The green wall - a unique landscaping idea

For a touch of creativity, consider a green wall in your garden. Diverse greenery of the Pacific Northwest allows us to create living green walls that make gardens especially unique.

A wall of green, you ask? I know…you might not think of a "green wall" as a desirable garden feature if you live in the Pacific Northwest where moss grow profusely and anything vertical, or horizontal, can be engulfed in green in a matter of weeks with no effort at all. However, the artistic landscaper can construct a green wall so that it has extraordinary eye appeal and serves as a unique focal-point in an exquisitely designed garden.

An opportunity to be creative

Green walls provide an opportunity to express oneself on a canvass of natural beauty – a tapestry of varying hues, plant types, and textures. They also soften and cool surfaces that were formerly hard and unwelcoming.

For the base of your green wall, you typically need some type of material to hold the plants in position. There are a variety of wood, metal, or plastic structures to choose depending on the desired look. We can discuss these options with you prior to installation. We will also discuss irrigation methods.

Remember, a green wall doesn’t have to be entirely green and a mix of design methods and materials can be used. In order to create a special design, you may wish to choose a variety of plants with different shades of green and occasionally other colors too. Some plants tolerate being grown vertically better than others. The best are plants like succulents, or creepers such as thyme, vines (of course), and yes…even mosses. There are plants from South America that don't need soil and just love being suspended in the air. Take all of these and note that you have a palette of colors, textures, and sizes to choose. With all this variety, it’s time to be creative.

Here are some unique green wall ideas:

  • The green wall could be designed such that from a distance the plants display words or a picture.
  • If the green wall will be visible from the street, let it display your street address.
  • Create design that uniquely describes you, a hobby, or place of interest.
  • Write a special saying or use this approach to convey a greeting or marriage proposal.
  • Use plants to create the design of your company logo.

Note: Unless you are very creative with your containment of the plants, frequent maintenance may be necessary to keep plants growing where they should and thriving at certain times of the year.

If you simply want to create a more peaceful garden area where you can enjoy the cool green, create a simple display by dividing a wall into regular blocks and insert different colored foliage with different textures and sizes in each opening. Large bare exterior walls look especially nice when converted to a green wall space, as do fountain areas.

Greenery on walls transforms what would otherwise be a hard structure and give a soft, cool feel. You’ve probably seen a courtyard that is lined with ivy covered walls. It’s comfortable in comparison with the echo-laden and harsh walls they would be otherwise.

Using Ivy in a green wall

We generally do not recommend planting English Ivy in gardens of the Pacific Northwest for a number of reasons. Ivy is highly invasive (meaning it can grow and spread aggressively, harming native plants.) Ivy produces seeds that birds will eat and later excrete, which causes additional spreading. Ivy also has a tendency to dig into brick and other building material, sometimes structural damage. Using English Ivy in a green wall will require extra maintenance; although it is a beautiful plant, we suggest avoiding it altogether. There are many other alternative plants to choose that will provide the same pleasant appearance.

Green wall landscaping for small spaces and unique areas

Growing plants on a green wall is efficient when gardening in small spaces. If you have limited space, a green wall is the perfect solution. Some vegetables and many herbs can also be grown vertically. A steep hillside can become a garden wall. Creating a “green wall” on a hillside allows for even more plant diversity.

Environmental Construction can artistically design and built a green wall for your landscape (such as the one we included in our display at the 2012 Seattle Home and Garden Show.) We encourage you to consider the benefits of having a green wall in your garden. Go green …and create a unique garden design!

Category: Northwest Gardening

Environmental Construction, Inc.

It's not simply about designing and building beautiful garden spaces, it's about providing a landscape oasis where you can relax from the daily grind and recharge. Let us create an outdoor space that will enhance your home and quality of life.

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