In a world of decreasing garden space, living garden walls are becoming popular world wide as way of increasing our green space. They can be indoors or out, in small courtyards, replace art work or make a grand statement, they are versatile and irresistible.
Types of garden wall systems
There are many different systems available from recycled bottles to proprietary moulded units. Due to our weather patterns in Perth many of these systems don’t take the heat, literally. We have found the Elmich VGM green wall to be the most reliable and recommend them. We also stock Atlantis Gro-wall kits, both these units are on display at our Como storefront.
Elmich VGM green wall
The best and most robust system. Each module holds 16 plants, there are 4 modules per square meter. A single geotextile bag inserted into each module holds at all the media and plants. We use this system on all of our commercial applications. It is simple to irrigate and mount. The modules must be planted out with tube stock and left flat for at least 6 weeks before installing.
Atlantis Gro-wall kits
A cheap and cheerful kit that contains panels you can put together in many different ways; plants are in individual geotextile bags so can be swapped out easily and quickly. You get a more instant look with these as you can start with larger plants. This system is more suited to domestic gardens.
Do I need special soil
Any good quality potting mix would work but due to weight constraints it is recommended you use a lightweight “Living Garden Wall” Media mix with very little soil or clays. The last thing you want is the whole thing collapsing. We supply a lightweight soil blend especially made for Living Gardens walls.
Do I need special supports or an engineer
Depends how many units you want and they type of structure you are attaching them too. If you are doing a large scale commercial job the engineer should know about it when the wall is designed, if you are putting 4 units on a wall over your pool, it won’t be an issue provided the wall has proper footings and piers. If you are unsure you can support them on a free standing steel frame, this is also useful for tenants who can’t drill holes into walls.
I am an architect, what do I need to know
We recommend you come into the store and see the modules, check how they are mounted and take a look at the drainage trays on the working living garden walls on display. Download the technical PDF for the dimensions. Make sure we have a GPO for the irrigation controller, water for the irrigation, drainage and a structurally sound wall. We can provide specialist irrigation plans and details for the wall. We need at least 2 months notice to plant out the modules before they are to be installed so they have time to establish. It is best if you do an artistic impression of the plant layout and we will select the plants to fit, or we can design the wall and plant pallet.
How much water do they need
The water requirements will depend on the plant selection and the exposure. Our experienced irrigation technicians tend to visit the site regularly and amend the timer until the plants have sufficient water and there is minimal runoff. The water will need to be changed with the seasons. Most of our walls are irrigated for a few minutes several times a day on their own station.
How much maintenance do they need
Again it depends on the plant selection. The succulents on the south wall of our store need half a day once a year. A wall with fast growing plants will need significantly more, plants need to be trimmed, shaped and occasionally replaced, remember they are living and each is unique.
Most of the living garden walls we have installed are on a weekly or 2 weekly maintenance program. Our horticulturist does a round on Friday to check all of our high maintenance jobs.
Do they need special lights
Any indoor plants need sufficient light to flourish; this is easy to see in the fern wall in our office. The ferns near the window are twice the size of the ones further away. They do have grow lights on them for a few hours but not all day. In a space with no natural light you would need grow lights on during daylight hours for lush growth, plants do need some time in darkness to 'sleep'.
How much do they cost
Have a look at our Budget estimate page for an idea of the costs involved.