11 Inspiring Vertical Gardens

14 Aug 2011

Green walls are increasingly popular in architecture as the methods improve for creating them, sustaining them, and incorporating them into buildings. Pieces of vertical green tend to two types: vines climbing up a special armature; or walls incorporating soil and plants in panels hung on facades. The choice of which one depends on the desired appearance, local climate and growing conditions, and other factors. 

Technical considerations with green walls, especially living walls with soil medium, are great, so this ideabook is focusing on the effects of incorporating these features both outdoors and indoors. In most cases the landscape architect responsible for the installation is the best person to contact for ways of detailing green walls.
 
11 Inspiring Vertical Gardens
 
This first example falls into the category of climbing plants upon an armature; the latter in this case is a wire mesh that defines the walls of a small outbuilding. The coverage on the walls is impressive, owing to the equally impressive plantings in the ground. I've seen my share of trellises designed with a pithy amount of plants at the base, as if a miracle will happen. This photo shows that the best results happen with generous plantings at the bottom.
 
11 Inspiring Vertical Gardens
 
This photo shows an installation at the Melbourne International Flower and Garden Show. Designer James Dawson is flexing his green muscles in the varied plantings found here: vertical green, green roof and hanging plants. The shagginess of the Giant Liriope green wall anchors the space.
 
11 Inspiring Vertical Gardens
 
This living wall clearly expresses the depth required for the soil — what looks to be about six inches — in the way the U-shaped configuration of panels is expressed in front of the corrugated siding. Generally the panels that are used for living walls feature smaller trays with angled openings that give the plantings some verticality. To to put it another way, the plants don't cantilever horizontally from the panel, they reach up and out from the angled trays. Here, the wrapping of the window is a nice touch.
 
11 Inspiring Vertical Gardens
 
This system in a demonstration installation uses Woolly Pockets instead of rigid trays to contain the soil and plants. As the plants grow they will cover the adjacent bags, making the wall appear more monolithic.
 
11 Inspiring Vertical Gardens
 
This installation is similar to the previous one, but is indoors and further along, showing the coverage that happens when the plants thrive (plenty of daylight is helpful). The effect is aided when the wall is given a prominence. Here it is like a large green painting.
 
11 Inspiring Vertical Gardens
 
A closeup view of an installation similar to the previous one shows the variety of plants. The colors, the leaf shapes, and the leaf sizes give the wall its character.
 
11 Inspiring Vertical Gardens
 
Here a grid of green squares flank a set of double doors, framing the entryway. As one person commented, they look like large shutters that have opened from the doors.
 
11 Inspiring Vertical Gardens
 
Here we see a wood trellis with colorful plants climbing them from large planters placed below. Some of the plants are making their way to the roof joists. Eventually plants will cover the walls between the windows and doors.
 
11 Inspiring Vertical Gardens
 
Another trellis system can be seen here, but in this case it's a fence, not an exterior wall. Privacy for the outdoor shower is aided by the vine covering the fence. The climate of the Southwestern U.S. guarantees year-round privacy, but those in northern climates should be aware that winter dormancy could open up the such a fence to prying eyes.
 
11 Inspiring Vertical Gardens
 
This is a great example of vertical green fusing with overhead green. The combination of stone wall, vertical planting, and wisteria on the overhead armature creates a very intimate outdoor space.
 
11 Inspiring Vertical Gardens
 
This last photo illustrates that green walls come in all types and sizes. This rectangular panel of cacti is another installation that takes on the appearance of abstract art, especially when seen from a distance. 
 
Courtesy Sharing by Houzz
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