Ideas from the south – tree painting and DIY green walls

– Posted in: Miscellaneous

 

Bored with that tree in the garden. Get out some paint! Preferably bio-d and non-toxic of course. This installation was done at not-quite-open-yet-but-soon-will-be nature centre near Tigre, outside Buenos Aires, and linked with the town’s Fine Art Museum as part of an initiative to promote conservation of the unique delta environment.

Antonia Guzman is the artist. Looks like something you could easily do at home.

The Tigre delta is a fascinating place, the area around the town is old market-garden land and is now a slightly surreal mix of native and non-native species which have colonized the land, and very good for wildlife. An example of the new ‘post-nature’ that Emma Maris wrote about in Rambunctious Garden – see my blog on this very important book.

My main reason for coming down south was to visit the remarkable Amalia Robredo – a pioneer in native plant gardening in Uruguay.

 

Now change of subject, but another great idea from the far south (Argentina and Uruguay). We are all very familiar with living walls now. Thanks, in part, to French botanist Patrick Blanc; Fran wrote about him some time ago. I am one of many however who are a little bit sceptical about living walls in general, and Patrick Blanc in particular. He lacks the generosity of spirit which is so fundamental to the gardening world, as he tries to keep his techniques to himself. An enquiry from a boutique hotel in Montevideo, Uruguay, quoted $1300 a square metre!!!

Horrified by this, an architecture student, Adrian Magoniner, whose family own the hotel, thought he could do better himself and constructed the very successful example above for $150 /m2. He also generously offered to provide plans if Nigel Dunnett and I do another edition of our green roof and wall book.

The very next day I am off on a tour of Montevideo gardens, and meet an artist, Daniela, who does a variety of DIY green walls.

This hangs just by the back door, and instant source of herbs and salad leaves.

A punch bag planted with strawberries.

Needless to say I nearly fell in shooting this one – Daniela’s swimming pool.


This is a wire grid ‘planted’ with air plants (Tillandsia spp.) Makes a change from their usual habitat of overhead wiring.

At some stage, when my Spanish improves, I shall translate Daniela’s instructions and pass them on, but for now, this is how she does it. The grey stuff is wool shoddy or something similar, the blue is a very tough webbing kind of material. The plastic tube acts as a former, holding the blue webbing to form a tube.

Nifty work with a staple gun and knife and she creates pockets, which can then be filled with compost.

 

 

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Noel Kingsbury

Noel Kingsbury

Noel Kingsbury is a gardener and writer based in the west of England. Author of over 20 books, including four collaborations with Dutch designer Piet Oudolf, he is passionate about wild-style planting and bringing nature into the garden.

Noel Kingsbury

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