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Living Landscape

How to create a Living Landscape?

Living landscape is an amazing gardening idea that revitalizes the overall appearance and appeal of your property. These are called green walls, living walls, vertical gardens or living landscape, more popularly. These have grown incredibly in popularity in the past few years, especially in urban locations. Today, you can find living landscapes almost everywhere, from people’s front yards to corporate offices and even art museums. 

From selecting the right seasonal plants to installing an outdoor kitchen, our landscaping services can do it all for you. Contact us today for a stunning landscape!

In this article, we have explained about living landscape, the benefits of living landscape and how living landscapes work.

Origins of Living Landscape

outdoor space

Living landscapes have been around for thousands of years. However, architecture professor Stanley Hart became the first to patent a vertical garden design all the way back in 1938. However, the concept took a few decades to become popular. 

During the 1980s and 1990s, French botanist Patrick Blanc popularized this idea as a sustainable method of urban agriculture. He aimed to enhance the biodiversity in urban areas with the massive vertical garden designs. Thanks to his efforts, living landscapes slowly got integrated into mainstream landscaping. This caused the popularity to grow and today we can find variety of living landscapes all over the place, from commercial to residential spaces, outdoors and indoors. 

Benefits of Living Landscape

Living landscapes are more than just aesthetically appealing. They can also make the building more energy-efficient and have a positive advantage for people’s well-being and health

Exterior living landscapes help to add extra insulation to a building or home. This means you will need less energy to keep the interior of the building warm in the winter and cool in the summer. In urban settings, outdoor living landscapes help to improve the air quality significantly and reduce heat island effects

Besides this, interior living landscapes are also beneficial. They supply the interior of the home with fresh, oxygen-rich air. Apart from this, interior living landscapes also filter out indoor pollutants like volatile organic compounds (VOCs). These are organic chemicals found in man-made products, such as cleaning supplies, paints, building materials and pesticides. These can affect your health negatively in several different ways. According to studies, VOC levels are almost 10 times higher for indoor air as compared to outdoor air.

Apart from clearing indoor pollutants, outdoor and indoor living landscapes can block out excessive noise, thus reducing noise pollution significantly. Finally, living landscapes are also aesthetically pleasing to look at. When you select the right kind of plants for a living wall, a vertical garden can spruce up any landscape

How Living Landscapes work?

First, let’s get familiar with some of the terms commonly used when talking about living landscapes. 

Substrate is the base on which an organism thrives. When talking about plants, a substrate is usually the soil in which the plant takes root. It is also called as growing medium by professional landscapers, such as Eden. Hydroponic is the term used to describe an innovative method of growing plants using only water and nutrients, with no soil at all.

In a living landscape, panels are made to form a vertical surface which holds the growing medium/substrate. According to the type of living landscape you are creating, you can choose different types of growing media, such as mat, loose, sheet or structural. Some living landscapes need soil as a growing medium but others can use different substrate to grow. The ones that don’t use soil are grown using hydroponic technique. In the absence of soil, careful and frequent watering is essential for a living landscape. This is the reason that most of the vertical living landscapes have integrated irrigation systems.

Integrated irrigation systems for living landscapes can be simple DIY projects for drip irrigation using PVC pipes to automatically circulate the water repeatedly. This recirculation of the water ensures water conservation but costs significantly. 

Remember, green facades are different from vertical living landscapes. Despite looking similar, green facades are distinctly different. Green facades usually have vines and creepers that grow out of the soil to cover a vertical surface. On the other hand, living landscapes have the plants growing from the vertical surface itself.

Types of Living Landscape

Living Landscape

The type of material you use for growing the plants in living landscape determines the type of living landscape. There are four types of living landscapes, namely:

Loose media

Loose growing media is basically soil. In this type of living landscape, the plants are directly planted in small mounds of soil placed on a horizontal shelf attached to the vertical green wall. This is the most common type of living landscape among homeowners as it is the easiest to build. 

However, you will need to remember to replace the soil regularly when growing living landscape using loose media. Make sure to change the soil at least once every year (for exterior living landscape) and once every two years (for indoor living landscapes).

Mat media

You can grow a living landscape using a mat media as a substrate. A mat media is made of felt or coir fiber, instead of soil. It is also easy to create and easy to maintain, hence popular with homeowners. However, as these mats are thin, they are unable to retain water for a long time. This media is also unsuited for large plants that have thick, long roots as these can tear the mat fabric. Mat media is best-suited for growing small plants, especially indoors. 

Sheet media

Sheet media is similar to mat media. Basically, sheet media is the improved version as it contains a plastic sheet with a pattern similar to an egg carton. This gives the medium more texture and depth. Sheet media can retain water much better than mat media and can also successfully grow larger plant without the risk of tearing

Besides this, sheet media do not decompose and are also more durable as compared to mat media. At times, sheet media in living landscapes can last for as long as 20 years and more. 

Structural media

Structural media mostly used for large, professionally-installed living landscapes. You can also get this built at your home by hiring professional landscapers, such as Eden. 

This type of living landscape uses blocks of soil or other substrate as the growing medium. You can buy these blocks of substrates in different sizes, shapes and thicknesses, according to the type of plants you wish to grow and the space available for this. This living landscape growing medium is useful for growing almost any type of plant

Structural media is also extremely durable and can last for around 10 to 15 years

Conclusion

The overall cost of building a living landscape in your home or out in the lawn varies according to different factors, such as the area to be covered and the types of plants you wish to get. It is highly recommended to consult and hire professional landscapers, such as Eden, for best results and more affordable services.

From selecting the right seasonal plants to installing an outdoor kitchen, our landscaping services can do it all for you. Contact us today for a stunning landscape!

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