Vertical gardening is ideal for maximising minimal garden space, by allowing plants to grow along an upright surface, be it a thousand foot sky-scraper or a four-foot fence.
This concept has excited everyone from small-scale gardeners to leading botanists, architects and designers. In recent years, an increasing number of high-end buildings have been adorned with interior or exterior vertical gardens. Patrick Blanc is a botanist and the inventor of the vertical garden. His vertical gardens can be seen all over the world, and in London he has installed a stylish interior vertical garden in Heathrow airport.
Image source: media.murvegetalpatrickblanc.com
Sky Team Lounge, Heathrow
He applied his considerable skill and imagination to design and install a living wall on the exterior of the The Athenaeum Hotel London.This impressive wall of vegetation provides a dynamic visual, and a stark contrast to the largely grey and clinical buildings nearby. Blanc says that creating a successful vertical garden relies on the diversity of the species used.
For a hanging installation in Miami, he used different species of plants for each section of the column to ensure they all grew at the same rate, despite some receiving more sun.
“I use many, many different species,” he explains. “Here, in Miami, I used 80 different species. Sometimes, I use up to 400. When you have so many species, it looks much more natural” – Blanc.
This relatively new style of gardening has also excited world-leading architects and designers. More and more companies are embracing the transformative impact vertical gardening can have on urban landscapes. Design and architecture publication Architizer, launched The Total Housing Competition. This called for revolutionary, high-impact designs involving housing in high-density environments. Architect Stefano Boeri, won the competition with his design for a vertical forest living out of twin sky-scrapers.
Image via inhabitat.com
His Bosco Verticale project is now nearing completion, and will help reduce the CO2 levels in Milan, one of the most polluted cities in the world. The plants also reduce the need to heat and cool the towers apartments.
Image by Marco-Garofalo
While this project has a long way to go, I think it illustrates the potential for designers and architects to re-design urban environments to off-set the damage of climate change. I would love to see more developments like this within English city centres.
With celebrities spending money on making their homes greener, I think we all should too. Even if you have little funds and a tiny patch of garden, why not create your very own vertical garden? Not only will it be rewarding it could also help to increase the value of your property.
Written by Martin Stocks