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Green walls in your home
By Jerry Brownstein
Long relegated to corporate atriums and hotel lobbies, living green walls, or vertical gardens, are becoming increasingly popular in private homes. These lush walls of plants clean the air, insulate the home from outside noise and create a soothing environment. They are also a beautiful and natural work of art. Gennaro Brooks-Church (who grew up here on Ibiza) is a creative builder in New York, and his company, Eco Brooklyn, installs green walls in homes throughout the city - usually as part of a modernizing renovation.
Brooks-Church has been perfecting the concept of green walls for over 10 years, and he cautions that, “You’ve really got to know what you’re doing to install a good living wall. We’ve gotten it down to a process that is really simple, and once you install it correctly it pretty much takes care of itself.” The first step is to attach a piece plywood to the wall that is covered by a sheet of plastic for waterproofing. On top of that is a layer of ground-up coconut coir. This is the hard inner part of a coconut that is excellent for retaining water. The plants are inserted into pockets in the coconut coir, and an irrigation system drains to the bottom of the green wall where the water can empty into the sewer drain.