With outdoor green spaces becoming few and far between in big cities, there’s no better time to turn your own living space into a horticultural dream.
The idea of living or green walls isn’t new – many gardens across the UK boast these masterpieces, which have an array of plants amalgamated together on a wall.
The health benefits that come with these natural air filters is a win-win situation, too. The plant wall works on removing toxins from the air and improving oxygen balance.
It doesn’t take much to get started, so here’s how to create one of your own.
Choose a perfect spot and consider the light
When picking your plants, consider where they are going to go and how much light they are going to receive.
Some are more robust than others, and will flourish in the right conditions.
Section off your desired area
Plan a basic outline of where you would like your living wall to go, before then measuring out the area that you need.
Choose a border
It can be plastic or wood and as decorative or as simple as you desire, but make sure you know what kind of load and weight your wall can take. Your local hardware store can help with advice on the most suitable fixtures and fittings.
Choose your plants carefully
Think carefully about how much sunlight your living wall will be get. Ideally, your wall should get a maximum of six hours direct sunlight a day, so this is something to consider both when choosing your location and the plants you are going to use.
Gardener Giovanni Romagnoli-Sacchi of Brera Gardens’ recommendations for gorgeous yet super-tough plants that will thrive indoors include:
Begonia Rex (king begonia)
This compact evergreen is prized for its handsome and colourful leaves. Begonia Rex also produces small pink flowers in winter.
Spathiphyllum wallisii (peace lily)
An evergreen with glossy dark green leaves and elegant white blooms.
Epipremnum (pothos or devil’s ivy)
A tropical vine plant with shiny, heart-shaped leaves, this grows well even in low-light conditions.
Ficus pumila (creeping fig)
With delicate leaves that grow along wiry, long stems, creeping fig will ramble cheerfully through other plants. Likes bright light.
What about outdoors?
If you are lucky enough to have a balcony or garden, Giovanni also has some suggestions for how to keep things interesting in winter
These compact evergreens (right) offer months of interest, with fragrant spring flowers followed by showy red or white berries, and work in borders, pots, or window boxes.
Versatile, prehistoric ferns are easy to grow, provide year-round greenery and are great for filling dark spots where few other plants will survive.
Athyrium pictum – the painted fern – is a particularly attractive evergreen that grows to around 15cms tall.
Not just for Christmas garlands, ivy is another easy-to-grow greenery staple that looks lovely trailing from pots and baskets.
If you crave an out-of-season hit of colour, then hardy cyclamens will provide shocks of pink, lilac, red and white in late winter and early spring, and are happy in shady conditions.
Brassica oleracea (ornamental cabbage)
Horticultural Marmite, these cabbage-like rosettes with green-into-purple foliage will grow pretty much anywhere, so long as they get plenty of daylight.
Muehlenbeckia complexa (necklace vine)
Perfect for creating a lush carpet of green, this deciduous climber forms dense masses several metres long which will hide garden walls or balcony screens.
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