Living Walls go Mainstream, Hit the Homes Sections


Michael Riley's over-the-top walls; Paul Costello for The New York Times

Kristina Shevory writes in the New York Times that living walls are becoming increasingly popular in homes. "Avid and aspiring gardeners, frustrated with little outdoor space, are taking another look at their walls and noticing something new: more space." They are becoming quite the rage; Greg Garner of ELT, known to TreeHugger as a green roof supplier, talks of his prefabricated wall system: "The walls have gone from zero percent of our business leads to 80 percent of our business, and it's happening all over the place, from the Middle East to North America to Europe."

Most of the new residential systems grow plants in moulded plastic trays with soil. Patrick Blanc, the French botanist who covers whole buildings with green walls, doesn't think much of them. He says "in nature, you don't have vertical dirt." Of course in nature you don't have vertical felt either.

A lot of the systems are expensive, complicated, and labour intensive. Peter Kastan says of his $10,000 wall:

"It's like having a large poodle," Mr. Kastan said. "You have to take care of it, feed it, walk it. It's intensive care for plants."

More in the New York Times
More on Patrick Blanc
11 Buildings Wrapped in Gorgeous Green and Living Walls
Madrid Gets a Vertical Garden Too
A Really Green Building: Quai Branley Office Wing
Floating Homes Made From Coffee Cups with Green Walls

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