The captivating living walls from Greenscape Inc. just keep coming.
Three more examples of these impressive vertical gardens have been installed in the Triangle area, creating colorful works of art from vibrant, living plants.
Here At Greenscape Inc., we’re known for our innovative living walls. Leslie Herndon, vice president of operations and our living wall designer, shares her latest wow-worthy creations.
Woodhaven Baptist Church
A benefactor gave a donation to renovate the courtyard at Woodhaven Baptist Church in Cary, N.C.
“They wanted an impact piece,” Herndon says. Nothing says impact like a living wall.
The church wanted the wall to reflect their worship theme for the year: “Joy Rising.” They already had a graphic image of a kite they wanted Herndon to create in plants.
Foliage plants would be the best way to go, she decided. The colors would work well and the plants could be easily pruned to keep the kite design crisp and clear.
The nine-panel wall features heuchera, “Black Dragon” coleus and ferns.
The living wall is a highlight of the church’s courtyard renovation, which includes a patio, arbor and water feature.
“It’s a place for people to gather, and the wall helps drive conversation,” Herndon says.
Lighting illuminates it after dark. People can walk up, touch the plants, interact with the living art and each other, Herndon says.
Cameron Village and the North Carolina Museum Of Art
This summer Cameron Village retail center partnered with the North Carolina Museum of Art to host a living wall tied to an art exhibit: “You Are Here: Light, Color And Sound Experiences.”
“Our goal was to drive interaction with art,” Herndon says.
It was definitely a challenge. But she loves a good design challenge.
“We couldn’t do sound, but we could do light and mirrors,” she says.
She decided to intersperse the mirrors and lights with plant material to create a mesmerizing interactive wall of lush plants and shimmering reflections.
The contemporary circular design, created with 25 panels, features a different plant selection in each section: colorful coleus, angelonia, pink begonia and frilly sprengeri fern.
Solar powered lights add a magical, twinkly effect.
“People can see their reflections in the mirrors, enjoy the lights, touch the plants,” Herndon says. “People love getting their picture taken by it.”
While attaching mirrors required extra ingenuity, including styrofoam balls, wood dowels and super glue, it didn’t faze Herndon.
“We’ve attached things to walls before — branches, feathers,” she says. She laughs. “I’m sure I’ll dream up something even more challenging for next year.
“All of our living walls always get a great reception, and this one is no different,” she says. “People love looking at their faces in the mirrors.”
The Cameron Village Wall: It's Back!
A highlight at Cameron Village for years was Greenscape’s free-standing living wall, designed with a cut-out circle in the center that proved a great place for selfies.
A couple years ago Cameron Village management removed the wall to make room for a new car display, a partnership with a car sales company.
Now, the wall is back.
Installation was more complicated this time, Herndon says, as Greenscape crews had to pour a new concrete footer as the base. In its previous location, the footer was already in place.
Because the new location is near a restaurant with an outdoor eating area, crews could only work in the morning before lunch time, so construction dust and noise wouldn’t disrupt diners.
The striking new diamond-pattern design features black ornamental peppers and duranta, a tropical plant with golden foliage.
“We’re very excited the wall is back up,” Herndon says.
Behind The Scenes: How Do These Walls Work?
A living wall is a panel or panels of living plants mounted on a flat wall for decorative impact. They can be arranged in an abstract design, or created in any pattern or image you like.
A typical 20 x 20-inch panel includes 45 cells. Each cell holds a plant, so there are 45 plants in each panel.
But sometimes, depending on the design and the plants, there are two plants in a cell. That's 90 plants in one panel.
There’s more to planning and installing these living walls than meets the eye, Herndon says.
First, the supporting brackets are securely installed on the wall with several screws, and each bracket has to be leveled.
Crews measure to exact centimeters, she says.
“Everything is very precise,” she says. “It fits together like a puzzle, and you don't want big gaps showing between panels when you’re done.”
After this many years, they have the installation down to a great process and it takes only a day to install the intricate walls, Herndon says, with multiple trips up and down ladders, repairing brackets, affixing irrigation components and precisely installing plants according to the painstaking design.
Care And Feeding Of Living Walls
Each living wall panel is fitted with a modified drip irrigation system that flows from the top of the panel down, so each plant gets plenty of water.
The small irrigation hoses are fitted tightly along the panels and affixed with zip ties so they stay secure and out of sight.
Living walls need to be watered every other day during the summer.
Crews need to fertilize every two weeks and occasionally prune to keep plants vibrant and healthy.
Herndon has designed a wide array of living walls, from a 3-D hummingbird with colorful feathers to recreations of famous paintings to an edible wall, planted with fragrant herbs, crisp lettuces and juicy cherry tomatoes visitors could nibble.
Have a challenge for her? Bring it on.
Wow Visitors With A Greenscape Living Wall
Make your property a go-to destination with an innovative “you’ve got to see this” living wall.
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We’ve been meeting the full-service landscaping needs of commercial customers in the Raleigh, Durham, Chapel Hill and Cary areas for more than 35 years.
We offer landscape management and lawn care, design and build services, irrigation, landscape lighting and more.
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