By Kat Harrold
Photo by ~ Goldtex
Where square footage is at a premium the demand for green space has become one of the hottest commodities. In a high rise apartment building one might consider the options quite limited. Try thinking outside the box, literally, and imagine all the vertical space available. Where horizontal space is limited vertical gardens offer a green oasis in a concrete jungle.
With the right plant selection outdoor green walls make wonderful neighbors. A green wall composed of hardy vines can provide seasonal interest with an array of colorful leaves and fragrant blossoms. Plant selection can also play an important role in attracting birds and pollinating insects.
In spite of their good looks, climbing green walls can be low maintenance requiring only occasional pruning and irrigation depending on location. Steel cables and wire-mesh grids can be used to support and train climbing vegetation.
Green walls can play an important role in energy savings. By shading the building during the summer and providing insulation in the winter, green walls reduce seasonal stresses on heating and cooling. The ideal location for a green wall to reduce summer cooling costs is the south facing side of the building. The southern exposure receives the most sun light which can also be very beneficial to the vines.