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.”


  1. Great work Matt.


  2. I like your garden very much. It's one of the most inventive uses of a vertical garden that I've seen. It is three dimensional and creates a space. Appreciate all your how to information also. I'm curious about
    the brick wall to the kitchen. Is that part of the building or did you build that into the design? In either case I really like it, and immediately thought of using all the bricks from our Victorian foundation for a project of my own.

  3. Matt, I don't know if you helped me when i was starting the wall.

  4. Hi Peter,

    Of course I remember. I think you were the first person I helped who finished a wall and documented it.

    Your wall looked great in the article. It was nice to see you there.


  5. 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

  6. 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!!!

  7. @Felipe Check out my latest post. I hope that helps.


  8. @General Houseplant

    My basin was made from PVC. I wouldn't recommend it as a material. Stainless steel, non-toxic plastics, or epoxied wood are better choices. You may also consider something readymade. How big is your wall?


  9. I'm wondering about having enough natural sunlight for the plants? Positioning of the wall would be important? Do plants suffer when you have changes in temperature such as heaters on in the house?

  10. I have some questions. I am planning to build a green wall in my apartment terrace. It is not completely outdoors because it has a glass canopy over it.

    First I should install a metallic or wood frame that works as an isolation layer from the wall. I guess it goes screwed to the wall, right?
    Then, over it I put the corrugated plastic layer. Over it, goes the moisture retention mat or fabric which is thick enough to do pockets to plant inside them? I guess that part is not clear enough yet. I hope you can help me
    Other question I have is about the irrigation system. You placed a PVC tube over your structure, and some vertical drilled pvc tubes to irrigate the entire wall?

    I really hope you can help me. Im from Bogota Colombia and I really want to be able to build my own greenwall. Thanks