Growing plants on vertical surfaces has been around for a long time, even going back to one of the seven ancient wonders of the world, the Hanging Gardens of Babylon, where plants often grew up and over walls. This concept is still used in gardens all over the world in the form of climbing plants on a wall trellis, garden fences and other structures.
The modern concept of green walls, or vertical gardens, was developed by Stanley Hart White in America in 1931-1938. A green wall is the wall of a building which is completely covered in vegetation as a solution to problems in modern garden design. Green walls can be found especially in urban areas, where the plants perform a practical task, not just to be visually pleasing. The plants are used to reduce the overall temperatures in a building, especially useful during those hotter months. They are also used as an effective air filtration system.
There are two main types of green wall, green facades and living walls. Green facades are where a plant grows directly onto a building with its roots still in the ground such as ivy covering a house. Whereas with living walls, greenery is planted in containers and fixed onto the sides of a building, incorporating a specialist watering system. Both offer a visually stunning effect and can have positive effects on the environment around them. Contrary to popular belief, living walls aren’t always used outside – they can be used inside too for a stunning effect.