Norwegian homes were characteristically covered with tree bark and soil until roof tiles took over in the 1700s. The grass and bushes growing on it were just a natural consequence. But this characteristic tradition seems having come back and the trend being interpreted through the use of modern materials. Since the year 2000 a prize is assigned to the best project by the Scandinavian Green Roof Association.
In Paris, this beautiful green wall dresses up a busy street in central Paris. A solution by botanist Patrick Blanc especially created for Design Week in September 2013. Not easy to duplicate, but not impossible.
One Central Park is the name of the newest residential complex in the heart of Sydney by French architect Jean Nouvel and once again Patrick Blanc. Nearing completion, it will be the tallest vertical garden in the world with 50% of its surface covered by green, mostly Australian native plants.
Another inspiring example for our balconies is Milan’s Vertical Forest by Boeri Architects. It’ll be finished in time for the 2015 Expo and it claims to be the first vertical forest in the world. The two buildings will sport a surface equal to 10,000 sqm, planted with 900 trees (each measuring 3, 6 or 9 m tall) and a wide range of shrubs and floral plants; allegedly it’ll be able to create its own micro-climate. Inspiring to us, this an example of how we can add a green and lush look to our balconies, carefully choosing brushes and trees by their maximum growing and rooting size. Your local nursery will be able to assist you with this info.
But if the size of your balcony does not allow for much green, then this vertical wall could be just what you need.. small flowering plants and of course kitchen herbs.
You know how I love to recycle! so should we throw out that old pallet?? maybe not! Bring nature home, and have fun while doing it.
James Treble is an ambassador for Planet Ark and firmly believes in sensible purchasing, recycling and creative re-purposing. James Treble has more than 25 years of experience in the Building Industry and Interior Design. His knowledge and experience in adding value to homes, through clever design & styling, is now published for all to learn and benefit from. Interior Design For Profit is now available online.