Living walls

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Vertical gardens can brighten up a bare space, cleanse the air, generate chi or life force energy in a certain area of your home and make great conversation pieces. They are living canvasses that allow you to mix and match your plants with minimal amount of space.

Vertical Gardens started from the Hanging Gardens of Ancient Babylon, which was one of the Seven Wonders of the World.

It then made another noticeable come-back when French botanist, Patrick Blanc made it a popular choice for home insulation and air-cleansing for the community. The first installation was in 1988 at the Museum of Science and History in Paris. His work was groundbreaking and worldly recognized even if it was something invented centuries ago. This paved the way for what is known today as Living Walls.

Living Walls Today


With many of the trees cut down because of commercialization, many cities are devoid of clean and fresh air and the sight of thick grey dust blanketing walls parallel to the road is sadly more common than necessary. Vertical gardens are a good solution for keeping our city and small commercial spaces filled with living elements. Not only does it minimize the space that you use for your garden, it also purifies the air from mold, carbon monoxide, formaldehyde and many harmful pollutants. Living walls also reduce noise pollution and cools the environment.
For you to be able to make your own vertical garden and make it thrive here are few tips that can help you.

Sunshine, sunshine

Notice that the sunlight falls in different areas as it moves from east to west? It is important for you to be mindful of this to determine the best space to grow your garden. The wall module should be able to get enough sunlight for about three to four hours depending on the type of plants you will put.

In placing fresh herbs, maintain them in an area with only morning or afternoon sun for up to 3 hours only. Herbs prefer to be shaded than be over exposed, it can burn them if they are still small plants.

For succulents, it is best in a place where there are four to five hours of sunlight in the morning or afternoon. Lastly, for other hardy plants (Sansevierias are succulents but are extremely hardy), you may place them in direct sunlight for a longer time.

Plant choice

Choose plants that are ideal for the amount of sun exposure for the area you chose. For combining plants, choose those that complement each other and have similar behavior. Commonly, plants that are cascading or spreading in growth are used for vertical gardens such as: Epiphytes, Orchids, Air Plants or Tillandsia, Fresh Herbs, Vegetables, Succulents, Nepenthes or Pitcher Plants, Venus flytrap and many others.
Hanging pockets or wooden frames?

Decide on the type of vertical garden you will make. The most basic ones are the hanging pockets, which you can purchase online or in garden shops. It has pre-made pockets varying in size and width and is usually made with felt fabric or plastic material.

You may also repurpose old large frames and attach thick metal grids from a junk shop. Finish it off by buying hanging pots to use for your vertical garden and hang them on the metal grid.

Bring in the soil

The soil will dry quicker than usual because of minimal obstructions and it will have maximum exposure to sun and air. Use garden soil mixed with coco peat for plants that have the usual watering routine or everyday watering such as vegetables and other leafy plants. For succulents, cacti and herbs, mix some pumice or “binistay” to add a dry element and minimize over-watering. Keep excess soil handy for maintaining it in the future.

Go big or go home

For big projects like industrial walls for buildings or condominiums, no need to break your back (and bank) to make it happen. The guys at Vertigrow have been doing it for years and can offer professional installation. Watering will be a breeze through their manual or automatic irrigation system. Get in touch with them at http://vertigrow.filipinasplastic.com or contact them at (632) 288-4130.

But if you’re saving the earth and reducing your carbon footprint through the comforts of your home (or whether it is for aesthetics) you may start in your own garden. Go home and do it! The earth needs saving now. One green wall can make a big difference.

LESHARA ONANDIA MANIEGO

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