Hanging garden puts nature in the frame

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The Wall Garden allows users to grow fresh herbs, flowers and vegetables(Credit: Living Art)

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Few works of art are as beautiful as nature, so why not frame nature and hang it on your wall at home? That's the premise behind the Wall Garden, a new aeroponic planter that is designed to hang like a picture and grow herbs, flowers and vegetables.

The concept for the Wall Garden was conceived by David Liston, who wanted something that would help to combat seasonal affective disorder caused by winter darkness and wouldn't take up any of the limited counter space in his kitchen. Liston and three friends from college spent a year developing the idea and launched it under their Living Art company.

The final design effectively combines a home herb garden, like those produced by Click and Grow, and an indoor vertical garden, such as those from PodPlants. By using wall-space, it saves space elsewhere and creates a feature to look at in a similar way to the Shoeblox shoe storage system.

Feature wall-mounted herb gardens already exist, of course, but the Wall Garden also comprises an automated watering and lighting system for its plants. To begin, a 13 x 15.4 x 3.5-in (33 x 39.1 x 8.9-cm) base unit with five slots for growing pods is mounted on the wall close to a power socket. A magnetic frame is then attached to the unit, covering an eventual area of 18.4 x 18.5 in (45.7 x 47 cm). The frames are interchangeable so that they can be switched to match decor.

Users will be able to choose packs of five growing pods from which different plant types will be grown. The pod packs contain plant-types that have similar lighting and watering requirements. Each Wall Garden will be provided with a pod pack, after which user will be able to buy replacement packs from the Living Art website for US$10-15.

The five chosen pods are watered and inserted into the slots in the base unit. Living Art says it has used the Wall Garden to successfully grow basil, lettuce, dill, cilantro, kale, dwarfed cucumber, mint, borage, parsley, dwarfed peas in a pod, arugula, thyme, marjoram, rosemary, cherry tomatoes and others. It plans to survey people who pre-order the Wall Garden to decide with which plant-types to launch.

The base unit is filled with a water and nutrient mixture via a spout on its side and, once it is plugged in, mists the crop roots with the solution. The remaining mist falls back into a reservoir at the bottom of the unit from where it is recirculated. Living Art says the unit needs topping up with the solution about every 2-4 weeks.

Plant growth is also encouraged by an LED light that is mounted on the top of the Wall Garden. An accompanying mobile app for Android and iOS will allow users to set a timer for when the light comes on and off, as well as provide low-water notifications and allow users to view growing tutorials.

Beginning as a blank canvas, the Wall Garden allows users to grow fresh herbs, flowers and vegetables of their choice until they fill the frame. In addition, it uses no pesticides or no soil, is low maintenance and naturally filters the air in the user's home. The Wall garden is said to use around 650 W a day.

A Kickstarter crowdfunding campaign for the Wall Garden is under way. At the time of writing, pledges from US$300 will be rewarded with a Wall Garden, assuming all goes to plan with the campaign and roll-out. Shipping is expected from March 2017.

The video below is the Kickstarter pitch for the Wall Garden.

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