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The Whys and Wherefores Of Living Walls In Landscaping Projects

08/11/2022 - Featured Products

Living walls have a way of packing a big wow factor into a small footprint. Appearing now in many city centres as part of a nationwide scheme to fight climate change, living walls, aka green walls also have a place in domestic gardens. They provide great value for money, are a great use of space and the benefits to wellbeing, biodiversity and bragging rights are immense.

Why Install Living Walls In Landscaping Projects?

  • yes Stunning to look at - just think of all the plant combinations you could use and how different they will look arranged vertically to being viewed flat on the ground.  
  • yes All of the environmental benefits of living plants.
  • yes Can truly help meet planning and ethical requirements for biodiversity net gain.
  • yes Cools an outdoor area during baking hot weather.
  • yes Creates a feeling of decadent luxury.
  • yes Takes up very little space on the ground, leaving more room for outdoor dining, entertaining, relaxation and contemplation.
  • yes A fantastic PR statement for commercial or retail premises - green walls are a physical demonstration of environmental principals.
  • yes With careful plant selection, a living wall can provide all year round interest.
  • yes Provides an amazing opportunity to play with exterior lighting effects.
  • yes What an amazing talking point!

How To Design And Build A Living Wall

There are dozens of different ways to design and build a living wall, each one with its own pros and cons.  Some systems are best suited to enormous commercial projects where a facilities manager is on hand to manage day to day irrigation.  Other green wall systems are ideal for small domestic interior projects whilst others are sold on low prices rather than ease of installation.

When designing a living wall, think first about what type of plants you would like to include and what their needs are.  Do they have extensive root systems that need room to grow? Will you be using annual or short lived plants that need to be replaced regularly?  All plants of course need light, water, feed and growing medium.  How will you supply those things? And most importantly of all, how will you keep the whole system vertical?

Introducing Modular Green Walls

For a long time now, Arbour Landscape Solutions has been on the look out for an easy to install living wall system that is versatile, durable, attractive, and easy to care for whether or not its owner has green fingers.  

We looked at several modular systems. Why modular? Because landscapers don’t need to buy special tools and equipment to install them and because most of the mechanics of irrigation and stabilisation have already been thought through.  All of the systems we’ve looked at so far adapt well to different dimensions but some are more complex than others to install and to manage.

As green walls purport to be environmentally friendly, we also wanted to find a system whose components and manufacturing process are as sustainable as possible.  Finally, the right product has revealed itself in the form of the PlantBox Living Roof System.

PlantBox modular green wall being assembled by Pritchard and Pritchard

PlantBox green wall being installed by living wall experts Pritchard and Pritchard

Why Do We Like The PlantBox Living Wall System?

Made in England from recycled materials - which we feel gives it a relatively low carbon footprint.  AND it’s supporting the UK economy.

Fully recyclable - not that you’d want to dispose of anything this useful.

Incredibly easy to install modular system - watch the video below.  A child could assemble the individual units. 

Freestanding. All of the weight is supported by the ground. Although you should probably attach it to a secure structure so that it doesn’t wobble.

Can be built up to a height of 8 metres.  That’s just over 26 feet which is more than adequate for most landscaping projects.

Simple but effective irrigation system which attaches to a standard garden hose.  Each module has an inbuilt 1.8 litre reservoir and a gauge so that you can see the water level. Can be adapted for use with rainwater harvesting schemes for the ultimate in environmental efficiency.

Generously sized planting troughs to allow root development.  Takes plants grown in pots of up to 1 litre.

Suitable for interior or exterior use - great for outdoor kitchens creating a smooth transition from inside to outside in structures such as pool houses, garden offices and outdoor kitchens.

Expected lifespan of at least 10 years.

Endless design possibilities. You could even combine a living wall with a water feature, a cinema screen or corporate signage.

Ideal for vertical food production.  Imagine a wall of strawberries at the perfect height for picking. Yum.

Green Wall Advice For Landscapers, Garden Designers and Architects

If you’ve been asked to specify or install a living wall and you don’t know where to start, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with Arbour Landscape Solutions.  Two of our team members have considerable experience in the field of green roofs and living walls and will be more than happy to steer you towards the solutions you need.

You may also enjoy this article on the benefits and charms of green walls

Learn more about PlantBox Living Walls Here