Well, what could be more uber cool than a green wall?
The answer is….nothing! You’ve got the black stainless steel appliances, fireplace, techless living room and mismatched cupboard doors, so what else you ask? A green wall, of course!
While they may seem fashionable, they are anything but modern; vegetated walls have been around for centuries. Since T Rex snacked on Microraptors actually.
Any rock face that provided sufficient moisture would be able to sustain plant growth. Today we see moss gorges with ferns clinging all over their faces and gorgeous orchids festooning rock walls.
Alright, maybe you don’t see green walls in todays urban jungles but there is no reason why they can’t spring up everywhere. All you need is a supply of fail free moisture, plants that are suited to the aspect and a system where you can add nutrients to the substrate.
To set up a green wall you need to think about the cost involved because they can get pricey- up to $2000 a square metre. Home systems and DIY will be much cheaper.
Proprietary walls come in a range of construction types- the lightest is a thin felt layer into which plants are inserted all on a waterproof backing. We like the pocket type which has multiple nests across the face of the structure that hold potting mix into which the plants are installed. Finally there is the large milk crate type boxes filled with considerable volumes of soil.
Watering is by drip irrigation from the top and at lower level if the wall is tall. A tray is located at the base to collect water for recycling (filtering and adding nutrients as required).
Plants can be really whatever you like with the only proviso being that plants must be small growing – trees and shrubs are not suited. If you are doing your own wall you will need a lot of small plants; here is where Plants in a Box can help! Plant spacing may be as little as 150mm apart…36 small plants in each square metre.
Do’s and don’ts-
Do consider if you are prepared to spend the money to ensure that the provision of water is guaranteed. Without water the project will fail.
Do consider which fabrication type is right for you- the pocket style or the box type.
Do select the right species for the aspect. It’s doomed to fail if you put shade loving ferns in a sunny position or succulents in the shade.
Do select a professional to help if you think it’s beyond you.
Don’t allow your green wall to dry out! Brown walls are not trendy anytime soon.
Don’t think that green walls are as easy to keep looking good as plants in the ground; remember that the green wall plants are totally dependant on you.
And don’t think that you can’t do it! It’s easy and terrifically rewarding.