Living Walls Bring the Garden Indoors

Sourced from the Minneapolis Star Tribune

There’s little room for new plants in my urban yard. Most of the outdoor space is already occupied by some kind of greenery — in the ground, in raised beds and in pots. However, a recent visit to Colita, the newish, Oaxacan-inspired restaurant in south Minneapolis, drove me up the wall, you might say.

I went for the wonderful food and inventive cocktails, but left star-struck by the awesome living wall behind the bar. Lush, leafy and very large, the entire wall is upholstered in plants! I’m not the only customer who’s impressed, according to general manager Morgan Lent. “A lot of them cannot believe it is real, and they have to go up and touch it,” she said. The plant wall is especially popular in winter, when folks are starved for green and growing things.

I’ve seen these flat-on-the-wall, foliage-heavy installations in commercial places like Seattle’s Microsoft headquarters before, but this one made it seem way more doable for the ambitious home gardener.

Most people can’t fit an entire living wall in their homes, but you can apply a lot of the tips from this well-thought-out system by Suite Plants to create a smaller version that works for you. The wall consists of modules called cassettes that measure about 16 by 16 inches. Each cassette is a closed system that contains nine planting pockets that accommodate 4-inch potted plants. The plants are watered by a capillary mat, similar to a paper towel. The cassettes are attached to the wall with brackets to hold them in place.

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