Welcome to Vertical Gardening
Q: How do people call vertical gardens? There are several names for Vertical gardens, such as Green Wall, Vegetal Wall, Living Wall, Bio Wall and Plant Wall. To keep it simple, I mainly use Vertical Garden and Green wall.
Q: What is a Green Wall? A Green Wall or Vertical Garden is a wall, either free-standing or part of a building, that is partially or completely covered with vegetation and, in some cases, soil or an inorganic growing medium.
Q: Who invented the green wall? It wasn’t me but I will explain you in detail how to build your own! The creator of Vertical Gardens or Green Walls is the French botanist Patrick Blanc. On this blog you’ll find more information about the person and his projects. I do not intend to copy his vertical gardens. In fact, my vertical gardens are entirely made by myself!
Q: Is it difficult to build your own green wall? No it’s not difficult to build your own vertical garden! All you need are the right materials, suitable plants and I will guide you step-by-step with creating your own vertical garden.
Maintenance Of The Green Wall
The green wall needs simple maintenance, but deserves special attention regarding the following items:
Exposition to light A light source must be quite close and the green wall must receive 12 hours a day minimum.
Watering of the green wall Use a very reliable system for watering system, the wall can dry out quickly.
Removing Bad Weed For an outdoor green wall, maintain monthly checks for weeds as they can over grow your valuable plants. Apart from these simple tips related to plants and the green wall in general, remember that your green wall is based on a structure. So you have to check the frame regularly, but also the attachments that maintain it to floor and building.
Vertical garden structure possibilities: ready-made vs customized
When building your own vertical garden, the most important part of the green wall is the structure.
Nowadays you can purchase some ready-made solutions on the market. These green wall structures usually have a fixed size and are made of plastic or felt.
The main advantage obviously is that you don’t have to bother anymore about the most complex part of your wall. However the ones that I saw have the disadvantage that it is unlikely that your plants will cover your green wall entirely and you will still have some parts where you will see the plastic, which is probably not the result we are looking for..
When you decide to build the structure all by yourself, you need to pick the right material from the beginning. For the main structure of your wall, I recommend a water resistant material that is light weight and cheap.
Plants suitable for your green wall
The ivy is particularly well suited to the greening of facades. The plant is a strong climber, however this plant does not damage the walls, although it can damage the paint when its roots leave traces.
A green wall all year round
Ivy is suitable for outdoor green walls as it is resistant to harsh weather conditions (flood, frost, drought …). It stays green all year, allowing it to continue to absorb carbon during the winter when most plants have lost their leaves.
The pollination period of ivy is in late summer. The fruits of ivy appear very early in the year (March), and are a wanted food for fruit-eating birds.
In addition Ivy has an aesthetic value, need for your outdoor green wall. Other species commonly used are the Virginia creeper, honeysuckle, wisteria.
Maintenance green wall plants
The maintenance of facades can not be at all times of the year to meet the rhythms of wildlife and flora who have found refuge. Avoid nesting periods or periods of cold winters during which the vegetation provides shelter for many animals.
To facilitate vegetation and maintain natural processes, retain islands of vegetation (moss, ferns) in the maintenance of facades.
The developer must take into account the problems that can appear when installing a green wall in our outside the building:
Be cautious with moisture, such as humidity penetrating the wall of your home. It may damage paint work. Also be aware of any possible short circuits in case you have artificial lighting installed and / or a water pump.
The increasing weight of your green wall is also something to consider. Is your construction strong enough to support the weight of the vertical garden?
To avoid any of these problems and to keep your green wall in good shape, maintenance and regular checks are needed.
When using exotic plants for your vertical garden, avoid importing unwanted organisms or pathogens, it is recommended to work with specialist growers who can recommend you on the origin of the plants used and can offer your advise concerning legality of the plants used.
Plant shopping for my green wall
One of my favorite things to do in the weekend is to visit a plant and flower market. In my city Shanghai. There are several large markets like this and they sell many plants that are suitable for vertical gardening.
Birds and vertical gardening
Increasing biodiversity also increases the presence of birds. However, glass surfaces are a visual trap for birds that hit windows during day or night.
The bird may be the victim of a mirror where the glass reflects the sky.
At night, birds frequently hit the window of a lighted room, a victim of the effects of light pollution.
In the latter case, the frequency of collisions can be reduced by 80% by using a heavy curtain. Such a simple measure to make your green wall more bird friendly.
By day, it greatly reduces the risk of collision by affixing a black silhouette of a bird of prey, even more effectively if it is hanging by a thread that allows it to move. These figures are marketed by various associations and institutions. They do not interfere with local wildlife adapts and prevent collisions with migratory birds passing through.