What is a living green wall?
In support of this year’s RHS Chelsea Flower Show, and its health and wellbeing theme, we have explored the benefits of growing a living green wall. Catch us at the show over the five days, from May 24 until May 28.
In gardening circles of late, you may have heard people talking about how brilliant living green walls are. As more and more people get the gardening bug, the demand has risen for fresh ideas on how to make the best of limited outdoor space. A living green wall, or vertical garden, is the perfect way to do this. They’re as eye-catching as they are practical, and present an excellent canvas for creative gardeners to play with, so here’s a little more about the wonderful world of living green walls:
The benefits of living green walls
Of course, the most obvious benefit of living walls, with their winding tendrils of foliage, thick layers of growth and slowly unfurling blooms, is that they’re simply beautiful visually. In small gardens, they’re a real plus as they make the very most of the space available, and in larger gardens they can deflect attention from, or even cover, unsightly areas. One often unexpected advantage of a green wall is that it provides insulation for the building it’s part of, reducing energy loss during colder months. Conversely, in the summer, a green wall will help the inside of your home stay cool. As well as keeping human inhabitants happy, the living wall also improves your garden for the insects who call it home by giving them an extra place to roam. Plus, in small urban gardens where the air isn’t as clean as it might be, a wall covered in plant life will act as a natural air filter.
Types of green walls
Living walls can be installed relatively easily by simply planting into the ground or containers at the base of a wall. The plants then grow up trellis or wire. Alternatively, plants can be grown on the vertical itself using a ‘living wall system’, which is similar to a growbag designed to sit against a wall. The most expensive option is the professional version of the ‘living wall system.’ This involves drip irrigation equipment, which is available in a number of designs and can even be installed indoors.
The best plants for the job
A variety of colours and textures are key when selecting the plants to create your living wall. However, it’s also a wise move to select plants that have similar needs in terms of sunlight and moisture levels. Climbers are the natural choice if you’re looking to create a living wall that grows from the ground, so go for honeysuckle, creepers, trained fruit plants and even grape vines if you live in a sunny spot.
If you’re a gardener who prefers to take a sustainable approach, living green walls – like permeable paving, home composting and water butts – are ideal. They use up every inch of available space to help both greenery and the insects and birds who rely on it to thrive. Not only is a living green wall a stunning aesthetic addition to any garden, but they have a whole host of environmental and physical benefits too. They’re great for enhancing your whole outlook, not just a garden space.
Tuesday, 6th December 2016
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