From: Bridgette Meinhold, Low Impact Living, More from this Affiliate
Published June 24, 2009 10:02 AM

Inspiring Vertical Gardens for Small Spaces

Space is a precious commodity, especially now that so much of our backyard or balcony space is occupied by containers for growing organic vegetables. For those of you out there getting tight on space, but who still want beautiful flowers and plants to look at, consider a vertical garden. It’s organic art for your indoor or outdoor wall space and is a beautiful way to help filter air naturally and add humidity to your environment. Check out these beautiful and inspiring small vertical gardens. (Read this previous post for a discussion of the differences between green walls and green roofs.)

A vertical garden is essentially a framework of plants placed onto the side of a building or a wall. They can be placed indoors or outdoors, in full sun or shade, depending on what types of plants you want. You can plant all types of flowers and plants on them, including epiphytes, tropical plants, succulents, ferns and even herbs. Check out ELT Living Wall Systems for a great list of plants to try if you want to do it yourself. In general, plants with shallow roots are better, because they have an easier time staying attached to a vertical wall.

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The grandfather of vertical gardens is Patrick Blanc, who is a French Botanist and practically came up with the idea. He is also responsible for a long list of building integrated vertical gardens like these stunning examples. His basic system consists of a steel frame for structural integrity, a waterproof backing material to keep water off of the building, and felt fabric for the plants to adhere and grow into. Depending on what type of climate the garden is in, then depends on the necessary humidity requirements.

Newer companies like ELT Living Wall Systems are starting to come out with wall planting systems like the one above that allow you to plug plants into individualized compartments. ELT now sells a smaller version of their large scale walls through Smith & Hawken now complete with irrigation system. These beautiful units would be a wonderful addition to your kitchen as an herb garden.

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