Vertical Gardens

Green walls or vertical gardens are a visually spectacular addition, but more complicated to achieve than you might expect. We have a love/hate relationship with them for the following reasons.

The pros

A well-designed green wall is a thing of beauty, adding texture and life to an area that might otherwise be a blank wall. Unlike a climber or a hedge, a green wall can incorporate several species of plants and thus a variety of foliage colours and shapes.

Vertical gardens are being included more and more frequently in new builds – mostly commercial, but some residential – because their benefits go beyond good looks. They can purify the air, provide a barrier for sound and even help reduce the surrounding temperature.

The cons

With limited soil capacity in ver, stopping the plants from drying out is going to be a constant battle, and if you’re putting a green wall in a sunny or windy location, you’re setting yourself an impossible task. The lush-looking green walls you see up the sides of tall buildings are an illusion – seen close up, many of the plants are likely to be wind-burnt and haggard. Unfortunately, while every plant has its ups and downs, those suffering a bad season at eye-level on a green wall will be objectionable to most clients.

Size is important. The best green walls have a sense of scale, soaring above head height at least, but with size comes weight. An engineered solution is essential – try to cheap out by tacking something onto a paling fence and there’s a good chance the whole thing will eventually come down.

And thus the greatest factor against green walls: the cost. A properly built structure will cost big bucks to build, plus a significant amount to maintain to a high standard.

Where do they work?

The most crucial factor in creating a successful vertical garden is choosing the right spot, one that won’t be blasted by sun or wind. One of the best spaces for them is an internal courtyard, which is generally shady and protected, ideal for softer, lusher varieties of plants, which really make a green wall look spectacular.

The best results will be obtained by experts in the field – there are several companies who specialize in this type of garden. They will understand the limitations of the site, the needs of the plants and put in place systems to keep the wall as healthy and beautiful as possible.

The final word

If you really want a green wall, go for your life, but do it with eyes wide open. Done right, they can be stunning, but they don’t work in every space and they do come at a steep price. Still keen? We recommend enlisting the experts for installation and maintenance. Companies such as Junglefly and other similar professionals really know their stuff and will lead you in the right direction.


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