Vertical Gardening

Vertical Garden Shop Front

There is a new product on the block that should delight many, Woolly Wally Pockets.  The Wally Pockets will enable you to create a living wall within a couple of hours. If you are interested in vertical gardening  and would like a product to help you please refer to my website www.gardenbeet.com. If you would like to hear my very brief summary of the current debate surrounding green walls read below.

Living walls are also known as green walls and are often associated with sustainable living. Vertical walls can be used to grow vegetables as well as provide habitat for wildlife. Great for city living and adding that particular wow factor to your warehouse/loft/apartment. They can also improve insulation properties of walls and absorb noise.

Nevertheless  there are  concerns with the eco-credentials of vertical gardens given the water and maintenance required, particularly in large public spaces. Yes, vertical gardens need watering. The amount of watering, however, can be reduced by selecting  the correct plants, ensuring the soil has good water retention properties (if you using soil as a growing medium) and recycling water. Harvesting rain water or grey water would also be grand.

Vertical gardens are not the answer for every site. Hard walls serve a purpose . Green walls are not going to save us from the ‘evils of modernity’ but when used appropriately they can contribute positively to our environment.

An article on Apartment Therapy alerted me  to the death of the 1st green wall (supposedly) in Britain, at Paradise Park Children’s Centre, Islington.    http://www.apartmenttherapy.com/ny/outdoor/vertical-garden-a-green-wall-in-islington-architects-journal-093944 It was originally built in  2006 and looked great when I first saw it during the London Design Festival in about the same year.

It is suggested that its death  is either due to lack of maintenance or technical design issues . It’s probably both.

As an Australian living in the  UK I am always amazed at how much public money is spent on maintenance of public spaces in this country. What you prune trees? What you hedge plants. Geeze. So if London can’t get the maintenance right on a vertical garden on a public building, can Australia?  I would love to hear more about the politics of the  maintenanace behind this project…anyone?.

I note that architects/landscape architects are concerned that vertical gardening is a new fad. A way of getting eco-credentials when they are not really justified. There is probably some just argument in all this, but it does not make the technique  invalid. And yes its been around longer than the 2009 Chelsea Show and yes it requires maintenance and it requires watering but there is still merit in its application. It’s just one planting or building technique of many. Suitable for some sites and not others. No different to anything else really.

Good on you Islington landscape architects/ designers for pushing it through all the political hoops.

Vertical Garden IndoorsIndoor Wally Pockets

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