A living wall system, also known as a green wall, is becoming a more and more popular way to present natural beauty with vertical structures. They also have health benefits!
These planetscapes are different from vertical gardens, which promote growing herbs, vegetables and flowers in small containers, stacked atop each other in a colorful display.
A living wall system, however, combines an array of flora that consumes the vertical wall space with foliage and flowering plants. The entire surface is a hydroponics garden of beautiful and functional natural art that brings an aesthetic effect and filtered air to both interior and exterior vertical walls on buildings.
Malls and Civic Centers have found more than they bargained for in wanting to bring a piece of nature indoors with an interior living wall system. They have found that the green wall has a calming effect on the visitors. This could be due to the sweeping peaceful plants that soothe the senses or perhaps the dramatic change in air quality from dissipating volatile organic compounds or VOCs. Nature has an inheriting ability to repair the chemicals that try and do harm. By filtering out the fumes from building materials and destroying viruses in the air, humans naturally feel better.
Plants that work well in bringing beauty and purifying the air are golden pothos, elephant ear philodendron, spider plants, English ivy and aloe vera. There are several other species that remove specific toxins and some that thrive more on direct or indirect sunlight. An important aspect of having an indoor living wall system is to make sure there is adequate air circulation. Using a box fan or your home’s fan system on the furnace can work well if close enough to have a direct breeze in the wall.
Synthetic Tuf-Felt is a good material for beginning a wall made of plywood and corrugated plastic. Slits made in the material allow flowing plants to grow downward while being supported in a flat container on the backside of the frame. Air plants can be placed directly on the board because they do not require help from soil and water. Some systems are elaborate with tubes, irrigation and drain that feed the plants as they hang. There are different systems found on the Internet that provide materials and step-by-step instructions for a living wall system of this magnitude.
Many artisans are making news by creating lavish displays of green walls and you can capture great ideas by looking at a few of these. You can even start small and use crawling ivy as a starter and add to the scene as you become more confident. A living wall system is a perfect idea for apartments that can become stagnant and airtight. The wall does not have to be large. A four-foot wide section of wall can suffice well for beginning your living wall system. Outdoor systems can bring life to a tired patio or front entrance and are easier to care for with natural sunlight and air. With a little patience, time and a frost-free environment, you can enjoy your own green wall and benefit in more ways than one.