Extreme Vertical Gardening

Today was a nice sunny one with temperatures right around 32 degrees F.  Looks like they received quite a blanket of snow out East!  I heard it will be 36″ deep in Boston.  While I’m not a big fan of snow removal, I sure wouldn’t mind another layer out in the gardens.  Of course, that means the discouraging deer tracks will be more conspicuous!  I spent the day ordering plants and seeds although we had some nice volunteer help as well.  Pat continued to process lights inside and his system is working great for minimizing storage space.  Larry H. was out in the formal gardens collecting more lights off of the hedges.  Urban came in for some pruning and Bill O. was in later to help with some indoor projects.

This blog has an assemblage of vertical wall plantings that I’ve seen over the years.  There are much larger systems on the sides of buildings and that technology continues to improve.  However, those systems are usually “soil-less” with plants rooting in to an engineered felt system with plants being nourished by nutrient solutions being flushed down through the plantings.  I don’t pretend to understand all the technology behind this but check out Patrick Blanc and his work in this regard primarily in Europe.  He has a book as well and I’m amazed at the scale and scope of some of these urban systems.  The walls seen in this blog, like the one above seen at the Ball Seed Trial Gardens (West Chicago), require soil and plants root directly in to these frameworks or fabric pouches.  Above is a Woolly Pocket system although most of the other set-ups were constructed to not only handle well-drained soil (essential) and plants but the combined weight of those elements.  The proper construction, anchoring and maintenance of these structures is paramount.  See some examples further below.

 Ball Seed Trial Gardens (2012)
Ball Seed Trial Gardens (2012)
Ball Seed Trial Gardens (2013)
Ball Seed Trial Gardens (2014)
 Longwood Gardens (by conservatories) – those are bathroom doors!
same as above
 The remaining photos are all from the Buehler Enabling Garden at the Chicago Botanic Garden