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A Vision Of Green: Key Steps to Creating A European Style Vertical Garden

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:

  1. Wall or railing (inside or out) for you hang your living garden
  2. Living wall panel cells (planter)
  3. Plants
  4. Creative Design
  5. Soil


The steps to your living wall masterpiece:

Step One:

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.


Step Two:

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.


Step Three:

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..


Step Four:

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!


Step Five:

Add the soil and ensure you have filled all the openings. You are almost done.


Step Six:

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!

Why create a Living Wall in Your Garden, Home or Office?

Vertical gardens are stunning, and plants create wonderful visually appealing walls which can turn drab concrete into something spectacular. Also, vertical gardens are perfect for the space poor – as now it’s possible to have a garden even if it’s not horizontal. But, despite the obvious visual aesthetics of a having a living wall what are the other benefits and why should you turn your boring concrete into something quite remarkable?



Improved Energy Efficiency


Living walls are an excellent solution to improving a buildings thermal insulation. Once you install a living wall, you’ll more than likely find energy reductions in either heating and cooling of the building.


The amount of energy saved varies, and of course is influenced by many different variants. Influencing factors include: climate, distance from the side of buildings and the density of the plant coverage.  Other benefits include:

–         living walls create excellent wind protection during winter months

–         Interior living walls help reduce the energy required for heating / cooling the outdoor air for indoor use

–         limits movement of heat through thick vegetation mass

–         the living wall structure is able to reduce the ambient temperatures by offering shading

Building Structure Protection

All buildings are exposed to the elements and weathering over a period of time. Buildings expand and contract and these shifts and movements might occur because of heat, where perhaps the building is directly exposed to UV rays. Or maybe the building shifts because it is exposed to extreme cold weather and freezing temperatures.  A living wall has huge benefits because the plants protect the building against the weather fluctuations. Also, the living wall is great protection from those windy days which helps with seals or air tightness of doors and windows.


Improved Indoor Air Quality

A great benefit of having plants indoors is that they are natural filters. Living walls are able to help remove contaminates that are normally flushed of buildings through traditional filtration systems. The plants capture airborne pollutants such as dust and pollen as well as filtering noxious gases, VOC’s from carpets and furniture.


Noise Reduction

The plants growing inside the living wall system will help contribute to an overall reduction of noise that transmits or reflects from the wall.  Buildings sitting on busy roads are hugely benefited because the living wall acts to block out noise.  The amount of noise reduction and sound the living wall is able to filter out does depend on the depth of the plants, the plants and materials used as well as the structural components when creating the living wall.


How to get all these benefits:

It’s very easy to DIY a vertical garden. But,  you need to find the right vertical garden panels to suit your garden design. Depending on the style of your home or office there are very nice stainless steel vertical garden panels.  My personal favorite are the Cedar Herb garden panels (so you can have the added benefit of having a herb garden).   Good luck!


The History of Living Walls

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


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.

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