Vertical Walls: New-Age Gardens

Hemil Parikh
By effortlessly amalgamating aesthetics with ecological principles, vertical gardens are re-writing traditional rules of gardening, says Hemil Parikh, Founder, Elysium Abodes LLP

In the burgeoning high-rises, the space available for a private garden is either restricted or just not there. Increasing concretization in urban areas has further depleted gardens and green landscapes. More and more people are now appreciating the importance of nature, and are looking for ways to implement ecologically beneficial, extensive and appealing ways of incorporating nature within their living or working environment. Today, sustainability and green living have become the buzzwords.

Vertical Walls

Modern gardens today come with a lot of smart variations like indoor gardens, vertical gardens, speciality gardens, woodland gardens and water gardens to name a few. The 'vertical garden' is an innovative, environment-friendly solution to the decreasing horizontal spaces. As the name suggests, it is a free-standing, living wall growing vertically as a part of the building, and covering the edifice with flora or foliage such as grass, plants, herbs and even vegetables. Care must be taken to water them regularly.
Vertical gardens are most commonly seen in homes, commercial buildings and in the hospitality sector. Office buildings are also increasingly incorporating these living walls both inside and outside their buildings for the aesthetics and benefits to the environment

Hemil Parikh

To build a vertical garden, choose a wall on which you want the green plantations to grow, and build a frame with a plastic sheet on which the plants will be placed. Insert the plants of your choice in the vertical wall. Since these gardens need to be watered regularly, many vertical gardens come with an in-built irrigation system.

Vertical Walls

Basics of Vertical Gardening
One can use edifices or columnar trees to create garden rooms or define hidden spaces with a vertical garden. Fences, attached to the ground or to large containers, allow you to grow flowers, vines and even vegetables, vertically. Vertical gardening with straight structures benefit small-space urban gardens, apartments, as well as garden in large spaces.

You can grow small houseplants indoors along with a vertical garden by creating a living wall for a drapery of colorful or green plants of various hues and textures, which, besides adding aesthetics to the space, help filter out indoor air pollutants. In cold-winter environments, houseplants grown in vertical gardens add the much-needed moisture when heaters dry the indoor air, so they are desired for the air circulation.

Types of green wall gardens

Modular living walls
Though the systems used for this type of green wall are usually more sophisticated than other types of vertical walls, the final installation usually offers a more flexible solution in terms of aesthetics and functionality.

Hydroponic (soil-less)
Hydroponic systems are generally grown on pre-constructed panels prior to vertical installation making use of a specialist growing medium as root support. This technique takes benefit of the fact that plants do not need soil for their growth. Soil simply lends the plant a solid root support and it is only water coupled with the essential minerals stored in the soil, in addition to light and carbon dioxide present in the air that are necessary for healthy plant growth. Once the installation process is completed, the plants will continue to grow and further cover the structure.

Vertical Walls

These systems make use of pre-cast troughs or containers that are built on or attached to existing walls. The process of planting is reinforced by soil-based substrates, similar to those used in installations of green roofs, utilizing a lightweight blend of cast-off materials that contain the proper balance of nutrients with a free-draining medium.

Benefits of green gardening
  • Aesthetic appeal
  • Helps in mitigating noise
  • Aids in controlling climatic conditions, temperature regulation, heat absorption
  • Enhances quality of air and act as a natural air filter to cleanse the air of pollutants while releasing fresh oxygen.
  • Reduces building maintenance.
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