Vertical Gardens 1.0.1
The first concept of vertical walls was introduced by French botanist Patrick Blanc. He found his inspiration by contemplating nature, waterfalls and cliffs. He noticed that the plants were different at each level (from the canopy to the ground).
By studying cliffs and waterfalls he came to the conclusion that as long as there is water, nutrients and something to attach itself, an epiphyte plant can grow. There is no necessity for a plant or tree to be anchored in the soil deep in the ground.
Focusing on these findings Wally Gro invented the Wally/Wolly Pockets system. A system of pockets that could be attached to a wall, on top of each other to recreate the natural ecosystem found on these cliffs and along these waterfalls.
By making their pockets waterproof and deep enough it meant that all kind of plants could be planted in a vertical wall. This would help plants maintain the necessary moisture, find enough nutrients in the soil and more importantly would allow us to have Vertical Plant walls in our homes, mess-free
When deciding to install and plant a vertical wall you have to remember Patrick Blanc's findings: plants will be competing against each other permanently, on each level, for light, for nutrients and for moisture.
This is why you should have at the top of your wall plants with higher light and less water needs and the opposite at the bottom of your wall.
Depending on the environment plants are more or less suited, if you want to find out a good plant selection go to choosing the best plants for your wall or flick us a message!.
Whether you thinking of doing it on your own or whether you would like us to install it for you, here’s a list of general considerations to take into account when planning a wall installation:
Fastening to wall
For indoor, larger walls or certain exterior wall materials we recommend fixing either marine ply backing or battens to wall (screwed into studs) and to screw Woolly Pockets/ Wally Pro Pockets onto battens or ply board.
Main consideration is weight distribution rather than water protection as pockets do have a stitched in waterproof membrane backing.
Irrigation / Location to water
For irrigated walls, a tap connection close to the wall is required. Standard pricing estimates are based on a water connection being installed up to or close to the wall.
For walls with 12 or more pockets, installing irrigation dripper lines into the custom designed irrigation sleeves is highly recommended.
Once irrigation lines are inserted into plant walls, irrigation can be controlled in the following ways:
Manually. Turn the tap to irrigation on / off as required (not recommended for indoor walls)
Connected to hose tap fitting with auto timer
Plumbed to internal water connection. Connected with either battery or electronic timer and solenoid switch.
Drip trays can be installed at the base of the wall to catch any excess water. While excess water should be minimal, under watering of walls can stress plants and impact plant growth and coverage.
If irrigation is not installed then plant walls require regular watering.
Frequency depends on growing conditions but is generally fortnightly for internal walls and weekly for outdoor walls in summer.
Low lighting can impact plant growth and health and lead to leggy or sparse plant coverage.
Targeted LED grow lighting installed above a plant wall can ensure sufficient light for plants to photosynthesise properly and may be needed in low light areas.
For larger indoor walls drop down or stem lighting can be more effective than in ceiling lighting panels.
As well as lighting and irrigation considerations and general aesthetic preferences plant choice is influenced by other location factors such as indoor / outdoor, wind exposure, general airflow direct sunlight or shade level.
Companion planting considerations are also worth considering for edible walls.
One of the design benefits of Wally Pockets is that the pocket size allows for a good established grade of plant to be used from the outset allowing immediate coverage and plant establishment.
Maintenance / upkeep
Living walls are changing / growing things and respond to maintenance and upkeep. Plants will grow at different rates and over time some plants may crowd out other plants.
If a wall is on an irrigation system then regular trimming, feeding, dusting, checking for bugs/disease and replacement planting are still required to sustain a healthy vibrant wall as well as checking and making seasonal adjustments to irrigation.