GardenDrumA green wall becomes a grim wall

Dead greenwall Perth

Vertical gardens are usually wonderful when first installed but many of them come a cropper after a year or so – or even a few months, like this one in Perth city.

This vertical garden of flower and herb-filled pots fell victim to Perth’s cruelly hot summer. In another climate or with copious amounts of water maybe it might have had a chance but the combination of small containers surrounded by plenty of airspace and a whack of urban heat island meant it was always unlikely to survive.

Dead vertical potted garden in Perth Summer 2015

Dead vertical potted garden in Perth Summer 2015

Why do landscape architects – or anyone – continue to spend so much time, money and effort on poorly designed or inappropriately maintained vertical gardens? Or maybe it’s in some changeover period?

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2 thoughts on “A green wall becomes a grim wall

  1. Yes, there are sadly lots of examples of these. Even some of the ones created by French expert Patrick Blanc in France and Belgium have become rather grim. A survey of some of them is here if anyone is interested: https://landscapelover.wordpress.com/2011/03/04/wall-to-wall-green.

    I suspect it’s because (a) companies see vertical gardens as a clever, easy way of showing off their supposed ‘green’ credentials and (b) just as with horizontal landscapes, people give much more thought to design and installation than they do to maintenance. There seems to be an unthinking view that vertical gardens will somehow just maintain themselves.

    • It looks as though they have used small terracotta pots with a lot of space around them, as the story notes. You’d have trouble keeping anything alive in a tiny terracotta pot for any length of time, even if it wasn’t in a so-called green wall. The best vertical arrangement I’ve seen (and tried successfully) came from Gro-Wall. That Perth landscaper has learned a costly lesson!

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