Vertical orchid gardens were the hot new trend at this Spring’s major orchid shows. From coast to coast, stunning orchid walls wowed visitors to America’s most prominent botanical gardens. Their incredible variety of color, shape and form makes orchids a natural choice for mass plantings, but displays have traditionally followed the horizontal orientation of outdoor garden beds. This year’s vertical displays took the beauty of orchids to new heights—literally!
Where Did Vertical Gardens Originate?
Vertical gardens, or living walls, are a relatively new phenomenon. Pioneered by French botanist Patrick Blanc who began experimenting with garden walls in 1988, vertical gardens are gaining fans. Exterior building walls planted with a variety of green and flowering plants in intricate patterns are being used to attract attention and create green space in cities around the world. The 5-story Blanc vertical garden that graces a wall of the CaixaForum in Madrid, Spain, is considered as much a work of art as the masterpieces housed inside the museum.
Vertical Gardens for Orchid Lovers
Until recently, creating a living wall inside a home was too labor-intensive and expensive to be within the reach of most orchid lovers. Interior walls had to be protected with multiple layers of special materials to prevent damage from water, humidity and the plants themselves. Complex structures with specially designed irrigation systems had to be installed to hold and water the plants. Building a vertical garden was not for the faint of heart. Today, however, several companies offer green wall supplies that make it easy and affordable to build an orchid wall in your own home. Visit justaddice.com to find Just Add Ice Orchids at a store near you.
Photo: SJ Rozan