A living wall is all the rage these days, for decorating both home and office. These design elements are not only beautiful, they improve indoor air quality and the mindset and mood of those exposed to them. Although you may perceive it as a new concept, hanging gardens and green walls have been used since ancient times to beautify and delight. In the office, these dramatic design elements not only serve as conversation pieces, but they also improve the mood and job satisfaction of employees while cooling the environment and filtering the air. Learn more about living walls and how to create your own below. |
What Is a Living Wall?
A living wall is simply a vertical arrangement of plant materials, structured and mounted in such a way that it appears the plants are actually growing from the wall itself. Although they can be installed both indoors and outdoors, experts have discovered many measurable benefits from adding a living wall indoors, especially in a commercial or office setting. The wall of plants can be virtually any size and configuration, and it can include any species of vegetation you prefer, although some may be harder to care for than others. The right way to design and install yours depends on your space and the look you hope to achieve.
Design the Armature
Once you have identified the place you hope to hang your green wall, verify that the wall or ceiling of choice can support a heavy structure. When fully loaded, you can expect your arrangement to weigh approximately 5 pounds per square foot. Secure anchors are crucial, because should the arrangement fall, someone could be seriously hurt by its weight. You can purchase pre-fabricated frames, designed specifically to hold your plantings, or you can make one yourself. The Internet is full of ideas and plans for living walls of all sizes and shapes. Some people prefer their arrangement to float, in essence, on the wall. Others prefer to utilize a horizontal base below the vertical plant wall, which can be designed to coordinate or add additional design elements while supporting the heavy arrangement.
Determine Your Plant Layout
One interiorscape designer recommends that you think of your plant layout as planting a living picture. To look right, your plants must be tightly grouped so they all run together, leaving the observer no glimpse of the underlying structure, lest it ruin the illusion.
Whatever plant species you select, make sure they are compatible in terms of their needs for light, water, fertilization and care. Combining succulents and ferns might look amazing, but as one needs lots of water and the other very little, chances are good that neither will survive.
Consider also how much time and attention you and your staff have to give your living installation. If the wall isn’t tended to regularly for removal of dead leaves and foliage, it will start to look ragged in no time. Many interior designers recommend using succulents exclusively. They come in a variety of shapes, colors and sizes, almost all of which are striking to look at. They require little water, and thanks to their cactus-like nature, you don’t need to remove dead foliage. Finally, consider how your wall will be watered. If you get it mounted and later learn that water runs out onto the floor, you’ll have a big problem on your hands.
Consult with an Interiorscape Professional
A living wall will enhance any indoor environment, but especially an office where it will be viewed and enjoyed by everyone. Consider contacting a professional interiorscape or plantscape artist to build and install yours. Because they are experts, they will ensure that the right species are included, that the living wall is safely mounted and they will care for it regularly, to ensure that you never need be concerned with watering, feeding or cleaning up. Contact an interior landscaper in your area today, and get started on your own living wall!
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