• Bringing the Outside in: Interior Vertical Planting.

    Earlier this year, we set up some Woolly Pocket™ wall planters on our garden fence in an effort to increase the footprint of available growing space in our small urban garden.  Despite it being a tricky summer for almost half of what we tried to grow food-wise, several of our plants thrived and many of our herbs are still growing well into November.  But what do you do, when you live (as we do) in a truly four-season climate that is known for harsh winters?

    We have been working with Woolly Pocket™ planters for a while and we are big fans of the product.  We have a small indoor wall garden in our studio and the aforementioned set-up in our garden at home.  However, we had yet to take the plunge and set up some planters in our house.  A couple of weeks ago, we brought our outdoor set up in for the winter: the results are exciting so far.

    We are very fortunate to have an open light well in our home that – aside from being a beautiful design feature – provides a perfect location for setting up a vertical garden.  Hanging just over the edge, the plants stay out of the way of our kids and our dog while remaining within reach for easy access to replant, water and harvest.  We selected several plants that are recognized for their air-purifying prowess including Boston Fern, Golden Pothos and Peace Lily.  These particular plants also hang beautifully so it will be interesting to see how the light well evolves over the next several months as the plants begin to trail down towards the lower level of the house.

    In addition to conventional plants, we brought in some herbs and are seeding one of the wall planters with fast growing lettuces to be harvested at intervals throughout the winter.  We are also using clip lamps to supplement light for seedlings and to boost growth for the plants on particularly gloomy days.  The great thing about a setup like this is that the modular nature of the pockets allows for installation on pretty much any vertical surface (wood, drywall, brick, cement, stucco, etc.) and you can keep the plantings as low maintenance as you wish.

    The health benefits associated with living with plants are well documented and, in a study released by NASA twenty-five years ago, the air purifying properties of plants were analyzed and a list of the toxins and impurities that they remove from the air was released.  The basic rule of thumb established following this study was that people should live with at least one plant per 100 square feet of living space.  As a family with members that suffer from asthma and allergies but who also endeavour to keep our household as safe and toxin free as possible, plants and all they offer us are a welcome addition to our home.  They elevate air quality and they lift the spirits of those that share their space.  They also serve as a constant reminder to us urban folk that there is a greener and cleaner world out there.

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