Source: Randy Sharp, Sharp & Diamond Landscape Architecture Inc.
Living walls can be designed and planted for color and variety throughout the year. In the spring at Aquaquest’s wall, the wintergreen and evergreen huckleberries flower with white blossoms that stand out against the bright green foliage on the spiny wood fern and the licorice ferns. Also in spring, bees pollinate the huckleberries. In summer and fall, the huckleberries and wintergreen produce blue and red berries. In fall and winter, the wintergreen foliage turns burgundy while the groundcovers and licorice ferns remain green throughout the winter.
Planting modules and materials
Invented and developed in Vancouver, the MUBI Living Wall System uses three layers of flexible material to create planting modules. Two layers of polymide fabric are backed by a Thermoplastice Polyolefin (TPO) waterproof membrane. The plant plugs are planted sideways between the two layers of fabric and are rooted in a hydroponic gel. The panels overlap like shingles, allowing the roots to spread out through the fabric.
The G-Sky 12 x 12 x 3-3/8″ (302mm x 302mm x 85mm) recycled polypropylene panels contain the plants growing out sideways. The panel housing has securing hooks on the back to hang on a supporting frame and a guide groove on top for a drip irrigation line. The panel contains coir, a recycled coconut husk growing medium encased in a nonwoven geotextile bag. Thirteen plants are installed in each panel as young plants known as “plugs.”
A galvanized steel frame consists of vertical support rails spaced 12” (300mm), and horizontal rails to hold and support the wall panels. The frame is secured to the high-density concrete wall allowing a 1” (25mm) air space behind the panels. Anchor bolts are sealed with neoprene washers and/or calking. The next generation G-Sky green wall panels feature stainless steel panels and frames. The stainless steel is noncorrosive and can be reused and remanufactured numerous times.
The modular system allows for the replacement of individual plant panels. Water and nutrients are supplied through an automatic drip irrigation system with two emitters per panel.