An easy DIY green wall

February 3, 2012 § 6 Comments

As soon as I whispered under my breath that I would post EVERY day in February, I promptly skipped a day.

But I have a great excuse. Really, I do. I was working.

Now, I don’t normally share my work stuff here. I’m making an exception, however, because a) I feel I need to make up for yesterday and b) I spotted a pretty cool product that is applicable to both food and garden topics. Trust me on this, it’s something you’ll think is neat. And you may even be inspired to buy one.

First, the details. Where was I? I was at a trade and educational show here in Boston called New England Grows. Lots of inspiring seminars with landscape designers, plant breeders, horticulturists, arborists, etc etc. And it has a pretty big trade show attached to it, too, with aisle upon aisle of vendors exhibiting everything from plants and pavers to forklifts and whimsical garden art. The trade show is the reason I go—to find new stuff.

Green Walls Made Simple
Green walls—whether outside along the side of a building or installed on an indoor wall—are a big thing nowadays, very trendy. I’ve seen them in stores, in and outside restaurants, in botanical gardens, in museums and all sorts of places. And they’re usually large and decorative and have intricate irrigation systems. But really, can these things be everyday items for everyday people?I had serious doubts.

But a product I saw yesterday has made me reconsider. It’s called GroVert. And it’s simple, really. It consists of a plastic tray with a number of cells. Think of it as a big ice cube tray with the cells angled a bit. When the tray is filled with potting soil and hung with just two screws on the wall, the cells, because they are angled downward, don’t lose any of the soil.

GroVert vertical garden

GroVert vertical garden

Within each cell you can plant small plants—whatever plants you want, but ones that stay kinda small are best. If the GroVert will be installed outside, then any type of colorful bedding plant will do, or fill with small evergreen groundcovers. If the GroVert will hang indoors, then the typical houseplants will work best.

Here’s a culinary twist: Plant herbs in the cells and hang near your outdoor grill or on the wall in your kitchen. Brilliant!

How do you water it? Another simple concept. Above this tray is a water reservoir. I’m not positive how it works, but I think the water slowly drips from there, trickling downward from cell to cell. And there’s a basin at the base to catch anything that leaches through.

Another cool thing about GroVert is that you can buy a wood frame that fits over and around the tray and reservoir, basically covering the black plastic and turning it into a living piece of art.

Why stop at one? Place two or more together to expand the footprint of your GroVert green wall.

The things I like about GroVert are: 1) it seems easy to install, 2) maintenance is basic enough, 3) there’s options to expand and 4) if the plants don’t do well, removing individual plants and replacing with new ones seems simple.

Where do you find GroVert? Good question! This is a new product and should be appearing in local garden retail stores soon. If I hear of where you can find it, I’ll try to let you know.

Think this will inspire you to create your own green wall? Flowers, foliage or herbs? Leave me a comment and weigh in on the subject!

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§ 6 Responses to An easy DIY green wall

  • jennifer says:

    Marion Burke informed me that GroVert is at Home Depot. She couldn’t respond b/c of BMC email restrictions…

  • Pam says:

    Ohh..I hate to be the bearer of bad news, There is a long history behind the product you seem so fond of. Buyer beware, I can see how you would be excited but the “One time use” product has poor results because it is plastic, anytime you use plastic outdoors it will literally last a summer. We have documented the product and it has poor performance. I apologize, your readers need accurate info before they spend their hard earned $$. I’m open for discussion and will gladly share case studies and pics.

    • Pam, thanks for sharing this. To me, I see this product as a simple way for someone to get a taste of vertical gardening. Not everyone buys Wusthof knives when they just start cooking, right? It’s an entry-level product – and when it’s inside in a nice sunny spot, I think it would be a satisfactory product.

      • Pam says:

        It’s really not good for the industry. If you haven’t used the product and your not experienced w green walls in general your assumptions and perception are exactly what the problem is….. Try one and then let me know what your opinion is….

      • I saw it. I thought it would be a nice thing to try, especially indoors. The operative word here is try. And you know, I think I will try it. If it works – great! If not – great! Thanks again for your thoughts on this and for weighing in. I’ll let you know how it goes.

  • I want to get these SO bad!!! Is there a DIY hack for creating a Grovert frame? I’ve been looking and I can’t find anything…

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