Wednesday, 29 September 2010

How To Build A Green Wall

I decided last year that I needed to green up our balcony. Space is a premium, so the only place left to plant is on the walls. My plan was to build a Green Wall on our south facing wall.
Photo from Eco-friendly Promos
I had the idea when I saw all the water that was being generated by our air-conditioner just going to waste. I was using some of it to water our plants around our apartment and on our balcony, but I thought there must be another way I could use it. A green wall seemed like the ideal way of planting in a confined space, and using the waste water from our air-conditioner.

After quite a bit of research, I found the simplest method was pioneered by a French botanist by the name of Patrick Blanc.  He calls it Le Mur Vegetal, and its really quite a simple solution. He has built several Vertical Gardens throughout the world, and a few people have adapted his method to create their own. Before I began, I sat down and planned in detail on Sketchup how to build it. If you're interested in building your own one, this is a short video I made to show the steps involved in making your own green wall.


Friday, 24 September 2010

Indigenous Beauties : Kleinia fulgens

If you're looking for a small plant that makes a big difference, then the coral senecio is it. Its a hardy plant, ideal for a rockery, amongst grasses or planted alongside aloes. Its a plant to rival David Blaine - the endurance artist and illusionist. Its incredibly tough - plants can be left out of the ground for weeks, and when replanted, carry on as if nothing ever happened.
Kleinia fulgens peaking out of Aloe vanbalenii's legs
Added to its supernatural abilities the fact that it is a perfect combination of silvery-blue foliage and bright red thistle-like flowers, you know it will stand out in any garden or container.
Kleinia Fulgens in flower
The resilient succulent grows to about 500-600mm, and loves a hot dry spot in the garden. It flowers best when its been well fed and watered in summer and then left dormant in winter. The lipstick-red flowers look amazing flowering alongside Aloes in winter.

The name Kleinia comes from the German zoologist - Dr Klein, who first documented the plant, but klein also happens to be the Afrikaans word for small. Fulgens is the latin word for glittering. 'Little Glittering' is a perfect summary of this amazing plant.
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