Guest Author - Connie Krochmal
Green walls and roofs are great additions to the landscape. Whatever kind of structures your landscape includes, green roofs with succulents are a viable choice. This might be a storage shed or a studio for art/writing/crafts. One issue of Horticulture magazine published an article that explained how to build and plant a green roof on a doghouse.
For outdoor landscapes, the most common green wall often consists of stone walls planted with succulents. For this type of project, I would recommend low growing, hardy species, such as sedums, especially ones with trailing stems, and sempervivums, which are also known as hen-and-chicks.
Green walls are desirable for several reasons. They allow us to plant areas that would normally consist of construction materials, such as wood or stone. This also allows us to utilize vertical space that would ordinarily go to waste. Vertical gardening is a very important approach since the trend is for outdoor landscapes to shrink in size.
Whether used for indoors or outdoors, the green walls can fulfill various roles. These add an aesthetic touch to an otherwise dull, ordinary wall. These green walls can serve as sound barriers and help to manage storm water runoff.
For a general idea of the cost involved, one expert estimated this can between $100 to $200 per square foot, depending on the plants used and whether the plantings are mature when they’re set in place.
In one case, American designers originally studied German green roofs, and adapted those techniques for walls in America. The walls can be seen in various commercial settings in the US, including one at the Anthropologie store in Huntsville, Alabama, the Pure Yoga building in New York City, and the Urban Farming food chain. A French botanist specializes in living walls. Patrick Blanc has created masterpiece works for two organizations in Paris, including a museum. For one such wall in a commercial setting for the U.S., he used over 1200 plants that were stapled to felt.
There are various companies specializing in green walls. Green Living Technologies is one of them. There are several firms in Canada that plan and install these structures. These include Elevated Landscape Technologies.
The Green Roofs for Healthy Cities in Toronto is a not-for-profit association. They provide training in green wall construction for professionals.