D.I.Y, HOW-TO & SUSTAINABLE LIVING — Living Green Wall

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Vertical Gardens: Saving Water, Space & Waste

Vertical Gardens: Saving Water, Space & Waste

Maybe you've been looking at that tight alley running up the side of the house wondering how to get a garden bed and the bins to fit in there. Or perhaps you're tired of looking out the bathroom window to a completely blank timber fence. Either way a vertical garden is going to make those areas look amazing! But that's not all a green wall can do for you and your family.

According to a Monash University study, "Green walls, or vegetated walls, offer multiple benefits in urban areas, such as temperature control, energy savings, increased livability and acoustic dampening, with the addition of space saving, as they are suspended on building walls."

Read on to learn how these eco-friendly, modern systems can do all that!

Green wall in front entrance of home

Water 

Are you on water restrictions from your local council? Or just tired to standing in the yard with the hose? Atlantis Gro-Wall® are the perfect solution for both indoor and outdoor vertical gardens with automated watering. Vertical gardens are created utilising natural soil mixes to retain nutrients. This modular system, as well as geofabric strips in each pot, enables localised moisture retention and access to individual plants.

Because of this useful framework, and the angled planting style, the plant's leaves are exposed to as much sunlight as possible, while the soil remains shaded. This means less water is required to keep the plants healthy, when compared to a comparable sized open garden bed.

Gro wall slimline cut out

Depending on the type of green wall system you are using, it may come with a drainage/excess water collection channel. Otherwise, you can still create a catchment at the base of your wall and actually reuse that water for the same garden, or other areas of your property! In order words, no water is left to evaporate on your outdoor pavers, the deck and so on.

Space

Gro-Wall® modules can be fixed to any structural wall including brick, concrete, wood, sheet metal, drywall and other surfaces. The modules allow for vertical and horizontal expansion and require only standard potting mixes. No framework is required as the structure is self supporting. You can even have your walls back-to-back for a brilliant eye-catching centerpiece in the garden.

The range includes a unique facade-style structure made from the same durable material. It is made up of small individual pieces that connect together without the need for glue or cutting. This makes Gro Wall Facade the perfect framework for green walls that need to fit into a very specific shape or tight space. It's also very cost effective for large areas and can double as fencing with the right framing.

gro wall facade and green wall pots

Waste

Of course, these vertical gardens would be on Eco Sustainable House if they weren't made from eco-friendly materials. In the case of the Atlantis Gro-Wall® products, and our Australian-made Green Wall Pots, they are made from at least 85% recycled polypropylene. This plastic is fully UV stabilised, doesn't react to ground chemicals and won't leech anything into the soil. They have a lifespan of 50 plus years!

The Monash University study mention above was conducted on the pollutant-scrubbing properties of green walls. It found that most such walls produced a significant impact on the pollutants in the air around them. Their research also showed that using grey-water on your green walls didn't affect this ability to offset fossil fuels.

Plant replacement is also greatly reduced, with a 0-5% rate  when using the Gro Wall systems (assuming correct maintenance), compared to an industry standard of around 30%.

Gro wall slimline

Feel free to browse our Vertical Gardens page for more information on individual models of green wall systems or email sales@ecosustainablehouse.com.au with your enquiry.

The Real Green Screen - Using Plants & Screens for Privacy

The Real Green Screen - Using Plants & Screens for Privacy

 

A new challenge for both urban developers and dwellers is how to achieve a balance between embracing nature and preserving privacy. The simple solution is to combine the two, with screens that allow light and air through and can also act as a structure to train creeping plants. Plants can have a strong visual impact as well as a proven benefit to our health when we spend more time around them, so make even more use of them by cleverly incorporating them into your space. With endless applications, indoors and outdoors, commercial and residential, you can mask unattractive features or make a visual statement almost anywhere. Not only is the result functional, you’re also helping to improve your building’s environmental sustainability..


Where to use them

If you want to mask an area of your backyard such as a hot water tank or an external air conditioning unit a screen with a climbing vine is an instant improvement that will only look better as the plant grows. You can even use this method to add extra height to your fence if your neighbour is a little close or overlooks your property. If you live in an apartment with a balcony it’s a quick way to get a bit more privacy and sound reduction from your immediate neighbour or whatever your balcony may be facing, like a busy road. It’s a quick, easy and cost-effective way to conceal your indoor or outdoor areas from unwanted onlookers or to screen off unappealing sights all while introducing some greenery.

Commercial indoor grow wall

 

Screen with vines or vertical garden?

The main distinction between training a vine on a decorative privacy screen and a full green wall is the number of plants and the complexity of the setup. Because of a higher capacity, you can fit more plants and more variety in a green wall, which may also require an irrigation system to be installed. A screen and a few creeping plants is a comparatively subtle look but also quicker and cheaper to set up. However, with the right drainage system are perfectly suitable for apartment balconies, rooftops and even large indoor settings such as an office foyer.


Which creeper plants to use?

When choosing a creeper for training along your security screen, you need to consider whether you would like to have native plants or something from abroad, flowering or even deciduous. If the idea of more shade in summer but more sunlight in winter sounds like a feature you like, a deciduous creeper like Wisteria could be a good match for you. If you want bold, bright flowers consider the classic Bougainvillea, but remember it does come with thorns. For a perfumed flower, Madagascan Jasmine thrives in tropical climates but prefers a somewhat sheltered spot. Grape vines can come in an ornamental variety that doesn’t bear fruit and it sports striking burgundy, red, orange and yellow foliage in autumn before losing its leaves in winter and growing new, green ones in spring.

Ferry Road markets vines plastic facade

Putting up some privacy screen panels up and training creeping vines along them not only looks fantastic, it can bring nature and privacy to your indoor or outdoor space for a price that won’t break the bank.


Want to get started on creating your very own green wall, click here to see our range of Gro Walls and Facade products from Atlantis, or call us today on (07) 5677 0838.

 

Author

Georgia Logan

Decorating Your Home Sustainably: Ideas to Try in 2019

Decorating Your Home Sustainably: Ideas to Try in 2019

Many of us are making shifts towards living a more sustainable lifestyle — in fact, over 34% of Australians believe it’s important to buy from eco-friendly brands. An important element of sustainable living includes how you decorate the home you live in. Sustainable interior design makes a positive impact on the environment by avoiding the depletion of our planet’s natural resources, while creating a stylish home you love living in. It also ensures a healthier space since you won’t be using products treated with pesticides or harsh chemicals. Here’s a look at the top interior design trends for 2019 that you can try out within your home.

 

Including more sustainable materials

Natural materials, such as wood and natural stone, carry a lower environmental impact than synthetic ones. If a product has a FSC label, it was harvested sustainably. Demand is also increasing for organic materials grown without the use of pesticides which harm the environment, wildlife and human health. In fact, sales of organic products are increasing 10-15% annually each year. Organic cotton bedding, for example, is a healthier choice, particularly if you have allergies or chemical sensitivities. Similarly, natural fibre rugs like hemp, seagrass and jute are biodegradable and recyclable.

 

Water-efficient appliances

Water conservation is an important issue in many parts of Australia. Even despite droughts, Australians are the highest consumers of water per capita in the world. Reducing water use is becoming an increasing necessity, which is why installing water-efficient appliances (such as toilets and faucets) throughout your home is an important switch to make. For example, simply installing a water-efficient shower head in your bathroom saves the average family 2, 900 gallons of water a year. Moreover, since there’s less requirements on the water heater, your electricity bill will also be slashed.

 

Living Green Wall and Living Wall Systems 

Bring the outside in with a living green wall (vertical gardens) — a sustainable trend which is continuing to increase in popularity. Not only do the living green wall look beautiful and help the environment, but they’re also easy to install in your home. You can buy solid living green wall kits (such as gro wall pro, gro wall slim pro, gro wall slim line, gro wall 4.5, gro wall facade), which can easily be attached with screws to any solid wall. Having a plant wall in your home will absorb harmful toxins in the air and purify it — a phenomenon discovered by NASA way back in 1989.

Sustainable interiors don’t have to sacrifice style. With some extra thought, you can create a home that’s environmentally-friendly as well as beautiful. Ultimately, investing in items made for longevity (in terms of both quality and aesthetic) rather than disposable, short-term trends is something we should all aim for.

Author

Alicia Rennoll (Environmental Research)