Florafelt Pro System

Wisdom and Age Grow Vertically

Landscape designer Brandon Pruett boasts his masterful aging vertical garden works on display at Living Green Design showroom gardens in San Francisco.

#livinggreendesign #florafelt #verticalgarden #livingwalls #urbangardening

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The entitled 'Birds of Prey' vertical gardens were transferred here after the 2013 Decorators Showcase in Pacific Heights. The Florafelt Pro System infrastructure was reconfigured into a large single living wall.

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Blue Star Ferns and Leather ferns fill the lower areas that have more moisture while the Japanese Maples go dormant and lose their leaves for winter.

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Leather Ferns mingle near the moist lower areas of the living wall. Woody stems of Conifers from the original installation begin to thicken with age. Grasses finish out their season with an undergrowth of dieback.

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Living Green Design
1465 Custer Ave San Francisco
CA 94124 (415) 864-2251
livinggreendesign.com

Florafelt Pro System

Luxurious Urban Oasis Fern Walls

Florafelt Pro System Vertical Garden by Tim O'Shea for a San Francisco Residence.

San Francisco's foggy Fillmore district is ideal for grottos of lush ferns that enhance a spa and shower hidden within the plant wall. A total of 2000 plants are growing in three massive living walls throughout the home, the tallest of which towers 25 feet. They transform this luxurious urban home into a natural oasis.

Florafelt Pro System Vertical Garden by Tim O'Shea for a San Francisco Residence.

Rock and Rose worked with landscape architect Tim O'Shea to design these massive vertical gardens. They used the Florafelt Pro System with direction by Chris Bribach of Plants On Walls, system installation by Mike Long of Longevity Construction, and final planting by Michael Bonicci of Showplant Nurseries.

Florafelt Pro System Vertical Garden by Tim O'Shea for a San Francisco Residence.

Tim O'Shea chose a collection of practical yet lush ferns for the cavernous, low-light conditions including Mother, Maidenhair, Bird Nest, and Blue Star ferns. Babytears and Soleirolii provide a variety of textures and colors that grow into a smooth delicate carpet with a subtle wave of contrast from the yellow flowers of Maroon Oxalis.

Florafelt Pro System Vertical Garden by Tim O'Shea for a San Francisco Residence.
Florafelt Pro System Vertical Garden by Tim O'Shea for a San Francisco Residence.

The gardens are maintained monthly by the team at Showplant Nurseries who use tall ladders to keep the living walls manicured to perfection.

Florafelt Pro System Vertical Garden by Tim O'Shea for a San Francisco Residence.

Florafelt Pocket Planters

Caretaking The Conservatory of Flowers Vertical Garden

Volunteer Horticulturist, Steph Kantorski. Conservatory of Flowers. Florafelt Vertical Garden System.

Horticulturist Steph Kantorski describes her experience using the Florafelt System for the San Francisco Conservatory of Flowers vertical garden. 

by Steph Kantorski

A redesign of the vestibule in San Francisco’s historic Conservatory of Flowers has created a breathtaking introduction for visitors to this world-famous Victorian structure. One of the largest and most beautiful vertical green walls in the city is now on full display for visitors inside North America’s oldest public wood-and-glass greenhouse.

San Francisco Conservatory of Flowers. Florafelt Vertical Garden System

San Francisco Conservatory of Flowers. Florafelt Vertical Garden System

This dramatic 360-pocket wall (created with 30 Florafelt 12-pocket panels) reflects the spirit of the Conservatory. It was created with donated materials and labor by people with an enthusiastic love for plants. The result is an exquisite display of tropical greenery, flowering varieties and colorful vines for a luscious eye-catching wall that stirs the imagination.

Davis Dalbok, Living Green Design. Decorator Showcase 2012. Florafelt Vertical Garden System.

Davis Dalbok, Living Green Design. Decorator Showcase 2012. Florafelt Vertical Garden System.

It all began with the 2012 San Francisco Decorator Showcase that featured an exterior green wall designed by Davis Dalbok of Living Green Design and member of the Conservatory’s Advisory Council. The planted entry wall was made using the Florafelt vertical garden system invented by Chris Bribach of Plants On Walls.

Chris Bribach demonstrates how to create a simple succulent Florafelt vertical garden at the Conservatory of Flowers.

Chris Bribach demonstrates how to create a simple succulent Florafelt vertical garden at the Conservatory of Flowers.

Jane Scurich (above right), Director of Development at the Conservatory of Flowers, remembers the Decorator Showcase wall as “breathtaking.” After the event, she asked Davis about acquiring a section of the display. Davis replied, “You don’t want a postage stamp, Jane, you want it to be the whole wall.” Davis contacted Chris about the project, who donated a custom-designed system to one of San Francisco’s most prestigious and beloved institutions. It was installed behind the greeter desk with special requirements to preserve the integrity of the elegant Victorian structure.

VIDEO: Chris Bribach of Plants On Walls installs a Florafelt Vertical Garden at the Conservatory of Flowers. September 2012.

Florafelt Vertical Garden Planters donated by Chris Bribach of Plants On Walls. Conservatory of Flowers, San Francisco.

Florafelt Vertical Garden Planters donated by Chris Bribach of Plants On Walls. Conservatory of Flowers, San Francisco.

Guadalupe Cota, Senior Nursery Specialist. Conservatory of Flowers, San Francisco.

Guadalupe Cota, Senior Nursery Specialist. Conservatory of Flowers, San Francisco.

Around that time, volunteer Conservatory greeter Marilyn Singer passed away and her family donated many of the first plants in her memory. Later San Francisco Foliage donated more greenery. Senior Nursery Specialist Guadalupe Cota culled prime specimens from her greenhouse. As the number and variety of plants grew, it became clear that a stunning attraction was being created.

San Francisco Conservatory of Flowers. Florafelt Vertical Garden System.

San Francisco Conservatory of Flowers. Florafelt Vertical Garden System.

A dripline water and nutrient-delivery system also donated by Plants On Walls kept it lush and beautiful. Not long after, Guadalupe left the Conservatory and Nursery Specialist Mario Vega maintained it for the next few months. That’s about where I came in.

Originally volunteering as a docent, I switched to the horticulture side in 2013 out of sheer fascination with the plants themselves. I was beyond thrilled when Mario put me on “vertical garden duty.” The last three years have been an invaluable education in what tropical flora do when prepared in Root Wraps, or the recycled PET “diapers” (as I affectionately call them), and stuffed inside pockets to grow vertically.

Pineapple plant and vanilla orchid. Conservatory of Flowers. Florafelt Vertical Garden System.

Pineapple plant and vanilla orchid. Conservatory of Flowers. Florafelt Vertical Garden System.

As I worked with the vertical garden, I found that plants were so happy they began to take over. The vanilla orchid vine grew with such force it pushed its neighbors up out of their pockets. The bromeliads flowered furiously and the philodendrons’ roots clamped on so ferociously I had to cut out entire pockets. Gesneriads, lipstick vines and exotic grasses spilled over and fought for light.

When the wall garden was finally tamed, I added more specimens to vary the color and texture. Now there’s a habanero pepper plant and two carnivorous Nepenthes, which I keep neatly trimmed because they tend to take over.

Conservatory of Flowers Garden Director Matthew Stephens

Conservatory of Flowers Garden Director Matthew Stephens

In early 2016, the Conservatory welcomed its new Director Matthew Stephens. Among his other exciting plans, the greeter desk was moved to the other side of the entryway allowing everyone to experience the living wall up close. The larger foliage at the top has been trimmed to reveal the building’s beautiful original stained glass. With the wall now on full display, this unique and astounding vertical jungle finally feels complete.

For a small entry fee you can visit the Conservatory of Flowers and take a free tour or stroll around on your own. You can also just step into the vestibule without a ticket to experience the living wall for yourself.

Hibbity Dibbity band’s photo shoot in July 2016 at the Conservatory of Flowers, San Francisco. Florafelt Vertical Garden.

Hibbity Dibbity band’s photo shoot in July 2016 at the Conservatory of Flowers, San Francisco. Florafelt Vertical Garden.

Florafelt Pocket Planters

Urban Renewal Grows in Cleveland

Architect Marika Shioiri-Clark revitalizes a neighborhood by working with the community to construct Cleveland's largest living wall using the Florafelt System.

Watch extended interviews with the architect and neighbors.

Florafelt Vertical Garden Planters were mounted to horizontal lumber supports bolted to the brick facade.

Architect Marika Shioiri-Clark. Hingetown Cleveland Living Wall. Florafelt Vertical Garden System.

Architect Marika Shioiri-Clark and a group of dedicated community volunteers bring the head-turning beauty of living walls to Cleveland's up-and-coming Hingetown district.

Community Volunteers. Hingetown Cleveland Living Wall. Florafelt Vertical Garden System.
Community Volunteers. Hingetown Cleveland Living Wall. Florafelt Vertical Garden System.
Community Volunteers. Hingetown Cleveland Living Wall. Florafelt Vertical Garden System.
Community Volunteers. Hingetown Cleveland Living Wall. Florafelt Vertical Garden System.

A wide variety of sedums and hearty grasses will grow into a seamless cliffside of cascading foliage.

Architect Marika Shioiri-Clark. Hingetown Cleveland Living Wall. Florafelt Vertical Garden System.

Reclaimed water from rooftop rain runoff will irrigate the vertical garden for an exciting, eye-catching and ecological icon in an area flourishing from urban renewal.

Architect Marika Shioiri-Clark. Hingetown Cleveland Living Wall. Florafelt Vertical Garden System.

Architect Marika Shioiri-Clark. Hingetown Cleveland Living Wall. Florafelt Vertical Garden System.

Florafelt Pocket Planters

Green Marketing Gone Vertical

Rebecca Sheedy of Floraform Design is thrilled that her first vertical garden is also one of her most visible. Marx Foods may be the first, but Rebecca has since spent five years creating living walls, and ran a business maintaining gardens for several years before that. “I just love plants and always find a way to be out there with them,” she says.

Inspired by design, Rebecca in Paris in front of a famous Patric Blanc living wall.

Inspired by design, Rebecca in Paris in front of a famous Patric Blanc living wall.

She honed her expertise while studying botany at the University of Washington and The Evergreen State College. “I’m really into color, contrast, texture and shapes,” she says. In fact, her expertise is international. “During college, I did research in Costa Rica to estimate the biomass of forest canopy. We found there’s more biomass in the canopy than on the forest floor.”

Rebecca's first vertical garden serenely packs a green marketing punch from its post overlooking the Marx Foods checkout area. “I started small with a Florafelt Compact Kit with 8-pockets for the first 6 to 8 months,” Rebecca explains. “I learned what plants were happy where. Now there are 7 Compact Kits lined up together for 56 pockets.”  

Marks Foods reception desk vertical garden by by Rebecca Sheedy, Floraform Design Seattle, framed Florafelt Compact Vertical Garden Kits.

Marks Foods reception desk vertical garden by by Rebecca Sheedy, Floraform Design Seattle, framed Florafelt Compact Vertical Garden Kits.

Marks Foods reception desk vertical garden by by Rebecca Sheedy, Floraform Design Seattle, framed Florafelt Compact Vertical Garden Kits.

Marks Foods reception desk vertical garden by by Rebecca Sheedy, Floraform Design Seattle, framed Florafelt Compact Vertical Garden Kits.

Plus a gorgeous frame that beautifully sets off the plants within. “The frame was Marx Foods’ idea. To hide the freezers, we incorporated the garden into the freezer wall. The garden sets Marx apart, makes a statement and generates a lot of buzz.”

Rebecca selects plants as carefully as Marx Foods shops for their clientele. The garden includes Homalomena, Medusa Bromeliads, Kangaroo Paw Fern, Vresia (a mottled leaf bromeliad), Spathiphyllum, Anthurium, Aglaonema (has a good sprawling habit and fills in the edges"), Philodendron and Schefflera 'Soliel,' which has stunning chartreuse leaves. 

Rebecca Sheedy of Floraform Seattle uses two Florafelt Compact Kits to create a larger install.

Rebecca Sheedy of Floraform Seattle uses two Florafelt Compact Kits to create a larger install.

Rebecca shopped around before settling exclusively on Plants On Walls. “Back then a lot of people created walls themselves in a Patrick Blanc style, stapling felt to a wall. But I made sure to use a Compact Kit – it’s fully contained and operates on its own. I like how the hardware is invisible. People saw it and got in touch with me.”

Since then, Rebecca has created distinctive and beautiful vertical gardens for restaurants, homes, wine shops, doctors’ offices, you name it. Interestingly, doctors request the gardens for their examination rooms. “There is a big alternative medicine scene here – doctors prescribe plants as medicine,” she says.

Green healing: A Seattle doctor's examination room vertical garden by Rebecca Sheedy, Floraform Design Seattle, wall mounted Florafelt Compact Vertical Garden Kits.

Green healing: A Seattle doctor's examination room vertical garden by Rebecca Sheedy, Floraform Design Seattle, wall mounted Florafelt Compact Vertical Garden Kits.