Environmental Graffiti is, from what I gather, an online magazine by the people, for the people. The posts are submitted by bloggers, who, if published, get paid for their input AND get all kinds of traffic for their troubles. Topics range from Art & Design to History to Travel and everything in between. It was this post on The World’s Most Amazing Vertical Gardens that struck my fancy today though.
First, because they’re just flat out pretty. And second, I think New York could seriously use some of this stuff. There’s pockets of horizontal gardens all over the city (which, don’t get me wrong, are delightful), but why is it that PITTSBURGH gets to have the largest vertical garden in the U.S? That’s basically the equivalent of giving Kate Gosselin her own reality show. Undeserved and REALLY dull.
However, the New York Times did a really cool piece earlier this year on people who are putting vertical gardens INSIDE their Manhattan apartments. Patrick Blanc, the French botanist who first developed the idea of vertical gardens in 1988, mused that,
“When you live in towns, you don’t always go into gardens … It’s really important to use empty spaces to invite nature into town.”
One botanist in the Times’ article compared the indoor vertical gardens to “green bling”, but their outdoor counterparts actually have significant and positive environmental impact. Over-all energy consumption is reduced due to the cooling capabilities of the plants that compromise the outside walls. Environmental Graffiti also comments on the walls’ ability to make use of waste water.
“The plants act as water treatment cells, purifying slightly polluted water by absorbing the dissolved nutrients. Bacteria mineralize the organic components to make them available to the plants. These walls are especially suited to city life, making good use of available vertical surface areas and also in very dry areas, as the circulating water on a vertical wall is less likely to evaporate.”
SUPER cool, right? If I had some extra PVC piping, ~5K and enough motivation to feed something other than myself, I would be all over this.