Living walls support the growth of plants that clean the air and are beautiful to see. Living walls are different from structural, interior, glass, and walls as barriers; they enhance our lives and connect us with living nature. Living walls can be inside lobbies. They can be on the outside of buildings on balconies. They can be complete facades. Like Green Roofs, Living Walls help replaces nature that human development removes. Look at the abundance of wildlife in Manhattan before humans began to build homes, businesses, stores, roads, parking garages, skyscrapers, etc. When humans make construction, the process removes the biodiversity of life; The E.O. Wilson Foundation and Half-Earth Project ask people to replace nature rather than remove or damage it when they create things
Activity 1 – Indoor Living Walls
Indoor living walls, where we spend 90% of our lives, refresh us! Today hotels, airports, restaurants, and office lobbies feature beautiful living walls. Imagine living in a garden of fragrances from growing plants or taking a shower with a living wall privacy court!
Neuroscience research supports that seeing plants relieves stress. Like the plants for extensive green roofs, many plants contribute to indoor living walls. Like Green Roofs, a structure must hold growing material, water misting supplies, and plants.
Succulents work well on indoor walls as they require little maintenance and come in various colors and leaf shapes. Popular succulents are sedum, crassura, and echeveria. Bromeliads are shallow-rooted plants that come in multiple leaf shapes and colors. Vining plants like Wisteria, Clematis, Hydrangea, and Climbing roses add beautiful fragrances and splashes of vivid color. Airplants like Tillandsia only need sunlight. They do not need soil to grow and are common on indoor living walls. Collect photos of indoor living wall plants and, using scissors cut out pictures to create a pattern with the different colors, flowers, and leaf forms.
Be a Living wall Designer. Upload your paper collage or drawing to the gallery.
Activity 2 – School Yard Living Fences
Chain-link fences surround the majority of school play yards. These fences provide an instant frame for vertical gardens. Similar to indoor walls, borders should offer complete to partial sunshine. Fences can support light felt or recycled material pockets to hold soil or other growing mediums. The key to knowing which plants to select is the depths of the roots of different plants. Check your Growing Season and root depth at maturity to pick outdoor living wall plants. Draw a fence in your schoolyard and make it come alive with living plants. Ask your classmates to contribute to it. Make a collaborative mural of plants for your school fence. Please share it with your teacher and class and upload it to the gallery.
Activity 3 – Light + Plants + Water + Frames
Living walls are very much like gardens. They need sunshine. They need healthy growing matter, and they need water. Locate living walls indoors or outdoors where there is access to natural light. The walls must structurally support the weight of the plants, watering, and the frame or framework supporting the plants. Frames made of wood or metal support pots, felt pockets, or recycled growing surfaces. Selecting plants for the climate zone is especially critical for outdoor living walls. Inside living walls with tempered environments can support different climate zone plants more efficiently than outdoor walls. Check out the essential steps of the Planting Instructions for Green Walls. Many companies now sell living wall kits which can simplify the process. Find your wall; select your framing; choose your growing material; research your plants; design the water system. Living Walls with Annual Plants last one season. Living walls with perennial plants can live 4-6 years on average if well maintained. Bring nature to life in and on buildings! Take photos of buildings in your city.
Cover them with plants! Upload your living wall ideas to the gallery!
Activity 4 – Living Wall Facades
Today many building designs include living walls in cities around the world. Plants planted on a Living Wall façade must be hardy and capable of surviving the seasonal temperature and precipitation shifts. Today many companies have staff that maintains the plants and monitors their longevity and health—research living walls in different countries worldwide. Look at the 9 Most Amazing Green Walls. Then, make a poster of buildings featuring living walls and label the cities they are in.
Activity 5 – Benefits of Living Walls
Planting plants inside or outside improves noise insulation as sound waves bounce off leaves. For people living in urban areas, plants outside AND Inside cool a building or space in the summer and help warm buildings and spaces in the winter. Living walls add habitats for birds, bees, and other insects, enhancing the biodiversity of nature in urban settings. The extra layer of material, growing medium, and living plants protect walls from corrosion and protect us from inclement weather and cold wind. These benefits lower the carbon footprints of buildings and outdoor asphalt playgrounds. But most of all, living walls bring opportunities to add beauty to people’s outdoor and interior experiences. Make a drawing or take a photograph of a living fence and list its many benefits.
- All plants used on the inside are used on outside living walls
- Schools can grow food on chain link fences!
- Inside Living walls improve indoor air quality
- Living Wall Facades have many benefits…they include
- Living walls are beautiful!