by Nathan Lerner

An example of the space-saving vertical gardens at Laurel Hill Gardens, 8125 Germantown Ave., that will be on display at the Chestnut Hill Garden Festival this Sunday.

Perhaps you are someone who would love to have a garden, but feel constrained by a lack of available space.  If so, there is now an innovative methodology available that might resolve your conundrum.

As part of the Chestnut Hill Garden Festival on Sunday, May 1, Laurel Hill Gardens, 8125 Germantown Ave., will launch their approach to vertical gardens, which began as an experiment by French botanist, Patrick Blanc, who concluded in 1988 that plants could flourish on water and fertilizer, devoid of any soil.

Blanc developed a system that enabled vegetation to grow on walls, which were lined with felt. The craze swept through parts of Europe and Asia, but now vertical gardens are available in the U.S.

These come complete with either a sprinkler from below or a drip irrigation system installed above. A gutter system on the bottom serves as a reservoir and enables water to recirculate.

Phil Dominic, of Laurel Hill Gardens, pointed out some of the applications for vertical gardens: “Urban environments with small growing areas or no soil at all, apartment building balconies and kitchens with natural light exposure, as well as commercial building facades to reduce heating and air conditioning costs.”

More information at 215-247-9490 orwww.laurelhillgardens.com/verticalgardens.

Nathan Lerner welcomes feedback at culturevulture1@aol.com.