Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Green walls, in Paris

Our trip to Paris was a little out of the blue (it wasn't a vacation we'd planned) and yet I had plenty of time to research what I wanted to see while I was there. Somewhere along the line it occurred to me that Patrick Blanc (Mr. Vertical Garden/Green Wall) is French, so there had to be some pretty killer green walls to see, right? Sadly most of his are in private spaces or places where you'd really have to be on game to get in. I wasn't up for that kind of nonsense. Thus the green wall at Musée du quai Branly (adjacent to the Eiffel Tower) was my answer. The hell of it was, there was a renovation happening!

Still — there was a lot of it you could put an eye on, even if it was recently replanted.

376 species! See photos of the wall in better times here — QUAI BRANLY MUSEUM Completed in 2004.

Parts were so lush, even for January. It must be quite the sight to see in the summertime.

Yikes! A plant and roots had fallen to the ground. Notice the cigarette butt. So many smokers in Paris!!! But the cigarettes didn't make me want to gag like they do here in the states, they actually smelled good. What's up with that?

The large leaves of the Bergenia look great in the wall.

Don't you think?

Somewhere on Patrick Blanc's website I read that the plants..."hang from the façade of the building, held in place by a device inspired directly by nature — (moss on a rock) a thin plate of PVC and layers of felt cover the exterior walls of the museum." This must be that moss on a rock.

Google translate is a wonderful tool. The photo translate option worked well too, when I had WifFi.

Once we crossed the street I couldn't help but turn back for another photo...

Or two.

My next green wall sighting was completely unexpected. Inside BHV (the department store, mentioned yesterday) I was surprised to see windows and had to take a peek out to see what was what. Look at that!

On another floor I got a different view. Huh, looks like another branch of this same store. Of course curiosity dictated I would visit later.

And I did. It was pretty fabulous.

That's some serious foliage, and as it turns out this is also the work of Patrick Blanc, completed in 2007.

So lush!

My final green wall entry was spotted at Charles de Gaulle Airport, and I (sadly) didn't see it for myself. My friend Julie and I flew out on different flights and this bit of loveliness was located at her terminal.

If I couldn't see it with my own eyes at least I had a friend who knew I would want to...

Weather Diary, Feb 28: Hi 45, Low 32/ Precip trace

All material © 2009-2018 by Loree Bohl for danger garden. The Danger Garden. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited and just plain rude.

23 comments:

  1. Wow, Loree, these are so cool! Last year I saw an entire building covered in green wall in Sydney and wondered what kind of infrastructure holds the plants up and supplies water - thank you for satisfying my curiosity!

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    1. Did you take a look at Patrick Blanc's website? (link at top) It's quite fabulous.

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  2. I am curious how they keep these watered. Of course, that wasn't a worry while you were there, given the floods, but I would be concerned about that if I had one here. I've been hankering for a small green tapestry of some kind for years now. These were fabulous, thanks for sharing. I love all the diagonal lines in that first one on the big building. And that second one at the department store, is that perhaps bamboo iris hanging in it?

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    1. I think you're correct about the bamboo iris! And yes, watering is definitely a concern...I've seen some small ones here that look horrid over the summer. Have you ever visited the Tacoma Goodwill offices? That wall was also done by Patrick Blanc. It seems like water is fed down the wall, slowly making it's way to the bottom. Or maybe there are multiple drip lines, so the plants at the top don't get all the water? http://www.thedangergarden.com/2013/04/roadtrip-to-city-of-destiny.html

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  3. Funny that cigarette smoke smelled different in Paris. I enjoy looking at these green walls but am glad that we don't have to maintain them!

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    1. It did, it really did! Wish I knew why.

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  4. I don't think I've ever seen a green wall. Green roofs, but nothing vertical. Really dramatic.

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    1. Really? There are some great ones out there, and some not so great.

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  5. Apparently, green walls are gaining in popularity here in the States. I'm doing research to propose putting one up at our University. The systems (hydroponic) are pretty straightforward. I love the designs of this company: www.gsky.com/gallery/ There are several installations in Seattle (hey, Peter).

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    1. Oh! Thanks for the link, they do interesting work. I would love to learn more about the green wall at your University, should the project go forward (good luck!).

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    2. Thank you - the bureaucratic hurdles are legion. ;)

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  6. Even newly planted/renovated, the museum wall is impressive, as are the others you photographed. Most of those I've seen here are on a far (FAR!) smaller scale and comprised mainly, if not exclusively, of succulents. In addition, I've yet to see one of those hold up over the long run. I'm guessing that our drier air isn't helpful. However, I saw a good-sized vertical wall, constructed mainly of shade-tolerant indoor plants, at a local super-mall recently. The renovated, expanded mall is pretty cold and sterile so the vertical wall was a welcome change to what overall is a hideous space. Unfortunately, I was in a hurry and didn't a photo.

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    1. Inside walls seem like a great addition to the sterile mall environment. There were several gorgeous interior examples on the Patrick Blanc website, ones I wish I could have visited.

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  7. How did the rest of the garden at Quai Branley look? (It was designed by Gilles Clément.) Last time I was there, it had a few maintenance issues: broken fixtures, bad cutting back of grasses. Although February's not the best time for an assessment.

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    1. Sadly we didn't go inside. I was tempted, as I could see there was a garden, but it was January (not ideal) and we had limited time. I wish I could report!

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  8. Wow, you're right that is some serious foliage. These are fun displays. I've seen several green walls around Chapel Hill, one at a specialty store at a mall and one at a local restaurant, and find them charming. Have a good week.

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    1. Thanks pbm, when done well they are quite the sight!

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  9. That green wall at BHV - amazing! We didn't see it when we were in Paris, but if we ever get back we'll put it on the list, for sure.

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    1. And take time to shop the store too (not that little outlet with the green wall, but the big one across the street).

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  10. I can't imagine cigarettes that smell good, but maybe they don't use all the toxic chemicals that cigarettes in America have. I've never smelled straight tobacco, but I could imagine it smelling better than modern American cigarettes. Who knows? Love the green walls. I think you and Alison are right about the bamboo iris. I couldn't see what it was until I switched from my phone to my computer.

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    1. They really did! And I bet you're right about the chemicals. Or maybe the French add something pleasant smelling? See Anna's comment below for more info on the Iris.

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  11. Oh lucky you who got to see several of Patrick Blanc's work! I'm pretty sure the iris is Iris japonica. I have a book by him where it's listed as one of his go to plants. I can see why - it's a happy spreader... It has that similar weeping habit that bamboo iris does, but the stalks are a lot more compact. The flowers are very similar, though. I have a variegated verson of it called 'Aphrodite' if anyone wants a start at the next Blogger meet-up.

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    1. Ah, thanks for the tip on the Iris japonica. It makes sense that a more compact plant would be used here, seeing yours yesterday they were quite long.

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