Any gardener requires some privacy while in his or her home. This can be achieved through a living fence around the home. In addition to such walls providing the much needed privacy, they also add the aesthetic value of the home. An array of plants, including trees, shrubs and flowers may be used for this purpose. In most cases, a living fence is a more appealing option as compared to other forms of fence that may be used around a home. It is more preferred because it adds texture and color to the home. Some of the plants used to erect a green fence include shrubs, such as roses, grasses and clumping bamboos. Based on the preferences of the home owner, living fences can be created in varying styles and sizes.
Some of the size options include the Six to 10 feet, which provides privacy to the occupants of the home, and the 2- to 4-foot hedge, which allows the occupants of the home to converse over the fence with their neighbors. Some of the styles available for living fences include:
These fences are allowed to grow naturally to give the home a cottage setting. Evergreen varieties of plants give all year-round screens to the fence. Deciduous plants on the other hand improve the seasonal interest of the fence. To add glamour to the fence, you may need to include plants with fragrant blooms. Some of the plants that may need to be avoided while planting a green fence are the berrying and flowering shrubs as they attract wildlife to the home.
The best choice of plants for a green fence is the climbing plants. These may also be used for the front yard and the porch. To create hiding fences, you may need to combine these climbers with vines. When combined, vines and climbers add blooming flowers in summer and spring. They also provide foliage colors to the fence in fall. A green wall is basically a wall that is completely or partially covered in vegetation that is growing on a medium such as soil. A number of these walls also have an integrated water delivery system. These walls may also be referred to as ecowalls, vertical gardens, biowalls or BIOboards. The following are some of the systems that may be used to create a wall of flowers in your home.
Mat media systems make use of either felt or coir fiber mats. Since these mats are very thin, they cannot support plants with a vibrant root system for more than five years. Normally, the root system tends to go beyond the mat with time. To repair this system, you need to cu t out sections of the mat from the wall and replace them with new ones. Cutting parts of the mat affects the root of the surrounding plants hence killing them. This system is best suited for places with low seismic activity.
They are ideal for use on the interior walls of the building. Additionally, you should only grow small plants on the mats. Bug plants will add the weight and rip off the mat from the wall with time. Owing to their thin nature, mat systems are in most cases water inefficient and require constant watering. Normally, these systems need to have a water re-circulation system installed. This adds to the installation cost of this wall. They are best suited for small installations, not exceeding eight feet high. This allows for easy repair work on the fence.
Loose media systems of creating green walls include soil-in-a-bag and soil-on-a-shelf systems. With this system, the soil is packed into a bag or a shelf, which is then fixed on the wall. With this system, the growing media needs to be replaced at least once every year. Just like the mat systems, these systems should not be used in places that have seismic activity. Again, these systems lose soil slowly with time making them messy. As such, these systems are also not ideal for places that have frequent public interaction.
This system should also not be used above 8 feet high. This is because the soil may be blown by wind or eroded by heavy rains. In Asia, some advanced forms of the loose media system make use of shields. These shields hold the soil together hence preventing it from erosion. Under seismic load, the soil media gets liquefied which can lead to the plants falling out. Therefore, with this system, the plants need to be secured in place to prevent them from falling out.
The structural media combines the best features of the mat and the loose soil media into a block. These blocks are manufactured in various thicknesses, shapes and sizes. This is one of the best systems of creating a green wall in use today. This is mainly because these walls do not break with time and can last up to 15 years. Additionally, these blocks may be made to have either a high or low water retaining capacity. The EC’s and the pH of these blocks may also be adjusted to suit the type of plant planted. They are also easy to handle during maintenance, repair and replacement. They may be used on both interior and exterior walls. In addition to all these benefits, this system is best suited for areas with seismic activity and high-winds. Generally, these systems have a higher cost of installation. However the maintenance cost for this system is low.
Green walls may also be made to be “active”. Active walls forces or pulls air through the roots, the leaves and the growth media of the plants into the heating and cooling system of the house. However, this system will require air filtration equipment. Living walls are very common in urban areas. The plants used o create these walls may also reduce the temperature in the building. The main reason why these green walls are installed is for beautification and to add aesthetic value to the home.
Posted in: garden