In the constant quest for more gardening space, some urban green thumbs are installing "living walls" at home, turning precious wall space into a verdant, vertical surface full of plants. There are a number of do-it-yourself living wall kits, ranging from the chic frames to modular pockets that can be hung on the wall. Created by Norcross, Georgia company Plants on Walls, the Florafelt system falls into the latter category, allowing gardeners to easily install and maintain their living wall.
Handmade out of recycled, non-toxic, pH neutral and non-reactive PET plastic felt, plants can be inserted into the 10 by 6-inch pockets via a "root wrapper" that allows them to grow right in their original soil, while enabling home gardeners to switch out plants as needed. The microfibers in the material then allow equal watering of all plant due to a wicking, capillary movement of water, as the roots work themselves into the felt.
Some advantages of this system include its lightness, and flexibility for installation in or outdoors. The modular design means that the pockets can be arranged into a number of various configurations to fit the space. Depending on the light exposure available, suitable plants range from ferns, sedums and succulents, to even herbs and vegetables. The felt pockets are attached to a channelled, rigid back board that lets air flow behind the system, to prevent mold issues, or for those who prefer automation, it can coupled with a pump system. The pockets can even be part of an aquaponic design.
One recent installation at the San Francisco San Francisco Conservatory of Flowers showcased some rare, exotic species -- the video shows how it's done.