Vertical gardens may look great, but they typically require constant maintenance, automated or otherwise. Urban greening firm Treebox, however, has unveiled a new vertical garden than looks after itself. The Rain Garden uses no power and is watered solely by rainwater.
Located at Tooley street in London, the Rain Garden collects rainwater in storage tanks hidden behind the planting. The design forgoes a pressurised irrigation system in favor of one that supplies water from the tanks to the planting by way of "wicking rope." This allows the plants to absorb the water in a capillary action.
The water is supplied in a controlled manner, ensuring the plants are not over-watered, with the system reducing the water supply to the plants at times of high rainfall. A full capacity of water in the tanks can sustain the planting for up to six weeks.
Treebox managing director Armando Raish suggests that the innovation could be used to maintain vertical greening in non-serviceable areas. The plants used in the Rain Garden are evergreens and mostly ferns and grasses. They include Asplenium, Polystichum, Carex Elata, Sarcococca and Geranium.
An initial trial of the Rain Garden was installed on Tooley Street in 2013 as part of the Drain London sustainable urban drainage program. Having proved successful, its length was tripled to 30 m (98 ft) this year, with work having been completed in the last few months.