Can a Green Wall Be a Problem Solver?

A green wall, or a vertical surface that is covered in plants, has one great advantage over other types of plantings in small gardens or patios:  it saves space.

One of the principles for designing small outdoor spaces, as many stagers know, is that the smaller the space, the greater the proportion of hardscape one has secure to make the space functional.  For plant lovers, this need for restraint  can be especially painful. Every trip past the local nursery or Trader Joe’s becomes an exercise in denial.

But there is a solution–a green wall.  By sending the plants up the wall rather than across the floor saves the space, and contrary to the usual rule-of-thumb, the more crammed with plants the green wall is, the better it looks.

In San Diego, green walls have a number of other functions worth mentioning:

  •  a green wall, which trickles water through a permeable membrane and planting matrix, cools the air through evaporation when it is very hot and dry
  • a green wall can be planted on two sides, acting as a screen, and doubling its effect
  • a green wall can be used to purify the air.  Many plants soak up volatile organic compounds that are toxic to people
  • plant lovers can have an outlet for their passion in a small space.

One thing to keep in mind is that green walls are not inexpensive.  However, if one is looking for bling in a fourteenth floor condo, renting one for a month is not a bad option.