Huge green walls like the installation at Edmonton Airport are certainly more visually arresting than a succession of dreary old framed prints, and are claimed to improve air quality, too. LivePicture from New York-based Suite Plants takes this living wall idea and downsizes it to fit in a frame that hangs on a wall like a painting.
LivePicture is described as high end, low maintenance living art. The mini garden in a frame was unveiled at the Plantscape Industry Expo in August, and comes in two versions. RemPlant (think Rembrandt – get it?) holds two plant cassettes, measures 44.3 x 28.5 in (112.5 x 72.4 cm), and has a dry weight of 33 lb (15 kg), which is bumped up to 77 lb (35 kg) with a full complement of plants and 4.5 gallons (17 liters) of water in the reservoir. The VanGrow model sports just one cassette, measures 28.5 x 28.5 in and tips the scales at 55 lb (25 kg) with a full load.
Each interchangeable cassette is home to nine 4-inch plants, and can snap in or out of the powder-coated steel frame for a seasonal refresh, or to alter the mood of a room. Frames come in charcoal, silver or white.
"Plants are direct planted into our cassette. Inside the cassette is a synthetic soil media sponge and a cotton wick," the company's Amber Mufale tells Gizmag. "The end of the cotton wick hangs out of the cassette and hangs down into a water reservoir, which always stays about half full. There is a float ball inside the water reservoir that, when it drops, will open a lever to a reserve water tank and refill the water reservoir when the water level gets low. The wick pulls water up from that water reservoir and stays wet behind that solid media. The plants will root into the soil media and then pull the water forward from the cotton wick as needed."
Looking after the hanging gardens is said to be as easy as topping up the reservoir behind the frame every four to six weeks, and in addition to giving a new eye-catching focus to office, showroom, hotel, or restaurant walls, LivePicture frames can also help clean up the air. Suite Plants points to research funded by NASA which has found that indoor plants can play a significant role in the removal of toxic agents from the air.
Invented and manufactured in Holland from recyclable materials by Mobilane, operating under the name of Suite Plants in the US, LivePicture is not sold direct to the public. The company wholesales to interior plantscapers and garden centers, who set the purchase price (a list of distributors is available on the company's website).
Source: Suite Plants