Living Walls and Vertical Gardens
Living Walls Are What You Need To Bring Nature To Your Urban Lifestyle
City life, with its fast-paced and ever-busy nature, sure has its charms, but have you ever felt like you’re missing out on the au naturel beauty of your environment when surrounded by concrete?
The good news is that it doesn’t have to feel that way when living walls are incorporated into the interior or outdoor design of a home or building.
Also called vertical gardens or green walls, living walls involve growing plants on a vertical surface. This technique utilizes a form of gardening called hydroponics, which uses mineral nutrient solutions mixed with water that allows plants to grow even without the aid of soil.
Because green walls require no soil to grow and maintain, they have their own irrigation and drainage system to support their growth. This means they are self-sufficient so you can either attach them to a wall or to their own vertically-suspended panel.
An Ancient Way of Gardening - The History of Living Walls and Vertical Gardens
While it has been touted as the latest hottest trend in indoor and outdoor design, vertical gardening isn’t really new. In fact, it goes way back – 600 B.C. to be exact – when King Nebuchadnezzar II of Babylon decided to build a vertical plant system for his wife.
The result was the famed Hanging Gardens of Babylon, one of the seven wonders of the ancient world, which was replete with beautiful plants and flowers hanging from brick walls.
It wasn’t until the 1930s though that vertical gardening became popular again. Through Stanley Hart White, a University of Illinois professor, the world was introduced to “Botanical Bricks”, an early version of modern vertical gardening that White himself experimented with in his backyard.
His concept, which detailed the use of hydroponics as well, became the blueprint from which today’s green wall designers patterned their own works.
But perhaps the most prominent personality to be associated with vertical gardening is Patrick Blanc, who is noted for his books that tackled tropical plants and his exceptional designs and installations of green walls that became famous all over the world.
Some of Blanc’s most notable works include the Sydney Central Park, the French Embassy in New Delhi, India, Berlin’s The Lafayette Galleries, and Paris’s Musee du Quai Branly, which sealed the deal for him to be dubbed the “Godfather of Vegetal Wall”.
Vertical gardening has indeed come a long way, from an ancient art of gardening to becoming a fixture in sustainable architecture. The best thing about this gardening technique is that it is so versatile that it can be structured whichever way and size you can think up, from as large as a building to as small as a shoe hanger.
Why Go for Green Walls
Whether you’re a homeowner or building owner, putting up vertical gardens provides a number of benefits that will encourage you to grow one.
Create a piece of nature right in the heart of the city
Due to commercialization, it’s rare to see a lot of trees and plants in cities these days. Vertical gardening is a smart move, as it lets you bring nature amidst concrete buildings.
With living walls you can bask in greenery to keep the stress of city living at bay.
Make a stunning visual statement
If you’re a building owner looking to elevate the look of your property, living walls are the perfect solution, as they create a breathtaking visual statement that will impress anyone.
The aesthetic quality of green walls is a true feast for the eyes, and anyone who passes by your building will surely be awed by the spectacle of bringing color and nature together in one eye-catching wall.
Filter the air
Commercialization has indeed elevated our way of living, but in the process it has also sacrificed a lot of trees cut down to make way for more buildings. As a result, most cities have less greenery, fewer open spaces, and less fresh air.
When you get into vertical gardening, you help provide the city with clean, fresh air by increasing the number of plants that filter harmful pollutants like mold and carbon monoxide.
Green walls are particularly helpful in filtering indoor air, as they function both as a natural air filtration system and a way to keep your home or building cooler.
Maintain the strong foundation of your building
For building owners, having living walls as an outdoor design can help shield the structure of your property against strong sunlight. Green walls absorb direct rays from the sun, which not only protects your building but also reduces the heat produced by sunlight.
When you grow vertical gardens inside or outside your home or building, you are able to reduce noise from the outside. Living walls or plants in general have long been utilized by city planners to reduce noise levels from roadways, as they help block the high frequency of sounds produced by vehicles.
Green walls inside hotels, for example, are known not only to reduce noise but also improve the quality of music played inside.
Cut down on energy costs
With green walls protecting your home or building from sunlight, you reduce the heat that is produced indoors while keeping the air cooler. You will be able to utilize the natural breeze from these living walls, which you can use to minimize the use of air conditioning.
This, in turn, helps bring down the cost you spend on electricity.
Perfect Plants for Living Walls
With the myriad of benefits they provide, it is not surprising that green walls are the hottest trend in outdoor design. On top of the visual, health, and financial benefits they provide, living walls give you the opportunity to grow a variety of beautiful plants that can add life and beauty to city living.
It is important, however, to choose the right plants for vertical gardening, as this plays a pivotal role in achieving not only the aesthetic look you want but also the overall function of the green walls.
Among the standard choices for green wall plants are:
Ferns – A preferred garden plant as they grow and adapt easily and resist humidity.
Lipstick Plant – The perfect plant both for indoor and outdoor vertical gardening thanks to their beautiful red buds and glistening green leaves.
Bromeliads – An ideal plant for green walls, as they require just a small space to grow due to their shallow roots.
Limelight / Bower Wattle – Also called acacia cognata, it provides the finishing touch to a living wall, thanks to its ability to fill up any space when constructing a green wall.
Begonias – The ideal plant if you want to build a green wall in an area that has plenty of sunlight.
Tips for a Successful Vertical Garden
While vertical gardens are beautiful and inspire one to grow their own, there are things that should be taken into consideration when thinking of putting up one. Here are some pointers to keep in mind:
Make sure your vertical garden is placed where there is enough sunlight, especially if you’re growing plants that need a lot of light.
If you’re thinking of growing herbs for your vertical garden, make sure to place them in an area where they only receive up to three hours of sunlight. Some herbs prefer shade than being exposed to a lot of sunlight.
Be mindful of how you build your watering system as this could flood the area.
Make sure to keep moisture at bay to prevent mold from growing.
Hire a professional indoor plant specialist if you’re putting up a vertical garden inside your home or building.
Living walls need special care and maintenance, and the expertise and experience of a trusted indoor plant specialist like Inside Plants can guarantee that your vertical garden gets the proper maintenance it needs.
Inside Plants is your “One-Stop Shop” for Living Walls and Vertical Gardens
Are you considering putting up living walls in your home or building to create a picturesque green paradise? As a full-service plant company, Inside Plants can help you from the planning stage all the way to the regular maintenance.
On top of the benefits they provide, green walls can last for years or even decades when you enlist the services of professional indoor plant experts. Call Inside Plants at (760) 322-9909 for more information on vertical gardens and green walls or to schedule a free consult.
Tags: living walls and vertical gardens, history of living walls and vertical gardens, why go for green walls, tips for living walls, perfect plants for living walls