One of the most prominent features in the biomes at The Leaf is the vertical garden in the Babs Asper Display House. The 14ft tall, 82ft wide wall is ‘alive’ as it hosts over 4,400 individual living tropical plants.
This green wall was designed and installed by Air Strength Canada, a Winnipeg-based interior landscaping company. The vertical garden won the Diamond Award in the ‘Living Wall’ category which was presented to Air Strenth Canada at the 2023 International Plantscape Awards gala.
The Leaf and complementary outdoor gardens have a continued pattern of lines, circles, and waves. The pattern of the vertical garden was designed to follow suit.
The wall contains plants in 6-inch pots, mounted on a slight angle, that can be removed to change the pattern or replace the plant material. The plants are watered through a timed drip-irrigation system that allows the water to cascade down the wall reaching all the roots of the plants. Maintaining these plants is quite standard and consists of pruning, cleaning, and rotating the pots.
The vertical garden offers a unique perspective to visitors who pass by. Ordinarily one cannot look at plants from this point of view. Seeing these tropical plants from new angles and perspectives inspires imagination and helps people to appreciate various aspects of plant life.
Studies have shown that spaces full of plants and beauty have powerful effects on improving human mood, creativity, productivity, and overall health. We hope that people will slow down and spend time admiring the intricate details like the shape, colours, and textures of the leaves.
In addition to human benefits, this wall also serves practical purposes in The Leaf. It dampens the sounds of the open space, creating a calming environment in addition to insulating the area and improving the air quality. As our Horticulture Design Supervisor, Wade Meisner explained, “Healthy plants equal healthy lives!”
Our horticulture team chose the varieties of the plants highlighted on the wall carefully. Plants were chosen for functional reasons like being able to withstand the direct sunlight the wall receives, and for aesthetic aspects, like textures and the different leaf shapes. There are eight different varieties of plants, all of which are common house plants that can be grown in your own home. We hope that people will come and ‘shop’ the green wall, taking inspiration home with them as they leave.
Plants featured in the vertical garden include:
- Schefflera arboricola ‘Luseane’ (Umbrella Plant)
- Dracaena deremensis warneckii ‘Lemon Surprise’ (Dragon Tree)
- Ficus elastica ‘Burgundy’ (Rubber Tree)
- Chlorophytum comosum (Spider Plant)
- Aeschynanthus radicans ‘Mona Lisa’ (Lipstick Plant)
- Philodendron erubescens ‘Prince of Orange’
- Ficus elastica ‘Ruby’ (Rubber Tree)
- Calathea lancifolia ‘Lnncifolia’ (Prayer Plant)
The vertical garden was made possible through the generous support of the Asper Foundation.