Living walls

By Laura Hall

Bring the great outdoors into your home with the hottest new trend in gardening.
Why not catch onto the latest trend and try a living wall in your home, they are easy to install and will give you an attractive visual statement all year round.

Vertical gardens or living walls have been sprouting up everywhere lately. They were a key feature in many of the winning gardens at the Ellerslie International Flower Show earlier this year and have been seen in bars, cafés, office blocks and shopping malls across the city.

Vertical gardens are a smart solution for those living in townhouses or apartments with little to no garden space. Or simply a great way to make a style statement in any home.

Not only will indoor living wall look great anywhere in your home, but they also have several added benefits. Indoor plants naturally purify the air around them creating a cleaner healthy environment for you to live in.

How they work
There are a number of living walls brands on the market which come in a range of sizes, models and prices. Residential indoor living walls typically look like large pockets made of thick, durable felt material. The material has a moisture barrier so there is no risk of damp or mouldy walls and the breathable felt allows moisture to evaporate. They are easy to install and can typically be attached to drywall, concrete or masonry walls.

Selecting plants for your living wall is all part of the fun, full sized plants can be used in living walls to create an instantly lush indoor garden. A huge mixture of plants can be used as long as they have relatively small root systems and similar care requirements.

A mix of succulents are well suited because they have shallow roots and a slow growth which prolongs the life of the wall. Plant out a living wall in the kitchen with herbs; they grow well together, it’s functional and you’ll have fresh herbs at arms reach, what could be better?

Or why not take advantage of the warmer indoor climate and consider planting tropical plants which wouldn’t normally thrive outside in the cold South Island climate. A combination of tropical’s and ferns work well because they have similar care requirements.

Care tips
Living wall plants require minimal care aside from general watering, weeding and fertilising, if required. However, when choosing a position for your living wall you should consider the rooms light and temperature. Living walls should be placed in an area of your home that has good natural light and appropriate temperature for your chosen plants.

Say something!