Monday, October 22, 2012

Green Walls - taking gardens in a new direction



One of the growing trends in the landscape industry is the installation of vertical gardens, also known as green walls. It’s nice to report that many businesses, especially in the hospitality industry are embracing vertical gardens as a highly practical and environmentally friendly way to make an outdoor space stunning and people friendly. Why not steal this concept for your own garden? Make your backyard or balcony the ideal place to spend the weekend amongst the mimosas, sipping a mimosa. 

Besides turning a drab blank wall into a divine vertical meadow, green walls are insulating and refreshing, they reduce noise pollution, purify the air and water and promote a general sense of well being.  Who can argue with that? They are also a highly practical concept for the space challenged, which is great news for all the avid gardeners trapped in the confines of apartment balconies. Green walls are the answer.

So how can you apply this to your own outdoor space? Green walls utilise a metal framework that support panel type planting units that holds a lightweight soil. These generally need to be purchased from a specialised supplier, if you do a search online you should uncover a few local companies which manufacture green wall modules, and will ship it to you at a good price. However, for smaller walls and budgets, it’s also possible to just ignore the panels and clad your walls with climbers like jasmine, sweet pea, passionfruit and ivy.

Essentially, any plant can grow in a green wall but I strongly advise opting for low-maintenance plants and keep in mind how much sun the different levels are receiving. The most popular plant choices are practical plants like ferns and grasses that create a calming, tranquil rainforest effect. Herbs are another ideal choice as they are dense, grow in a variety of stunning foliage, and taste and smell delicious. If you try to choose plants with similar light and moisture requirements, your green wall maintenance will be much simplified.

For inspiration, check out some of the many green walls sprouting up around Sydney bars and restaurants, such as The Gazebo Wine Garden, The Winery, The Garden Brasserie, Manly Wine Bar and The London Hotel. Green walls promote ecological sustainability and create such a bright, refreshing and enriching social environment, it’s no wonder this trend is on the way up.

For more ideas on green walls and your garden, check out the Complete Home garden section and the landscape section. 

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