Let's get vertical and go to some dizzying heights
Vertical gardens and green walls have always been a beautiful and environmentally friendly means of adding life to surfaces, buildings and architecture. Then a few years ago it seemed that the popularity of ‘living walls’ was going to take over Britain with the use of them showcasing in Chelsea and Hampton Court for a fair few years in a row.
Soon a small conglomerate of companies seemed to monopolise the ‘systems’, driving costs up and making the whole concept of a 'living wall' very expensive and a bit generic. They soon seemed only to be affordable to corporate companies translating as part of the 'language' of those spaces and less appropriate to domestic gardens. The resistance to this, alongside the developments by designers in other countries has enabled a fresh wave of thinking about vertical gardens... so step this way...
So here we are championing this new generation of vertical gardens and gardeners, in hope that this post will illustrate there is a vertical garden to appeal to everyone – whatever your style and available space. Find vertical garden inspiration here in the form of the conventional, modern, modular, nature’s way with climbers and moss, innovation in architecture and just some plain old cracking ways to create your own vertical garden at home.
urban contemporary vertical garden
vintage country vertical garden
industrial town or country vertical garden
softscape city vertical garden
courtyard vertical New York garden
outside in vertical garden
nature's way vertical garden
big in Japan vertical garden
urban vertical landscape
retreat town or country vertical garden
city (Paris :) vertical garden
country vertical garden
townhouse vertical garden
cotswolds vertical garden
modern vertical gardens
international vertical gardens
front of house vertical garden
outdoor room vertical garden
A dozen layers of concrete planters create a vertical garden on the facade of this house in Ho Chi Minh City by Vietnamese architect Vo Trong Nghia.
The building is 20m deep but just 4m wide, typical of the narrow but long 'tube houses' common in Vietnam. Concrete planters span between the side walls to cover the front and back facades, and are spaced according to the height of the plants.
Automatic irrigation pipes fitted inside the planters allow for easy watering and maintenance.
Outside in : Sunlight pokes through the leaves of the plants to cast dappled shadows on the granite walls.
perfect pared-back style and proof that attention to detail matters. From design to creation and construction then to living a life there. Selection of materials is integral to timeless success.
experiencing vertigo yet?
Pictured above is a garden by one of the the kings of vertical gardens Patrick Blanc. Blanc's work began with many private commissions of outdoor vertical gardens for clients seeking to create a rural element to their city views. As awareness of Blanc's talents gained momentum he was able to also pursue interior vertical garden projects.
Above, Urban works by Jean Renaudie. His city projects 'embody an urban density, mixing several social levels, organising urban life on a multidude of levels and blur the limits between private and public areas whilst supplying every resident, on all storeys with a little piece of garden. '
Below, Brazilian designers Fernando and Humberto Campana and architects Super Limao Studio have covered the facade of a São Paulo furniture showroom with thousands of plant-filled vases.
House in Tokyo captured by Guen K
Design by Nature by Ian L. McHarg project by Adriana Barra
The Bangkok module green wall crate building system is made from stainless steel for easy construction. Hanging plant pots and drip irrigation are installed behind the felt. This system is inexpensive and convenient to construct. Architects Shma, Sansiri PCL, SdA Photograph Wison Tungthunya
Architect Michele Bonon Photographer Stefano Scata
Architect Brad Zizmor
Above : from the growing works of the UK's extrememly talented Anna Garforth... more on her in future 2014 blogs.
Below: our exterior studio inspirations, also more coming up on that in future 2014 blogs.
Vertical gardens : the future
A group of researchers led by Antonio Aguado, Ignacio Segura, and Sandra Manso at the Structural Technology Group of the Universitat Politecnica de Catalunya have developed a new multilayer concrete that is able to support plant life. Both a medium for growth and a construction material, the system allows for thermal regulation and CO2 sequestration.
Aesthetically pleasing plus the concrete has applications in air purification and CO2 reduction. It can absorb solar radiation, helping to regulate temperature inside the building. Forming what the team describes as a “living painting”, the ever-changing biological layer is an alternative to static or toxic paints. Without the need for supporting structures, vertical gardens made with the composite are simpler and cheaper to build or augment existing facades.
imagine what we could do with this in the UK? Not just for new builds but those existing unsightly fascades and structures? Those crimes against design could become the future houses and buildings that mark a generation. Currently, the biological concrete is being tested at the UPC and the University of Ghent (Belgium). Hopefully soon we will be seeing many more buildings sprout gardens thanks to this new technology. In the mean-time, nature will always find a way...
Vertical gardens at home
Here are some ways to spruce up some vertical areas and possibly save on space by making use of your vertical possibilities within your home and garden. First up is some lovely espalier on a home. The type of tree or shrub selected is essential to get the right look and suitability to the hosting fascade.
Vertical cook's garden fashioned from an old wash board
A little more carpentry involved but still a dawdle... living culinary wall in a cook's kitchen
Nice idea : DIY chalk board and vertical herb garden.
Off the shelf
and outside... a bit of reclaimation vertical gardening
maximising every viable surface for some greenscaping
Upcycling vertical garden
nature's way vertical garden
This hybrid light and acoustical device was created by the German lighting designer Ingo Maurer for a client's dining room. Designed to both illuminate and soften the sound in the small but tall domed space…the end result, 'Biotope' ~ a 12 foot high hanging mass of emerald green sponges that glow from within. A sound system, also hidden, can play music as well as insect noises or bird songs. Yes, it is artificial, but Maurer’s piece pushes boundaries and takes its inspiration from lush forests and nature itself resulting in an interior statement that feels organic and full of life.
Last year we talked about nature's influences over design and fashion in the Floral Couture blog and it seems that this trend prevails for Spring 2014. Vertical gardens adorned the SS14 catwalks and sets in the form of lush greenery and technicolour blooms.
Floral Engineers and lighting designers shone very bright indeed with the likes of Eric Chauvin giving Dior in Paris rainbow vines (above), Architect Pernilla Ohrstedt's presenting Topshop's collection on a turfed runway and Thierry Dreyfus suspending trees over audiences for Versace in Milan.
Emma Hill's departing show for Mulberry in Unique's Regents Park show gave a firm nod to the quintessential English country garden with roses clambouring over arbours and trellis.
Land Art by Tim Walker
As predicted nature is creeping her way indoors from these fashion influences on to our interior schemes. Garden motifs, and floral & leaf patterns are inspiring interior design but with a definite trend towards complementing that with natural looking ways of bringing the outside in. These are in the form of cuttings from cut flower gardens, foraged hedgerow finds, vertical living gardens and so on.
In urban centres the exterior living walls have prevailed for a long time but indoors in the UK less so. Anthropologie's Regent Street store is getting in on the outside in trend in the Capital along with Josh Wood in Notting Hill, Atelier Beaute both showcasing new living walls for 2014.
Hendy Curzon Gardens
Secret Garden : Jimmy Choo
and then look what they did inside for the celebrations...
floral engineering gorgeousness!
So drawing this blog posting to a close we hope you feel a wee bit inclined to look around at your available spaces no matter where you reside. Can you enhance a mute or ugly space with some vertical gardening? Or can you possibly innovate because you are considering those vertical spaces and seeing them in a different way altogether?
and let's not forget the potential of lighting engineering combined with vertical gardens...
San Telmo Museum
if you want to go vertical this is not necessary
here's a more viable option with air plants
and /or this... just beautiful & simple
coming soon here for Spring : Land Art, Tulip Town, a lot more Floral Engineering (including our hero Thierry Boutemy pictured below)
and for now we are just anticipating Spring over on FB ...
the garden army troops are at the ready!
to take you to new heights
to make you take time to pause
and offer aid to assist and encourage you to get the most you can out of your garden, and love it to the ultimate level that you can possibly reach.
The rest of the sources : Esculturas en equilibrio, Country Bistro Mexico City, Denzeen, Pinterest, Joseph Massie Creative, The Guardian, Indulgy, Vertigo imdb, Thomas Woltz, Petteri Nisunen, Arch Daily, Emporia, Fubiz, Bonny Fleming, Brightgreenus, Janne peters, Miromar Design, Design Sponge.