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The vertical gardens
Vertical gardens are one of the green fashions of the moment; inspired by the large coverings of vines that could be seen in nineteenth-century villas, the vertical gardens combine the decorative vision of green with new materials and technology, to create large walls studded with vegetation of all kinds: evergreens, perennials, small plants to flower.
Modern systems of this type consist of panels of particular material, which is applied to the masonry, so as to obtain a wall completely covered with vegetation; in the panels is generally integrated a fertirrigation system, so as to render almost no direct human intervention on the plants, and thus obtain a present garden, healthy and lush throughout the year.
Depending on where it is applied, a green garden can be made up of different types of plant, starting from simple bags that support the soil and plants, to be placed simply on the terrace of the house, up to the large panels with fertigation, which can be use to cover walls of large size, placed outside a home or in a decorative area. In this way it is possible to create a garden even where it is not possible to prepare a traditional one, that is horizontal; even in the city center, or along a busy road.
The advantages of vertical gardens
Several researches prove it, the presence of vegetation is good for the environment and for the air we breathe every day; in addition to this, as occurs in green roofs, the presence of a layer of vegetation on the outside of a dwelling allows greater thermal and acoustic insulation.
To combine these two advantages, even in the city center, the first vertical gardens were designed, which cover large walls, otherwise bare and sometimes even unsightly.
Starting from the first projects of this type, which also had a strong mainly decorative character, today the vertical gardens are spreading in many of the world's metropolises, and are used above all as an important element in bio-architecture interventions; therefore more and more you can enjoy vertical gardens that, in addition to brighten the view, serve to better insulate the walls of the old renovated buildings.
Even in the new outfits, there is certainly no shortage of the purely decorative ones, which are often used to create gardens along unattractive walls, or in areas where there is no green space.
What plants to use
Generally, in the preparation of a vertical garden one thinks first of all of an element that must unite the plants in it post to dwelling: the low maintenance; in fact it becomes quite complex and expensive to prune, water, fertilize, clean up, small plants placed along a large wall.
In addition to this element, most of the plants used in these projects are resistant to weather and pollution, beautiful and often evergreen, so that the garden can remain decorative throughout the year. Mainly we also choose plants typical of the vegetation of the place where the garden is planted, so that we are sure of their resistance to the climate over the months of the year.
So there are different plants suitable for a vertical garden, as many as there are areas in which this garden is planted. Surely then, there are different plants if the intent of the garden is purely ornamental, or if instead it is an intervention aimed at improving the isolation of a building.
Recently we see many vertical gardens positioned outside the buildings that house the shopping centers; these installations are often characterized by the presence of many flowering plants, often seasonal, where the intervention of the gardener is frequent and constant throughout the year.
Urban vertical gardens along the walls of buildings instead consist mainly of evergreen and low maintenance plants, where human intervention is limited to annual cleanings from dry leaves or branches ruined by the cold, and to the periodic activation of the fertigation system.
Clear that the different intent of the two gardens strongly characterizes its nature and appearance; also clear that the price (of planting and maintenance) of the two different gardens differs widely.
Therefore, in the case of the functional vertical garden, ferns, ivy, evergreen grasses, climbing plants, or even in some cases varieties of moss, and in general small, ground-covering plants are used; very interesting is the use of plants such as the tillandsia, which does not need any kind of maintenance, or of the dichondra. Very popular plants with foliage with a particular texture or color, which help to make the vertical garden a true work of art, almost a painting.
In vertical gardens prepared mainly for decorative purposes, on the other hand, plants of all kinds are used, from flowers or leaves, starting from small impatiens, to more decorative or exotic plants, such as the grevillee or the Gloriosa; in these gardens it is also taken into account that plants can be replaced, pruned, moved, according to the season or climate.
A vertical garden even in the home
The fashion of vertical gardens is also taking place in home gardens, on the terrace, or even in the kitchen; there are different types of "vases" on the market that can be hung on the wall of the house, inside or out.
The essence that most often find space in these small vertical gardens are the summer flowering plants, typical of terraces, such as impatiens, begonias, geraniums, surfinie; surely the final effect is very flashy. The dimensions of the containers that are used to prepare this type of gardens are contained, often lower than the square meter, and therefore can be used as small living pictures, which can be grown as normal vases, watering when necessary. In general, these are large and resistant remnants of plastic fabric, on which large pockets are applied, in which soil is inserted for the plants; if necessary, a small irrigation system completes the whole.
If we do not want to buy anything exotic or strange, we can simply provide us with common pot supports, to hang on the wall, to create a vertical home garden, where we can grow our aromatic herbs for use in the kitchen.
There are also large plastic curtains (also transparent) equipped with capacious pockets, which can also be used indoors, where you can try to grow our orchids. This type of vertical garden is certainly to be followed and checked periodically, and is only suitable for people with a great passion for plants and gardening.