Vertical Gardens & Green Walls

What is a vertical garden or green wall?

A vertical garden or green wall is a popular system used in residential and commercial buildings all over the world where plants are grown ON the wall. The vertical garden is an ancient system but has regained popularity from the green wall exterior project of French botanist Patrick Blanc in 1988, on the Museum of Science and Industry in Paris. 

Worried about all the bugs and spiders? You shouldn't be.


A vertical garden can also be grown without soil using special devices and systems such as hydroponic, aquaponic and aeroponic growing methods. These are not the traditional methods of growing plants however organic hydroponic systems have been created.

How are they built?

A wall that is able to carry the weight of the vertical garden has a metal framing support structure is attached to it. A vapour barrier such as a PVC sheet is then fixed to the frame. Finally the lightweight felt planter pockets are fixed to the sheet and frame.


Advantages

Space saving: 

A vertical garden is definitely a space saver. If you have a small back yard or simply want to save space, this beautiful garden can be grown on walls and fences with no problem.

Insulation: 

The thick layer of plants and associated materials becomes a solid piece insulation as well as protecting the wall from the elements. 

Aesthetic appeal: 

What is more beautiful than nature? A green wall creates a natural aura and a sense of serenity. Not only are these decorative and beautiful but they are a wall finish option!

Fresh food and air: 

Want more fresh air? What about fresh vegetables? This one is for you. The vertical garden not only creates oxygen but provides you with fresh home grown produce. 


Disadvantages

Restricted space:

Due to the limited space provided by green walls the plants you can grow are generally the smaller species. This is because the space needed for roots is large and can not fit in the planter pockets.

Dries quickly:

If you do not have the correct orientation and watering system the plants will dry out quickly. Research and calculations should be done prior to installation however proper location of your vertical garden can avoid this disadvantage.

Price:

For such a great invention comes a price. If you are capable of a DIY garden it will work out much cheaper! The framing systems and watering systems are time consuming to create so you will have to pay the price for the larger vertical garden systems.

Mess:

Any spills or dirt falling out will create mess, obviously. It is not recommended to grow a vertical garden over carpet or a material that is not water friendly especially if they grow sideways and dirt falls out! Proper care will avoid this disadvantage.


Thanks for reading. Hopefully this post gives a better understanding to many about vertical gardens and inspires the use of them.