Many home owners make the move to apartment living to get away from the maintenance of a big garden. We’re often told they love the greenery, but not the weekends of mowing and mulching. So they move into concrete buildings where they’re limited to a couple of pots on their balcony. One new trend in urban architecture could see our inner city buildings include big splashes of greenery in the least likely of places.
Vertical gardens are popping up in design magazines around the world and southern cities have a couple of notable examples already up and running. Attaching more than 4,500 plants to the side wall of a Sydney apartment building the designers at TRIO (pictured)have created a garden that’s 12 storeys high. They say the trend to vertical gardens is just starting but there are lots of benefits. Horticulturalist Phillip Johnson says as well as removing Co2 they attract birds and butterflies to their buildings. “They are also effective for insulating against heat and reducing city noise”.
And they can look great.
One South Brisbane residential tower that’s currently before Council for approval has a vertical garden proposed for its main façade – stretching 5 storeys high. It’s in a fairly urban settings with plenty of concrete around it, so it’d be a welcome addition to the neighbourhood (even if the tower itself won’t be). It’s south-facing so no doubt there’ll need to be careful plant selection and planning for maintenance.
Let’s hope this trend takes hold in Brisbane’s inner city, with designs that ensure these green walls always look as good as the artists’ impressions. Otherwise they’ll be like huge versions of those dead pot plants on balconies!