Vertical gardens, also called green walls, are a trend in gardening.
They have been used for years to integrate green spaces in urban areas, among other uses. They are used both outdoors and indoors and they often have an integrated irrigation system.
Vertical gardens and the environment
In addition to aesthetically enhancing building facades, they are also beneficial to the environment. This is due to the fact that they contribute to improving the urban microclimate, improving the quality of life of the city/population. They also help to reduce the temperature (they act as insulators, both thermally and acoustically) and, contrary to what it may seem, they do not attract insects. In addition, they help to purify the air, among many other benefits.
Plants most suitable for vertical gardens
The plants most commonly used for these purposes are creepers, because they are fast-growing and tend to twine and entangle themselves to any surface. These include ivy, *buguenvíl-lea, jasmine *enfiladís, among many others. But these are not the only plants used in vertical gardens. In fact, there are no suitable or unsuitable plants for this type of garden, as the factors that must be considered are the factors that accompany the plant wall. The characteristics that must be considered when choosing the plants are the location of the wall (whether it is indoors or outdoors) and the hours of sun or shade that it will receive.
Origin and history
Many sources place the origin of vertical gardens -as we know them today- at the end of the 1980s, by the French architect and botanist Patrick Blanc. Although its history goes back much further and reference is made to the Hanging Gardens of Babylon as the first example of this concept. But as we mentioned at the beginning, the greatest driving force behind the current plant wall movement was Blanc, along with Stanley Hart White. He was not the inventor, but he was the one who spread the trend internationally, building green walls in cities like Paris, Berlin, New York, Hong Kong, among other places everywhere. He was also the one who created the first vertical garden in Spain, in 2007, at the Caixaforum Madrid headquarters located in the former Central Eléctrica del *Mediodía, built with 18,000 plants of 250 different species. Currently, the largest vertical garden in the world is in Colombia (*Santalaia building) and occupies more than 3,100 square metres and is made with 115,000 plants.
The main characteristics of vertical gardens are the benefits they provide, both in terms of the environment (as we have already mentioned) and in terms of functionality. It is important to consider the great visual impact they bring to society. This can help to raise awareness among the population of the benefits of green spaces, environmental care, etc.
Furthermore, in order for our vertical garden to be a success, we must consider some characteristics, such as the type of substrate we will use, the plants chosen, or other factors that we have mentioned above.
If you have read this article and you are thinking that a vertical garden is the most suitable option to dress up your home or company, do not hesitate to contact us and ask for information. Punt Verd specializes in the design, construction and maintenance of vertical gardens.