I thought I would try building a living wall here in Kentucky. I used plants that should survive the winter attached to the wall. It took 4 days and some hardy work but it looks cool now I just have to wait for it to really grow in. I still have a few patches that need small growing plants. I had never really seen a living wall with water falls so I put 8 on this one.
I saw them do this once on TV but yours is much, much better-looking than the one they did. Wow...I just love that. Did you decide to do that to cover up the wall for a reason like a block wall or nasty view? I love the waterfalls.
It is 2 layers of polyurethane felt it last for many many years even under harsh conditions. It does have a wicking effect with the water but can get dry in some areas. once the roots grow in the plants attach themselves to it and the water will drip down all the root systems. I went back today and added a few more plants and was interested to see how the plants would look. I have to say I am totally surprised by the system. I cut split and really had to work hard with the plants. I was thinking that their would be some very sad looking plants in the wall the second day due to the shock and the mistreatment of being put in the wall and cutting of roots and splitting of the plants. Not even one leaf curled up or dried up and everything seems to already be moving. I do not have that kind of luck if I bare root something and put it in water till the next day.
I was referred here by Bonnie. How interesting that is! I look forward to seeing more pics as it fills in and learning how it does in the winter. Our winters are much more severe - I have my doubts I could do it here.
Over wintering. The truth is I am not exactly sure what all will happen come winter or through the seasons. My idea is to turn the pump off once the wall has frozen. Then I will let it stay frozen until warmer weather returns. Most of the plants used are extremely hardy for my area and most if not all should survive the winter. This type of wall can be grown anywhere in the world outdoors the key would be to pick the right plants that can grow in this situation.
I have been hiking a lot and it is not uncommon to find large rock cliffs or rocky creek banks with ferns mosses Sedums Heuchera and other plants growing in the cracks of rocks or hanging just on the edges. So this is not an uncommon thing for plants it is however very uncommon in the garden. It can also produce some very unusual micro-climates that most people never get to use in the garden.
Here is a photo of a natural rock waterfall the plants growing on and around the rocks would work fine for a system like this. A lot of them though if placed in a garden in the ground would die in just a few days. My wall is on the north side of the house and gets very little sun. I used all shade loving plants and though a lot of what I used are hybrid nursery stock. I did add some natural mosses and plants that grow in this situation. So it is not uncommon for plants to be growing this way it is just uncommon for use see them in gardens this way.
I am sure you could do this in your area. You may not be able to use the same plants but you should be able to produce a similar effect. I have seen photos of Alaska with ferns and plants growing all over trees and rocks so if they can handle it their I am sure they could handle it in your zone.
Boy That sure is beautiful,but i cant help but wonder about the brick wall its attached to,does water run down the bricks,and the water trough for lack of a better word, does it use the brick wall as the back of the trough ??? Where is the soil?? The reason I ask is the brickwall is part of your house,Id be concerened about freezing,and moisture getting in to your house ??? or causing a problem with the brick ?? But It most definitely is really cool.
The wall is just attached to the brick wall sticking out 8 inches from the bricks. No water ever touches the bricks and no soil is needed in a hydroponic type system like this all the nutrients are in the water.
Here is another pic from this fall. The plants have all started to go dormant. The roots have started growing through the capillary mat and moss has really started to grow all over the surface. Now that the plants are gone you can see more of the mosses and odd things growing directly on the mat. The dead should be removed soon for winter. But all the plants should survive winter just fine hanging in their little pockets till spring.
It is in a protected area and it will still get watered even in the cold. Most people do not understand this concept but many plants will grow with very shallow roots attached to rocks and small crevices in nature. Many of these plants are never grown this way in the garden but in nature they can usually be found in these situations. Many plants such as Hostas Iris Heuchera and others are commonly found just hanging off of cliffs in nature with little to know soil in lime stone out crops.
Here is a prime example. I took this photo here in Kentucky growing native is a small Sedum attached to the rocks. Just about anywhere in the world if you find moist lime out crops you will find moss and plants growing in the rocks. Not all plants can grow like this but many can. Alaska has a rain forest were trees are covered in mosses and plants though they get extremely cold they still survive very well.
OH i understand very well ,that plants can grow in the most unusal places,like the photo above.I guess maybe I was worrying for you !!! it will be interesting to see how everything does over winter..So you better keep on posting !!!LOL I think hydro is way cool .You have a great deal of time invested in this really neat project,please keep posting. The most interesting thing i do is start all my flowers under lights in the spring !!! I love it ..
The project took me 5 days to build and around 2000.00 dollars in cost for material. I was not putting in full days just 4 hours a day after I had worked all day at the nursery so I was not at full steam. I had a bit of help holding the wall pieces and installing the mats. I tried to pick all plants that could grow in this habit. A few plants were being tested and some did not make it. It took a few weeks to tweak the bugs out of it most of which were in scheduling the watering times. I have posted a few videos of the wall in action. Please take note that this was far after we have had a few freezes so the wall looks rough I will try to take more videos in mid to late winter and then again in spring so people can get a feeling what the wall looks like through the seasons.
This sounds interesting. If their is a roundup here in Louisville this summer I would be interested. I am usually here all summer for people who like to visit just send me a DMail to be sure I am around. We have already traveled so much this spring I am worn out. Look forward to seeing the sun and planting some plants out!!!