Tag Archive for Vertical Gardens

Key West Projects: Ibis Bay Wall

Earlier this year, we finished designing and constructing a 16 square foot green wall at the Stoned Crab Restaurant on the entry facade of Ibis Bay Waterfront Resort in Key West.

Key West Projects- Ibis Bay Wall

Future Projects

Currently, we are designing eight green wall designs for clients in NYC, Key West, Tampa, Long Island, Philadelphia, Boston, Miami, and Washington D.C.. Our designers are working hard at the new concept of herb walls, which are vertical gardens that contain home-grown herbs such as parsley, oregano, sage, mint, etc. They are not only beautiful to look at, but energy efficient and convenient to use.

Future Projects

Besides continuing our sustainability movement with these green walls, we are also designing and building outdoor living spaces on more than ten rooftops in NYC. We’re very excited for the months to come and the many projects we will be delving into.

Remember: it’s EASY being GREEN!

Michael J. Madarash
Principal Designer – kokobo greenscapes, inc.

Spreading Meaning of Sustainability to Key West

What is a green wall?

A green wall is essentially a wall that is blanketed with vegetation. It is often times hung on an exterior or interior wall of a building. Green walls are also known as bio-walls, living walls, or vertical gardens.

To create a green wall, plants are first placed into separate panels and acclimated to growing conditions in their cells. Irrigation pathways are installed into the panels, so plants are given the perfect amount of water. After the plants have grown, they are hung vertically to resemble a colorful bio-mural and thus unveiling the beauty that is a green wall.

Our projects in Key West include green wall constructions, as well as some of the many landscaping services we have to offer. Principal designer Michael Madarash kicked off the KW expansion by giving a seminar to the Key West Garden Club about green walls, which was attended by over 45 individuals and was very well received.


Making Walls Bloom May Be Key To Sustaining The Renaissance Of America’s Best Cities

The stock market may be booming but the continuation of America’s urban renaissance could well depend, surprisingly, on flowers.

Not just blooming gardens in parks and along boulevards but also in year-round planted walls. In other words, living walls or, as the New York Times headlined the phenomena, “Gardens That Grow On Walls” with products from companies like LiveWall, LLC, located not far from Grand Rapids.

This year the first of the 86-million strong Millennials generation turns thirty. And because they will begin seeking greener and more serene space and an escape from urban noise and air pollution, demographers are predicting a reverse flight to the suburbs of up to twenty-five percent of these highly desirable residents. With them would go a big chunk of these cities’ tax bases.

For more than a decade, America’s best cities have ridden a population boom of young people fueled by hip coffee shops, ubiquitous WiFi, abundant office space, good public transportation, performance centers and a new generation of lofts and other cool living spaces.

The aggregation of all of these factors lured young entrepreneurs into the cities followed by the highly educated and technically astute employees who support them. Owning a car proved unnecessary if you live in downtown Denver, Dallas, Austin, Portland, Seattle, Chicago, Boston or Washington, D.C. This savings permits these knowledge workers instead to purchase smart phones, tablets, sophisticated applications and other must-have tools of the tech-savvy.

No surprise that instead of forsaking the intellectual hot houses found in today’s best cities and submitting to time-wasting suburban commutes, some Millennials are addressing their concerns for stress reduction, better breathing, and greener lifestyles by erecting a vertical garden, both inside and outside of their urban residences and offices. In other words, they are making their beloved cities bloom.

“LiveWall makes a vertical garden that may be securely attached to both indoor and outdoor walls,” explains David S. MacKenzie, CEO of the 115-acre greenhouse empire that distributes everything one needs for a thriving, year-round living wall through a national dealer network. LiveWall is a sister company to LiveRoof, LLC, from which MacKenzie helped drive the green roof revolution across the US in the 21st Century.

MacKenzie studied an array of rush-to-market products and the rows of dead flower boxes that some competitors produced. Instead, LiveWall has made today’s best living wall designs easy-to-install, low maintenance, sustainable and durable. MacKenzie’s green wall designs even perform carefully metered self-watering, enabling their owners to travel without fear that their plants will die. A planted wall’s contributions to heating and cooling energy reduction, better breathing, and mental and physical health are heralded monthly across lifestyle, health and medical publications and by television programs like The Today Show.

“With our living wall, you can mix ornamentals for color and patterns and delightful aromas, but you can also grow herbs so that anyone who cooks can boast of a year-round gourmet kitchen,” MacKenzie says, “enabling downtown restaurants and loft dwellers alike to serve savory dishes at every meal.

“It’s the perfect answer for those people who love living and working downtown and don’t want to spend 15 hours a week commuting in a car. One look and people are intrigued,” MacKenzie reports. “What persuades them are LiveWall’s contributions to thermal insulation, noise and stress reduction, and the sheer natural beauty it is possible to create even in a few hundred feet of living space.

“People in technology talk constantly about tech transfer,” MacKenzie observes. “LiveWall is making it possible for these same people to engage in ‘green transfer,’ in other words, bringing the health-giving qualities of natural plants right into their urban homes and offices.

“Of course the low cost of installation and maintenance are compelling, too,” MacKenzie adds.

“And who wouldn’t forgo an expensive and exhausting commute with its plume of carbon emissions for that?” he asks.


Example of Vertical Gardening

In front of the Guggenheim Art Museum in Bilbao, Spain, you’ll find an awesome example of vertical gardening in the depiction of a puppy made entirely out of plants. The artist, Jeff Koons, created this 43-foot tall “plant puppy” in the mid-1990s using a steel substructure and a variety of plants. The detail of this piece is amazing.

Guggenheim Museum Spain

Guggenheim Museum Spain

Living Art: Vertical Gardens

A growing number of small urban spaces are creating landscaped gardens that stretch beyond floor pots, with greenery growing upwards along walls and fences.

This new trend toward ‘vertical gardens’ is renewing apartments, offices and restaurants inviting greenery to flourish in small spaces.

vertical garden

Vertical gardens, also referred as ‘eco walls’ or ‘green walls’, are bringing practical and aesthetic value to both domestic and commercial spaces. Along with their environmental benefits, plants and greenery can also improve air quality and promote health and wellness.

This sustainable form of architecture also supports the biophilia hypothesis, a suggestion that there is an innate connection between human beings and living systems.

According to Susan McCoy of the U.S. based trend-spotting Garden Media Group, this new generation of gardeners is composed of environmentally-conscious Gen X and Gen Y types who believe the power of plants and regard plants is “no longer a luxury, but a necessity for our lives.”

Plants can be arranged on the side of a building, on fences and walls both internally and externally. When placed strategically, vertical gardens make for great design features and are considered alternatives for wall art.

Walls and fences should be structurally strong to grow a vertical garden as they’re generally designed to be permanent structures. It is advised that professionals versed in engineering, design, building regulations, draining and horticulture be the ones to install them.

In terms of design, some organizations offer vegetated panels that can be attached or plants that can be placed in decorative containers in a grid-inspired format along the wall. Choosing vegetation for garden installation should be based on location and maintenance requirements.

For ease of maintenance, it is advisable to have a built-in irrigation system and a good drainage system nearby. Vertical gardens generally require self-watering irrigation systems, as manual hosing will result in water simply running into the ground. Hydroponic watering systems can also be installed to keep plants fed and fresh.

Installing a vertical garden inside is a great way to connect an interior space with nature. Interior greenery requires a little more attention as adequate lighting and ventilation may need to be installed. The wall and surrounding areas should also be waterproofed and actively kept dry.

Commercially, plants are being invited into offices, restaurants and high-end hotels.

“With most large offices having few windows and little natural light, insightful office managers often use plants to bring freshness and colour to the office environment, but the benefits go further than this. Research strongly suggests that plants can result in improved well-being among staff, increased productivity and improved air quality,” said UK psychologist Dr Craig Knight.

Covering a building wall can keep the wall insulated, alleviate pollution and provides a shield to the building materials from elements like the sun.

In New York, architect Laurence Tamaccio is proposing to cover the West Side Highway – the divider between Riverside Park South and the Hudson River – with a leafy vertical ivy garden and aligning waterfalls. He believes his Vine Line proposal will become a source of pride for the entire community and revamp the area aesthetically.

Near Milan, meanwhile, a shopping centre is claiming to have the biggest vertical garden in the world, with 1,263 square metres adorned with a total of 44,000 plants. It was designed by architect Francesco Bollani who said “it took us a year to grow the plants in a greenhouse and 90 days to build the facade.”

(original post)