To learn more about an increasingly popular landscaping element, we turned to Josh Rosenthal, principal at Eco Minded Solutions, a home design and landscaping company based in San Diego, California. In the guest post below, Rosenthal provides information about living walls, giving the history of these growing works of art and how they have become a new trend in sustainable luxury home remodeling.
Living walls, also known as vertical gardens or green walls, are more than just your average garden. In fact, the rising popularity of living walls has produced an uplifting and artistic fixture for private and public spaces alike.
A Brief History of Living Walls
While living walls have risen in popularity over the last 50 years, the artistic use of living walls to promote health and happiness begins as far back as the famous Hanging Gardens of Babylon.
Patrick Blanc, a French botanist, is credited for producing the first large and publicly displayed living wall. To this day, it is still featured at the Museum of Science and Industry in Paris. Blanc adhered a lightweight felt medium to the wall which allowed the plants to literally take root on the face of the wall, rather than growing from either the top or the bottom of the structure.
They say necessity is the mother of invention, so it’s no surprise that living walls were created soon after a heavily industrial time period. In 1938, Stanley White, an American landscape architect, created “bio-bricks” that housed mini plant terrariums. Thus joining the growing group of artists that envisioned a revival of nature into our urban playgrounds. Now landscape architects are installing living walls for the many benefits they provide to our culture and the planet.
What Are The Benefits of A Living Wall?
There are real, observable benefits to planting a living wall inside or outside, in homes, offices and public places. Whether trying to conserve space or to promote health and happiness, these works of art promote positive vibes and lifestyles.
For Health & Happiness
Bringing plants into small spaces works wonders for the brain because of the universal urge that humans have to interact with other living things. Biophilia is the subtle feeling of joy you get when you are surrounded by nature. Run your fingers over a living plant and you can feel the life inside, growing. We don’t know exactly why it works, but it’s good for your mood while purifying toxins in the air nearby.
Living walls also improve the acoustics of indoor rooms. They reduce reverberation of sounds and speaking so well that they have been used for concert halls, bars, restaurants and even newscasting rooms. If you have a headache about urban noise pollution and traffic, let one of these growing works of art be your insulator of peace.
To Conserve On Time, Space & Resources
There are many things that make people happy, but they tend to not be good for the environment. In this case, living walls are not only aesthetically pleasing, but they require less water and energy to maintain. Therefore you are lessening your impact on the environment while contributing to its beauty. This fixture is so low maintenance that basically it will take care of itself. Because of the materials, you don’t have to water as frequently, either. So vertical gardens save you time and money.
Customization & Wow Factor
Planting a garden is good to do just about anywhere, but walls are a somewhat unexplored territory. Although living walls are not often common, the mosaic of colors from succulent living walls are breathtaking when encountered in person. With the wall as the canvas and the plants as the many colors of the rainbow, the possibilities are endless.
Have A Creative Living Wall Idea? It can be done!
Living walls also are a great icebreaker and conversation starter. They are great for any place, for whatever reason you choose and are becoming a symbol of sustainable luxury. No matter what your artistic vision is, it can be achieved in a living wall design to compliment your next remodeling project — to promote peace, health, and happiness.