Friday 15 July 2016

The Vertical Garden: Made For Modern Urban Life

Modern cities are some of the most innovative areas on the planet. However, all cities are forced to deal with unique issues brought on by the concentration of large populations in limited spaces. One of these issues is definitely the lack of greenery within the city. In classic concrete jungles, the city becomes stifling for its residents and there is no respite whatsoever. The continuing expansion and growth of the city just adds to the mess.

The French botanist Patrick Blanc says, “Living in a city doesn’t have to mean abandoning the natural world”. He backs up his argument with an amazing solution that he promotes very enthusiastically, i.e., the vertical garden, a fresh and innovative idea meant to improve life in the city. The term ‘vertical garden’ refers to any kind of construction and support structure for growing plants in an upwards-directed, vertical way, efficiently and productively making use of the existing space for other purposes.

Growing a vertical garden is very simple, all you need is a good, solid structure which can be hung onto the wall, a plastic sheet to stop water from leaking, a tube running through the soil to irrigate the garden and the plants of your choice.

Vertical gardens can act as great greenery boosters. According to Patrick Blanc, “Any human being standing in front of one [vertical garden] will feel the breath of the wilderness in the midst of the city." Not only are they simple to create, they also have many advantages, such as:

Maximization of small spaces: A vertical garden can be grown on a wall or a kitchen window, owing to the fact that it can grow on loose soil; a small layer of soil is more than enough to develop a beautiful and fragrant vertical garden.

Excellent Aesthetics: A vertical garden wall can change the entire look of your balcony or terrace. These kinds of gardens add a certain charm to your house as well, lending your home a feeling of lush abundance and a connection to nature.

Reduce Pollution, Noise and improve air quality: Due to its very versatile nature, vertical gardens can be used to tackle pollution very effectively. Thomas Pugh, a ‘biogeochemist’ at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology in Germany, observed that a green wall absorbed large amounts of nitrogen dioxide and particulate matter—both pollutants harmful to people. These fragrant life walls also cool the surroundings and reduce noise pollution, both of which are the need of the day in modern cities.

Given the relative ease of setting one up and the innumerable benefits that accrue from integrating a vertical garden into your space, one could argue that every home and planned urban space should invest in this facility.