Thursday, May 20, 2010

The Basin Challenge

General Houseplant Care wrote:

"Great work guys! I love your site, and am currently working on building my own green wall.

I am having trouble sourcing a trough, though, and am wondering what you guys used?

Thanks for your help!!!"

Basin's are probably one of the more tricky parts of greenwall building. As I've said before mine was made from PVC (a material I wouldn't use again because of it's environmental impact). I would suggest building basins from non-toxic plastic, epoxy covered wood, stainless steel, or something readymade.

If you have a good basin solution please send it in.



Which felt?

Felipe wrote:

"Hi Matt , My name is Felipe , i'am form Chile and i'm going to star my own green wall, but I have a question because i don't know what kind of felt i need, if i can use the felt used for hydroponics that i can get in many stores or have to be an special felt? please please try to answer. I'll be very grateful

Big Hug

The felt I use (MRM) is made for greenroof installations. A hydroponic felt may be similar but I'm not sure. Click here for a data sheet on the felt I used. That should help with comparisons. Here's the basic information cut and pasted from the sheet:

Moisture Retention Mat is composed of high-quality, recycled, non-rotting, poly-propylene fibers.

Moisture Retention Mat is used in the Hydrotech Garden Roof Assembly to retain moisture and nutrients for use by the vegetation layer.

THICKNESS: 3/16 in. (≈200 mils)
SIZE: 7.5 ft. X 100 ft. (2.3m X 30.5m) - in rolls
(715 sq.ft. effective coverage)
WEIGHT: 16 oz./yd2 (542 g/m2) 0.11 lb./sq.ft. (0.54 kg./sq.m.) - dry;
1.2 lb./sq.ft. (5.9 kg./sq.m.) - wet
WATER RETENTION CAP.: ≈0.13 gal./sq.ft. (5.3 l./sq.m.)

(ASTM D4632) (ASTM D4632)
TRAPEZOIDAL TEAR: 145 lb/in2 (0.644 kN) PUNCTURE STRENGTH: 240 lb (1.07 kN)
(ASTM D4533) (ASTM D4833)

Good Luck,


Wednesday, May 5, 2010

My Greenwall in the New York Times Home Section

I was interviewed by Kristina Shevory from the New York Times about my greenwall but I couldn't blog about it until I saw this.

I thought I was on the cover until I learned that the image rotates. Doh! But it's so exciting to be in the article and to be the main image.

Also Peter Kastan was mentioned too and I am so envious of the beautiful diversity of the plants on his wall. Here's an excerpt from the article.

Gardens That Grow on Walls By KRISTINA SHEVORY


Last year, inspired by Mr. Blanc’s work, Matthew McGregor-Mento, 38, an executive creative director at Gyro: HSR, a New York advertising agency, and his wife, Emma, 35, a massage therapist, set out to build a vertical garden in their two-bedroom apartment in the East Village. They attached an 8-by-10-foot aluminum frame to a wall in the entry hall, screwed waterproof sheets of PVC to the frame and tacked on two layers of matting. Then they inserted some 400 plants — philodendrons, ivies and ferns — into holes they cut in the felt.

A trough they installed along the floor collects runoff water from the irrigation system, and a pump with a filtration sponge sends it back up the wall. Timers control the watering, which happens four times a day.

The design, which they devised with the help of a horticulturalist friend, was based on Mr. Blanc’s system and on research they had done online. The total cost was $3,000, but the result was worth it, Mr. McGregor-Mento said. Most people who visit want a green wall of their own, and the effort involved wasn’t that onerous: “Building a vertical wall is about as difficult as painting a room.”