When Jason and I traveled to Europe last summer, we were inspired to see gardens growing on the walls of buildings in some major cities (appropriately named vertical gardens). Why should plants only be relegated to the ground?
We haven’t yet figured out how we may incorporate this into our sustainable living approach but I am now looking at the south facing side of our house with a different perspective.. And maybe the roof as well.
Here is some pictures and links to inspire you and then maybe you can give us some ideas on what we could do to Grow UP…
Vertical Garden by Patrick Blanc
Musee du Quai Branly
Talk about floor to ceiling coverage! The look does not match the historic surrounding of left bank Paris, but it blends in beautifully (pun intended). In the shadow of the Eiffel Tower, this inspiring building will hopefully lead to more concrete jungles looking more like jungles. Maybe urban farming of the future? How revolutionary to reach out your window and pick dinner.
Gardener/Artist/Scientist Patrick Blanc (because what is the correct title for someone who does this?), uses a substrate made of two layers of felt that has strong water retention and migration abilities (otherwise known as capillary abilities to you more scientific types). This felt is mounted to plates of PVC and scaffolding allowing for air and water movement. Very cool!
We were biking along the waterways in Copenhagen and found this. They use a mesh pattern, similar to a cross-stitch pattern, that is “fill in” with dirt and flowering plants. Scaffolding supports the whole garden and allows for watering by running water down the inside verses the outside.
Apparently it is a map of the European Union. I didn’t see it at first but if you squint and you know your
geography, which admittedly I am rusty on, you can see it.
After our return, I did find these wall garden home kits available online.
Using these pockets made from recycled plastic water bottles, you can build walls of
flowers or veggies. Any teachers out there? This would be a great thing to install on your cyclone fence and teach your class to grow food.
For the city dweller/apartment owner, check out this solution for indoor gardening. Perfect for growing a salad and herbs in your home.
It has a self-contained irrigation frame to prevent damage to your wall and floor. Not too sure about the construction but it would be worth trying. If anyone tries this, please let me know.