By Noemie Vialard
W. W. Norton & Company, $24.95, 144 pages
Don’t worry if you lack garden space, now you can place all you plants on a wall. Instead of looking at your flower or veggie patch horizontally, instead think of viewing it vertically. Sort of reminiscent of the hanging gardens of Babylon, the author discloses how French Botanist Patrick Blanc developed the wall gardens displayed as planting art which can be seen on museum walls in Spain, shopping malls in Thailand and in a neighborhood in Paris.
“So put down your spades and rakes for awhile, and get out your drills and staplers: they will plunge you into a whole new world.”
In addition to describing these floral wonders, the author carefully describes how to create your own personal herbal wall. The essential materials include a special matting resistant to rot but which allows the plant roots to embrace and thrive on its surface. Along with this basic substrate, frames need be constructed and materials for watering and fertilizing must be provided. Scores of plants suitable for different vertical situations are listed and described. The majestic illustrations enrich the text describing how to construct foliage walls, or aromatic herb panels, or walls of ferns. Perhaps you would prefer circles of thyme, or succulent patchworks, maybe a drain dressed with clematis sounds attractive to you. This is a beautiful book full of ideas that will especially appeal to the dedicated gardener.
Reviewed by Aron Row