A few years ago in 2008, I volunteered at the West Coast Green convention held in San Jose. It was a great convention where there were several
vendors displaying the latest innovations in Green building and there were also many informative talks. I got to attend a talk by Al Gore. While listening to him, I couldn’t but notice the green walls behind him on the stage. They were the only stage decor and it was perfect. Later while walking around the expo checking out different products, I saw the green walls up close.
A green wall or a living wall is basically a vertical garden. The concept was invented by a French botanist called Patrick Blanc. Plants grow on vertical panels which usually make up the facade walls of a building. You may remember ivy growing up the outside walls of a house or building. In fact, when we bought our house it had ivy all over it and looked very pretty. But the first thing my husband did was to get rid of them to prevent building damage. But even
today they keep creeping up all over our garden! The idea behind green walls are similar except they don’t grow out of control or damage the buildings. The panels can also be hung on the wall. Beautiful designs can
be created like a piece of art. And they have many environmental benefits and qualify for LEED credits.
to choose from – ones in which plants are
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planted in soil and grow over panels; or the ones in which plants are planted directly onto the panels and these panels are mounted on the walls or placed pretty much anywhere. There are also different plant options to choose from. It takes some planning on how to select plants, and how to irrigate and feed them. But they have gained a lot of popularity because of their uniqueness.
They are a form or art and look gorgeous. They add life to any space – indoor or outdoor. It can be an ideal garden solution for small spaces –
like small city apartments or restaurants or small offices. The possibilities are endless. I once saw on TV where someone had converted a whole wall into a living wall in their tiny NY apartment. They are equally great for outdoor
spaces to create a serene ambiance. The outdoor walls are not bare anymore and no floor space is lost. I can see how they can become a wonderful conversation
piece while adding design to a space and also make the air healthier to breathe.
Building a green wall has become easier these days. The supplies are easy to find, including recycled and sustainable options. I saw one company using recycled plastic cups to make containers which I thought was cool. There are also many sources of DIY instruction found on the internet and basic kits that can be bought and built. And of course these days it is easy to find someone to even build one. Either way, it’s a beauty that’s enjoyable and definitely leaves an impression.