Landscape Architecture Student Benjamin Heim Grows Inspiring Things with Florafelt

Years of finesse has allowed Benjamin Heim create this botanical masterpiece for his clients vertical garden in San Francisco. The living wall started with mostly ferns and has evolved into an intense mixture of exotic species inspired by curiosity and experimentation. The result is astounding.

An aging bromeliad squeezes into it’s home while rooting into a Florafelt Root Wrap.

A spontaneous and inspired vertical garden masterpiece by Benjamin Heim of Groundcover Landscaping.

Florafelt Vertical Garden by Benjamin Heim of Groundcover Landscaping

Bromeliad Wall Vertical Garden

Laura Mast of Kingwood Center Gardens adds an exciting new addition to their showcase greenhouse. Florafelt Vertical Garden Planters are hung from a metal unistrut frame and filled with a colorful combination of root-wrapped bromeliads. The historic house and gardens are located in Mansfield, Ohio.

Florafelt Vertical Garden at Kingwood Center Gardens
Florafelt Vertical Garden at Kingwood Center Gardens
Florafelt Vertical Garden at Kingwood Center Gardens

Urban Green Luxury Remodel

Luxury remodel in San Francisco’s Cole Valley gets a big dose of urban green. Florafelt Vertical Garden Planters are used to fill the 30 foot tall window well with ferns. Joanna Wong and Durkin Inc. created a living wall as a focal point for their luxury remodel located in San Francisco’s Haight Ashbury area. Listed for $6M with Coldwell Banker here. http://bit.ly/2f9Al4O


Real Estate Developer Joanna Wong describes her experience using the Florafelt Vertical Garden System to design and construct a 3 story plant wall to create verdant views where once there were walls.

Project Specs
– 16′ wide x 30′ tall
– 6 planters wide x 15 planters high
– Total 90 Florafelt 12-Pocket Planters
– Total 1080 Plants: 6 inch potted Mother Ferns, Maidenhair Ferns, Button Ferns, Blue Star Ferns
– Simple Drip-Irrigation at the top.
– Floor Drain at the bottom.


 

Caretaking The Conservatory of Flowers Vertical Garden

Article by Steph Kantorski

A redesign of the vestibule in San Francisco’s historic Conservatory of Flowers has created a breathtaking introduction for visitors to this world-famous Victorian structure. One of the largest and most beautiful vertical green walls in the city is now on full display for visitors inside North America’s oldest public wood-and-glass greenhouse.

Florafelt Vertical Garden at the Conservatory of Flowers in San Francisco.
Florafelt Vertical Garden at the Conservatory of Flowers in San Francisco.
This dramatic 360-pocket wall (created with 30 Florafelt 12-pocket panels) reflects the spirit of the Conservatory. It was created with donated materials and labor by people with an enthusiastic love for plants. The result is an exquisite display of tropical greenery, flowering varieties and colorful vines for a luscious eye-catching wall that stirs the imagination.
Florafelt Vertical Garden by Davis Dalbok, Living Green Design. Decorator Showcase 2012.
Florafelt Vertical Garden by Davis Dalbok, Living Green Design. Decorator Showcase 2012.

It all began with the 2012 San Francisco Decorator Showcase that featured an exterior green wall designed by Davis Dalbok of Living Green Design and member of the Conservatory’s Advisory Council. The planted entry wall was made using the Florafelt vertical garden system invented by Chris Bribach of Plants On Walls.

Florafelt Vertical Garden Simple Succulents Demo by Chris Bribach, Plants On Walls at the Conservatory of Flowers, San Francisco.
Florafelt Vertical Garden Simple Succulents Demo by Chris Bribach, Plants On Walls at the Conservatory of Flowers, San Francisco.

Jane Scurich (above right), Director of Development at the Conservatory of Flowers, remembers the Decorator Showcase wall as “breathtaking.” After the event, she asked Davis about acquiring a section of the display. Davis replied, “You don’t want a postage stamp, Jane, you want it to be the whole wall.” Davis contacted Chris about the project, who donated a custom-designed system to one of San Francisco’s most prestigious and beloved institutions. It was installed behind the greeter desk with special requirements to preserve the integrity of the elegant Victorian structure.

Florafelt Vertical Garden Planters donated by Chris Bribach of Plants On Walls. Conservatory Of Flowers, San Francisco.
Florafelt Vertical Garden Planters donated by Chris Bribach of Plants On Walls. Conservatory Of Flowers, San Francisco.

Around that time, volunteer Conservatory greeter Marilyn Singer passed away and her family donated many of the first plants in her memory. Later San Francisco Foliage donated more greenery. Senior Nursery Specialist Guadalupe Cota culled prime specimens from her greenhouse. As the number and variety of plants grew, it became clear that a stunning attraction was being created.

Florafelt Vertical Garden at the San Francisco Conservatory Of Flowers.
Florafelt Vertical Garden at the San Francisco Conservatory Of Flowers.

A drip line water and nutrient-delivery system also donated by Plants On Walls kept it lush and beautiful. Not long after, Guadalupe left the Conservatory and Nursery Specialist Mario Vega maintained it for the next few months. That’s about where I came in.

Originally volunteering as a docent, I switched to the horticulture side in 2013 out of sheer fascination with the plants themselves. I was beyond thrilled when Mario put me on “vertical garden duty.” The last three years have been an invaluable education in what tropical flora do when prepared in Root Wraps, or the recycled PET “diapers” (as I affectionately call them), and stuffed inside pockets to grow vertically.

Florafelt Vertical Garden growing Pineapple and Vanilla Orchid at the Conservatory Of Flowers, San Francisco.
Florafelt Vertical Garden growing Pineapple and Vanilla Orchid at the Conservatory Of Flowers, San Francisco.

As I worked with the vertical garden, I found that plants were so happy they began to take over. The vanilla orchid vine grew with such force it pushed its neighbors up out of their pockets. The bromeliads flowered furiously and the philodendrons’ roots clamped on so ferociously I had to cut out entire pockets. Gesneriads, lipstick vines and exotic grasses spilled over and fought for light.

When the wall garden was finally tamed, I added more specimens to vary the color and texture. Now there’s a habanero pepper plant and two carnivorous Nepenthes, which I keep neatly trimmed because they tend to take over.

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Matthew Stephens, Director Conservatory of Flowers.

In early 2016, the Conservatory welcomed its new Director Matthew Stephens. Among his other exciting plans, the greeter desk was moved to the other side of the entryway allowing everyone to experience the living wall up close. The larger foliage at the top has been trimmed to reveal the building’s beautiful original stained glass. With the wall now on full display, this unique and astounding vertical jungle finally feels complete.

For a small entry fee you can visit the Conservatory of Flowers and take a free tour or stroll around on your own. You can also just step into the vestibule without a ticket to experience the living wall for yourself.

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Florafelt Vertical Garden at the Conservatory of Flowers, San Francisco. Hibbity Dibbity band photoshoot.

Horticulturist Steph Kantorski describes her experience using the Florafelt System for the San Francisco Conservatory of Flower vertical garden.

 

Aquaponic Vertical Vegetable Garden

Florafelt Wall Planters are employed to grow a variety of vegetables at a sustainable future farming concept greenhouse. The entire vertical garden system was supplied by Eden Green Walls for the Humble By Nature’s Solar Aquaponic Greenhouse in Wye Valley, UK.

Aquaponics by Kate Humble, Humble by Nature UK.
Aquaponics by Kate Humble, Humble by Nature UK.

Led by Kate Humble, Aquaponics UK are providing technical expertise to explore sustainable food growing techniques using aquaculture, farming fish, and hydroponics with few inputs and many, high value outputs. The goal is to recycle the nutrient rich water into soil-less vegetable production filtering the water in the process so it can be constantly reused.

Aquaponics Greenhouse by Kate Humble, Humble by Nature, UK.
Aquaponics Greenhouse by Kate Humble, Humble by Nature, UK.

This passive solar greenhouse is designed to house a productive, edible ecosystem which is also combined with a variety of other complementary farming techniques such as producing fish and poultry food from insects, growing mushrooms from used coffee grounds and growing poultry, fed from by-products of the system.

Florafelt Vertical Garden Aquaponics by Kate Humble, Humble by Nature UK.
Florafelt Vertical Garden Aquaponics by Kate Humble, Humble by Nature UK.

Chris and Gary’s Vertical Garden

Florafelt 12-Pocket Vertical Garden Planted with Succulents by Chris Bribach, Plants On Walls.
Florafelt 12-Pocket Vertical Garden Planted with Succulents by Chris Bribach, Plants On Walls.

Chris and Gary used a 12-Pocket Florafelt Vertical Garden Planter to create an easy care succulent display for their San Francisco balcony. Succulents are great for saving water and can be hand watered weekly.

The design by Chris Bribach of Plants On Walls incorporated earthy tones to blend with the natural wood siding. Then incorporated a base of green on the edges to give definition. Use of trailers let it hang down wile other succulents will reach upward.

The Florafelt 12-Pocket Planter is 32 inches wide and 24 inches tall. The felt pockets are pre-stapled to a lightweight plastic board that has nylon tabs on the top corners. Simply hung from deck screws.

Succulents are a great way to learn vertical gardening if you have the right conditions. First you’ll need lots of bright light and no frost conditions. Best for our more arid states and continents. Chris and Gary use a hand pumped pressure sprayer to water once a week and also rinse off the plants. Succulents like to go nearly dry between waterings. They are so easy you even place a cutting in soil and they will root and grow.

For their design each pocket receives a felt wrapped wrap grouping of plants. In this case two 4 inch potted plants are placed into each pocket. By arranging pairs or groupings a more detailed flow can be created.

Chris Bribach demonstrates how use Florafelt Root Wraps to create a succulent display.

Vividly Succulent Vertical Garden

Dany Rojany of Bella Casa in Venice Beach, California created graphic designs that mimic the architecture with living succulents. The designs were created using Florafelt planters attached to a chain link support. The design was continued on both sides of this living fence above the interior courtyard water feature.

Florafelt vertical garden by Bella Casa, Venice Beach, California. Photo: Jeff Higginbotham
Florafelt vertical garden by Bella Casa, Venice Beach, California. Photo: Jeff Higginbotham
Florafelt vertical garden by Bella Casa, Venice Beach, California. Photo: Jeff Higginbotham
Florafelt vertical garden by Bella Casa, Venice Beach, California. Photo: Jeff Higginbotham
Florafelt vertical garden by Bella Casa, Venice Beach, California. Photo: Jeff Higginbotham
Florafelt vertical garden by Bella Casa, Venice Beach, California. Photo: Jeff Higginbotham
Florafelt vertical garden by Bella Casa, Venice Beach, California. Photo: Jeff Higginbotham
Florafelt vertical garden by Bella Casa, Venice Beach, California. Photo: Jeff Higginbotham

Garden On The Go

Students at Findley Elementary School learn about the benefits of #greenwalls using the Florafelt Vertical Garden System.

Twin Peaks Vertical Garden

Living walls inspire people the world over!  Here’s another great review:

“You’d be surprised at the number of positive comments and questions I get regarding the wall. We live at the top of Twin Peaks in a heavily touristed area due to the dramatic views of the city. There’s not a week that goes by where a few people don’t stop and ask how the garden works, many of them from foreign countries. I installed the automatic watering and feeding systems just as explained from the web site, so I’m able to say it is the easiest part of the garden for upkeep. Thanks again for the great product.”

– R. K. of San Francisco.

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