The father of the green wall : Patrick Blanc
The Botanist Patrick Blanc’s is a CNRS researcher , who used to like to observe tropical plants grow in their natural environment. He had the idea to recreate the vertical rainforest. The idea is simple yet still great: Plants are placed on a vertical support on which they have their roots . They are drip fed by a nutrient solution that flows from top to bottom in the vertical support.
The green walls of Patrick Blanc are all without soil, like tree trunks and rocks rain forests. The result is an extraordinary vertical wall of plants- generally tropical. Now they have been colonizing cities hotel, restaurant and shop. They give back to plants their place in the city. Just as a green oasis, the green wall on a big building is like the heart and lungs of the city.
When you decide to build your own vertical garden, it’s most likely that your inspiration comes from a man who practically invented vertical gardening: Patrick Blanc.
In nature plants have learned to adapt to a vertical existence. Plants grow on cliffs, dead tree trunks and rocks. Plants that grow vertically usually have learned to spread their roots over a wide surface, rather than penetrating deeply in the soil.
Exactly these natural ecosystems have been Patrick Blanc’s inspiration for his green walls. It is said that Blanc has traveled the world in search for the right plants. Not only did Patrick Blanc research plants that grow vertically, he also selected plants according to criteria such as differing light and temperature exposures.
So who is Patrick Blanc, the man who devoted his life to vertical gardening?
Patrick Blanc was born on June 3rd, 1953 in Paris. Blanc gained his doctorate at the Université Pierre et Marie Curie in Paris. Since 1982 Patrick Blanc has been a scientist for CNRS (Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique).
Patrick Blanc has performed several scientific missions since 1972 which includes research in Guyana &1989) and Cameroon (1989). Further Blanc is a lecturer at universities and a professor for PhD students.
Nowadays Patrick Blanc has built many vertical gardening projects spread around the world. If you’re living in any capital city, there’s a good chance that Blanc has left his mark.
I grew up in France and lived in Paris for a couple of years. There you can find several vertical gardening projects from Patrick Blanc, including the large green wall at the Perhsing Hall in Paris. Or the green wall at the Fondation Cartier.
Nowadays I live in Shanghai, and also here in China Patrick Blanc has done a beautiful indoor green wall at LAN, Shanghai.
First of all: I’m a huge fan of Patrick Blanc’s work!
To end this post devoted to Patrick Blanc, I like to mention what some people say about his green wall projects and his reasoning behind it.
1. Is the only advantage of Patrick Blanc green walls aesthetics?
Some of the critics are that Blanc’s walls barely improve the insulation of a building. Furthermore his green walls consume electricity with its high power water pumps. Also his green walls usually consume tap water instead of rain water. Do you personnel think that there are any other real advantages to Blanc’s green walls besides the aesthetics?
2. If the first objective of Patick Blanc is to build a greener world, why to put patents on his techniques, isn’t this fact questionable?
What is the reason for the patents that Patrick Blanc has acquired on his vertical gardening techniques? Aren’t such patents slowing down the number of green wall projects?