Credit for inventing the vertical wall goes to French botanist and inventor, Patrick Blanc, as shown in this building photo. According to Blanc’s website, the vertical garden was conceived from watching natural environments – many in jungle locations – and watching how plants can grow without soil. The vertical wall can also functions as an air purification system.
One up and coming vertical gardening company in America, PlantsOnWalls, based in San Francisco, is developing and marketing numerous vertical wall applications for interior and exterior walls, calling them living walls (lower photos). Another vertical gardening company of note is a UK-based VertiGarden, whose work is shown in the top pictures
PlantsOnWalls states that its panels are made with 100% recycled water bottle PET plastic fiber felt that is non-toxic, UV stable and will last a lifetime. The felt pockets that are part of the wall system are mounted to a lightweight recyclable plastic board that provides support, while keeping the back dry.
Many observers might ask how a vertical garden can be watered. Simply water the top row of pockets that are part of the wall system, the company Website says. This patent pending design is intended to keep the interior moist while keeping the front dry. And in cases of overwatering, excess moisture not absorbed by the plants will drip from the bottom of the panel. Runoff can be collected in drip trays to be recirculated or drained away. A video of how this system works can be seen here.
Plants that can be grown in such a wall system include succulents, various ivies, herbs and low-light ferns. The company adds that most plants can be grown where it receives its proper light, water and nutrient requirements.