Saturday, January 27, 2018

Living Walls - Still not sure...

When I first came across a sample of an indoor living wall 2 years ago, I thought - that's awesome!  But now... well,  I'm still not sure of their environmental value. I truly like the concept, but reality hits when you see the project months later after it's been installed.

This week, whilst waiting for a colleague, I had the privilege of being able to examine this living wall up close. For a few minutes or so, I examined how the plants were arranged and even helped them along, with some TLC; removing dead leaves and repotting two that were popping up from the trough container. To say the plants were thriving, well, some were and others not. I couldn't help but intervene on the behalf of those plants struggling.

From what I have read about living walls, they range in cost of $95-300 per square foot. I wonder if living walls will gain more popularity, given their expense. I guarantee, maintenance is key to their success and that won't come cheap either. I can foresee many plants will need replacing time and again. Then there is the cost of the water pump, grow lights and growing mediums...

Each plant is situated in a trough container, angled towards the light. A mixture of gritty compound is placed in each trough where roots feed off of water and nutrients/fertilizer.

On the positive side, I will admit - it certainly is a conversation starter. It is a welcomed sight to those of us that have green thumbs working in confined spaces. It does have a tranquil sound coming from the oscillating water. For this, you cannot quantify its beneficial attributes.

Ferns placed at the bottom, as they require less light.

The fact that this wall requires added grow lights, makes me wonder if it's in the right location or whether it should be moved closer to a better natural light source. It can't be that cost affective. And what happens when the walled unit parts break down or material needs replacing? Is this something we have to think about for the future? Is it recyclable? At least regular flower pots are.

Mixture of Philodendron vines, dwarf Spathiphyllums, Hoyas, Ferns and Dieffenbachia make a textured green wall of interest. 

Nonetheless, I realize I camp too often on practicality.  I have to remember: it is a far better view a living wall like this, rather than a brick wall.

Hopefully people will be drawn to it and be encouraged to grow plants at home or in their office.

Will update later in the year, to see how this living wall comes along.

Please see my updated post:  Living Walls - Update

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