We were enjoying the Backyard (details below) and were fascinated by the vertical gardens built into the pergolas at the exit/entrance areas of the Backyard. We walked up to a young man in a Ball State shirt to ask if he might know anything about them- and were very pleasantly surprised (and kinda geekily excited) to find out that he designed and built the exact one we were looking at!!
This is Luke Munz. He is a student at Ball State University. He is studying landscape architecture. He and other students developed and executed the Ball State Backyard in the Ag/Hort Building at the Indiana State Fair. The Backyard is a great place to stop and rest, relax, and cool off. The kids are entertained by a model train running in part of it. Adults love all the greenery and the wood and brick of the designed area. My favorite time in the Backyard is when the Ball State jazz trio plays.
One side of this vertical garden is tomatoes and herbs. The other side is strawberries. The entire piece weighs about 400 lb and had to be installed using a forklift. However, this can easily be converted to a smaller version.
This is a close up shot of the soil. You can see the layers. The frame is built, then the layer of tight mesh, then the broader holed mesh, then the metal framework. Holes cut out where you intend to plant.
He pointed out a tip- pvc pipe that runs about 3/4 of the way down so you can water the bottom of the garden.
I've heard about restaurants doing herb walls and a lot of urban areas using this type of vertical gardening to green things up. Personally, I just love the idea of building smaller boxes into the pergola Jeff is planning to build on our deck. I'd love to plant herbs, strawberries, and tomatoes in them!