There are few things more aesthetically pleasing than a garden. When I was growing up I thought my mother was bat-shit crazy for spending so much time on ours, and effectively turning most of our front yard into a perennial bed. As I grew older I realized that while she is insane, it’s for a multitude of other reasons and our little patch of land is the least of them. (Love ya Nancy)
The three biggest hurdles in growing a garden are space, time, and expenditures. The largest problem by far in urban environments is space. We can barely fit more people in cities as it is, let alone their tiny dogs. One of many good alternatives to a depressing lack of greenery are vertical gardens.
They’re surprisingly versatile when designed to fit the space, climate, and exposure to light. There are a variety of lithophytes (plants that thrive in a soilless environment) and the most they require is excellent drainage. Around the mediterranean basin the exposed cliffs and mountains are completely covered in flora that thrive off minimal surfaces, and can do just as well on a well-engineered wall of PVC pipes and felt.
The manicured walls can be found around apartment buildings, cafes, museums, and even stores.
The above two photos are from the 2009 Replay concept store in Florence. It makes the space that much more enjoyable and the clothes appear more high-end. I remember seeing a lot more vertical gardens in Europe rather than the states. (Is there one right by the Banana Republic in center city, or have I completely lost my mind?) However, I’m hoping we can take a hint from across the pond and implement more vertical gardens in our building design.
Drexel engineers, now you can finally put your soul crushing studies to good use.