Guest Author - Connie Krochmal
Green walls and green roofs are two of the possible landscape uses for succulents. Depending on the situation, the wall may be indoors or outdoors.
A green wall usually looks much like a mosaic made up of living plants. Depending on the construction material selected, these can look very rustic or sophisticated. The best ones look like a mosaic and resemble living art.
Most commercial green walls are constructed with modular units, which contain potting soil to hold the plants in place. It is very important to allow for irrigation as these green walls would be very hard to water with a hose. Normally a catch basin is added to catch run-off for indoor living walls.
Most important of all, it is essential that the area intended for the wall must be able to support the green wall unit as these tend to be very heavy. For outdoor green walls, the most popular plants tend to be sedums. For sunny indoor walls, low growing succulents would be perfect as they can tolerate heat and drought.
With green roofs, gardeners have two options. One is to design and build from scratch. The other is to buy modular products. Doing it yourself will involve design as well as the actual construction and planting. In some cases these modular units are often designed for commercial and public structures rather than the home landscape. The details can vary, but the commercial modular units sometimes come pre-planted.
There are several brands of the modular roof units. One of these is called the Living Roof, which is planted with sedums, natives, and other easy care drought tolerant plants.
Eco-Roof is another brand. They have been accredited by the Green Roofs for Healthy Cities. Sedums are considered the most suitable of all the plants for the Eco-Roof brand.
In 2010 there was a stunning display of a green roof at the San Francisco Spring Flower and Garden Show. The display was very popular among those who attended the show. The display featured an actual life-size garden room with a green roof and green walls.