A different kind of home birth

I haven't written a post about our Natural Urban Home in over a year. Which corresponds to the approximate amount of time it has taken me to get it to the point where I feel as if our home is almost, practically, kind of, mostly 'done'. One of the DIY projects that I have been asked about the most is our home's living wall. Having a wall of plants, a "green" wall in our green home was something that my husband REALLY wanted from day one of planning our dream home. I was leery of this given the fact that I have two thumbs that are about 4 shades darker than the colour of a moonless night and little to no gardening experience to brag about. Yet, the benefits of having a lot of plants are well known for improving indoor air quality and having a beautiful green wall to look at during our long winter months here in Alberta was in and of itself VERY appealing to me and so the project got underway.

It started with a frame for the wall. We wanted it to look like a piece of living art and so I had our amazing contractor/cabinet maker build and install a 6 foot by 4 foot wooden panel of rift-cut oak for the wall behind our sofa. The wood matches the rest of our custom cabinetry in the house.

LivingWallFrame

We then attached our "containers" to the wood panel. B did all the research and figured that the easiest way for us to get the desired look we wanted and the simplest system to install and care for would be Woolly Pockets. I'll let the following video do all the explaining of how brilliant they are and how exactly they work.

[vimeo]http://vimeo.com/61138204[/vimeo]

Then it was time to shop for plants. I went to The Enjoy Centre for some inspiration (they have a gorgeous 20 foot tall living wall) and some advice from the experts. I then went home with a car full of lush beautiful plants. I will admit that there was some learning to be done with regards to how much soil to use (more than you think) and how big your plants should be when you first plant them. I thought 4 inch plants would be fine and figured they would eventually grow and fill up the space just fine. I was wrong. Bigger is better, and if you want your living wall to look nice and lush from the get go, as I did, then I suggest going with 6-8 inch or bigger plants.

LW-The Plants

There was some more trial and error as I experimented with placement of the plants and decided whether or not to make one of the pockets my herb garden, something I ended up kiboshing at the last minute. It took me a good two to three weeks to get it all just right and I had to make at least two more trips to the greenhouse for more soil, more plants and more advice!

LW-Placement

I am still working on the wall and as with anything that is living and breathing, I am sure it will continue to grow and change as it matures, as some plants do better than others in our environment and as I get better at knowing which plants works best together and endeavour to green up my thumbs some more.

For now though, here is my baby! (And yes, I say MY baby, because for all his desire to have this feature in our house, my husband did diddly-squat to help install and maintain it. He has now been assigned the weekly task of 'feeding' the baby!)

The Living Wall

Yes, that's right, I {home} birthed a Living Wall in our Natural Urban Home.

What did you do today?

Natasha~

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This post is part of the #SummerBlogChallenge. Please check out some of the other daily contributions from the following writers: LiamZitaMagzPeterChristineAprilCliffHethr, and Karen. And for goodness sake, give them some comment-y and sharing love, it takes a lot to write for 30 days straight!