Combining built structures and environments with natural plant forms, living walls and other vertical garden features are among the most visually arresting of garden plantings. Integrated as architectural design features and growing a rich tapestry of tropical foliage plants, vertical gardens by Patrick Blanc and other designers suggest futuristic science fiction, but growing plants in the vertical dimension traces back to the earliest origins of agriculture. The Domesticated Grape (Vitis vinifera subsp. vinifera) is among the oldest of domesticated crops and was first brought into cultivation as long ago as 8,000 years before present. Because of Domesticated Grape’s growth habit and demand for bright light, those early farmers surely trained their plants up vertical stakes or other supports: perhaps those ancient vineyards were the first vertical gardens. Among the Severn Wonders of the Ancient World, the Hanging Gardens of Babylon was described by ancient scholars as incorporating an advanced irrigation system with gardens growing mature trees, food crops and decorative flowers that ascended a terraced pyramidal structure. Dating back to Antiquity, the horticultural craft of espalier involves training fruit trees in 2-dimensional spaces such as wall surfaces and wire trellises. An espalier tree benefits from increased air movement and light penetration through its foliage, thus struggling with fewer disease problems and producing more fruit relative to the space it occupies.
Among other projects, Moonwort Studio is exploring these methods and themes with variations in vertical garden design and function. Special emphases for our vertical garden designs include ease of care and minimal use of water pumps and other mechanical parts. The The Shadowbox Vertical Garden is a wall-mount finished box that provides a view of a planted panel through a round or oval front oculus. This unique live plant feature incorporates an LED lamp for plant growth and viewing, but no moving parts: water is drawn to the plant roots instead through a special wicking fabric. We have also developed an approach for Indoor Espalier with a low-profile, wall-mount planter and energy-efficient growlight LEDs.
Our most recent project, the Quantum Vertical Garden Planter, combines a cylinder planter with a vertical structural element that functions as a vine support for climbing plants. The laser-cut ring spacers in bright colors can contrast or enhance the hues in foliage and blooms, while the machine-fabricated, geometric shapes set up an intriguing juxtaposition with the natural plant growth habit.
Visit the Aqua Verdi (our sister brand) Etsy shop to see the Quantum Vertical Garden Planter listing with specifications, more images and a few extra details…
This unique planter is a new way to showcase a collector climbing plant, such as Passiflora, Hoya, Cissus or Aristolochia. Combined with natural window lighting or LED lamp, it creates a contemporary living art garden feature with a low-tech approach and relatively easy plant care. We hope that the Quantum Vertical Garden Planter will beautify homes and other interior spaces, while also helping to bring people into tune with the mysterious and wondrous lives of plants.