For the plant lovers - living wall in my DR

sochiJuly 13, 2011

Please forgive my slightly off topic post, but as the DR is just off the kitchen and visible from my peninsula, I thought I might get away with it. I'm still working through the finishing touches on my ground floor. The living wall is something I've wanted since the beginning of my reno, I've had it for about three months now and just love it. It is irrigated automatically, so upkeep is fairly simple.

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breezygirl

OMG! That's cool! And no mess from water or dirt? I'm a neat freak so just the thought of that above my wood floors would give me heart palpitations.

I love the juxtaposition of the natural, organic, green of it right behind the more formal and chic chandy.

    Bookmark   July 14, 2011 at 12:01AM
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blfenton

That is so neat! How do you set one of those up? With our lousy summer my outside garden is not doing very well so maybe I should try an indoor garden.

    Bookmark   July 14, 2011 at 12:04AM
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leela4

sochi-I was just looking at your kitchen space on the thread about floors and thinking how much I've LOVED it since the first time I saw it. And this just adds to the uniqueness. It is too cool.

    Bookmark   July 14, 2011 at 12:58AM
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ae2ga

Uber cool! How did you make it and how do you maintain it without getting water and soil all over the floor? I thought the living wall was great outside - it's fantastic inside!

    Bookmark   July 14, 2011 at 1:22AM
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clumsycook

I love it!! The plants are beautiful, and the design is so unique. If you don't mind me asking, what type of wood floors do you have?

    Bookmark   July 14, 2011 at 7:03AM
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brianadarnell

So Cool!!!! I love how it is a part of your indoor space...

    Bookmark   July 14, 2011 at 7:32AM
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Adrienne2011

That is so elegant! I'll bet that room smells fantastic.

    Bookmark   July 14, 2011 at 7:36AM
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celtinNE

Yes, please tell us how! It's really something special.

    Bookmark   July 14, 2011 at 8:51AM
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cat_mom

Yes, yes! Share details! :-)

    Bookmark   July 14, 2011 at 10:24AM
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rosieo

That. Is. Awesome!!!!

    Bookmark   July 14, 2011 at 10:26AM
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BalTra

I LOVE THIS!
Thanks for sharing.
I've been wanting to do this too. One person warned me against it saying that in my area (high humidity in summertime) I would encourage mold growth and it would be smelly.
What do you think?
How did you do this?
What plumbing is required for the irrigation? Demolition just started for my new kitchen, so now is the time for me to speak up!

Really lovely dining space. Congrats!

    Bookmark   July 14, 2011 at 10:39AM
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remodelfla

I absolutely ADORE your home!

    Bookmark   July 14, 2011 at 11:10AM
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MCMesprit

Living wall -- what a great idea. It looks gorgeous in your DR. I'd love to have instructions.

    Bookmark   July 14, 2011 at 11:10AM
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athomesewing

Looks fantastic!!!
Did you make it with Woolly Pockets?

    Bookmark   July 14, 2011 at 11:15AM
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laxsupermom

Wow! That is so cool! Your kitchen is such a stunner, that I knew the rest of your home had to be just as neat.

    Bookmark   July 14, 2011 at 11:18AM
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kmmh

Amazing!!

    Bookmark   July 14, 2011 at 12:19PM
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trailrunnerbiker

Very nice ! I love everything I have seen so far about your home. Really a delight to the eye. c

    Bookmark   July 14, 2011 at 12:27PM
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writersblock

Beautiful! (Like everything else in your house that you've posted here)

    Bookmark   July 14, 2011 at 12:35PM
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antiquesilver

Since I saw one of these at a local greenhouse, fashioned after the one in France, I knew I had to have one but yours is the first 'real' one I've seen. I'm planning for mine to be in a large powder room.

What fabric did you use to make the pockets?

    Bookmark   July 14, 2011 at 3:11PM
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sochi

Thanks everyone, I'm glad to you like. I must confess that I absolutely adore it and it has taken my focus away from getting my kitchen island made and the backsplash up, but whatever.

Clumbsycook - the floors are 130 year old reclaimed birch, brought up from the bottom of a nearby river.

Okay, the details on the wall:

I've been researching living walls on-line and at the library for about 2 years. After some research and visits to a few local living walls, I figured out which "type" of living wall I felt was best for the house. Essentially I opted for a "Patrick Blanc" style living wall - essentially the plants grow in a felt medium with little, if any, soil. Patrick Blanc is from France, and he is considered the "father" of living walls/green walls/vertical gardens. Here is a link to Patrick Blanc's website: http://www.verticalgardenpatrickblanc.com/

Here is a link to an outdoor Patrick Blanc style garden in San Diego - this website is a great resource and has dozens of great pictures of living wall eye candy: http://www.livingwallart.com/do-it-yourself/constructing-a-vertical-garden-patrick-blanc-style/

I determined that it was possible to build a Patrick Blanc style living wall on my own. A guy named Matt in New York has a fantastic and unbelievably informative blog on how to build your own Blanc style living wall. Here is a link to his blog: http://diygreenwalls.blogspot.com/ He built a stunning living wall in his NY apartment.

But I was a little nervous to make one myself, I admit. Plus, I have a crazy busy job, two kids under 6 and an on-going home renovation, so I ran out of time. Earlier this year I found a company in San Francisco that builds pre-made Patrick Blanc style living walls, the company is called Plants on Walls. I decided to save my pennies and buy a 31" x 82" recirculating living wall from them. I am still determined to make a living wall on my own, and I think I will in my master bathroom that is due for renovation over the year or so. The living wall "kit" from Plants on Walls contains the galvanized steel frame, water-proof back lining, the reservoir, pump, tubing and the felt pockets that the plants grow in/into. I bought the plants here and planned out the "planting design." I'm very happy with the Plants on Wall product, and they were very responsive to my questions. That said, they aren't cheap (my kit was $1,300), and I'm determined to build my own living wall next (the master bathroom project). Here is the link to the Plants on Wall site: http://www.plantsonwalls.com/default.asp

I do keep a small carpet under the reservoir, it catches the odd drops of water off the ends of the leaves. I do mist the plants whenever I think of it, so the mat/carpet takes care of that. If you could put one up in a room with tile floors that would be ideal I guess.

It does add humidity to the room, but not much and we welcome it in winter (we have to use a furnace here in the winter and the air gets dry). This size living wall isn't big enough to create serious humidity issues I think - and we do live in an area with hot, humid summers - and I hate A/C. No smells or mold - that is the point of the felt growing medium, the felt dries totally between watering. That said, my living wall is also in a relatively large, open room, so there is lots of air circulation.

You of course need adequate lighting for a living wall - this often determines where you build it. I didn't want to build it anywhere that would require artificial light.

Let me know if you have any other questions!

    Bookmark   July 14, 2011 at 3:49PM
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schoolhouse_gw

I have never seen anything like that. I'm in awe.

    Bookmark   July 14, 2011 at 5:04PM
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celineike

Squeal!!! omg, so cool and gorgeous! LOVE it!

    Bookmark   July 14, 2011 at 5:18PM
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davidro1

If I get invited, I'm willing to go to Ottawa for a site visit to see if I can help you in any way (backsplash, island, etc). 20 minutes with all the normal disruptions you get with young kids. I'd enjoy seeing the living wall up close too. In Ottawa there are many other places to visit, and I have a great-aunt who still lives there.

    Bookmark   July 14, 2011 at 5:30PM
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remodelfla

sochi... that was very generous of you to share all that detailed info which took so long for you to research. Thanks.

    Bookmark   July 14, 2011 at 5:38PM
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marthavila

Sochi, that is an amazing, OMG, wow-just-wow living wall! I've never even heard of, much less seen, such a thing before now. Thanks so much for sharing your gorgeous creation with us as well as the source information. It's simply magnificent!

    Bookmark   July 14, 2011 at 6:16PM
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srahndennis

What a way to bring the outdoors in!! That is just awesome!

    Bookmark   July 14, 2011 at 6:34PM
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marcolo

Now you're just showing off.

    Bookmark   July 14, 2011 at 7:34PM
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mbcullen

The wall looks great.

I'm wondering though, who makes the chandelier?

    Bookmark   July 15, 2011 at 1:43PM
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lisa_a

So very cool!

I saw interior living walls in a display garden at the Northwest Flower and Garden Show in Seattle two years ago. They were gorgeous! It was one of the most popular display gardens at the show, too. Saw the same company (why, oh, why can't I remember their name?) again at Portland's Yard, Garden & Patio Show. Or was that at the Farwest Show? Dunno, too many garden shows to keep them all straight at times.

But I digress. They got the same question about interior living walls in a humid region since we're, uh, just a bit dampish in winter. ;-) No problem, they said.

    Bookmark   July 15, 2011 at 2:10PM
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pharaoh

Woooooowww.ww.......

    Bookmark   July 15, 2011 at 2:10PM
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steph2000

Sochi... what do you do for a living? Whatever if it, if it isn't interior design, you need to change fields. Seriously. You leave me in awe.

    Bookmark   July 15, 2011 at 2:12PM
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celtinNE

sochi, thank you very much for sharing your knowledge. Truly appreciated.

    Bookmark   July 15, 2011 at 3:16PM
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sochi

marcolo - aren't we all showing off here??

mbcullen - I'm afraid I forget the name of the light manufacturer. I do know that it is no longer produced - we found this one at the back of a lighting store covered in dust, last one they had. I tried to find it online, it was discontinued a few years ago.

Steph2000 - thanks very much. I designed our kitchen/ground floor reno, but I'm afraid I'm no designer. That said, I've really enjoyed designing the lay out of my ground floor and the kitchen etc. A previous thread by palimpsest has me thinking that maybe I want to study interior design ... who knows! But I'll stick to my current profession until this reno is paid off anyway!

    Bookmark   July 16, 2011 at 9:56AM
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steph2000

Well, if you do change fields some day, remember to charge the big bucks. You do very high end work. :)

    Bookmark   July 16, 2011 at 11:50AM
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