Living proof of Red Carnation Hotels’ commitment to sustainable tourism, the eye-catching Living Wall is located on the side of The Rubens at the Palace, directly above Bbar. Serving as a wildlife habitat and a form of environmentally friendly insulation for the building, this striking vertical garden contains an impressive 10,000 plants and covers 350 square metres. On a smaller scale, it’s also possible to create your own urban garden or living wall at home, which can add a pop of colour and provide some of the same benefits as the large-scale version at The Rubens at the Palace. A vertical garden is a clever way to use limited space, can help lessen pollution particles in the air, be watered using rainwater and also create a calming area that aids mental wellbeing. Follow these simple steps to create your own vertical urban garden at home.
Choose your location
Carefully consider how much weight your selected structure or wall is capable of holding and the amount of sunlight this particular location gets on a daily basis. Then, choose whether to use a pre-made living wall kit or create your own frame. If you’re going ahead without a ready-made kit, begin with rows of treated battens, ideally 2inches by 1inch, and screw into the wall about 38cm apart. Make sure you have a spirit level to check they are aligned correctly. Once that’s done, screw your plastic planters to the battens and begin to build up your wall, from the bottom up. Irrigation is key for any living wall, so create a reservoir before planting anything by watering your urban garden from the top down. Next, begin planting by placing your plants, either directly or in their pots, into the planters.<="Apple-converted-space"
Choose your plants
Ideally your plants should not be more than 50cm tall and should be able to withstand regular pruning. A good variety of plants means that your living wall will look interesting all year round, so consider a mix of herbs, vegetables, perennials and annuals. Work with the amount of sun your chosen location is likely to get; opt for sun-loving plants such as fuchsia, petunia and campanula or, for shadier locations, wallflowers, viola and pansies are a wise choice. Edible plants are a nice inclusion too and strawberries, tomatoes and herbs work particularly well. Be sure to group your plants vertically or horizontally to avoid the higher plants overshadowing lower groupings.
Take good care of your urban garden
If you’re not using an irrigation system, a vertical urban garden typically requires watering every two or three days depending on the weather and season in your location. For living walls that include flowering plants, it’s important to keep on top of deadheading in order to encourage future blooms, remove any dead leaves and consider including a liquid feed every now and then to keep everything in tip top condition.
Image Credits: Vertical Garden © iStock/wayra. Botanical Living Room © iStock/KatarynaBialasiewicz. All other images courtesy of Red Carnation Hotels.