What is a Living Green Wall?
A living green wall is a vertical arrangements of plants that don't take up a lot of floor space while looking nice. These are also called living walls, biowalls, modular green walls, or vertical gardens.
What Are the Benefits of Green Walls?
People like beauty and nature is beautiful. More people will notice, talk about, and want to be around green walls. The less greenery around, the more attractive your green wall becomes to people. You will attract more potential clients and team members with a well designed living green wall.
Exterior green walls lower energy costs by reducing the amount of solar radiation absorbed by the building in the summer. In the winter, they insulate the building from heat loss. Plants and the planting base absorb sound, keeping the area behind the green wall quieter.
Interior green walls increase oxygen and filter out pollutants. Studies have repeatedly shown indoor plants increase productivity while reducing stress. Plants regulate air temperature and humidity.
What Are Green Walls Made of?
Green walls can be as simple as a wire frame that supports small plastic bags filled with soil. They can also be made from structural medium that incorporates soil or non-organic alternatives which have a useful life of over a decade. An increase in the quality of the growing medium causes an increase in the amount of time between medium replacement. Loose soil in bags needs to be replaced every year or two. Structural media can last between a decade to fifteen years.
What Type of Plants Go in Green Walls?
This depends of the green wall's location. An interior green wall consists of a mix of tropical plants. Plants for exterior green walls tend to work better when using plants that would thrive in climate zone slightly north of the area being planted. Choose "easy to grow" plants. Plants with short life spans or plants that must be constantly cared for are not an ideal choice for a vertical green wall.
Can a Green Wall Have a Unique Design?
Yes. These are formed using different plants and maintaining gaps between plants. The simplest way is to get the spacing between plants and dimensions of the wall and to use it to make a color-coded dot diagram.
How Hard Are Green Walls to Care for?
They are actually quite time consuming. Green walls take a while to acclimate to growing vertically. The plants compete for space and try to grow over one another if not pruned often. An interruption in water could be disastrous for the entire wall. Regular fertilization is required. Unintentional changes in light are often a source of grief. If possible, hiring a professional to maintain your green wall is going to make things much easier.
Interested in Buying a Living Green Wall
If you live in either the Greater Baton Rouge or Greater New Orleans areas and are interested in buying a living green wall, please contact us or give us a call at 225-752-2333.
Go into any modern hospital and you will notice a lot plants. Hospitals have therapeutic gardens, potted indoor plants, and often at least one plant in most patient rooms. This is due to plants having a proven track record of improving the health and well-being of people. Indoor plants bring a relaxing element to what is often a stressful ordeal for the patient and their family. Indoor plants ease tension for the sick, their loved ones, nurses and doctors who treat them.
Proven Benefits of Indoor Plants and Therapeutic Gardens
Countless studies have concluded that indoor plantings bring about positive changes in people.
Below are a few examples:
Therapeutic gardens come in a variety of sizes. They can be installed on a wall or they can take up most of your lobby. If you are in the design phase of a new building, include an area for a garden indoors. Landscape pots and garden boxes can retrofit almost if you are interested in a therapeutic garden, but don't have a designated space. Therapeutic gardens provide both health benefits and aesthetic beauty for the affordable cost of maintaining landscaping.
We often forget about plants when designing our buildings. We know plants are beneficial and should have a place in our day to day lives. Feel free to contact us if you are thinking about installing a therapeutic garden or using indoor plants.
Soil pollution is a paramount environmental challenge that will only increase in the future. People keep looking for ways to correct the soil as more industrial sites contaminate it through spills and accidents. Testing shows heavy metals and oils are the main threat to our soil safety. Surprisingly, landscape choices can help to remove contaminants from the soil at these sites through a process called phyotoremediation. Using select plants on these sites can greatly improve the earth.
Plants can have a huge impact on keeping the ground clean by reducing, trapping, or removing contaminates from soil and water. It is the simplest way to do it and it is nature based solution. No large machines or experimental mixes necessary. Obvious sites for phytoremediation are at brownfields or landfills. Another location would be large population centers where pollution activity is hard to monitor. Below are some choices for phytoremediation you can choose.
You have a nice, clean walkway around your house and then the rain comes. Suddenly, what seems like every loose bit of soil in your yard finds its way to the walkway. Dirty walkways are not inviting and can be very frustrating as a homeowner. You tend to keep asking the same questions. Why is this happening? Why does it seem like your house is the only house one where this happens? What can you do to keep your walkway from getting dirty when it rains?
Why do some walkways get dirty when it rains and some stay clean?
Your walkway is below the level of the soil. This can be caused by a few things:
How to fix a walkway that is gets dirty after it rains?
The solution is simple, but pricey. Demolish and replace the section of your walkway. If your walkway is lower than the surrounding soil, that is the only solution that will give your guaranteed results.
See solution #1.
This can usually be corrected with landscape border material. There is a thin landscape border made of either rubber or metal that will keep your overflowing landscaping in check. Hardscape edging, like stones or bricks can also dam up your landscaping.
Contemplate and install a drainage solution. A lot of landscape material floats, so you need to get the water moving before it gets too high. French drains, burms, ditches, and grading are all solutions you can explore to correct an excessive water problem.
Setup an area with rocks, pebbles, or a french drain to catch where the water comes off the roof along the drip line of your home. This will keep the water from washing out your landscaping onto the walkways.
We often get asked, "What is something I can do to make my garden look better?" Here are some of our most common suggestions for homeowners to improve their garden.
Welcome With Flowers
Flowers inform your visitors that they are welcome. An assortment of flowers near the entrance of your home sends the right type of warm message for company. Flowers add color that attracts the eye while softening hard edges. It would be nice to have flowers everywhere, but most people are on a budget.
Flowers Are Not Just For The Ground
Hanging baskets and raised planter boxes will take your garden to the next level, literally. This method creates visual layers which is quite appealing. Hanging baskets can adorn walk ways and patios. Raised planter boxes can liven up a drab patio. Experimenting is easy since you can simply move them to a new location. Remember to layer your baskets and planter boxes. Three types of plants should be in your containers: something that drapes, something that fills, and something tall.
Choose Flowering Plants
This seems like a no-brainer, but a lot of landscapes are severely lacking in flowering plants. Lilies, irises, and hydrangeas are nice choices for some low maintenance color in your garden. Azaleas, gardenias, crepe myrtles, and camellias should keep your yard in bloom for most of the year.
Hide Your Shed
Sheds are functional, but most do not look great. Try lining your shed with some potted plants that get tall. A trellis with a flowering vine can screen a plain looking shed. Try a vertical herb wall. It will add some character and be useful when cooking.
Make It Memorable
Your backyard is yours to enjoy. Make something just for you that you love. If you have a large backyard, use the extra space to create an escape that you and friends clamor too. An outdoor oasis can include water features, statues, ornate outdoor furniture, grownup tree houses, or other hidden surprises.
Dogs can easily make a mess of your landscaping. Dogs can trample, chew, and dig a garden into a mud pit in no time. Our advice, stop fighting your dogs on what they are doing. Work with their natural instincts to make a place that is good for plants, people, and canines.
Dog breeds differ greatly. Figure out what your dog needs and be sure to include it. Keeping your dog happy will lead to an area that is easier to maintain. Doggy landscaping requires some extra work and a lot of patience.
What should be in a dog friendly garden?
Grass Type - Dogs run a lot. Be sure to pick a grass type that can handle the traffic. Athletic fields in the area use Bermuda grass. It requires full sun, but it can take a lot of traffic and repairs damage quickly.
Running Track - Dogs love to run. They are already running in a set path in your yard. Instead of trying to change their doggy behavior, work with it. Make a nice looking path out of flagstones, smooth pebbles, decking, or concrete. This will keep the paths less muddy and their paws cleaner. If your fur baby runs along your fence, give them a solid path. Dogs patrol the edges of their territory. Enhance their path to keep it looking great.
Marking Post - Give your dog a toilet of sorts. Set up a stump, post, or even a faux fire hydrant in a set area in your yard. Reward the pup for taking care of business in that area. This will lead to less dog spots in your grass and an easier area to clean up after.
Sturdy Plants - Pick strong plants that can take an excited dog running through them. Soft leaves are better for dogs since they shouldn't scratch them. Ornamental grasses work well also. Arrange your shrubs to they will grow densely. Dogs tend to not make a path in places that are hard to go through. Layer your landscaping with dense plantings in front of shrubs.
Shade - Dogs play in the sun, but rest in the shade when it is hot. Shade trees and covered areas are prime real estate for doggy naps. Provide an inviting spot under a shady tree to guide your dog.
Soft Mulch - Mulch that feels good to a dog is mulch that will not be dug out by a dog. If your dog has a favorite place to lay down, a nice soft mulch will make it look better. Be sure to pick a mulch that will not get stuck in their fur.
Borders - Small fences, stones, and hardscaped borders keep your dogs from running through areas they shouldn't. Find an aesthetic that works with your landscape style and go with it. If you don't like the look of borders in front of your landscape, use it as a temporary training tool. After a few weeks, remove the fence and see if the your dog's behavior has changed.
Water Feature - Pick a water feature that looks good, sounds nice, and provides clean water to refresh your dog. Choose a water feature that your pet can get out of in case they fall into it. Also pick one that is easy to replace the water.
Safe Landscaping - Obviously, don't use thorny plants. While they prevent your dog from going somewhere, they can also cause injury. A lot of plants are poisonous to dogs. While dogs don't always eat everything in the yard, cautious pet owners can choose to avoid the option all together. Here is a link to a list of plants that are dangerous to pets. https://www.aspca.org/pet-care/animal-poison-control/toxic-and-non-toxic-plants
Camellias are an excellent option for most homeowners' landscape in Louisiana. They are resilient plants that bloom through the cool season providing some welcome color between fall and winter. Flowers from each plant tend to bloom only one color. Their colors range from white, pink, red, and a number of shades between. Camellias will inject beauty into any landscape garden they are planted.
Camellias are easy to maintain. This is nice since so many people have them still alive in their landscape beds at their homes. Camellias like partial shade, since too much sun can cause problems. They prefer acidic, well drained soils. Organic mulch can do wonders for your camellia. Camellias do not need to be pruned often. If you do need to prune, do it in spring after they have finished blooming.
C. sasanqua is the smaller of the two, usually staying in the form of a small shrub range between 2 feet and up to 12 feet.. These tend to have a larger number of smaller flowers. Sasanquas like well drained soils and can handle dry spells better than C. japonica.
Here are some we use:
Shi-Shi Gashira camellia - dwarf, pink flowers, Louisiana Super Plant
Snow on the Mountain - dwarf, white flowers
Maiden Blush camellia - upright, pink flowers
Yuletide camellia - upright, red flowers
These are a much taller camellia, growing an average 12 feet with some types growing as tall as 25 feet. These have fewer, but larger flowers. Japonicas need a lot of moisture.
Here are some we use:
Sarah Frost camellia - upright, dark pink flowers
Sea Foam camellia - upright, white flowers
Omega camellia - upright, white-pink flowers
Royal Velvet - upright, red flowers
The weather forecasts are predicting a dry June for both Baton Rouge, New Orleans, and throughout south Louisiana. Look out for dustier cars, panting animals, and stressed plants. Read on for some steps to take with the dry weather just around the corner.
Don’t stress out! We are not just taking about you. Don’t stress out your plants any more than they already will be. Keep your grass cut about a quarter inch higher than normal. Avoid selective herbicides if possible. Keep excessive shrub pruning to a minimum on susceptible plants. Give them a some water if they start to look droopy.
Add a good layer of mulch to your landscape beds. Keep it between two and three inches. A proper mulch layer will help to maintain a better moisture level in the soil near the roots of your plants. Soil with more moisture in a dry period means better looking plants. Leave an inch or so gap near tree trunks and the base of shrubs. Building up mulch near the base of these can lead to some long term problems.
Install a rain barrel to collect rain water from your roof. Less rain in June does not mean no rain. The roof of your home will channel the rain water toward your gutters and down into your rain barrel. Use the stored water to hydrate the plants and save yourself some money on your monthly water bill.
Plant flowers that are drought tolerant. Some flower varieties need constant attention and a lot of water. Skip these unless you have a lot of spare time. Peruse the annual selection at your local garden center for flowers that can take both the heat and dry times.
Install an irrigation system with an automatic timer. An irrigation system, or lawn sprinkler, is your insurance against drought. The automatic timer will keep your plants watered without you needing to worry about it. These systems last a long time and usually take a small amount of maintenance once a year. Good luck with the dry heat this summer.
Vinca, aka periwinkle, is a super popular plant during Louisiana summers. The flower is everywhere you look and for good reason. The flower looks fantastic in Louisiana landscapes. It does well in hot weather and in drier conditions. Unfortunately wet weather and cool temperatures become the perfect environment for Phytophthora blight, the vinca killer. This disease is always present in the soil, but can affect vinca when conditions favor it for too long. It spreads easily by rain splashing onto neighboring vinca, causing crown and root rot. It can wipe out an entire planting in no time.
Here are some best practices for planting vinca: