Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Eat this wall

I used to flip through the back section of Better Homes and Gardens impatiently, hoping that after all those gardens, there might be more houses. It's not so much that I have a black thumb or anything, I just always found landscaping to be kind of dull.

Clio and Dave have been planting seeds for our first honest-to-goodness garden (you know, in the ground, not just in little containers on a deck or fire escape), and every day Clio requests to go into the basement to see how much her seedlings have grown. It's possible that her enthusiasm is infectious, because suddenly I'm kind of digging plants.

Or maybe it's just because greenery is going architectural.

This was in my inbox the other day, from the good people at DWR.

Which made me think of this lovely display of Wooly Pockets in an old issue of Sunset magazine,

[Floral design: Flora Grubb Gardens; Photo: Thomas J. Storey]

Which led me to this vertical garden, also in Sunset.

[Landscape: Amelia B. Lima; Photo: Jennifer Cheung]

Then my mother in law brought me a stack of Garden Design magazine, which I am actually READING despite the predominance of gardens and lack of interiors (nary a pinch pleat in sight), and I stumbled upon this edible wall in Atlanta,

Which kind of brought me back to Public Farm 1.

P.F. 1 was an urban farm installed in the courtyard of P.S. 1 contemporary art center in Long Island City, New York, in the summer of 2008 by the fabulous architects Dan Wood and Amale Andraos at Work Architecture Company. My husband helped build it. Clio helped build it. (I stayed home, on bed rest waiting for Eleri). Then, when it was time for a book, part of a series designed by Project Projects for Princeton Architectural Press, I had the privilege of managing the project, and editing an oral history of how a bunch of cardboard construction tubes and light-weight soil got suspended over a museum and produced vegetables one summer.

If you're into this kind of thing, check out the book.

Then you can read artist Fritz Haeg's Edible Estates, about a project that involved turning front yards into food-producing gardens.

If you're looking for a project or two, then you can check out the instructions in Sunset Magazine to build your own vertical garden. Or take another look at Above The Pavement: The Farm, where you can check out illustrated instructions to build a chicken coop.

No joke.


  1. I've been completely taken with the idea of a vertical garden wall. I've had the pages of that Sunset article dog earred as a reminder. I've even thought of doing one on my dining porch I'm currently working on, but since it would be against a wood wall - well probably not a great idea. I'm not sure why I want one so bad. I already have to much to deal with and and a veggie garden that's far to big! But I like em!



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