A lot of the new houses being built in Perth do not have a lot of or have no space at all for soil and plants. With a view on poured concrete and a fence, you outdoor can quickly look grim unless you do something about it. An easy fix to this is a vertical garden.
If you told me I could create a garden that requires minimal watering and space, little to none soil, AND it grew vertically? I’d say your telling lies. When we think of traditional gardens we think of mulching, weeding, planting, mowing, and watering, the list of things to do is endless. For some of us, we simply don’t have the time, space, or money. Introducing the vertical garden; also known as a green wall in commercial spaces. As simple as it sounds, a vertical garden is basically just a garden that grows upwards using a trellis or other support systems such as arches, containers, and panels. So how does a vertical garden differ from a traditional garden apart from the direction that in grows in?
In this article we dig up the benefits on a vertical garden and the plants you can use to create your very own.
What are the benefits to growing a vertical garden?
- Acts as a filter and cleans outside air of pollutants and dust, and offsets the carbon footprint created by people and fuel emissions.
- Cleans interior air space by removing harmful volatile organic compounds (VOC) typically found in deodorants, carpet, paint, furniture and building materials. Also filters out other toxins including benzene and formaldehyde.
- Helps reduce heat absorption on exterior walls which can result in significant energy savings, especially in warmer parts of the year where we rely heavily on air conditioning.
- Increases biodiversity by creating habitats for birds, insects, and other animals.
- Reduces urban heating and smog.
- Studies have shown that green walls can reduce anger, pain, anxiety, and stress to those who spend a lot of time working or living in urban environments that lack greenery. We have seen an increase in green walls used within commercial spaces as interior designers have realised the need for biophilic spaces.
- Speeds up recovery time for patients through biophilia.
- Reduces harmful pollutants and carbon dioxide in the air.
- Helps children focus better in school.
- Vertical gardens can be used to grow vegetables and herbs in urban settings, creating a sustainable and local food source.
- Acting as a soundproofing barrier, a green wall can reflect, refract, and absorb sounds.
- Increases the value of your real estate whether it be home or office.
- Increases the amount of foot traffic in retail spaces.
- Define a spaces boundaries and edges by creating entrances, backdrops or frameworks, and walls for a sense enclosure or seclusion.
- Vertical gardens can be used to create more privacy by disguising unwanted views including air con units, sheds and compost bins, or block out those nosy neighbours.
- Provide a filtration system for water that flows through the walls.
What plants can I use in a vertical garden/green wall living in Western Australia?
With so many plants available on the market where do we begin? To make things easier, we have split it into two categories:
Exterior plants for your a vertical garden
- Begonias come in many shapes and sizes, with pink, white or apricot coloured flowers, and are a brilliant addition if you are looking at add some colour to your wall.
- Hostas produce striking green leaves that are either patterned or variegated with white and lavender flowers blooming in summer. The plants die back during winter but regrow in spring. They require shade and a cooler climate to survive in.
- Japanese Iris are a vertical garden favourite all around the world. Their strappy leaves cascade in a green waterfall and produce small pale blue iris flowers in spring. Require part to light shade.
- Hoya Carnosa is an Australian trailing plant that has long-lasting waxy flowers in white or pink. Thrives in outdoor shaded areas.
- Orchids including Dendrobiums and Oncidiums cascade with exotic flowers and strappy leaves to creating that lushes green look. Thrives in bright light but not direct sunlight.
- Ferns are a very popular addition to vertical gardens and green walls for their lushes green fronds that can be mixed and matched. Thrive in moist shaded areas and can form trails or rosettes.
Interior plants for your garden wall
- Ficus leaf produce green and red leaves with a shiny appearance and are suitable in areas that may receive high amounts of UV rays.
- Laurel leaf is a versatile plant with smaller leaves making your garden look greener and fuller. The plant thrives indoors and outdoors.
- Succulents are extremely popular amongst plant enthusiasts because how of space efficient, colourful, and easy to maintain they are. Succulents are drought and fire resistant and require very little watering and maintenance.
- Lipstick plant is an excellent addition to your green wall bringing rich red flowers that emerge from black calyces and bloom throughout the year. Its distinct cascading and shiny green leaves with a burgundy bottom provide a diverse range of colours. Thrives in lower light levels and survives dry conditions with ease.
By now you should be feeling pretty confident about what a vertical garden is and how beneficial it can be to not only the environment but your health as well. A vertical garden can reduce harmful pollutants in our air, create homes for animals, and take away the bad juju. Knowing these things makes us feel more fulfilled and happier because sometimes all we need is a little gardening to bring us back down to Earth.
Integrity concreting can help you with your space before the concrete is poured so we can allocate space and even create garden beds for greenery. Have a chat with us today.