Most of us live in urban areas where gardens are no larger than three sorry little pots containing mostly weed plants stacked in the corner of a balcony. But we are not to blame, as urban conglomerations are getting bigger and bigger and the living space proportionately smaller. But that doesn’t mean a person who desires a garden can never have it just because he lives in an urban apartment, there are always the four walls that one could make use of. Yes! Why look for open spaces and shady regions to grow your favorite roses and daisies, when you can very well grow them on your wall? Sounds interesting? Well that’s what the entire green wall concept is all about. Read on to find out how you can turn your ordinary interior and exterior walls green and have that favorite garden that you always desired within your urban home.
What’s a green wall?
A green wall is nothing but an ordinary concrete wall that has vegetation or flowering plants growing on it. Now you may wonder, how on earth can plants grow on cement and especially vertically? Well that’s where the technology cuts. Thanks to advanced gardening techniques and some special materials, today plants can even be made to grow upside down. But don’t worry; you don’t have to spend too much just to create your own person green wall, all it requires is just some patience and some common garden tools and materials easily obtainable from local hardware stores. Now, first before you begin you will have to decide, where you’re going to place your green wall, the selection of materials and the technique used depends on this. So first let’s take a look at the possible locations where the green walls can be placed.
Best possible locations for a green wall
The obvious two ways in which you can create a green wall is either in the interior of your house or in the exterior walls. Depending on where you live you can choose the appropriate location. If you live in a moderately spacious apartment with outer walls all to yourself, than decorating it might make sense, but if you live in a cramped up apartment with nosy neighbors, than green wall are best kept indoors. Now the thought that pops into the minds of most is the problem of lighting. Since most of the urban apartments receive little or no light, one might get discouraged of setting up a green wall. But don’t worry, there are plenty of plants and even flowering plants that grow in shady regions and require no more than artificial light. Also if you have the problem of finding enough wall space to vegetation, there is a way to solve that problem too. But now let’s take a look at the media with which the green walls can be grown.
Green wall media
The different media generally used for growing green walls are loose media, mat media and structural media. Each has its own advantages and disadvantages. Loose media utilizes pockets or shelves made into walls, which are then filled with the soil required. Loose media arrangement can be used for both indoor and outdoor applications and is best suited for small scale gardening or for filling up a tiny wall space. But loose media, as the name suggests, can cause quite a mess if not properly taken care of, as winds and seismic activity can cause the soil to erode and fall down. Structural media on the other hand is quite sturdy and requires no maintenance one installed. It involves constructing pocket like structures on to the walls and planting the garden in a sort of inclined manner. The only disadvantage with structural media is that it is only suitable for outdoor wall applications.
Now for those, who don’t have empty wall space to grow vertical garden, the mat media might be a good option. The mat media utilizes either coir fiber or felt mats which form layers over the soil and conceal it in. The mat media can be utilized to create faux wall and can be kept as an ornamental attraction. Since the mats have porous property plants can grow through them with ease and will not cause a messy surrounding as the soil will not spill out. The only down side is that, only small plants that will not tear the mat apart can be grown and the media will require constant irrigation due to the poor wicking properties of the mat. But on the other hand creating green walls out of mat media is much cheaper than the other two media.
Advantages of having a green wall
Having a green wall on the interior or exterior of a building has lot of advantages. The first one is the cooling effect that these plants provide to the building. Since urban building get heated up due to insolation, an effective prevention of it through the green walls can prove to be very useful. The plants will keep the interior temperature no than 4 or 5 degrees above ambient. Also green walls in the interiors will provide a continuous supply of fresh air and also keep the interiors lively as well. So go ahead experiment with the green walls today and enjoy green living.