Build a Vertical Garden in your Home. ~ Summer Rayne Oakes

Via Summer Rayne Oakes
on Mar 26, 2013
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Decorate your home with plants by going vertical.

When living in New York City, you often have to be creative with your living space due to the lack of it [space]. I tend not to collect much “stuff,” for I find too many possessions give me quite a bit of anxiety. However, the things that I can continue to acquire that result in pure enjoyment are plants.

After filling up just about every horizontal surface with some species of flora—from Alocasias to Zamioculcas, I turned to my walls for inspiration. It was my dream to create an interior vertical garden, but after running a start-up in my backroom, it made it next to impossible to even consider the possibility. Only when the start-up grew up and moved out, was I able to consider the possibilities of constructing a living wall. I felt an impulsive desire to literally and figuratively clear the air from the work atmosphere and regain the feeling of “home.” One way to do that was to bring in plants and transform the space.

My friend Kyle introduced me to Kari and Edwin from Mingo Design, both of whom came to advise and create a most wonderful indoor vertical garden—equipped with a sub-irrigation system and over 15 different species of plants, which include a few species of Philodendrons, ferns, and Dracaenas, just to name a few. The sub-irrigation system is quite an innovation, namely because it not only waters the plants from below (versus gravity fed), as its name would imply, but it also prevents adding another 80 plants into my weekly, manual watering routine.

The process of seeing the wall come together was quite spectacular and would love to share it with you here. If it seems too ambitious, I also have a video demonstrating how you can build a simpler version (Mason Jar Herb Garden) with just some boards, mason jars and hose clamps—three materials that are easy to find just about anywhere. Since significantly greening up my interior environment, I noticed not only a calming of my mood—but also the joy of sharing it with friends and strangers alike. I hope this inspires you to bring some green into your home.

How to Green Your Home (Part 1): Build an Indoor Vertical Garden from SUMMER RAYNE OAKES on Vimeo.




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Assistant Ed: Wendy Keslick/Ed:Kate Bartolotta




About Summer Rayne Oakes

Summer Rayne Oakes is a model-activist working on reforestation and artisan training efforts through the Mezimbite Forest Centre in Mozambique and Sub-Saharan Africa. She is also the co-founder of Source4Style, a sustainable materials marketplace, advisory board member of Phytotrade, and has currently released a weekly video series entitled SUMMER RAYNE OAKES Conversations, highlighting discussions with cool people on what matters most. She is featured in this year’s Pirelli Calendar shot by Steve McCurry of Afghan Girl fame. You can follow her journeys and personal musings on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.


4 Responses to “Build a Vertical Garden in your Home. ~ Summer Rayne Oakes”

  1. Valuable information. Lucky me I found your web site accidentally, and I am shocked why this twist of fate did not came about earlier! I bookmarked it.

  2. brian savage says:

    exciting reading

  3. David Hilton says:

    Very impressive comments to read that but i would like to add that you must focus upon the positive site of the topic, which can be easily understood by the readers.

  4. Abhiroop says:

    This. Is GORGEOUS. I love your house. Thank you for sharing the building process with the video.