Humans have always had a penchant for propagation. Since king Nebuchadnezzar II built The Hanging Gardens of Babylon (one of the original Seven Wonders of the World) in the sixth century BC, artful gardening has fascinated folks. Today, there is a growing trend (pun intended) in home design that echoes that need to nurture, albeit on a much smaller scale. It goes by many names. Environmentalists refer to them as “green walls” or “ecowalls”. Gardeners may prefer “garden wall” or “edible wall”. Designers have dubbed them “statement walls”. But for our purposes here, we will refer to them as the architects do - as “vertical gardens”.
A vertical garden is essentially a wall, or part of a wall, that is covered with plants growing in soil or another type of medium. Though they began as outdoor architectural attractions, these wonderful wallscapes are popping up indoors, and their benefits go beyond a fancy facade.
The most obvious benefit of a vertical garden is the visual beauty it brings to the room. Its unexpected presence adds surprise and drama, while its living tenants, with their varied textures and individual personalities, add energy and a bit of charm as well.
Beyond the aesthetic advantages, living walls have health benefits. They improve the air quality by adding humidity, trapping dust particles, and absorbing many harmful gasses, replacing them with oxygen. They can help with cardiovascular issues like blood pressure as well as breathing problems associated with allergies and asthma. Because they lend a sense of calm and well being, they can even improve concentration, elevate mood, and reduce stress.
Because these living walls are becoming more popular, demand is driving the price down making them more affordable for the average homeowner. Kits are available and most feature an integrated water delivery system which makes them low maintenance as well.
As for which types of plants to grow, succulents, mosses, grasses, and ferns are all good choices. Tropical vines work well also as they can trail down or climb up. Pothos and philodendrons have great climbing capabilities, are fast growing, and low maintenance. Add a little color to your wall with lipstick plant, another climber named for its bright lipstick-shaped blooms. The design possibilities are as endless as the plant combinations. S0 bring the outside in! Simply choose a location with bright, indirect light, and turn your wall into a living piece of artwork with a vertical garden.