The Benefits of Living Walls for City Gardens

Aug 14, 2023

In our cities and towns when space is often at a premium and nature is like a distant dream, a city garden can be a sanctuary for urban dwellers. Amidst the desire to cultivate a green space for ourselves, the idea of incorporating living walls, also known as green walls or vertical walls, has emerged as a transformative solution to adding green space in urban areas and not only adds a wow factor but also offers a myriad of ecological, environmental and well-being benefits. We explore the benefits of a living wall.

Increased Biodiversity: A Haven for Flora and Fauna

One of the most enchanting benefits of living walls in a garden design is the heightened biodiversity they bring. Often limited to small spaces, many city gardens leave little room for plants and wildlife to thrive. Living walls provide a vertical canvas for a diverse range of plants and can include flowering plants, ferns, succulents and even small shrubs. As these walls become lush habitats, they attract pollinators such as bees and butterflies, fostering your own mini-ecosystem. The presence of this increased biodiversity not only adds the joy of nature’s beauty but also contributes to the overall health of the urban environment.

Improved Air Quality: Nature’s Air Purifier

As cities grapple with the challenges of air pollution, living walls emerge as natural air purifiers. Plants in vertical gardens absorb pollutants and particulate matter and release oxygen in return. In a process known as phytoremediation, plant leaves act as filters, trapping harmful substances and enhancing the quality of the air we breathe. By incorporating living walls into a city garden design, we are creating green pockets of fresh air that offer a respite from the emissions associated with urban areas.

Living walls Claire Winchester
Image of living wall garden design in Brighton city garden by Claire Winchester

Mitigating the Urban Heat Island Effect : Nature’s Cooling Solution

Urban heat islands are characterised by significantly higher temperatures in cities compared to their rural surroundings. Living walls in a garden design help mitigate this effect by providing a cooling mechanism through the process of transpiration. As plants release water vapour into the air, temperatures around the living wall are naturally lowered. This cooling effect extends to the surrounding areas, creating a more pleasant microclimate for both plants and people. 

Acoustic Benefits: Nature’s Soothing Symphony

The harmonious rustling of leaves and the gentle chirping of birds have an undeniable calming effect on our senses. Living walls contribute to a more serene environment by acting as natural sound barriers. They absorb and deflect sound, reducing noise pollution in busy urban settings. The combination of visual beauty and auditory tranquillity makes city gardens with living walls ideal spots for relaxation and reflection, providing a welcome escape from the urban cacophony.

Well-being Oasis: Nurturing Mind and Soul

Perhaps the most profound benefit of incorporating living walls into city gardens is their positive impact on well-being with exposure to green spaces and nature having a positive effect on reducing stress, anxiety, and improving well-being. City dwellers often face the hustle and bustle of modern life, and having a sanctuary of greenery within arm’s reach can be a source of comfort and rejuvenation. Whether it’s the act of tending to the plants, taking a leisurely stroll, or simply gazing at the vibrant foliage, living walls nourish not only the body but also the mind and soul.

Thinking of adding a living wall to your garden design in Brighton? Contact me to discuss your plans

living walls 2 Claire Winchester
Recent garden design project in Brighton by Claire Winchester featuring living walls