Green walls – my vertical garden.

The new generation of urban gardeners just love to experiment. They create their gardens where they live. Greenery grows and flourishes on roof terraces and vertically on the walls of apartment rooms. Technical solutions are in full bloom – and the spectrum ranges from wall planters to huge hanging gardens. For us, Ambiente 2015 was a trend barometer for interior horticulture. Here we discovered a flourishing worldwide innovation and caught the home gardening bug.

In principle it’s pretty easy. Thanks to clever installation and watering systems there is now no problem getting plants to grow into vertical gardens on walls. Whether you want a herb garden in the kitchen or ferns in the bathroom, space-saving planting solutions can bring nature into the house. With systems also available for outdoor areas, there is nothing to stop you creating a vertical farm on an apartment balcony. Even lettuce can grow in this perpendicular environment.

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Urban gardening
Gardening is now possible everywhere! Young forums like Urban Jungle Bloggers and blogger and enthusiastic city gardener Robin Horton from Urban Gardens show how easy it is. The phenomenon of urban gardening is putting forth new creative shoots. Even if you don’t have your own patch of green, you can ‘green’ your apartment with a vertical garden, which is child’s play thanks to new installation systems. French botanist and garden artist Patrick Blanc, the inventor of the vertical garden, develops concepts for facades and high-rise buildings across the world. His creations are inspired by nature, e.g. plant communities in extreme vertical situations such as cliff faces or trees. These wall gardens – particularly internal ones – admittedly need a bit more care and attention than a flowerpot. Not all systems have automatic watering. And what may at first glance seem completely natural is often based on technology. For instance, LED lighting and, with larger systems, waterproof isolation layers are needed to prevent the formation of mould on walls.

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Green recharging station
Wall gardens are like living paintings and their greenery provides plenty of fresh air. And have you heard? Large gardens significantly reduce reverberation and noise. So why not have a carpet of ferns in the living room or waiting room? Other ‘hothouse’ plants with large leaves, such as monsteras, climbing figs or philodendrons, are likewise ideal for the cultivated indoor jungle. We also came across smaller alternatives in hanging pockets at Ambiente. A new, bolder generation is moving away from conventional hanging baskets. Irish company Blooming Walls makes colourful PVC wall pockets that can be installed and planted to fit with any interior style. We particularly liked them as privacy screens on balconies and kitchen gardens.

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Curtain up …
… for the good old weighted curtain hem cord. Niklas Weisel from B + M Textil from the Erzgebirge region in eastern Germany have come up with a really clever idea for his Botanic Horizon project – ‘a global innovation’ is how they described it to us at their Ambiente stand. It allows grass seed to be woven into the textile cord. Lots of these cords are then tensioned tightly next to each other. With regular watering the curtain quickly grows into a hanging ‘lawn’. “It’s ideal for hotel lobbies, spas and ‘event greening’. Our system even works with flowering plants. In this case small plant containers are fixed to the cords”, says the engineer from B + M Textil. Does it need a lawnmower or hedge trimmer? Neither, apparently. A laser cutter is the answer. And the whole stainless steel system is completely automatic. The project is now just in its infancy. But with the growing level of global urbanisation there is an increasing demand for sustainable solutions. And this wall with fresh green grass is outstandingly soft to the touch as well as being a real feast for the eyes.

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Secret garden
The tales from One Thousand and One Nights tell of silent, secret gardens behind high walls, full of beauty and magic. We found just such a secret insider tip in Istanbul. In the chic Nisantasi quarter, the Nopa Restaurant invites you into a captivating garden. Tropical plants, flowers and moss on the walls transform the covered inner courtyard throughout the year into an oasis. In the summer months the glass roof is opened, thus giving the vertical garden a greater sense of radiant space. Combined with original materials such as natural stone and leather, a landscape has been created here from a concept of enchantment.

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