Saturday, December 18, 2010

The Benefits of a Vertical Garden

Here I am, a prisoner in my own home. I've got a cast on my leg from foot surgery and 16" of snow on the ground outside. What's a landscape designer to do???? Well, if you've been reading Blooming Desert's recent facebook wall posts, you can guess what has been on my mind. That's right, Vertical Gardens!

This photo was taken at the Flora Grubb Gardens in San Fransisco, CA. I had the chance to visit this nursery last spring. I found this vertical wall interesting because it has mostly sedums growing on it instead of lush, tropical plants that will not survive in our High Desert Climate.

Last summer, I got the chance to put my research and knowledge of vertical gardens to the test. The result was the makings of one of the first, commercially owned, vertical planting walls in Central Oregon. And I'm hooked!

If you happen to be in Bend, you must stop by IJA Designs in the Old Mill Quarters. Hanging above IJA's most beautiful jewelry collection is a three panelled, sedum wall that is bursting with life! IJA runs their studio on 100% renewable energy-purchasing recycled metals as a base for their jewelry line and recycling any left over metals in the process. Having a vertical garden fits right in with IJA's sustainable lifestyle and philosophy of living life with minimal impact to the environment.

Since the 1990's, "Living Walls" have gained popularity in Europe. Although, they are noted for being more suitable for the urban environment, I think it is just as comprehensible in the ordinary residence. Vertical Gardens are space conscience, sustainable and in tune with the direction the Country is going in.

If you are wavering on the idea of owning a vertical garden, here are a few benefits to these truly unique gardens.

* Noise Reduction. Plants can reflect and absorb sound in an interior application. They can also insulate buildings and reduce sound penetration from busy streets or other unwanted noises.
* Improved Health. Plants provide oxygen and can remove toxins from the air. Deeper breathing encourages relaxation and reduces stress.
* Energy Savings. Through transpiration, plants can cool the inside of your home in the summer months. Exterior vertical gardens can insulate your home in the winter and reduce the amount of heat escaping through the walls.
* Marketing Tool. To promote your environmentally conscience and sustainable company. Through this, you can speak right to your target market - the green consumer. With the improved health benefits, you can get your customers to relax and spend more time in your store, restaurant, spa or whatever it may be.

Convinced yet?

Make that 20" of snow...Happy Holidays!

To see additional Green Wall Benefits, visit Green Over Grey's website. They are a design firm located in Vancouver, Canada specializing in the Vertical Movement.

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