One of the questions that frequently arises when the discussion turns to a particular vertical garden wall design is “What are all those plants growing on the wall”? Another question is “Is there any specific order inn which the plants need to be arranged”? The Urbanarbolisimo design firm of Alicante, Spain was kind enough to share one of their projects with the general public through a Creative Commons License. The large photos below are all from the article at their site, but it is in Spanish. This project was a collaboration with two other Spanish firms, Alijardin and Alicante Forestal.
The wall adorns a terrace, and plants can be protected from cold weather by closing a sliding glass door which opens onto a sunny porch. Many of the plants used are tropical, and can’t be left unprotected, even though Alicante is located on the Mediterranean Sea in plant hardiness zone 10. The climate there being, of course, a Mediterranean one, lower humidity levels are to be expected for much of the year.
Variety Characterizes Vertical Garden Wall in Alicante, Spain
Patrick Blanc’s visions of what the urban vertical wall (mur vegetal, as he describes it in his native French) can become when adorned with a variety of exotic plants was once again on display at the Enid A. Haupt Conservatory in New York City. Orchids, ferns, epiphytes, and other exotic plants put on a spectacular show, transporting visitors into a near-fantasy realm of color, texture, and light and shadow. To get a better feel of it, be sure to click on the little wheel symbol beneath the viewing window and increase the resolution of the video.
The theme of the 2012 Orchid Show: Patrick Blanc’s Vertical Gardens. As explained in the video, orchids growing in concert with many other plants on walls mimic the biodiversity of their natural settings. It is often remarked that those who excel in growing plants have “green thumbs”, but Patrick Blanc’s expertise is so great even his hair is green!
The 2013 Orchid show is coming up shortly, for those of you who will be in NYC and have an interest, visit www.nybg.org
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Vertical Farming Technology Comes to the Backyard Garden or Urban Patio
The Garden Stick came about as a means to efficiently grow strawberries for a large u-pick farm, the Fuller’s Farmers Market in Davie, Florida, which is located just outside Ft. Lauderdale.
This 66″ tall vertical planter, with space for 14 plants, and taking up only 2 square feet, worked so well in their growing operation, the decision was made to sell it to the general public as well as other commercial growers. Nor is it limited to strawberry production, a wide variety of vegetables, fruits, herbs and ornamentals can be grown with it, a list of some among these is available further on into this article.
To give you a look at the Garden Stick in actual use, I’ve embedded a video from the itinerant John Kohler, a noted raw foodist and gardener from Northern California, came across the farm on one of his road trips, and as he so often does, he just had to stop in at Fuller’s, take a look and record a video of what he found:
As seems to be the case so often, John became a raw foodist due to various health problems, including a life-threatening bout of spinal meningitis. He so strongly believes in growing his own food, he converted his entire back and front yards to gardening areas, primarily raised beds, and he made it his mission in life to help others grow their own food and to spread the word about the benefits of eating a raw food diet.
Whether you share his ideas on what constitutes the best human diet or not, he has made a prodigious number (>750) of videos on various aspects of gardening, and has become a great resource for the home gardener. No matter what aspect of gardening piques your interest, it is likely John has made one or more videos about it.
Installation and Dimensional Specifics for an Actual Garden Stick Planter
Below, another video shows you how to set up a Garden Stick planter unit, and lists some of the options and specs for the various models it comes in – just hit the read more button below to see the rest of this article.
A 20′ indoor vertical hydroponic garden spanning two floors will adorn the NYC exhibition hall for the BMWi Born Electric Tour November 14-18. A super-sized sculptural version of Danielle Trofe Design’s Live Screen hydroponic system will liven the introduction of the BMWi Concept Spyder hybrid car and the fully-electric BMWi Concept car in what constitutes the North American debut for these carbon-fiber-based vehicles.
The Born Electric Tour began in Rome in June, 2012, and continued on to Dusseldorf and Tokyo before its arrival in New York City. BMWi paired up with local designers and businesses in each city the tour enters with an eye on presenting a motif focused on the idea of sustainability and future mobility. The Live Screen self-watering system allows the indoor gardener to grow various vegetables, herbs and decorative plants, a mating of hydroponics and beautiful design.
If you will be in the NYC area during the Tour’s run, and would like to attend, here are the particulars:
1095 Avenue of the Americas 42nd Street/6th Avenue (across from Bryant Park)
Open to the public, Free
November 14-18, from 10 a.m. – 10 p.m.
For more information about Live Screen, see our earlier post on the Live Screen growing system.
Over the years, gardeners have put empty plastic soda and water bottles to various uses in their gardens, but a group of urban gardening aficionados employed the collaborative open source concept of software development so prevalent on today’s web to create and enhance a growing system they named the WindowFarms Project. WindowFarms are sized to fit in front of the typical household window in an urban setting. The philosophy is this : if you have a window, you can grow your own food and create your own personal “green revolution”. The process was given the name R&D-I-Y, or Research & Develop It Yourself.
How It Works
The founders of Windowfarms came up with the DIY plans to tie together several plastic bottles in a vertical column fed by a drip of nutrient solution cascading down through each successive bottle to a reservoir (a larger bottle) at the bottom, which is then pumped back up to the topmost bottle using an inexpensive aquarium air pump. Basically, it’s the Poor Man’s Hydroponics. Below, Mayra Cimet’s how-to video illustrates the construction of a version 2 Windowfarm:
Story continues with an additional video and photos…
World-famous French botanist, landscape designer and professor Patrick Blanc takes vertical gardening to a whole new level, designing astounding living walls of massive size, and has overseen the installation of his designs in urban centers all over the world. Patrick originated the concept of vertical living walls back in the late sixties, and was granted patents on his inventions in 1988 and 1996.
The construction starts with rigid frame which supports the entire living wall. The frame may be stand alone, or attached to a wall. To this structure a waterproof PVC backing is attached, then a felt-like series of layers of polyamide or material of similar composition is attached, then slits are cut in the outer felt layer to create pockets into which the plants are placed.
Plant selection initially began in the field, in sometimes remote landscapes(i.e. Sarawak), studying environments where hardy plants grow on rocks, in hallows or on the surface of large trees, in crevasses or other areas where water and nutrients must be gathered without requiring much of a root system. Another criterion is the plants chosen must require minimal maintenance owing to the difficulty and expense of accessing to the upper reaches of the wall.
This allows greater plant density, greater design latitude and higher survival rates when placed on a vertical wall with limited space for roots to spread out.
Furthermore, sets of plants that can survive in each of many different climatic zones were researched and assembled, as installation may be in a northern city such as Paris or London, or in a tropical location such as Kuala Lumpur.