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Interiorscape Forum / Scaper Talk Discussion Forum / Plants / Living Walls and green roofs
Posted:  10 Jan 2011 20:31  
Who out there is doing it? Is it something you want to get into? Is it worth Getting in to?
Posted:  12 Jan 2011 00:45   Last Edited By: Clem 
Not yet for us.  The systems are all very new and in the "guinea pig" stages, IMHO.  Barb Helfman and Joe Byles are looking to bring their system for green walls to market based on the success of the Freedom Gardens/Joey Pouch technology currently being used for green roofs and container plants.  Stay tuned, but do some research online into the various "flavors" of green wall and green roof systems. 

We have trialed the Freedom Squares, and they work great with a wide range of herbaceous and woody plants.  Their main advantage is light weight and portability.  A 2" thick layer of the Joey Pouch foam growing substrate glued to a waterproof poly tray with an irrigation fitting for hooking up to water lines makes it a nice package for the green roof newbie.

Posted:  12 Jan 2011 15:53  
McRae Anderson from McCaren Designs has a lot of experience with green walls.
Posted:  14 Jan 2011 16:59  
McRae has a new free standing wall that looks great.
Check them out.
Barb B
Posted:  14 Jan 2011 23:33  
I am already hearing from designers that living walls are 'so yesterday.' I suspect this is a trend that will have a short shelf life. Time will tell.
Posted:  15 Jan 2011 04:55  
don't know what 'designers' you have been talking to will, but here in CA living walls are just taking off and are all the rage. we just sold our third one yesterday.
Posted:  15 Jan 2011 15:45  
interesting debat, thanks guys!
Posted:  15 Jan 2011 17:11  
There are certainly lots of potential applications for interior living walls.  That being said, the systems currently available have their pluses and minuses, and it's difficult for most of us who have not yet worked with these products to commit to any of them without some up-close-and-personal contact with the systems before ordering.  Otherwise, our high anxiety level about new technology that involves automated watering in accounts while we're not there to monitor the process will surely discourage us from trying!

Let me give you an example.  We just purchased a seeding machine for our production greenhouses.  The company shipped us the machine on approval, and the owner traveled here to give us a full-bore demo and training session before we committed to the purchase.  Otherwise, that thing might become the world's largest and most expensive doorstop in a few weeks!  That's the kind of up-front support, pre-purchase, that we desire.

Any thoughts from the vendors of living wall systems on that?

Posted:  15 Aug 2012 20:58  
We have done some work with living walls. You are at the mercy of the  irrigation system. The wall we took over has a gravity fed system and it has taken quit a bit of messing with to try to get the right output of water. Once you solve that its pretty much maintenance free.
Posted:  18 Aug 2012 02:41  
Some of the living walls in Europe look absolutely breathtaking.  Of course, we haven't a clue as to how they stand up over time.  But you know, you can make a simple wall out of wood framing, plain topsiders sitting at an angle, with 6" plants popped in.  Uses handwatering, but customers love them, and simplicity has its points.
Posted:  03 Sep 2012 19:42  
I haven't tried installing any yet, I think I'm scared of the design.  I see something like that and I think it will look great the first month, and then will need constant replacements as the plants grow at odd angles, they're jammed all together so they get no air flow, etc.

I talked to the ASI guys down at TPIE this January about them.  Don't get me wrong, I love Architectural Suppliments products, but I asked the guy--did you guys just design this and not think about how the plants would actually grow in it, or are they field tested?  I wasn't impressed with his answer. 

I mentioned that it looked like a replacement machine--especially because the plants would grow towards whatever light source was closest, and if there was a window to the side, for instance, they'd be all growing that way on a weekly basis, and you'd have to be constantly rotating them. 

Seemed like a maintnenace nightmare to me.  I could be wrong, though.
Posted:  03 Sep 2012 20:34  
These are touted as relatively low-maintenance, which they are if they are properly irrigated, at least in terms of losses from improper watering.  But I've seen brand-new green walls with literally dozens of plants crying out for replacements within a few weeks after installation...partly due to poor plant selection, and partly due to the factors Gern cites.  They are very labor-intensive, especially larger installations, when replacements are necessary, because often special equipment and off-hours work schedules are required to do the retrofitting.  I'm not sold on them, but I know people who have done a few and say it's just a normal learning curve to learn to deal with the special situations that are characteristic of living wall maintenance.

Posted:  10 Oct 2012 19:18  
Alex, Please give us an update on how your green walls are doing? What system are using? How have the walls held up/ growing?
Posted:  17 Nov 2012 05:38  
After reading the above thread, I thought I'd say a few more words about the green wall that I described back in   August.  There was no more time spent, labor required, or replacements needed than in any installation of 320 6" pothos, alternating golden and neon.  Less time needed, in fact, because all of the plants were in a space around 16'X10' (or whatever it was, don't know the exact dimensions).  Yes, the plants had to be turned and rearranged sometimes, trimmed, watered the correct amounts, some replacements (not too bad really), and the tech had to work the top part from a ladder.  But it was scheduled and billed adequately, and no problem at all.  It's been perking right along now for over 2 years.
Posted:  29 Jan 2014 13:25   Last Edited By: admin 
McRae Anderson from McCaren Designs has a lot of experience with green walls. I am already hearing from designers that living walls are 'so yesterday.' I suspect this is a trend that will have a short shelf life.
Posted:  05 Sep 2014 21:31  
for interior green walls, hydroponics and proper plant selection taking into account access to maintenance and choices before are vital. its a learning curve but can be achieved easily. we found ro water and re-circulation with key for longevity, but i guess everyone has his own way. green walls are here to stay and will be a standard once enough people get them done right. they do not take foot space and give interiors a breath of fresh air.
Posted:  30 Nov 2014 04:44  
I agree with biophilia, I don't think green walls are a passing fad at all.  The interest in them is steadily growing, both on commercial and home decorating sites.  Hopefully, including green walls in their design portfolio will help separate tomorrow's 'scapers from those who are around for the shorter term.
Posted:  01 Dec 2014 17:41  
Check out this latest green wall post on our blog. Mark breaks down how to talk the green wall talk...

Do You Know Your Green Wall Lingo?

Also, green walls were a feature in the 2015 Interior Design Trends report...

2015 Interior Design Trends

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