Posted on Leave a comment

MARCUS BARNETT X TREEBOX

At any time we have numerous projects on the go but it’s always a highlight to team up with leading architecture and landscape companies to help bring their ideas to reality. Recently we had the opportunity to work with multi award winning landscape architecture firm Marcus Barnett on a special project in the city.

Here’s what leading designer Patrick Clark had to say:

‘The project is a series of internal and external private garden spaces.  The use of green walls in this project was to create a lush feeling of a modern winter garden.  The use of plant species was different between the internal and external spaces but the language had to be similar in order to ensure a similar aesthetic.  The result is a feeling of rich greenery throughout the property which creates a seamless transition between the inside and outside of the house.’

Find out more about Marcus Barnett here and be inspired through their projects

Posted on Leave a comment

OUR TOP 5 LIVING WALL DESIGNS

Last year we installed over 960 sqm of living walls and 130 sqm of ivy screen! That’s around 5 tennis courts of vertical urban greening! We created habitat for wildlife, clean air for us to breathe, a place for us to relax, contemplate and think, a natural rainwater storage system, a place to grow organic food and the nourishment for cities to build from more sustainable roots.

We’re full steam ahead heading into 2017 with plenty of new living wall designs in the works but in the meantime be inspired as we round up our Top 5 living wall designs of last year!

1. Restaurant Ours Brompton Rd, London.

This new dining nook was opened back in summer by Michelin star chef Tom Sellers in London’s elegant Kensington district. The addition of our floor to ceiling living wall takes green dining to the next level, helped along the way a little by a great assortment of trees and plants throughout the space.

2. The Living Box, London.

Taking an every day and under-used piece of street infrastructure and transforming it into something special. We teamed up with the street smart innovators over at PUBLIC SPACE JAM and London based artist Andrea Tyrimos to bring a breath of fresh air to a disused phone box in one of London’s biggest pollution hotspots. We re-fitted the back with cascading greens whilst Andrea enveloped the remaining sides with leafy murals and a starry sky scene inside.

3. The Ritterman Building at Middlesex University.

This living wall, contains around 3,500 plants and provides a visual representation of what the building stands for – exhibiting how technology can combine with nature to achieve smart sustainable design. To celebrate the new design we invited local primary school children to help plant a portion of the wall, creating a learning resource they can nurture and see grow one through the seasons.

4. Colourful patio backdrop, Kensington, London.

As well as taking on some large projects we also had blast creating the smaller guys, here to show you size doesn’t matter is a residential design we did earlier in the year. This backyard retreat was transformed with clusters of the same plant grouped together for maximum impact. The Heuchera ‘plum pudding’ provides a fantastic ruffled edge which combined with it’s deep purple colour adds intensity and volume to the leafy greens of surrounding fern fronds. Only in it’s first year this wall appears fully established and creates the perfect backdrop to entertaining in long summer evenings or crisp winter mornings gazing outside – the mixture of evergreen with flares of seasonal interest ensures there’s a changing scene year round.

5. RHS Tatton Park

Although not a permanent display this project was definitely one of our favourite’s to be involved with. As designer’s it’s not often you get chance to incorporate all your ideas in a single project, but this summer we were given centerstage and free reigns by the RHS to display all the urban greenery our team could wrangle up to Tatton Park. We brought you living walls in every form we could muster. From the intelligent air purifying walls, to the sustainable rain water garden, to the roll your sleeves up and get stuck in vertical farm. Our goal was to enable visitors to take a walk through a compact world of green design. The diverse planting design provided an exploration of the senses as individuals became lost in designs and technology that could be the future of our cities. In addition to getting to exhibit our products, one of our favourite aspects of this project was engaging, exciting and inspiring the public! Despite our exhibit only going on for a few days we met some incredible people and from it, the ideas and motivation we gained still fuels us to do what we do best – transform the concrete jungle.

If you didn’t manage to catch us at RHS Tatton we’re pleased to announce we have plenty of upcoming exhibits at various garden shows in the upcoming months, check back to our events page or follow us on twitter for more details announced soon.

Posted on Leave a comment

ARBITRARY AUTUMNAL FOLIAGE

Ever wondered why some years your garden triumphs with autumnal displays and other years seems to lack lustre? Well just like us plants are susceptible to the changing moods the weather can bring too.

The science behind it is quite simple…chlorophyll makes leaves green, in summer chlorophyll production is high but as the weather begins to change and days become shorter chlorophyll production slows down and gives other pigments a chance to take centre stage.

The two major players here are:

Carotenoids – orange, yellow and browns
Anthocyanin’s – striking reds

Carotenoids are always present in the leaf but usually take a back seat to the more prominent Chlorophyll, because of this their appearance at the start of autumn comes as no surprise. Things start to get interesting when it comes to Anthocyanin’s, however. These resplendent red colours are created as a direct response to light, temperature and water supply.

Enough of the science anyway, I know we’re all on the edge of our seats wanting to know what concoction leads to the most spectacular autumnal palettes?

Well, according to the Forestry Service, ‘a succession of warm sunny days and cool crisp, but not freezing, nights’

So here’s to hopefully some mild sunny autumn days ahead and some dazzling displays of red to compliment it!

To celebrate this time of year and gearing up ready for The Royal Horticultural Society ‘Shades of Autumn Show’ this month, we’ve complied a specially selected plant list to boost your living wall into the new season with colour and texture so stay tuned!

Photos: Andrew Goldsworthy

Posted on Leave a comment

LIVING WALL THIEF

If you’re a Holborn local or a regular commuter through the area you may have noticed our Livingbox project going through a few face lifts the last couple of months.

The project was created back in February when we teamed up with savvy urban innovators Public Space Jam and contemporary artist Andrea Tyrimos to transform a disused phone box into a living breathing piece of art.

Sitting on one of London’s busiest roads the Livingbox was retrofitted with an active living wall, transforming this pollution hotspot into a purified air oasis.

Unfortunately it wasn’t long before attempts were made to destroy this piece of urban greenery, with plants removed and tampered with. After seeing how much support the project had received over social media we couldn’t let this be death of the Livingbox – we planted and spruced up the living wall ready for the Monday morning crowds to enjoy yet again.

Sadly we were informed that the vandals had been back, this time not only pulling out plants, but also smashing one of the window panes framed by Andrea’s colourful leafy mural. So we returned to the scene to replant the Livingbox for a third time – providing a green escape from the urban jungle.

Less than a week later and the thieves had ripped out the plants for a third time – incidents like this reduce the likelyhood of future public green installations around the city so we’re asking for your help, spread the word and keep your eyes and ears open if you regularly pass through the area. We don’t want, or intend for a select few to ruin the potential of urban greening for the majority.

Posted on Leave a comment

UNIVERSITY BUILDING IS GREEN INSIDE & OUT

Treebox has been working hard the last few months with BPR Architects and Middlesex University to ensure the new Ritterman Building is ready ahead of the new academic year. The five storeys will provide a state of the art teaching space for the School of Science & Technology, Art & Design and Media & Performing Arts. With innovative planning and design throughout the build we hope it will provide an inspiration source not only for students and faculty members but also the local community.

Treebox had the honour of providing the vertical rain garden to the building, with a linear planting design, reflecting the clean and contemporary aesthetic of the project overall. The living wall incorporates leafy evergreens such as Aurea, Polystichym and Sarcococca alongside flowering perennials like Geranium Rozanne, Brunnera and Bowles’s Mauve.

As part of the opening and ahead of the official tour of the living wall, Treebox will be hosting an activity day aimed at getting children out of the classroom and into nature. The day will encourage children to think about the importance of urban greening and some of the innovative ways we can do this. We will be using our ‘Gutter Garden’ design to plant up an area near the wall with seeds which overtime will grow into edible varieties of herbs and leafy vegetables. The ‘Gutter Garden’ can then be relocated to the local primary school providing children with their own urban farming experience.

Armando Raish, Treebox MD said: ‘The opportunity to be involved in designing the new Ritterman Building at The University of Middlesex has been fantastic. The project combines state of the art technology and carefully considered design resulting in a build which is not only in tune with nature aesthetically but who’s foundations have been built on the main principles of environment sustainability. The living wall, containing some 3,500 plants, provides a visual representation of what the building stands for, exhibiting how technology can combine with nature to achieve smart sustainable design. We look forward to watching this wall change with the seasons and become more established as the years progress!

Posted on Leave a comment

HOW VERTICAL URBAN FARMING CAN PROVIDE GREENER DINNER TABLES WORLDWIDE.

With world population set to reach eight billion people in 2020, meeting our growing food demands will require innovative out of the box thinking….

The answer may lie closer to home than you might imagine. Our buildings may provide the farmable space we require to feed us all. Imagine a world where we can harvest our produce from the walls that shelter us….

This is not some vision of what the future city may look like but something that is possible now!

The continued rise in mouths to feed exerts enormous pressures on the Earth’s resources. If left unchecked unsustainable agricultural methods can result in deforestation, water contamination and exploitation, desertification, extreme energy usage, pollution and habitat loss. Fortunately, heightened awareness regarding the effects of food production have resulted in growing solutions and as our cities are at the heart centre of our population there are plenty of good reasons why producing our food close to home is taking off across the globe.

For many people urban farming offers the opportunity to have seasonal fresh produce at a fraction of the cost, by growing only what we need, close to home, we cut down not only waste but the food miles associated with produce. As urban farms become established the increased greenery attracts more wildlife, reduces rainfall runoff, and counteracts the urban heat island effects.

We have merely scratched the surface with urban farming in terms of the adaptability and scope they possess within dense city living. Combining food production with sustainable urban drainage solutions (SUDS) for example, not only reduces the risk of flooding but harvests otherwise wasted rainwater turning it into an edible end product.

Edible living walls offer an altogether new approach to farming – taking advantage of spaces which may otherwise go unused. This principal alone has resulted in a blooming boom for rooftops and walls in some of our world’s densest cities, where space comes at a premium.

Urban farm GrowUp uses a combination of aquaponic and vertical growing techniques promoting community involvement and environmental consciousness. They take unused commercial space and grow fresh produce using wastewater from the fish farm to feed the plants. This method removes the need for petrochemical fertilisers whilst simultaneously reducing water use. Their demonstration farm in Hackney has been a growing success since opening in 2013, producing over 4 tonnes of fish and 20 tonnes of salad, herbs and micro-greens. The team have now gone on to open a second urban green farm, Unit 84, aiming to produce 20,000kg of sustainable greens and 4000kg of fish each year!

Admittedly urban developers and planners still have some stretch to go before we can produce enough to stock our fridges within a short walk from home. But combinations of new technology, community involvement and financial incentives are paving the way for a greener healthy future, not only for our urban cores but for our bodies too.

Posted on Leave a comment

TREEBOX AT RHS TATTON 2016!

This vibrant living wall design explores the opportunities for and expansion of green infrastructure in today’s society. Visitors are invited to explore the various elements of vertical design, becoming submerged in the aesthetics of the cascading greenery while also acknowledging how modern technology and renewable energy can combine to enhance urban environments.

The concept for this project was to bring together all the technology Treebox has been working on over the past few years, highlighting how living walls can be used to tackle issues such as air pollution, reduce food miles and recycle rainwater.

Key features include on display at this year’s RHS Tatton include:

1) Vertical Rain Garden – Intelligent living wall stores and attenuates rain water for irrigation. It is self watering with no pumps, power or mains water required meaning it not only reduces maintenance requirements but eliminates the risk of urban flooding during rapid rainfall.

2) Air Purification Unit – New technology transforms a standard passive living wall to an active air purifying unit. The system performs all year around 24 hours a day and a standard unit has the potential to clean up to 1 million liters of air each day of nitrogen oxides and particulate matter emitted in urban environments. Each unit has a compact design with low water usage making them adaptable to already existing street structures.

3) Vertical Farming – As our urban cores become more developed and population increases, the pressure for food sources often leads to greater food miles and less fresh produce. Living walls offer the opportunity for a variety of edible plants and herbs to be grown and used in their local community. There has been a recent trend in restaurants featuring living walls and roofs not only for aesthetics but also to ensure produce retains more nutrients from source to plate. It also offers restaurants the ability to provide diners with a greater insight to their meals, with an increasing amount of consumers concerned with organic produce and origin. On a smaller scale, vertical farms also provide fantastic backdrops to external kitchens and BBQ areas where seasoning and herbs can be plucked and used instantly, packing a great punch visually and aromatically.

Treebox’s exhibit at RHS Tatton enables visitors to take a walk through a compact world of green design. The diverse planting design will provide an exploration of the senses as individuals become lost in designs and technology that could see the future of our cities transform from concrete jungles to green eco-hubs.

Posted on Leave a comment

PROTECTING YOUR LIVING WALLS FROM THE DEADLY PEST – VINE WEEVIL

Lately, living walls have become a fashion statement in architectural design. Being a part of the building or freestanding, it is a sustainable innovation and looks great. So, what is living walls? Living Walls (aka Green Walls) are greenery-filled vertical gardens attached to the interior or exterior of buildings.

Concerning the green facades (i.e. the ivy walls), living walls are different. Here, the plants are rooted in an elegant structural support that is easily fastened to the wall. All the essential nutrients and water that the plants receive are from within the vertical support instead of the ground.

[http://i.imgur.com/3i2gphB.jpg] (Living Wall)

These are miraculous structures that help in displaying the significance of the nature in urban environments. As concrete jungles are expanding and pollution increasing, the development of living walls helps in reversing these trends of pollution and destruction of greenery.

What Are The Benefits Of Living Walls?

  • Improving Air Quality

Since the industrial revolution, modern technology and advancement have led to increasing the air pollution. However, this can be stopped as many scientists and researchers have found ways to reverse the damage that human beings are causing. Urban streets are hot spots for dangerous pollutants like nitrogen dioxide, but the living walls reduce the level by 40% or 60%.

  • Beauty

Modern society is all about elegance, and there is nothing more beautiful than Mother Nature. The appearance of a building can be improved by a flourishing and well designed green wall. It adds texture and color which never go out of fashion.

  • Necessity For The Building

Most of the buildings are often affected by the changes in temperature. This causes the materials to contract as well as expand. Over time, it leads to cracks, deterioration, fissures and other physical damages. Living walls protect buildings, not just from the fluctuations of temperature, but helps in diverting the water from the walls, when there is a heavy rain. Also, it protects the walls from harmful UV radiations.

What is Heuchera Living Walls?

If you are looking for colorful foliage then, Heuchera is a perfect choice. This is the best perennial to make your garden lively all around the growing season. It creates attractive basal mounds which are in the shape of heart. Along with that, the Heuchera has a triangular or rounded leaves that are quite wavy, ruffled and smooth.

Even though the leaf coloration varies as per the method of cultivation, still it has hues of bronze-green, amber, gold, green, dark purple, and pink.

[http://i.imgur.com/9sL8co5.jpg] (Heuchera Living Wall)

Types of Heuchera Living Walls Plants

The following are some of the commonly found Heuchera plants –

  • Heuchera Fireworks
  • Heuchera Electra
  • Heuchera Purple Petticoats
  • Heuchera Green Spice

Elements Destroying Heuchera

  • Diseases

Sometimes if you plant Heuchera when it’s damp and in the absence of direct sunlight, it will get infected by fungus. Often, if your heuchera plant starts to have problems, the best solution is to move the plant to a sunnier or drier site.

  • Pests

The larvae of dangerous pests like the black vine weevil will bore into the roots and core of the heuchera and other green wall plants. Such larvae are present in the early fall or late summer. The plants which are affected by the infestation of these pests will droop and wilt. So, it is important to check out for the larvae and get rid of them by hand or chemicals. To know about the various pests that can harm your plants, check out the infographic of http://nycitypestcontrol.com/diy-garden-pest-control-infographic/.

Vine Weevil – Destructors

The vine weevil is a small root-eating pest that is capable of creating devastating damage to plants. This pest can change the color of your plant to yellow, wilt and kneel over after the last root is gnawed. If you have vine weevil in your garden, then take action immediately to safeguard your precious plant from this notorious pest.

[http://i.imgur.com/JXl5P4z.jpg] (Vine Weevil)

Disaster Caused By Vine Weevil

The presences of tiny and irregular notches on the outer layer of the leaves are the clearest sign of the vine weevil infestation. This damage might be more superficial rather than life threatening to the plants.

Methods To Control The Infestation of Vine Weevil Pest

There are two ways to control this pest –

  • Chemical Method

You can secure your plants by spraying pesticides like Bio Provado Vine Weevil Killer 2. Mix it with water and you can use a watering can to protect the plant up to four to five months.

  • Biological Method

If you are not interested in using chemicals, try the Nemasys Vine Weevil Killer. Here, microscopic creatures known as nematodes are used as they are the natural adversary of vine weevil.

It is important to preserve living walls as they are one of the largest commercial projects. Also, they get a tremendous amount of attention in the public eye. So, if anything goes wrong, then it will get noticed, big time. Furthermore, the lifespan and the beauty of the living wall are based on the type of plant that you have chosen along with the best characteristics like growth, habit, and longevity.

Posted on Leave a comment

TREEBOX AT ARDE THIS JUNE!

Leading London-based Design Studio Echlin is curating the “LIVING” room concept in collaboration with Treebox and bespoke luxury rug designer Deidre Dyson to be launched at the first ArDe Architecture & Design Fair at Somerset House in June.

Echlin has developed this concept for the south wing Portico Rooms and river-fronting balcony which is intended to demonstrate a vision of how we can further blend and blur the lines between inside and outside space in our future homes.

The scheme will incorporate natural elements and inventive planting and utilise a collection of materials and furniture, which might be associated only with being used outside inside, and vice versa, enhancing the sensory experiences while at home. Echlin envisages breaking down the traditional boundaries between home and garden.

Mark O’Callaghan from Echlin comments: Echlin’s ethos is to deliver quality design for enhanced lifestyles through the creation of exceptional bespoke residences. For Echlin, access to and a connection with the outside and ‘greenery’ is a huge part of the success of our projects to date.

Fine artist and exclusive rug designer Deirdre adds: Nature and the great outdoors are a primary inspiration for my work. For ArDe, we have selected designs that bring the green world indoors. Two of the carpets ‘Torn Between’ and ‘Forest’ are in beautifully graded silk. My designs can be hung on the wall or laid on the floor to bring the natural environment inside. The materials I use are 100% natural, since we only work with pure wool and finest silk.

And Armando from Treebox comments: I’ve always found the contrast between vegetated and smooth surfaces to be elegant and attractive. Our concept at ArDe is designed to create a clean contemporary feel that plays with light reflection and textures combined to create a sense of freedom.

ArDe will be open to the public from Wednesday 8th – Sunday 12th June and tickets can be booked here.

Posted on Leave a comment

TREEBOX X SGD

“State of Flux: Capturing the ephemeral in

contemporary gardens and landscape will

examine gardens and natural spaces that

are deliberately temporary and naturally

impermanent.”

Treebox will be sponsoring the Society of Garden Designers Spring Conference this year which focuses on impermanent features in contemporary gardens and landscapes. Exploring the subject will be a panel of speakers whose experimental work has embraced the ephemeral and transitory nature of plants to great effect. Speakers include: Landscape architect Deborah Nagan, Landscape and garden designer James Basson MSGD, Professor James Hitchmough from the University of Sheffield, Adolfo Harrison and Darryl Moore, the Co-curators of Cityscapes, and renowned land artist Sylvain Meyer. The day will be chaired by Richard Reynolds of Guerrilla Gardening.

(Enchanting land art of Sylvain Meyer)

This is a particularly exciting event for us as we’ll be unveiing a new product following the success of our Easiwall! Treebox is proud to sponsor this event and see’s the SGD as a positive platform for established and emerging talent in the landscape industry. The SGD help to spread knowledge, trends and push boundaries within the field – their work and the work of their members help us to stay inspired, and we always love to see how their network of designers are using our living wall system to attain their project goals!

We can’t wait to see what this year has in store, so come by our stand and let us inspire you just in time for Spring!

This years conference is held:

Saturday 19th March 2016
Royal Geographical Society
1 Kensington Gore
London, SW7 2AR

Conference start at 09:45 until 17:30 approx.
Tickets are available: http://sgd.org.uk/events/spring-conference-2016-on-line-booking-19.aspx