With 5 working days to go until move in day, nerves are a little stretched. One can’t help noticing that there is still no sign of any part of the kitchen, a toilet, tap, shower rose and one or two other rather important things that one gets used to. We must live in faith though that it will all come together and in the meantime this post will celebrate what has been happening at the Gorgeous Green House.
We are very excited to have installed the owl house. You may think the design looks a little ‘open’ and are wondering why it is not in a tree. We wish to attract Spotted Eagle Owls as we know they fly in our area and according to the experts they want to nest where they will have 360 degree clear views. We’ve installed ours in the roof garden so we can lie in bed and watch all the action. Just waiting for a broody pair to move in. Click here for designs for this and Barn Owl houses. Very easy to make. I’ll allow the photos to tell the story of the updates.
The first time I stumbled upon an image of a Patrick Blank vertical garden I was transfixed. The beauty of his work is indisputable and the idea of clothing the hard surfaces of buildings with vegetation quite mesmerizing. I had already walked the path of research on roof gardens so knew that there would also be insulation benefits, but to be really honest at that moment I just wanted one! I had an inkling that there would probably be quite a lot of science in the process of a successful VG and began looking into it. I learned very quickly from viewing a hotel in Johannesburg that maintenance could be quite a big deal as they had many sections in re-hab mode even though the garden had been installed a few years prior. Once you get a few metres above ground level logistics have to be considered.
The Patrick Blank process is basically hydropics with irrigation behind the greenery. I became nervous of my ability to re-create this aesthetic in our hot tropical Durban climate and then discovered the pot/container method which is a viable alternative. Here you are planting in soil so essentially you are gardening a large volume of pot plants (that are also carefully irrigated) and a very pleasing result is achieved. My research took me to Pula Water whose system of this kind is no doubt the best in SA and probably globally. A major advantage is that an almost immediate ‘full’ planted result can be achieved. I was just about to commit!
I then arrived to work on the Botanical Society stand at the Home & Garden show and to my amazement saw that our center piece was a magnificent mini Patrick Blank, designed and developed by our own James Halle: firstname.lastname@example.org . Over the next few weeks of volunteering at the Indigenous Plant Fair James and I spent a fair amount of time together and combined with further research of my own this is what I learned:
So here is my (early stage) extraordinary and beautiful green wall of art (thank you James):