How many of you are already familiar with the concept of vertical gardens? Here's a vertical garden that I took a photo of at Flora Grubb nursery in San Francisco...
Flora Grubb Vertical Garden Succulents by epiphyte78, on Flickr
Flora Grubb is a really neat nursery because it's by far the most vertically oriented nursery that I know of.
A significant portion of the growing popularity of vertical gardens stems from the spectacular vertical gardens of Patrick Blanc. He's created vertical gardens all over the world and written a book on the subject...The Vertical Garden: From Nature to the City. If you look on his website under "Inspiration" you'll see a link to a page that he has dedicated to photos of epiphytes in nature.
A couple decades before Patrick Blanc started creating vertical gardens...Bill Paylen created an amazing vertical garden here in Southern California. Unlike Blanc though, trees, rather than walls, were Paylen's canvas. You can read about his garden here...Growing Orchids Outdoors in Southern California.
Even though I lived relatively close to Bill Paylen, I had no idea he even existed until many years later. So as a high school kid I killed countless Cattleyas while struggling to reinvent the wheel. But I finally managed to learn the basics. Here's a recent photo of my tree...
Cattleya Portia coerulea by epiphyte78, on Flickr
Whether a garden is on a tree...or a wall...I love it! Vertical gardens allow so much more value and interest to be added to a space! Needless to say I was really excited when I recently learned about a project that can go a long way to helping people think epiphytically.
Up in Washington a fellow named Everett Carney (Alive and Modern) created a living wall that can easily fit on a desk. There's no pump...water works its way up the wall via wicking (capillary action). Initially I thought that plants could be attached to both sides of the wall...but it turns out that they can only be planted on one side. Perhaps a two sided model will be available in the future if there's sufficient demand.
Living Wall Final by AliveAndModern, on Flickr
As many of you already know...part of the challenge of growing plants mounted indoors is that you have to worry about water dripping everywhere. Everett's living wall provides an effective solution to this problem. Plus, it's really easy to attach plants to the wall...
Which carnivorous plants would you try first on this wall? The epiphytic ones?
I haven't yet had a chance to test the wall out for myself...but the concept is solid and definitely worth supporting. The world would certainly be a much better place if more walls and trees had a wide range of plants growing on them!
If you'd like this project to succeed...then here are some ways that you can help...
- Email your friends and family
- Post it on facebook/twitter
- Like Alive and Modern on facebook
- Follow Alive and Modern on Youtube, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and Flickr
- Create a blog entry on the project
- Write an article for your society's newsletter
- Contribute $1 or more to Everett's Kickstarter project
To be clear, I am not affiliated with this project in any formal/official way. I'm helping to promote it because I love the idea of making vertical gardens really simple, accessible and low maintenance. As it stands, the desktop living wall isn't cheap ($135 with shipping included)...but if there's sufficient demand...the cost should come down over time.
I'll share a link to this thread with Everett so please feel free to reply with any questions or suggestions. If you have any photos of vertical gardens I'd certainly love to see them!
Here are some links that might be of some interest...
- JP - Rock Plantings
- Mikael - Hygrolon Creations
- Steve Asbell - Tropical Vertical Garden
- Fedor van der Valk - String Gardens
- Jamie North - Epiphyte Installations
- Patrick Nadeau - Green Designs
- Tillandsia Installation at Florida International University
- Google Images: String Garden, Kokedama
- Epiphytes on reddit
Are there any other "outside the pot" pages that you find inspiring?