Gardens become vertical

It is always great to hear about new and exciting things being created by landscape designers globally, and the vertical garden is just one such concept that can now be seen in South Africa.

The world was first exposed to this botanical wonder when French botanist Patrick Blanc covered a wall, situated behind the Eiffel Tower, in plants. Leon Kluge (a landscape architect in Nelspruit) brought this international gardening concept to southern Africa in 2010 and it is now being taken up as a viable design concept by landscapers locally.

Considering the current social climate of water shortages, rat-race time constraints, economic crises and more, much is to be said for vertical gardening, on both grand as well as domestic scale. If installed correctly, vertical gardens are deemed water-saving, low maintenance and not excessively expensive.

The concept of vertical gardening also makes the possibility of “greening the cities” more attainable, as they can cool down large spaces of concrete, absorb the dust and pollutants in the air and provide small habitats for creatures like birds in commercial or industrial spaces. Surfaces like Parick Blanc’s interior portion of a parking garage – Parking Perrache in Lyon – and his entrance wall to a tunnel – Pont Max Juvenal, Aix en Provence – or even the front facade of a building – Trio Building in Sydney.

Although the vertical garden might seem as if the plants are directly adhered to a structure, they are actually inserted into plugs onto felt-like layers of material which are fastened to a piece of stainless-steel mesh, a few inches away from the wall – ensuring no damage is done to the building.

A process of fertigation (the application of fertilisers, soil amendments, or other water-soluble products by means of an irrigation system) takes care of the plants’ water and nutrient requirements.


Vertical Gardens

Main Image source : IAAC