Living wall systems | Living wall art | Urban gardening

Living Walls

Aquaponic vertical garden from Inka Biospheric Systems

Living wall art | Living Wall Systems - Amazing Gardens, Fascinating Plant Projects

By living art, I mean creating something beautiful using nature to your advantage. Vertical gardens, succulent walls, hanging vegetable gardens. Living art can be for decoration, or for practical uses or both.
I’m going to take you on a tour of interesting gardens I’ve culled from various websites. So grab a cup of coffee, sit back, and prepare to be inspired.

Amazing Gardens, Fascinating Plant Projects
I’ve been surfing the web to see what people are up to these days, in terms of creating vertical gardens. Here’s some of the best of what I found:

I’m entranced by Gavin’s website over at Today he’s showcasing an aquaponic vertical garden from Inka Biospheric Systems. It’s incredible – look!

I found these gardens at a website called Rowdy Kittens ( I’d never visited the site before, but it’s adorable! And these vertical gardens are gorgeous. 

This is the Zurich airport. I got the photo from
The Zurich airport is one of my favorites in Europe and the international side is probably the nicest with sleek black leather seats, nice little cafes and exposed concrete beams. But the most intriguing and fun is that they use plants as their decor while perhaps even enlightening the weary traveler about vines from other climates such as Chile or Malaysia.

Frosted glass keeps the plants themselves semi hidden so that it looks more like art.

There were several glass rooms, that spanned 3 stories in height, and contained vines from around the world and all self-contained so that the temperature could be maintained to that of the plants' native climate.

But then strips of clear glass reveal the plants true identity...

I'm fond of the use of plants as a design material in Lausanne near Flon Station.

Bamboo colonnade, lit at night with led's.

TerraScreen Lush Interior Living Walls
Check out this fabulous creation by the folks over at TerraScreen. It’s so inviting and lush – I would totally hang out on that bench.

TerraScreen Lush Interior Living Walls
If you've been to a green trade show or exhibit, you may have noticed a few green wall providers. One to keep in mind, just in case you're thinking about incorporating a lush living wall or vertical garden, is TerraScreen. The TerraScreen Interior Greenwall System was designed by Planterra to hold large 6" plants and can be maintained by your average interior landscape contractor. The system requires about 18" of space from the wall and a catch basin, but can be supported with drip irrigation and a tank, too. It's comprised of modular panels made with powder-coated, galvanized steel wire and these panels can be lined up to really liven up a place. Make sure to check these images below … having one of these, I think, is a pretty good way to make a statement about the way you do things. 

TerraScreen Interior Greenwall System
Photo credits: TerraScreen.

Incredible Living Walls
The idea of a living wall conjures up all sorts of images, but in reality it is nothing more than a wall completely covered in vegetation. In order to create a living wall pre-vegetated or fabric panels containing plastic containers, or geotextiles, as well as irrigation systems and vegetation are attached to the wall or supporting structure. This form of urban gardening is often designed as an art form to decorate buildings in cities and has been hailed as one way to make cities more enjoyable, healthier and ultimately greener places.

The vertical garden at the Musée du Quai Branly [Paris]
One of the best loved vertical gardens inhabits the walls of the Musee du Quai Branly in Paris. Created by Patrick Blanc, the inventor of vertical garden systems, this living wall is simply stunning. Not only do these types of vertical gardens improve the appearance of buildings, but they also improve air quality and lower energy consumption.
The vertical garden at the Musée du Quai Branly [Paris]
The vegetal walls of Patrick Blanc are French gardening fantasy at its finest.
Walk along the Quai Branly, the thoroughfare that runs along the left bank of the Seine between the Pont d'Alma and the Eiffel Tower, and you'll see a site that will make you rub your eyes in disbelief. A building four stores tall, parts of it still under construction, whose walls are entirely cloaked in living vegetation from roof to sidewalk. You're looking at the new Musée du Quai Branly, and what you're seeing is the latest hallucinatory creation of Patrick Blanc, world-trotting botanist, heavy-weight scientist, inventor, and designer of these stupendous vertical landscapes.

For nearly ten years, Patrick Blanc, a resident scientist at the prestigious CNRS (Centre National pour la Recherche Scientifique), has been creating vertical gardens of a complexity and scale never before realized. Blanc devised an ingenious system to replicate this natural situation on the walls--both indoor and outdoor--of urban buildings. Drawing from a palette of plants adapted or adaptable to this environment from all over the world, he has installed his murs végétals (vegetal walls) in at least eighteen different locations, many of them in and around Paris.

SkyFarm [Toronto]This 714 foot structure in downtown Toronto, Canada is a superb example of how living walls and vertical gardens can actually be profitable as well as beautiful. The 58 story building only requires 1.32 hectares of land and yet will have 8 million square foot of agricultural space due to the vertical design of farm. It is said that the crops could yield up to $23 million in revenue per annum.

CaixaForum Museum [Madrid]
Another amazing living wall design created by
Patrick Blanc, the CaixaForum museum has become a popular tourist attraction largely thanks to this creation. Approximately 15,000 plants of 250 different species were used to cover this 24 metre high wall. The juxtaposition of the old building with the vibrant and alive wall makes this a truly spectacular and memorable building.

Marche des Halles [Avignon]
Another fabulous
living wall design by Patrick Blanc, this creation illustrates that not only are urban vertical gardens ecologically beneficial but they can also prove to be highly artist creations as well. The ingenious design means that no soil is required and the careful selection of plants means that maintenance is kept to a minimum.

Qantas First Lounge [Sydney International Airport]
Traveling, even when on holiday, can be stressful. Airports are busy, noisy places and waiting for a flight is incredibly boring and sometimes frustrating – but not if you are one of the lucky few to wait in the Qantas First Lounge in Sydney Airport. Here everything is designer, and the presence of a
living wall automatically de-stresses a person. Simple, elegant and a great work of art – this is definitely one of Patrick Blanc’s best pieces.

Serenity Wall Garden
From the Penthouse/Rooftop demonstration garden at the 2009 San Francisco Flower and Garden Show. Vertical wall gardens are in vogue this year.
photo credits © 2009 Jill Clardy

Vertical Garden

Vertical Garden
Apparently vertical gardens really appeal to many people; probably because so many urban and suburban dwellers have very little real estate in which to plant a garden...

Another interesting "Vertical Garden" at the SF Flower and Garden Show - this one in the Smith & Hawken booth. Although they are very appealing and a good use of space in a small garden, I'm quite sure I could kill off every living thing in record time!

This is a trend that I had totally missed out on - apparently it's quite popular in Europe. And the kits are "sold out" at Smith & Hawken so I don't even know how much they cost...

 Living Wall Systems - ELT Easy Green 

A few select companies are offering systems that are available to North American buyers and beyond. Here's a summary of what I have found to date...

ELT Easy Green benefits :
1. Water Management
The ELT Living wall system Manages water in a sustainable way due in part to the water retention properties each panel has. Each cell in the panel can retain a certain amount while still providing good drainage and aeration of the growth medium.

2. Ease of Installation
The ELT panels can be easily planted and mounted either directly on to a wall surface or on to a stand alone frame. Weight of a fully planted panel is approximately 15 to 20lbs saturated to make handling and mounting easier. Mounting options are available for virtually every installation including curved walls.

3. Modularity
The modularity of the panels means they can be easily installed, removed and re-installed for maintenance purposes. It also means the wall can scale to any size large or small.

4. Erosion-Control Properties
Each panel has a matrix of angled cells in the panel that stabilizes and supports the growth medium and vegetation. Panel depth of 4 inches provides for a wide plant selection with optimum stabilization of root systems.

5. Recyclability
The panels are recyclable but more importantly reusable. They can be planted and replanted if someone chooses to change the plantings. Manufactured with a durable and strong polyresin, they come in both commercial and non-commercial grade material providing a net positive life cycle.

6. Flexibility
ELT Living Wall systems provide ultimate flexibility enabling their use in many applications. Interior and exterior applications, flat or curved walls, ornamental and edible plants are all options with this system.

Elevated Landscape Technologies
Commonly used worldwide, ELT is the choice for modular living wall systems. Manufactured with UV resistant 100% recycled HDPE, these 20″x20″x2.5″ panels contain slats to hold plantings and media in place:
  Elevated Landscape Technologies

Green Living Technologies
A variation on the ELT, these panels are made of lightweight recycled aluminum, powder-coated, or stainless steel – and come in a variety of sizes (12″x12″x3″) (24″x24″x3″) (12″x24″x3″) as well as custom sizes. 

:: images via G-Sky

Example of a BioWall

Plantwall (Green Fortune)
An even more ethereal and vague ‘product’, Green Fortune has an extensive and world-ranging portfolio (the other prefab boys could take a cue from this marketing). A few shots from the site – which is about all they tell you about the product.

Plantwall (Green Fortune) - Living wall systems

Plantwall (Green Fortune) - Living wall systems

Project Name: PNC Bank Green Wall, Type: Living Wall, Size: 2380 sq.ft.
Owner: PNC Financial Services Group, Inc., Location: Pittsburgh, PA, USA

Great projects !! I'm fascinated by all the cool things people are doing with plants, by the idea you can make art out of plants. So many inspiring ideas. I hope you enjoyed the show... :-)
I'll be back with another pictures on Living wall ! Thanks again for being here. Until next time, happy gardening! :-)

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