You don’t need expensive green

Green walls/living walls, have quite a high profile in the Urban Infrastructure scene, and a good thing that is, for they are very beautiful. When people talk about green walls in cities, they are usually referring to high rise or medium density dwellings that have had their facades planted with a lush array of vegetation. Usually this is achieved by building a wall substrate that can hold light weight growing media. Irrigation is key in these systems in most situations. There are some fantastic examples of green walls in various cities. Apart from their beauty, natural vegetation growing along the facade of a tall building tends to inspire a little awe: for example Patrick Blanc’s green wall at the Athaneum Hotel in Picadilly, London. But green walls can be very expensive to build and expensive to maintain. And in places like Australia with irregular rain fall and very dry summers, the plants will be 100% dependent on the irrigation system working 100% of the time. So here are some ‘green walls’ or Green Infrastructure projects of the old fashioned kind; cheap to establish, accessible to all and cheap to maintain: starting with plants that are used to create ‘green fences/walls’.

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A beautiful green wall, pruned and maintained over many years.


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This hedge creates a sense of mystery, the small entrance, intrigues.

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Side view: the flowers look fragrant but are not, but the overall beauty of the hedge makes the walk almost appear fragrant.

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Dwellers who choose to create these living walls must be humble souls with a generous spirit, for all of us get to benefit from their patience.

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When roller skating I’d rather land into this…

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All the fine foliage of the conifer, will adhere dust and other air borne particles. It appears two different conifers have been used in this wall as the plants have responded to pruning in slightly different ways.

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A combination: a dull fence has been improved by this screening plant.

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This cheap and simple fence provides all the support this hedging plant needs.

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A rock wall combined with a coniferous hedge makes a great fence full of texture.

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Hedera helix (English Ivy) : if properly managed , as it has been in this green wall, then a fantastic performer it can be. English Ivy is otherwise very invasive.

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A variety of different plants have been used in this green wall.