Since biblical times gardens have been horizontal, until Patrick Blanc starting greening the walls and courtyards of cities around the world. The inventor of the vertical garden, he is also the world’s leading expert.
Blanc has created dozens of his botanical tapestries in public and private spaces: lush miniature forests of perennial plants, mosses, ferns and flowers, the key to whose success is the diversity of species used.
The vertical garden is a new green vision for the interaction between cities, plants and people. As Frank Lloyd Wright said: ‘architects cannot bury their mistakes, but they can grow things over them’. Vertical gardening goes a step further, and has in turn given new stimulus to contemporary architecture both public and domestic.
Originally inspired by the observation of plants in rainforest canopies or living on rocks around waterfalls, vertical gardening emulates natural ‘gardens’ on cliffs and mountain slopes that are fed by sunshine, wind energy, ambient moisture, dew and rain.
The benefits include reduced pollution and flooding from rainwater run-off, additional insulation for buildings, and increased habitat for wildlife – as well as the vivid beauty of these living walls and their daily contribution to our concrete environment.
Vertical space is empty and often free. For the urban gardener the vertical garden is practical, long lasting and even portable (Blanc has moved his own garden to three different addresses in Paris over a 28-year period). He will reveal with his unique authority the possibilities for greening our walls and courtyards, will explain the art of soil-less planting, and will show us how it is done.