Living walls are a thing of beauty; both in an artistic and ecological sense. Also, its positive effects create sustainability for the entire planet. In this article, we’ll be walking through the process of how you can make your own living wall and what those benefits are. Let’s start with defining them.

What is a Living Wall?

A living wall is a vertical structure covered with plants. Living walls can be accomplished both indoors and outdoors. This green screen serves many purposes, such as hiding an eyesore or shielding an area for privacy. Some are installed in the ground, while others are mounted on building facades and have integrated irrigation systems.

In some parts of the world, living walls are also called green walls or plant walls, and there are lots of ways to create one. Thus, while this guide can teach you a lot, it also pays to look at another option when building a garden wall.

To make things easier to understand, we’ll boil them down to three categories. These are Direct greening, Indirect greening, and Living wall systems or LWS.

Direct greening

What is Direct greening?

Direct greening is when you are attaching self-climbing plants to fill-up the structure.

How easy is it to install?

If you are a gardening novice or are intimidated by the prospect of creating your own living wall garden, then this method is for you. It is the simplest among the three and is reasonably straightforward. You just have to acquire the right type of plants for the right conditions. Here’s a rough guide:

Climbers for a sunny location

Climbers for a shady location

How much of a monetary and time investment should I expect?

Unless you intend to ‘paint the Mona Lisa’, you only really need minimal time and monetary investment.

Indirect greening

What is Indirect greening?

Indirect greening is when you are turning to engineering solutions, such as constructing trellises and using wires to create a structure where the plants can thrive and fill

How easy is it to install?

Indirect greening is a little more difficult than Direct greening because of the DIY skills needed to construct a trellis or support beams.

How much of a monetary and time investment should I expect?

Moderate. This will depend heavily on the size and scale of the project.

Living wall systems (LWS)

What are Living wall systems?

Living wall systems utilise planter boxes or felt rather than climbing plants and have a dedicated irrigation system to keep the plants healthy.

How easy is it to install?

Living wall systems areIndirect greening is a little more difficult than Direct greening because of the DIY skills needed to construct a trellis or support beams.

How much of a monetary and time investment should I expect?

Moderate. This will depend heavily on the size and scale of the project. There are companies that offer professional installation services. However, this will definitely increase the overall cost significantly.

Living Walls and their Sustainability and Benefits

In terms of sustainability, living walls tend to do much better when they holdit holds a diversified selection of plants. By utilising an expansive variety, a living wall garden can considerably increase the variety and population of bugs and insects in a given zone, helping create a more sustainable biological ecosystem. As a bonus, the plants can provide an alternative home for bugs.

Here are a few of the benefits that living walls can give to the environment and the owner:

  • Air purification
  • They help in reducing your carbon footprint
  • A space-saving method for smaller gardens
  • They help in insulating your home
  • Enhanced indoor climate
  • Dust suppression
  • Gives a healing environment
  • Enhances our overall health, well-being, and quality of life

Most importantly, a living wall garden promotes biodiversity, which helps create a more sustainable planet by ensuring natural sustainability of all sentient beings. Also, a varied plant selection equates to a greater variety of crops as well. As we know, promoting healthy ecosystems in ways such as this also helps in withstanding and recovering from a variety of natural disasters.

Since living walls have been proven time and time again to improve our overall health and well-being, it is highly beneficial for offices to have them. The wall has been proven to lower both stress levels and heightened emotional states. They also increase oxygen levels in indoor spaces; thereby reducing chemical compounds that linger in the air.

Apart from all these, one benefit that is easy to overlook is how it can save energy costs by acting as an insulating jacket; thus keeping the building cooler in summer and warmer in winter. This can even allow property appraisers to value the property higher due to lower energy costs.

How To Make a DIY Living Wall

make your own diy living wall

Though it may seem like an intimidating task, creating your very own DIY living wall is not that daunting. We’ll outline the steps here to make sure we make the least amount of mistakes as possible. Also, these steps are adjusted so that they work whether you choose to put up your garden wall indoors or outdoors.

Step 1: Location assessment

Do you want your living wall garden on your fence  or solid wall? Perhaps you wanted it built straight on to the side of your house, your sturdy shed, or your garden fence? Before everything else, you must assess the location that you plan to turn into a living wall. Here are important things to consider:

  • Will you be growing the plants indoors or outdoors?
  • How much sunlight will this area receive?
  • Is this area livable for plants?
  • Do I need to construct a trellis or a similar structure?
  • If so, do I have enough space in this area to fit one?
  • Can plants be planted in this location?

Step 2: Plant choice

We recommend choosing plants not just based on preference, but on whether they can survive in your chosen location. Thus, we advise against putting up a plant that needs a lot of sunlight to survive on a wall that doesn’t receive much of it and vice versa. Apart from our recommendations above, utilise this guide when choosing your plants.

Best for a sunny area:

  • Campanula
  • Lobelia
  • Petunia
  • Scabious
  • Fuchsia
  • Impatiens
  • Salvia
  • Pelargoniums
  • Nasturtiums
  • Bacopa

Best for a shaded area:

  • Campanula
  • Ajuga
  • Vinca
  • Heuchera
  • Tiarella
  • Viola
  • Wallflowers
  • Pansies

Step 3: Gather the materials for the project

Once you have chosen what plants you’d like to have, gather all the materials needed for this project. These are as follows:

  • Living wall modules or panels (battens)
  • Planters and Compost
  • Self-tapping wood screws
  • Drip irrigation system (optional, depending on the kind of living wall you want)
  • Water can
  • Cable ties or any viable substitute
  • Water tank (optional)
  • Plug plants (germinated seedlings)
  • An electric screwdriver (optional)

Step 4: Create the structure and attach the planters

Create the structure you desire using the wood or any material you have. We’ll leave this up to you as it is totally up to your preference. Start working from the bottom up and attach the planters to the battens. We suggest you lock the planters side-by-side or staggered rows using the cable ties. This makes the project aesthetically pleasing.

Step 5: Fill the planters

This is the exciting part. Now, grab your plant or plants of choice and fill the planters that you’ve put up. This is the time to decide the final look of your wall. Arrange and rearrange the plants as you desire. You may choose to use pots, preferably 12-13cm, or take the plants out from the pots and place them on the planters directly. Either way should work nicely.

Step 6: Jot down your watering schedule

Especially if you have a wide variety of plants, it’s best to write down your watering schedule rather than to rely on memory. Remember, the most common cause of death among plants is not the lack of moisture, but rather, overwatering.

Voila!

indoor plant wall

When businesses decide to invest in green walls, it creates a powerful, striking image. It makes the building much more noticeable than its brick and mortar counterpart. This brave step encourages other businesses to think and hopefully follow suit. If this domino effect proves successful, then we all benefit from the sustainability this one act creates.

We hope you learned a lot from this article. Creating living walls will always be an activity we all can take pride and joy from. Happy gardening!

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