Thinking outside the plot

Thinking outside the plot

PICTURE this scenario: You have three cars and a finite amount of space in your residential compound. Do you:

•Turn the garden in your front yard into a parking lot, or

•Sell two of the cars so you can continue enjoying the greenery?

If you are a home owner grappling with this dilemma, here is the tip: You can now have your garden and your parking lot too.

Veera Sekaran, managing director and principal consultant of vertical greenery specialist Greenology, recalls how a client had asked him to create a garden and yet leave parking space for three cars.

"If we had done a horizontal garden, he would only have been able to park one," he says.

The solution lay in transposing the home owner's horizontal garden onto a wall in front of his house, "so not only does he have permanent greenery, he can also park his three cars - that's valuable space for him".

A popular landscape design feature in Europe, green walls have only started catching on here in the last three to five years, says Luke Lee, a landscape architect at Nature Landscapes. "We're fighting for space. In landed properties, people will maximise their space to make their homes more valuable so they can demand a higher selling price when they sell them down the road."

Another reason for the popularity of green walls is the fact that they reduce the heat of the day and dampen noise.

Mr Sekaran says that many of the Vertical Greenery Systems erected by his company are used in east and west-facing properties and where terraced houses and bungalows are packed closely together. Demand for his green walls have jumped more than 50 per cent in the last year; many clients ask for greenery to be mounted vertically so that heat conduction into those walls is reduced - by 5-10 per cent in some cases - thus cooling the whole house.

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