The idea of your walls coming alive may seem out of the ordinary at first, but it’s perfectly possible with a living wall. These are also referred to as ‘green walls’ and ‘vertical gardens’ – the latter being a very basic description of what exactly they are.
They also have a number of benefits. We explore these here, as well as how to keep your upright greenery looking lush and full of life.
Why have a living wall?
Anything unsightly can be easily disguised with a green wall. It makes any space instantly more attractive, creating a stunning feature that you and your guests won’t be able to peel their eyes away from. They offer year-round interest, so there’s no end to this pleasure.
Vertical gardening also makes a great outdoor privacy screen, and maximises the amount of space you have to grow more plants. Their upright fit means they take up a very small surface area, so it’s even suitable for flats and more modest gardens. It’s plain to see why they have become so popular in typically restricted urban areas.
These walls also encourage biodiversity, and filter out toxins in the air. These include dangerous chemicals produced by household products. Plants also circulate oxygen, further improving the air quality and leading to numerous health benefits – such as reduced breathing problems and blood pressure. They promote wellbeing, too, having been proven to enhance mood, decrease stress, and boost productivity.
Additionally, living walls act as sound insulation, absorbing and deflecting noise. They insulate in terms of regulating temperature as well, lowering your energy bills. In turn, this helps to reduce your carbon footprint even more, making them a method of sustainable landscaping.
How do I maintain a green wall?
On top of all these advantages, living walls also require very low upkeep, especially when compared with most types of necessary garden maintenance. This means they are the ideal way to achieve evergreen and carefree planting. It’s simply a case of removing the dead, diseased or damaged plants.
You’ll also need to make certain that they are well-watered and fed, which is done by installing an irrigation system. This is connected to controllers that ensure that there will be an accurate amount of water and nutrients provided to the foliage. The health of your plants is guaranteed this way, but it does mean that maintenance of the system is a requirement.
Regularly check that the timers, filters and valves are functioning perfectly. Make sure that nothing has become clogged either – water, dead leaves, soil and mud can all build up and cause a blockage that will stop your vertical garden getting the water and food that it needs.
There may also be certain garden lighting requirements for specific plants – so ensure you know these before you begin planting.
As well as lighting conditions, there are particular soil needs too. Likewise, your selection will be affected by whether your specific foliage will flourish in your chosen location. Deciding which plants to pick should therefore be given the same consideration as regular gardening.
Evergreen planting will help with lowering maintenance even more. Sedums are famous for not requiring as much upkeep as other plants. They are known for their resistance against diseases and pests, not needing much water and nutrients, and providing colour all year round.
Heuchera ferns, mosses and grasses are all great choices too, offering stunning colour and texture. The former is perfect for both indoors and outdoors. Shallow-rooted plants are a particular favourite addition to vertical gardens, as they work really well due to their lack of soil depth.
With any of these displayed on your living wall, you can ensure it thrives for years to come.
What type of green wall should I pick?
Once you’ve decided the plants to display, you’ll then need to pick the type of wall. As well as installing living wall systems, you could also explore moss paintings. These require minimal light or water, making them the ultimate in carefree planting. All that will be necessary is a little dusting now and again.
Substrate or mat systems are another option, beneficial because of their automatic irrigation. Installing wire trellis are a popular selection for many – this is because they suit those on a budget. They can be attached to the majority of façade materials, meaning they will likely work in your property.
Or there are ivy screens, particularly suited to commercial projects in the construction or events industries. This is due to their reusability and sustainability. Ivy screens are often used in domestic gardens too, as they are attractive and have the benefit of absorbing dust and pollutants.
After you’ve made your decisions around your living wall, the next step will be installation. Here at Dreamscape Gardens, we take this off your hands – along with any other garden design, landscaping and maintenance you require. Our full BALI accreditation ensures any work is completed to the very best standards, and your garden remains an impressive aspect of your home.
To find out how we could bring your garden to life, vertical or otherwise, get in touch with our team today.