Tag Archives | vertical gardening

Patrick Blanc…The Michelangelo of Vertical Gardening….In His Own words

Thanks to botanist and designer extraordinaire, Patrick Blanc, vertical gardening has become one of the hottest trends in gardening. Patrick has transformed what Westerners used to think of as vines climbing up a wall into a mesmerizing and sensual tapestry of plants that titillates your senses.

Watch this interview to see some of Patrick’s creations and hear what this visionary has to say.

If you enjoyed this video, you might want to check out an earlier article I wrote on Vertical Gardening.


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Why Teaching Inner City High School Students How To Build Sustainable Green Walls Changes Their Lives

Can you imagine what might happen when you take a group of high school students from a school in the Bronx and teach them the technology and how to build sustainable green walls?  One man, George Irwin, the founder of A Green Roof  did just that…and changed these students lives forever.



“The natural progression into education has allowed us to use the Mobile Edible Wall Unit (MEWU) as an educational tool. Celebrity teacher Steve Ritz (Discovery High School, Bronx NY) used the MEWU to improve attendance and achieve close to 100% passing regents scores. He credits the Edible Wall for engaging his students for bell to bell instruction. The MEWU is now available complete with a 90 page Unit Plan for instruction, including rubrics, assessments, and core cross over, which all adhere to the National Learning Standards. The family of Green Living Technologies is also the basis for the new High School diploma (2012) being written by George Irwin in collaboration with Jamie Cloud of Cloud Institute.

Read more about Green Living Technologies.

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What Our Mothers Taught Us About Gardening and Life

Several months ago I asked a few of my gardening friends to respond to a questionnaire. They generously agreed.

The subject: Our Moms.

It’s about the stories they’ve told us and how they’ve lived their lives, the impact they’ve had on us both in and out of the garden, and how they helped us get from there to here.

During this holiday season, I can think of no better gift for our Moms than taking the time to appreciate them. Over the next couple of weeks, you’ll be able to read the experiences of gardeners from different parts of the country….in their own words.

I hope you enjoy.

Rebecca Sweet and her mother Linda Anderson
Rebecca Sweet (shown here with her mom, Linda Anderson) is well known in the gardening world as a best selling author, prolific writer,  blogger, and a fine garden designer. You can learn more about Rebecca on her website, Harmony In The Garden and her blog, Gossip In The Garden and check out the book that she co-authored with Susan Morrison, Garden Up: Small Vertical Gardening for Large and  Small Spaces.

Did your mother pass down any stories about herself, family members, neighbors, etc. that have to do with gardening?

My mother had very fond memories of spending summer vacations on her grandmother and aunt’s peach orchard here in northern California. They had 80 acres of peaches with a river running through it, and lived in a massive Victorian home. Her summer memories are some of the fondest from her childhood. Her other set of grandparents lived nearby on many acres of almond orchards. She was a very nature-oriented child that transferred over to her adult life.

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Vertical Gardening: Creating A Sense of Place

I’m delighted that Susan Morrison and Rebecca Sweet are gracing us with their presence on Gardening Gone Wild with an in depth article on different types of vertical gardening; which is no surprise since they have just published a fantastic book on it, Garden Up! Smart Vertical Gardening for Small and Large Spaces. By the time I finished this article, I thought ‘Wow…I have got to try some of these ideas on my urban roof top garden’…. Fran Sorin


When we first told friends and family we were writing a book about vertical gardening, the typical response went something like “Great! It’s about time someone wrote a book about living walls in the U.S.” Being reasonably smart cookies, we eventually figured out that most people’s definition of vertical gardening begins and ends with living walls.

But as beautiful and inspiring as a book filled with living wall photos might be, we’re not garden reporters, we’re garden designers. For us, everything flows from the magic that happens when we work with our clients to create personal spaces. We weren’t interested in a book about multi-story office buildings draped in high maintenance greenery and supported by complex, expensive hydroponic equipment. Instead, we were looking for vertical gardening ideas that reflect how most of us actually garden – whether that’s on a balcony, in the city or on a traditional suburban lot.

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Vertical Gardening Ideas….Tube Planters

I was transformed into a lover and student of vertical gardening after seeing Patrick Blanc’s vertical wall designs years ago in a magazine. I’ve written about vertical gardening on GGW over the past few years. Since then, the field has continued to grow at a quick pace. The horticultural industry is focusing more and more on green roofs and vertical gardening, realizing that these two forms of gardening are not only environmentally beneficial but can help expand peoples’ horizons of how to create a garden when dealing with an unconventional space.

In he 1980s, Pat McWhinney noticed that many rock and waterfall type projects were lacking plant life around the rock formations. Consequently, he created a unique plant system called Tube Planters.  I first became aware of Tube Planters, thanks to Debra Lee Baldwin’s book, Succulent Container Gardens. Tube Planter can be used for a variety of purposes in several different settings such as rockscapes, living walls, free standing plant columns, living arches, hillsides and horizontal plantings. For the purposes of this article, I’m focusing on vertical gardening.

Tube Planter #10

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