Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Florida Living Walls for the Urban Core - Stormwater, Ethnobotany, Habitat & Heat Island Cooling

Florida Living Wall using Native Plants
Living walls are a popular method of adding vertical green to the Urban Core.  Living walls contribute important environmental benefits to the city.  Habitat is created, stormwater attenuated and purified, heat island effect calmed, air cleaned and oxygen produced.  There are numerous reasons to install a living wall anywhere downtown.
Florida Native Plant, Horsetail, Equisetum hyemale

Unfortunately though, when considering living walls many people think only in terms of very expensive vertical planting systems and trays.

There are many ways to create an Urban Core Living Wall.

One of the most simplest living walls here in Florida is the type where vines, such as Virginia Creeper, Coral Honeysuckle or Carolina Jessamine grow vertically across walls.

Rows of trees are an alternative example of living walls.

Even tall plants, such as those pictured above, can create stunning living walls.  The Florida native plant, Horsetail, Equisetum hyemale is used here to create a living wall against a concrete block wall.  The plants are thriving in heavily urbanized, high pH construction soils, surrounded with concrete foundations and concrete driveways.

I like using horsetail because the plant is evergreen, has a low leaf-litter habit, adds structural interest, grows well in low organic substrates and provides immense habitat.  Additionally, Horsetail acts like a living grate, filtering out most all trash from stormwater runoff.

Combined with vines planted in a living roof container and draping over a roof's edge, an entire facade can be covered with plants without having to install expensive and hard to maintain planting systems.

Finally, installing vertical green in the Urban Core has many benefits, a few being;

  • cleaning and attenuating stormwater
  • providing wildlife habitat
  • cleaning air, removal of CO2
  • fresh oxygen production
  • heat island effect mitigation
  • landscape beauty & plant art
  • noise insulation
  • integrated pest management
and so much more.  Think creativity when exploring living wall options.


metacrylics.com said...


This is really a good work. It's very informative blog.

Thanks For sharing..

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roofing maryland said...

Green roofs has proven to be a boon to everyone- be it personally or commercially or in the sense of environment. As in today's time with more and more requirement of housings and industry, greenery around us is decreasing and we all are suffering.. One of the best ways explained here is growing greenery on the roof tops.. This will help in surviving in a healthy environment. But i want to know if there is any risk of rooting in the walls, if yes then what is the possible way out to prevent this...Thank you..:)

Hilary Kimbel said...

What are your feelings on eavestrough in Toronto? I have been looking into that... Thanks so much for posting!