical garden in Madrid. The place where the work was carried out stands out for its innovative character, a “Cheese bar” where clients can sample cheeses from Spain and other parts of Europe. The garden consists of more than 1000 plants and is 30m2 in size.

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When the client in question thought about installing a vertical garden and got in contact with Paisajismo Urbano, there were several objectives that he wanted to achieve.  On the one hand he wanted to recreate the land from which the main food of the restaurant comes, and on the other he wanted to create a natural environment, with soft and bright colours that would make the restaurant into a comfortable place to be, not only for its clients but also for the staff that work in the premises of more than 600m2.

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Do-it-yourself living wall installation by Matt

Matt and his Vertical garden

Matt has a detailed video here of how he created a living wall Patrick Blanc style. You can visit his site for more information about how he made his living wall. First, here’s the video of how it was made:

Below are some details that Matt so generously provided about his indoor living wall installation in his New York apartment:

  • The first layer is the frame. Usually that’s made of aluminum or wood. Then there’s a waterproof layer of plastic. Lately I have been using recycled corrugated polyethylene sheeting; 2 sheets 6mm thick layered to make 12mm.
  • The seams  of the plastic were sealed with silicone. So were the screws. Just a dab of silicone on the screw head keeps the water from escaping out the back. Our basin was made from PVC ( a material I wouldn’t use again due to it’s environmental impact). It was glued together with special glue. The shape is quite unusual because it ducks under our cabinet at one point. Also it’s curved to match the shape of the wall. Most basins will be much simpler.
  • The felt is 3/16″ thick and in his experience has been thick enough. I have seen some Blanc walls that have used an even thinner material. The material is stapled to to the plastic in two layers. The cuts for pockets are only made to the first layer.
  • We cut 5 inch pockets separated by only 2 inches in between. Then we staggered the rows vertically and separated them by 4 inches. The plants we used were from 3 inch pots.
  • The dirt from the pot is left around the roots when planting, but no extra dirt is added.
  • It’s important to have a filter on your irrigation system. Mine never really had one and I wasn’t very good at keeping dirt and plant matter out of my basin. Periodically I would have to take down my irrigation hose and clean out the clogged holes with a paperclip while running water through it. This was a time consuming process… so I added a filter.
  • The pump waters the vertical garden 7 times (every 2 hours) a day for 2 minutes per watering.
  • I use compact fluorescent bulbs. They are NOT full spectrum. I think they may be “cool white”. From “Ecology of the planted aquarium” by Diane Walstad she shows that “cool white” is almost as good as full spectrum for growing plants.

living wall

Living wall

Butterfly Dance, National Theater in 2009

Another stunning “living wall” by vertical garden designer Patrick Blanc takes our breath away. This installation at the National Theater in Taipei is called “Butterfly Dance”.


These days the flower industry has developed into a leading agricultural sector in Taiwan as people start to pay more attention to environmental beautification.

And in order to adapt to increasingly dense human communities, a new method of growing and display called vertical gardening has emerged.

Greenery decoration in urban areas can help economize on space if planted in a vertical direction. Renowned French botanist Patrick Blanc is famed for such innovation and has recently created two green walls in the National Theater in Taipei.
Dedicated December 11, Blanc’s brainchild ‘Orchid Waltz’ is a perfect symbol of Taiwan’s orchid industry.
” ‘Orchid Waltz’ is made up of two separate green walls: one displays Taiwan’s native species, and the other demonstrates Taiwan’s technological advances,” said Blanc.

The green wall called ‘The Butterfly Dance’ features 46 hybrid species of orchids for a total of 250 plants, along with 2,000 Adiantums. The other wall, titled ‘The Wild Dance’, utilizes 25 species of Taiwan native orchids for around 230 plants and nine other kinds of foliage plants, a total of 2,900.

As Taiwan is known as the kingdom of orchids, the idea of the green walls is ‘a homage to both orchids and people working with orchids,’ according to Blanc.

vertical garden

Phalaenopsis is the most popular of all orchid species. The flower’s name means “looking like a butterfly,” as its scientific name implies: in Greek, Phalaen- means ‘butterfly’, and opsis means ‘looking like’. Due to its lovely shape and colors, the Taiwanese have a special fondness for this butterfly-like flower, calling it the queen of orchids.

Living wallNTCH Chairperson Tchen Yu-chiou, second from the left, French artistic botanist Patrick Blanc, center, and Director of French Institute in Taipei Patrick Bonneville, second from the right, pose for photos during the unveiling ceremony of the Orchid Waltz art installation held on December 11 at the National Theater in Taipei.

Living wall close up

Vertical garden

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