The ultimate guide to living green walls...

29 January 2018
McDonald Jones Monaco Home Design

Not just the latest design fad anymore, green walls and vertical gardens are a must-have and have been found to improve health by purifying the air inside buildings as well as providing beautiful back drops and privacy.

Green walls and vertical gardens are not just for the high-end luxury homes or architecturally designed company spaces anymore, now you can easily have your own vertical garden or green wall, either inside or out of your beautiful home. These can create a unique space that provides privacy, purifies the air and adds a lush green feature to walls either directly or viewed through windows to cover undesirable views…

Also the buzz at the moment in kitchens is the window splashback, and what better view then to have a lush green wall if you don’t have a view to capture.

We’ve started the research for you to provide the ultimate inspiration at our Pinterest page and some commonly asked questions around creating vertical gardens and green walls that will inspire you are below.

What is a green wall or vertical garden?

A green wall or more well-known now as vertical garden consists of panels of plants, pots of plants or plants hanging down to create a wall. The methods to grow the plants can be either hydroponics systems, which means growing your plants in water only (no soil), or using soil. You can now even find systems that are either free-standing or attached to walls, or pots or shapes that can be screwed to walls to sit plants in. There is no limits, except your imagination - you can even be more adventurous and create a unique wall by attaching half pots or even baskets to the wall (great for air plants!) to create a distinctive vertical garden look that best suits your lifestyle.

How do you create a lush green wall or vertical garden?

You will need to consider plant choice carefully and your wall location to create a luscious wall that continues to grow well and has suitable sunlight and drainage, and matches your styling choices!

Your wall should be comprised of plants that can be easily inserted into smaller growing areas (small root systems – no big trees!) and that have a small radius to grow, unless you have the space for the plant to spread out more and create a large growing space. It’s always nice to see a range of colours too, so think purple, bright green, dark greens and even silver or purples.

You will need to look at how big each type of plant grows so they fit together well once they are fully grown, so smaller plants next to larger ones, or small leaf compared with large leaf and a mix of colours. Even a different coloured grass wall can be an effective low maintenance wall to create privacy and mask an undesirable view whilst providing a luscious look that is hardy!

Thinking purple, look at the Purple Waffle plant that can also come in red ivy, Lavender, Fountain Grass, or greens and blues like the Weeping Blue Atlas Cedar, Blue Shag Pine and Baby’s tears, which is a lovely soft green lush ground cover that grows quickly and covers a lot of area and can sit around larger plants.
There are also stand out feature plants like Fishnet Stockings, Kiwi Fern, Trailing Plum and the Black Dragon that can become a vocal point in your vertical garden.

Succulents have also always been an easy favourite for these types of walls too, including the Aloe Vera, Sempervivum, Snake Plant, Jade, Bromeliads and even the Cactus family to create interest. Other plant options can include lush green ferns, such as the Crocodile Fern, the well know Staghorn Fern or cute little Lemon Button Ferns, Maidenhair Ferns or another favourite the Bird’s Nest Fern.

You can create your walls in various ways and also include different types of watering systems based on the location and plants. There are now numerous watering systems you can use that are affordable and that can be purchased from local handyman stores or garden nursery’s to make the set up easy or you can opt for a hand watering system that could be done at the end of a hard day to help you relax. The hardest part might be choosing your plants!

What are the benefits of green walls and vertical gardens?

As for the benefits, these can come from the plants themselves and how they can purify the air, or by providing a relaxing green back drop for a private area or screen off areas that you may not want to see, or even the structures they live in, being either large wall panels or pots connected to walls that hide imperfections.

Plants naturally take in carbon dioxide and other pollutants and then expel fresh, clean oxygen, therefore providing clearer air to breath. They can also reduce noise from adjoining areas, which is another lesser known benefit, and as the wall and plants grow vertically you are not losing too much space!

If you’re looking for more inspiration, we have gathered together some great green walls and vertical gardens on our Pinterest page so visit our board here for even more reasons to develop your green wall!