Living Wall Container Gardening

How to create your Living Wall:

Step One:
Decision time; is this going to be be an inside or outside piece? Shade or sun? How big of space do you have? Is the goal to be aesthetically pleasing or to produce usable items?

Step Two:
Measure the space you have to create your piece and decide on the dimensions of said piece. Will you be using felt pockets or planting cells? Depending on your choice a frame of some kind might be necessary.

Step Three:
Creating a color pallet and figuring out what plants compliment each other if it is just to enhance your current space is such a fun part of the process. Deciding what kinds of plants are you going to need; depending on the location, use and size of the area it is best to know the root system of the plants and what they need individually. If they have large root systems, they need to be planted further part to accommodate growth.

Step Four:
Let the planting begin!

Step Five:
Attach the piece you have created to the location of your choice!

Herb ideas for Living Walls

Shaded and Inside Loving Walls
Mint and Spearmint

Full Sunlight
Thyme and Lemon Thyme

Plant ideas for Vertical Gardens

Japanese forest grass
spider plants
Begonia ferns
Miniature hostas
Wild ginger
Black mondo grass


Vancouver Aquarium Living Wall

Location: Vancouver, British Columbia Canada
Designed by Randy Sharp of Sharp & Diamond, the Vancouver Aquarium living wall won an award for Green Wall Design in 2008. This wall measures 50 square meters of “polypropylene modules” on a galvanized frame filled with a variety of ferns, ground covers and and wild flowers. It is estimated that there are nearly 7,000 plants and the cost was roughly $50,000. He hand selected all native plants for this piece that could withstand the harsh winter months. The whole wall is made up of removable panels so in case a section needs to be replaced or replanted it is much easier to change out the smaller section without having to take apart the whole wall.

The living wall combined with green roofs and storm water management system helped water waste, beautify the parking lot and reduce noise pollution. The rain water collected on the roof tops has three different functions, water the plants, flush toilets and and to refill fresh water to fish tanks throughout the aquarium. The firm also won the annual Award of Excellence, from Green Roofs for Healthy Cities (GRHC) in 2008. This project was chosen for this award because it was “a visible public example of what a sustainable landscape can achieve.” The idea was to create a living wall to help educate the 1 million plus visitors each year on the importance and ease of sustainability of this LEED Gold certified building.

Here is the complete list of plants used in this installation: Dicentra formosa (Pacific bleeding heart), Dryopteris expansa (spiny wood fern), Fragaria vesca (woodland strawberry), Gaultheria procumbens (wintergreen), Polypodium glycyrrhiza (licorice fern), Tellima grandiflora (fringecup), Tiarella trifoliata (foamflower) and Vaccinium ovatum (evergreen huckleberry). These are all shade loving plants to accommodate the minimal sun this wall receives during the day.

Link to website for additional info: